Gut Health

All disease starts in the gut! Hippocrates

Protect yourself from disease! Gut health is important for everyone! If your gut is not functioning properly you are not absorbing the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs. Leaky gut syndrome is the cause of a compromised gut and then disease sets in. Guard yourself against disease by learning about optimal gut function.

Western Doctors tell their patients that eliminating foods when you have Crohns and Colitis will not help at all.  This is mind boggling to me! I don`t understand how anyone can not see that our food is processed through our gut. (mouth, stomach, small intestine, colon (large intestine) and bowel) So, common sense is that since Crohns and Colitis is inflammation of the gut than wouldn`t ingesting certain foods slow down or stop the healing of a flare.

Protect yourself now before disease sets in

The way to figure out what is harmful or beneficial for your body is to do an elimination and reintroduction. The Whole30 is an excellent program to assist you through the whole process.  The thing with foods to avoid or foods to eliminate then reintroduce is that everyone should do this not just individuals with autoimmune diseases. Everyone should have the goal to have a healthy gut.

10 Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut:

1. Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea

2. Food allergies or sensitivities

3. Anxiety

4. Depression

5. Mood swings, irritability

6. Skin problems like eczema, rosacea

7. Diabetes

8. Autoimmune disease

9. Frequent Infections

10. Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD

1. Remove

Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the gut, such as inflammatory foods, infections, and irritants like alcohol, caffeine, or drugs.

Inflammatory foods, such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugar, can lead to food sensitivities. I recommend an elimination diet as the starting point to identify which foods are problematic for you, in which you remove the foods for two weeks or more and then add them back in, one at a time, taking note of your body’s response.

Infections can be from parasites, yeast, or bacteria. A comprehensive stool analysis is key to determining the levels of good bacteria as well as any infections that may be present. Removing the infections may require treatment with herbs, anti-parasite medication, antifungal medication, antifungal supplements, or even antibiotics.

2. Replace

Replace the good. Add back in the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid, antibiotics, etc) diseases or aging. This includes digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion.

3. Reinoculate

Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is critical. This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species. Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) supplement or consuming foods high in soluble fiber is important.

4. Repair

Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential. L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining. Other key nutrients include zinc, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, and E, as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera.

Functional Medicine

In functional medicine, it is known that every system in the body is connected. Your digestive and hormonal systems, for example, aren’t independent of one another. At the center of it all is a properly functioning digestive system.

When your gut is unhealthy, it can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea. 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut, gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and other chronic health problems.

Whether you have a disease or not make sure your gut is healthy and stays healthy!

Andrea

Welcoming fall

Although it`s felt like fall most days here in the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains for the past couple of weeks I am posting this on the first day of fall to welcome it in. Fall is my favourite season. The harvest brings the best foods and I love the colours, the warmth of spices called for in typical fall recipes and all the comfort foods this season has to offer. I want to share with you my favourites of the season.

Since I have been very sick for so long this time around and living in my RV since June 30th of last year I am just getting to the point of functioning normally in the past couple of weeks and haven’t been able to cook and bake in the capacity that I would like to. I found a new home and move in day is October 8th. I plan to post my own recipes as well now that I will have the mind space, energy and a normal functional kitchen. But for this post I wanted to share with you Against All Grains Fall Creations that I have made and enjoy thoroughly!

My Favourites of the Season

Some of my favourite fall things: Pumpkin puree, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin custard, pumpkin spiced tea and the list goes on….

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Apples, apple pie, apple sauce, apple crisp and apple cider. And these are seriously the best waffles ever! Waffles are my favourite breakfast and when I found this recipe with the apple topping I made it for a couple of month’s straight and I will always love it.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Celebration & Thanksgiving breakfast ideas. Extras from Danielle Walker.

I was busy on Monday and Tuesday this week cooking and baking and I ended up making the World Famous Bread pg 226, Homemade Almond Milk pg 314, Butternut Squash Soup pg 94, and another batch of applesauce pg 208. All of these recipes you can find in Against All Grain Cookbook (the first one). This book is amazing for getting started in the kitchen when you first transition to paleo. It was and still is a life saver for me. I cook and bake from this cookbook three times a week at least.

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The harvest moon which was on September 16th this year. I have to start getting my evening walks in earlier now.

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Long walks in the fallen leaves and nothing is better than the smell of fall. I spent a beautiful warm sunny day at McLeod River in Marlboro last Friday. Check out my Instagram account to see more of my daily life.

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Couldn’t help drive up the road a bit to see the mountains.

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Captured this beauty after a rain.img_8706-2

 

Happy Fall Everyone ~Andrea

Alkaline foods for a balanced lifestyle

What are Alkaline Foods?

An alkaline diet emphasizes alkaline foods such as whole fruits and vegetables and certain whole grains, which are low in caloric density. Healthy Alkaline Diet Foods involve the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods.

The body includes a number of organ systems that are adept at neutralizing and eliminating excess acid, but there is a limit to how much acid even a healthy body can cope with effectively. The body is capable of maintaining an acid-alkaline balance provided that the organs are functioning properly, that a well-balanced alkaline diet is being consumed, and that other acid-producing factors are avoided.

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Here is a list of high Alkaline Foods: Examples of Alkalining Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Spinach

Examples of Alkalizing Fruits: Apple, Banana, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Melon, Lemon, Orange, Peach, Pear, Watermelon

Alkalizing Protein: Almonds, Chestnuts, Tofu

Alkalizing Spices: Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Sea Salt

Here is a link with a list of Alkaline Foods and important information to go along with each one.

Danielle Walker from Against All Grain has three cookbooks, an app, and tons of recipes on her website that are a great balance of alkaline and acidic foods. Majority are alkaline which is why she is having such success with her recipes. The whole30 is another great source for a balance lifestyle. I eat the way these two women cook and eat.

Andrea

Ginger Root

Ginger root can be made into herbal teas, used in recipes and aids in healing.  Many people use it as a home remedy for indigestion, nausea, and to ward off colds, flu, and sore throats. Drinking ginger tea is used to ease gut inflammation and boost your liver health.

Healing properties

Ginger is a warming remedy, ideal for boosting the circulation, lowering high blood pressure and keeping the blood thin in higher doses. Ginger is anti-viral and makes a warming cold and flu remedy.  Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been used for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendinitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots. Also, well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps.

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Ginger Tea

 

1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

2 cups filtered water

1 Tbsp. raw honey or pure maple syrup

½ lemon, juiced

Optional

  • Cinnamon stick
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

Peel the ginger root with a peeler or with the back of a spoon. Grate the ginger with a grater/zester. If you slice it, slice it thin and use more. Infuse the ginger; if you add cinnamon, mint or cayenne, add it here.

If you are using a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add ginger and turn off heat. Put the lid on it and let it steep for 10 minutes then strain the water to remove the ginger.

If you are using a teapot, add ginger in the teapot and pour boiling water in it. Let it steep for about 10 minutes.

Add fresh lemon juice and natural sweetener if you like. Stir and enjoy!

If you want a cold tea, let your tea cool down, store it in the fridge and add ice cubes before serving.

Quick tip: Ginger freezes well

After buying, if there’s any that I need right away, I simply break off a piece to use immediately.  I then wash and completely dry the rest, put it in a freezer bag, and pop it into the freezer.  Not only does the freezer extend the life of ginger to 6 months (it lasts about 3 weeks in the refrigerator), it also makes it much easier to grate.

This is my 50th post on One Gutsy Lady and I still have so much more to share with you.

Happy healing

Andrea