Getting Started with Gut Healing (+ FREE Week 1 Plan!)
Gut healing. It’s a topic we often talk about often in our videos and on the blog… and it’s no mistake! When it comes to our physical health and wellbeing, we’re convinced that looking after digestive health is the #1 most important thing we can do.
Now, there are many phases involved in healing the gut, which differ for each individual. It’s also a process that doesn’t happen overnight. However, a question we often receive is this…
“How do I get started?”
In this post, we’re diving into the nitty gritty of exactly how we’d go about gut healing in its initial phase. Aaannd to make this as helpful and actionable as possible, we created a Week 1 Plan outlining our essential tips your first week + a comprehensive Meal Plan.
So if you’ve been thinking about embarking on the gut healing journey, be sure to pick up this free guide and delay no more!
#1 – Eliminate Inflammatory Foods
When healing the gut, the first and most essential step is to eliminate inflammatory foods from the diet.
These are the foods that spike our blood sugar, feed gut pathogens, weaken our immune system and fuel the fire of inflammation. It’s SO important to remove these foods, because no amount of supplements, probiotics or superfoods can heal us while damage is still being done.
Top on our list of inflammatory foods to eliminate? Here they are:
- Refined sugar
- Seed oils
- Grains + Legumes
On your gut healing journey, you may also uncover specific food sensitivities, e.g. FODMAP sensitivity, histamine / salicylate intolerance or specific IgG immune reactions. Food sensitivities such as these are common with gut issues (in particular leaky gut and dysbiosis), and it’s important to adjust your diet accordingly during the healing process. There really is no one-size-fits-all approach!
A quick note on dairy. While we do believe that raw and minimally processed dairy has health benefits for many, when gut issues arise it’s common for our immune system to become sensitive to the dairy proteins casein and whey. For this reason, we would recommend removing all dairy from the diet for at least 30 days and monitoring your symptoms.
#2 – Prepare Easy-to-Digest Meals
Once you’ve removed inflammatory foods from your diet, it’s time to love your gut with soothing meals that are easy to digest and high in bioavailable nutrition.
This step is all about giving your gut some much needed R&R, rebuilding the gut lining + rebalancing gut flora. Below is a list of the foods we’d suggest including, as well as those we would exclude during the initial phase of gut healing.
You’ll notice that veggies high in insoluble fibre and raw foods are “out”. While there’s no doubt these are incredibly healthy foods, they can be difficult to digest and quite abrasive on an already inflamed gut lining. This is why it’s important to limit these foods initially, and slowly re-introduce as symptoms improve.
And if you’re worried about getting enough nutrition – don’t be! Soups, stews and broths are nutrient-packed and full of detoxifying amino acids, so you will be more than covered 😉
- Soups (e.g. Gut Healing Chicken Soup, Easy Pumpkin Soup)
- Slow cooked meats
- Organ meats
- Vegetables high in soluble fibre, well cooked (e.g. sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots)
- Raw foods (e.g. salads, raw vegetables)
- Vegetables high in insoluble fibre (e.g. broccoli, celery, green beans)
- Cold foods (e.g. smoothies)
#3 – Incorporate Digestive Support
On top of consuming plenty of soothing, easy-to-digest meals, digestive support supplements are a great way to kick-start the gut healing process + maintain it long term.
More specifically, the supplements we’re talking about here are Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes. These are always at the top our list when it comes to gut healing, because they assist with breaking down our food properly + improving nutrient absorption.
We particularly love Betaine HCL as it helps to correct low stomach acid, which is very common when the gut is imbalanced (e.g. in SIBO or dysbiosis). In fact, low stomach acid and dysbiosis can often form a viscous cycle, where poorly-digested food continues to feed gut pathogens and encourage bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Introducing Betaine HCL with every meal can break this cycle. What’s more, correcting the stomach pH sparks a positive chain reaction down the entire digestive tract by triggering correct enzyme production, making for less bloating / feelings of “heaviness”, more energy + all-round better digestion!
Bottom line: If your symptoms include indigestion, reflux, skin issues – e.g. acne or rashes, burping, or feeling heavy after meals (to name a few!) then Betaine HCL is a must.
#4 – Prioritise Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Giving your body time to rest and repair will make the most of your diet changes, so make it a priority to get at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night. And if you struggle winding down at the end of the day, check out these tips!
Alongside a good night’s sleep, you’ll want to minimise stress as much as possible. This is because stress – in particular chronic stress – has very real and detrimental effects on our health. In fact, even the perfect gut healing diet + supplement regime will fall flat in an environment of chronic stress. What this really comes down to is the hormonal cascade and gut microbiome changes that are triggered by stress that we perceive (or create!) in our environment. So long story short – it’s time to put you and your happiness first! Meditation, journalling and time in nature are all great ways to reduce stress. However, the most important thing is to make time for what YOU enjoy – and let go of the thoughts and things that bring down the good vibes!
Related: Detox Rituals | Dry Brushing 101
During the initial stages of gut healing, other lifestyle changes that help to gently detoxify the body include light exercise (e.g. walking, yoga), dry body brushing and taking epsom salt baths. And for those with itchy skin conditions stemming from the gut, we need to emphasise epsom salts for their ability to aid the liver’s sulfation pathway. It’s a lifesaver for flare-ups, not to mention a relaxing way to end the day!
Let’s Get Started Today!
Healing your gut is the #1 thing you can do for your physical health + wellbeing, so don’t leave it a day longer!
If you’re ready to start putting all these tips into action, be sure to download our FREE Week 1 Plan. It includes all our essential tips and tricks to start the gut healing journey, plus a detailed Meal Plan outlining breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for your first week!
Need a helping hand?
We can guide you step-by-step to reset your diet + heal your gut through personalised 1:1 Coaching.
Also, why not join us and hundreds of other like-minded women in our private Facebook community. It’s the best place to ask questions and receive group support on your health journey!