There are 14 things to know before changing your diet to heal your gut.
Changing your diet is so trendy these days.
Everywhere you turn, someone is gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free, Paleo, grain free, egg free, soy free, low-FODMAP, keto, etc., etc.
When I began healing my gut naturally and sharing it with friends and family, I never stopped to think beforehand that this way could also be seen as “trendy.”
This way of eating is stupid simple. The problem is that it’s not stupid easy. There is a huge difference.
14 Things to Know Before Changing Your Diet to Heal Your Gut
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You will not automatically lose weight by following the Gutsy way of eating. Yes, most will, but it’s not a guarantee. Once you change your eating habits and have a digestive disorder that has made gaining weight hard for you, then you might also gain weight. Eating for healing isn’t a weight-loss plan. It’s a healing plan. (Read more: Gut Healing is Not a Diet + Gut Healing is Not a Diet Or Maybe It Is.)
There is no such thing as processed garbage when eating for true healing. There is no magic food packaged in the grocery store for you to conveniently pick up.
This is not another “crazy diet.” So if that’s what you’re looking for, you might need to jump on a different bandwagon. The beginning is semi-crazy, but it’s all a part of the healing (= Elimination Diet). The lifestyle is far from it. The truth is that healing myself primarily with food and lifestyle meant that feeling better would require me to not be so concerned with “thin.” “Thin” and “healing” are conflicting goals. Even “strong” and “healing’ could be conflicting. No conflicts. Keep your eye on the ultimate healing prize.
If you won’t hustle for your healthy lifestyle and healing your gut, then this won’t be for you.
I’m not talking about journaling to keep track of every calorie and ounce of food you put in your body. I’m talking about a food journal, perhaps a Gut Healing Bullet Journal, where you track several different things for a trial period of time to help determine the food and lifestyle facts which are contributing to your problems. Don’t want to make that a priority? You might not be ready.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart. You don’t even have to love the kitchen, but you do have to figure out how to whip up the most very basic things on your own – at home – in your own kitchen. It is shockingly surprising to me how many people don’t know how to do this or don’t want to do this. McDonald’s won’t heal your gut….that’s all I’m saying. I can help you with the basics HERE.
Drugs and Medication
Cutting cold turkey? Probably not. But you need to know that they disrupt the gut flora, and as long as you are dependent on them and them alone, you will likely never be healed. Even if you change your diet to heal your gut, high consumption of drugs and medication will have you making minimal progress. I have many stories on this, but here is one of my own. (p.s. There is a place for drugs and medication, though. In fact, I take 3 on a daily basis, and have discussed more on this topic via Sometimes You Just Need the Damn Medication.)
Blood and Medical Tests
I advise you to get all necessary blood and other medical tests out of the way before changing your diet to heal your gut. Why? Some blood tests (like the one which tests for Celiac) rely on the fact that you are consuming gluten on a regular basis. Other tests like an endoscopy and/or colonoscopy also are more accurate in identifying the underlying issues. I am so thankful I had so many tests done. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got you covered there, too, with my beginner’s guide to digestive health testing HERE. (And also, just stop playing Dr. Google. This will make you heal at an even slower pace.)
Let them eat cake
Sure, your friends are posting pictures of their cake and ice cream, chips and cheese, Big Mac’s and whip cream. They have found the best blogger who will show you how to make the most phenomenal tasting, low-budget meal with Ramen noodles, food colorings and all sorts of bright-colored, mouth-watering items. Unfortunately, this is not the way to healing the gut. But that said, let them eat their own cake…..healing the gut has cake, too 🙂
During the “elimination” phase cheating is not allowed. In any “trial period” conducted, the goal is to measure a certain set of criteria without disrupting the pattern. If the pattern is disrupted, the “trial period” ends because results are skewed. If you cheat, you will have to start over. It is these very starts and stops that prohibit most people from ever healing their gut. And again, keeping a proven journaling system can help with this. Grab mine HERE.
It’s about more than just a “healthy diet.”
A “healthy diet” is subjective. What is healthy for one might not be for another (ahem, FODMAPs). I can’t tell you how many blogs, “gut-healing” sites and medical publications I’ve read where they say that sweet potatoes are healing for the gut. That’s great, but if you want to follow a more tried and true way of healing, at least in the beginning, I am a firm believer that even foods like sweet potatoes make some feel even more miserable. There are healing foods, and then there are foods that allow us to heal without making us miserable. I have learned over the last several years that there is a huge difference. Gut health and gut healing are two different things.
If you don’t care to be educated on labels and reading/understanding ingredients, you might not be ready to heal your gut. You have to be willing to know ingredients vs ingredients.
Where there is a will there is a way
Would you agree with me that excuses get old? Do you enjoy when your children give you excuses? Or your husband? Or even friends and neighbors? If you’re truly ready to heal your gut, you’ll make no excuses. Stop making them, and learn how to HERE.
You will forever be changed
<—- Probably the best and most important thing to know. Heal your gut. Heal your life.
But what exactly is this way of eating in order to heal the gut?
It looks different for everyone because bio-individuality reigns.
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
- Start Here
- A Gutsy Girl’s Master Resource
- The Gutsy Girl’s Bible
- The Leaky Gut Meal Plan: 4 Weeks to Detox and Improve Digestive Health
You will heal. I will help.