by JJ VirginI bet you will agree that there is nothing worse than feeling gassy and bloated but what you might not realize is this could be a symptom of bigger things going down in your gastrointestinal tract that could be making you gain or hold onto fat, crave the very foods that are hurting you and zap your energy. If you are struggling with joint pain, fatigue, brain fog/mood swings, skin issues, constipation and/or diarrhea, congestion or gas/bloating, read on, I have some simple tips that could make all of the difference!
- Try eliminating the most common culprits – believe it or not, some of those “healthy foods” could be hurting you as they are higher in potential sensitivities AND these intolerances grow when you eat something on a regular basis. Try pulling dairy, soy, gluten, corn, peanuts, yeast and sugars/artificial sweeteners from your diet for 21 days and track your symptoms, you will be amazed! And yes, there is still plenty left to eat – think raw nuts & seeds, a rainbow of veggies, low glycemic fruits and clean, lean protein which is what your diet should focus on anyway, ahem.
- Take time to digest well. Repeat after me, no more mindless eating, no more dashboard dining, no more_______ (fill in the blanks). Make time for your meals, slow down, put your fork down between bites and don’t overload the fluids (which dilutes your stomach enzymes) during the meal. I have found digestive enzymes to be a lifesaver here as well.
- Search, find and destroy and kill….microbes, yeast and parasites. Gut bacterial overgrowth can extract more calories from the food you eat and store it as fat, yeast overgrowth can wipe out your energy and make you crave carbs like crazy and parasites can send you running to the bathroom. If you suspect this, work with your integrative health practitioner to clear things up. I also recommend a daily dose of garlic to keep things in check. I have been using Kyolic Aged Garlic Digestion Formula 102.
- Build your defenses. Add a daily probiotic to help rebuild your gut flora and boost your gut immune system through high quality whey protein (if you aren’t dairy sensitive) and saccharomyces boulardii.
- Cool things off. Help reduce your gut and overall inflammation by making an oil change and getting in wild fish 3-4 times a week and supplementing with a balanced essential fatty acid product that contains EPA, DHA and GLA. Freshly ground flaxseed meal mixed with applesauce is very gut soothing and healing and makes a wonderful afternoon snack.
©2011 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin is a the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy and the co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters reality series. Visit her at http://www.jjvirgin.com to grab her free audio: Top Ten Hottest Tips to Get Slim and Sexy Fast