How Journaling Can Improve Your Gut Health

What do writing words on paper have to do with healing your gut? The answers might surprise you. Journaling can help your digestive health in a few ways. There’s been a surprising amount of research done on the health benefits of keeping a journal.

Reduce Stress and Digest

Writing in a journal is a powerful exercise in stress reduction. There are few opportunities in life to spill out your deepest emotions without fear of judgement and journaling is one of them.

Stress is terrible for your gut health. It inhibits healthy digestion and chronic stress can even lead to more severe conditions like leaky gut.

Using a journal as an outlet to vent negative emotions gets them out of your system and has a cathartic effect. It might seem weird if you’ve never journaled before but you’ll probably grow to view writing as a form of therapy. It’s simply a space to write down how you truly feel and process the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Keeping Track of Your Reactions

The other benefit of journaling for gut health is keeping track of what goes into your body and your reactions to it. You don’t have to do this forever, but if you want to get on the fast track to healthy digestion, it’s necessary.

Try writing down what you eat and how you feel for one week and you’ll be so much more aware of your reactions to certain foods. It doesn’t have to end at how you feel physically, you could also make a note of how you feel emotionally after eating certain foods.

Perhaps eating soup makes you feel comforted and cozy, where eating a fast food burger might make you feel bad about yourself. Write it all down and over time you’ll be more conscious of only putting food in your body that’s deeply nourishing.

Make it Special

Journaling is an act of self-love. You do it for yourself and no one else. Get yourself a beautiful journal and a nice pen that inspires you to take action. Having a gorgeous journal will inspire you to use it, I love to go to my local Chapter Books and pick a nice one out, I might actually have a bit of a problem :) A nice journal that inspires you does not have to cost a lot, here in Alberta they have some nice ones at Dollarama as well.

Happy writing!

If you’re seriously interested in getting healthy, restoring your digestion and boosting your energy then check out my new 6 month comprehensive program Supercharge Your Gut, 
details here. In the program you get a ton of delicious satisfying recipes as well as strategies that will help rebuild your intestinal flora.

Or join me on my 
Facebook group here, where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

To your wellness,

What Meditation Has to do with Gut Health

When you think of meditation you probably don’t associate it with better digestion and gut health. I know I didn’t until I learned just how much stress influences our gut health and just how powerful meditation is for decreasing stress.

What Evolution Has to do With Healthy Digestion

Issues like leaky gut often come from living a high-stress lifestyle. Most of us are under a lot of stress in today’s world. When you’re feeling anxious or rushed, your body goes into fight or flight. This is a survival mechanism that’s been with us since long before our frontal lobes developed. Back when we had to struggle just to survive, fight or flight was useful, but nowadays we don’t have to fight off predators and run for our lives (at least not often). This response to external stress kicks in anytime something triggers our stress response.

When your body is in fight or flight it isn’t able to direct much energy towards proper digestion. The food we take in when we’re in a hurry, working, or worried just sits in our guts until we’ve calmed down enough to initiate digestion. But a person’s still gotta eat and that’s where things get tricky. If you want healthy digestion, more energy, clear skin and a calm nervous system, meditation is the answer.

How Meditation Helps Our Digestion

Learning and practicing meditation over time helps to decrease stress and turn off the fight or flight response that many people are all too familiar with. The nervous system and the gut are inextricably linked. Humans were never designed to be stressed out all the time, and when we learn to calm our nervous systems our health improves dramatically.

When you get used to tuning into your breath and releasing stressful negative thought patterns your digestion will improve, you’ll have more energy for fun activities and life will seem a whole lot less overwhelming.

Easy Ways to Incorporate Meditation in your Life

Simply taking even 5-10 minutes a day to sit down in a quiet comfortable place and focus on the breath is enough to make a difference.

Set aside time each day to do nothing but breathe. Allow any thoughts that arise to drift away without attachment.

Here’s a great list of apps you can use to help you easily make meditation a part of your life. 
-click here.

Add all ingredients to your blender and process until super smooth.

It all starts with good gut health, Supercharge your gut and supercharge your life.


How I Use Self-Belly Massage for Better Digestion and Stress Relief

Massage is a powerful practice for improving circulation, removing unwanted toxins and calming the nervous system. The ancient Maya developed a type of massage specifically for the abdomen, other cultures utilize abdominal massage in their healing modalities also.

The benefits of abdominal massage are the same as regular massage, though they offer additional benefits for the digestive system. Whenever I have a sore tummy, cramps, constipation or gas I rely on this technique to help relieve pain and get things moving in the right way. It’s incredibly easy to do and there are just a few principles to follow.

● Always move in clockwise circles
● Go slow and don’t apply too much pressure
● It should never be painful
● Using peppermint, lavender or other digestive or calming oils. (my favorites are Digize, Deep Relief, Fennel & Ginger) l diluted with a bit of carrier oil is extra effective
● Lay down in a comfortable position in a quiet environment
● Move your hands in circles that go up close to the ribs and down to the pelvic bone
● It doesn’t have to take long, even 2 minutes is enough to have positive effects

This form of massage ensures a full blood supply to the lower intestine and really stimulates movement and detoxification. This type of self massage helps with releasing gas and reducing bloating.

