I’m finally sharing my 3 Pillars for Ultimate Gut Healing because you’ll never heal your gut by focusing on any one of them alone in a silo.
Note: This post was originally published on October 26, 2017. It has been updated (*enhanced only, core remains the same) to reflect the advancement in my work, beliefs, teachings, and preachings. To hire me to speak to your company, at your conference, or via workshop on these 3 pillars, click HERE for more information.
If you have ever worked with me or read The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 3.0, you know what they are. I talk about them a lot because I believe they are the foundation to lasting gut healing.
3 Pillars for Ultimate Gut Healing
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My 3 pillars for ultimate gut healing seem so simple.
What I can promise is that no part of the equation is easy.
So how did I come up with them and what the heck are they?
How Did I Come Up with the 3 Pillars for Ultimate Gut Healing?
I first came up with this idea sometime between 2014-2016, after I was diagnosed with SIBO, but long before I was fully healed. At that time, the way I came up with it was:
- First, that I had completed school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, learning all about diet and lifestyle as a means for healing (and living more vibrantly).
- But then second was sort of the key differentiating factor; the SIBO diagnosis after years of misery.
My 3 pillars for ultimate gut healing are unique in the sense that they combine a Western meets alternative viewpoint.
There was a time when I spoke loud and clear:
Diet and lifestyle vs drugs and medications.
And you know what? I wish that could be the case for everyone. I truly do. In fact, I tried to make it my own scenario for years. Doing so was detrimental. Why? Because it only added years to my healing journey.
The reason is that I failed on two very important levels:
- Understanding that drugs and medications could be part of the lifestyle equation.
But I couldn’t see this clearly until after I put in one of my final puzzle pieces; the SIBO diagnosis.
No, it wasn’t the final piece, but it was a huge piece I needed in the end.
So What are the 3 Pillars?
The 3 pillars to ultimate gut healing are:
In the past, I always used diagnosis, food, and lifestyle. Diet has replaced food, but not because I believe in any restrictive caloric diet. I simply mean the various kinds of food that you habitually eat for gut healing and/or gut health.
All 3 pillars combine Western and alternative thinking, and each school of thought is applied where I feel they do the best job. For example, Western medicine is great for diagnosis, but you’re not likely to get very far with your family doctor or even GI on the lifestyle element. And that has nothing to do with them as the sophisticated individual they are.
It has to do with time and specialty.
We must start lifting the health, wellness, and medical community up for what they are instead of some generalist role we desire out of them.
So with that, let’s dig into these 3 pillars for ultimate gut health a little more.
Diagnosis (not Dr. Google)
The diagnosis piece alone can take months (and even years, which was the case for me).
Too many people are using Dr. Google to diagnose, but this is a very slippery slope. However, I don’t blame you for it. It’s not your fault. Many alternative thinking is telling you that the diagnosis could take a long time and a lot of money. “Just change xyz, see how you respond, then react.”
And while I believe that can work, what it oftentimes does is just prolong the ultimate healing.
Furthermore, if there is something very serious going on, by the time you are diagnosed, the case plan, healing timeframe, and/or final outcome could be drastically different.
One of the most common series of questions I am asked includes:
What tests should I ask for? And what is doing a test for XYZ like? Should I get another opinion? Do you think this is really what’s going on with me? What do my test results/numbers mean? Could there be more? etc.
Regardless of the questions you’re asking, you must ask them and get the appropriate tests vs. relying on Dr. Google. Never rely on the Internet.
Your gut healing efforts will be expedited once you know for sure.
This is the first pillar, and while I realize that you don’t have to complete these 3 pillars in order, this is the one that I would recommend doing first for many reasons.
If you’re scared, I understand. Here are two things you can do today to help ease your mind around the diagnosis:
- Read: The Beginner’s Guide to Digestive Health Testing
- Get your journal so you can feel organized. With the 90-day gut healing journal you’ll have everything in one place; including questions, thoughts, and notes for your doctor’s appointment. If you prefer to download the PDF version, you can get this journal today HERE. Otherwise, the printed copy is spiral-bound and just lovely.
Diet (the right diet for your body)
The second pillar is figuring out your diet.
Don’t listen to the doctor who tells you food does not matter. You don’t have to be a doctor, nutritionist, or scientist to know and understand that food does matter. In fact, with a little trial-and-error in the beginning of your journey, you’ll quickly witness it first hand. I mean, I did during those 21 days what I teach and preach in The Gutsy Girl’s Bible!
But also, lean in closely when I tell you this secret. Are you ready???
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that any templated diet on Earth is right for you, your mom, dad, sister, cousin, and best-friend’s-third-aunt. Okay?!
Dialing in the diet is a test of will, determination, and patience.
Why? Because it will (and must be!) 100% customized for you.
In all of: my personal experience, helping hundreds of women individually, and receiving thousands-upon-thousands of messages from women worldwide, here is what I know for sure.
Everyone wants to fit into a diet mold.
But you are not a pastry, there is no mold for you to perfectly fit.
Everyone wants to be “gluten free” or “dairy free,” Keto, Paleo, or Vegetarian.
The belief that if you just stick to the exclusion of an entire food group and your gut will heal is false. I promise. And yes, even if your end diagnosis is Celiac. Of course you would need to forever cut gluten, but I can promise you there will be something else you need to remove and another thing you need to add in. What are they? I don’t know. It will be, again, 100% customized to and for you.
Diet molds never work, and the reason is that we are all different (read: Bio-Individuality Reigns).
Figuring out what will work for you, though, is critical in overall gut healing because 70%+ of your immune system lies in your gut. Your overall well-being is related to how healthy your gut is: i.e. digestion and gut bacteria.
What you eat (or don’t eat) can have a tremendous effect on not only your healing progress but also your daily energy levels. The foods that fuel you and zap you of energy are different for everyone.
Finally, making the lifestyle changes will, without a doubt, be a lifelong journey.
And if you want the honest, real and raw truth, it’s within the lifestyle pillar where most of your healing will or will not occur. And it’s also here where those very last puzzle pieces typically land.
I realize that this sounds off. Right now, you might be thinking, “No, getting diagnosed with Crohn’s disease was the final puzzle piece.”
If we’re talking ultimate gut healing, then no, that’s in fact just one of the very first pieces.
The lifestyle pillar includes movement (exercise, workouts, whatever you want to call it), stress reduction, skin and body care, and all other critical lifestyle factors that may or may not include supplements and/or medications.
This is the part of the equation that everyone knows, but no one wants to admit.
Once someone has an appropriate diagnosis and then figures out the diet that’s right for them, many times symptoms still exist.
It is, by far, the most difficult pillar to conquer.
After the 3 Pillars to Ultimate Gut Healing
So once all 3 pillars have been conquered, then what happens?
Well then, you spend the rest of your life focusing on gut health. And remember, gut healing and gut health are not the same things.
Health is a state of being; healing is an action we need to take. If you want to learn more about this, please read Gut Health vs Gut Healing.
If you are able to focus on my 3 pillars for ultimate gut healing, I can promise that your life will change. And this is why the 3 pillars to ultimate gut healing lead me to….
Heal your gut. Heal your life.
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You will heal. I will help.