I use this technique when I lay down in bed to sleep at night and it helps promote long term gastrointestinal health. It also helps to relax the vagus nerve and reduce stress. Stress is one of the worst culprits for poor digestive health so the more ways to decrease it the better.

Or join me in my 
Facebook group where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

Remember it all starts with good gut health, Supercharge your gut and Supercharge your life.


What Exercise Has to Do with Gut Health

This month on the blog we are talking all about movement and how movement creates mobility (bowel movement). My doctors told me for years to get my body moving. That movement creates mobility. My answer always was… they just do not understand, it’s not that easy. Who wants to exercise when you feel like crap and when I went to a class and started moving...guess what happened????

Things started MOVING and I would spend the whole class in the damn bathroom or embarrassed from the “smell” in my corner of the room.

Once I got over my fears and the stories (excuses) that I told myself, it actually really did work. I have to get past the story in my head that “every” time I exercised I got sick. The truth is, I did not. I just did not want to exercise!!!

Exercise isn’t all about the physical. It goes far beyond muscle tone and calories burned. Exercise affects your whole body, including your gut. Professional athletes show a much more diverse microbiome than their non-exercising counterparts of similar age and weight.

Moving your body helps stimulate the lymphatic system, the system that helps your body to remove toxins and maintain a healthy circulation. Other ways to stimulate the lymphatic system include massage and dry brushing, but exercise is highly effective and has other benefits like boosting mood and cardiovascular health.

Exercise helps gut flora by modulating it and increasing diversity. It helps with detoxification and increasing oxygen levels which can help boost energy, a common issue with anyone trying to repair their digestion. When the powerful mood boosting effects of exercise meet those of a healthy microbiome, something amazing happens. We take back our power and realize that feeling good is in our hands.

But let’s face it, when you’re suffering from digestive distress, it’s not exactly enticing to go to the gym or workout really hard. That’s fine because all that’s really needed is a brisk walk, a swim, just something to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. The most important thing is just to move in a way that makes you happy and your gut will be happy too.

There are two exercises that really helped me, LBAR & Knees to Chest. Come back next week for instructions for them and a great handout.

The doors are now open for both my 6 month coaching program, 
Supercharge Your Gut as well as the 30 day introduction to gut health, Kickstart Your Gut. Click HERE to book your free discovery call and see if either of them are right for you. If you are not already in the Facebook group, jump on in. I share lots of great information and it is a safe community to learn, grow and help each other.

Remember it all starts with good gut health, Supercharge your gut and supercharge your life.


4 Ways to Relieve Constipation

Constipation is the pits, and it happens to everyone at some point. When you transition from a typical diet into a clean eating gut rejuvenating type diet, you might experience constipation. It’s fairly common because all of a sudden your body is getting food it’s not used to.

When constipation strikes, try these natural remedies. Eventually, your body and digestion will adjust to your new awesome eating style. In the meantime…

Lemon Water
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is great for relieving constipation. It’s rich in enzymes and highly acidic which can help stimulate your digestive system to move things along. Increasing the amount of water you drink is a well-known constipation remedy, but adding lemon juice will make it extra effective.

Senna Tea or Cascara or Triphala
Senna & Cascara are powerful laxative herbs and work exceptionally well for relieving short-term constipation. When I was really sick Cascara was the only thing that would get things moving for me. They are so effective that it’s often prescribed before colonoscopies and other procedures of that nature.

The active ingredient in senna is a compound called sennosides, which irritates the intestinal lining so much that it forces contractions in the bowel. Like any laxative, you need to be careful to not depend on it because you don’t want your body to get too used to having an external aid. Both of these are very tough on the gut lining. SO DO NOT OVER USE IT. Usually they are considered ok for a short period to relieve constipation, but talk to your doctor about them.

Even better, however, is Triphala. It has been used for centuries in India. It is much more gentle and not habit-forming.

Flax Tea
Flax is one of the best seeds for getting things moving in the bowels. It’s pretty useless, but once you grind it into a powder and mix it with water, magic happens. It’s important to consume only freshly ground flax because the oils are prone to quick oxidation meaning they easily go rancid.

The reason flax works so well for constipation is its high mucilage content. Mucilage is a slimy substance that helps to lubricate the colon and intestinal lining. Along with a good amount of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds are a wholesome alternative to commercial constipation supplements.

To make flax tea, grind 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and mix with 1 Cup of warm (not hot) water. You can add lemon and honey to flavour and enjoy!

Add all ingredients to your blender and process until super smooth.

LBAR Breathing Exercise
There are a few simple yoga exercises, stretches and breathing exercises that are amazing and can drastically help with constipation and digestive issues, WITHOUT drugs, supplements or side effects making things worse. But this is a topic that deserves its own blog, so come back next month as we talk all about moving your body for better digestion. Don’t miss it!!!

If you’re seriously interested in getting healthy, restoring your digestion and boosting your energy, then check out my Breaking Free Workshop: 5 days to understanding how your gut health is holding you hostage. It is a free workshop that will help you to understand why gut health matters, why you are still sick and how to get the changes you want. We start on August 2, so mark your calendars now. 
Register here.

Or join me on my Facebook page where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

To your wellness,
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