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6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Digestion

In today’s busy and stressful world, our digestion is often less than optimal. Luckily, there are simple ways to improve your digestion on a foundational level.

Your digestion needs improvement if you frequently experience: bloating, heartburn, gas, indigestion, constipation, or diarrhea. However, poor digestion doesn’t end there.  Poor digestion can also result in environmental or food allergies, brain fog, eczema, weight gain, and more.

So, how can you support your digestive system?  Here are several tactical tips you can use to improve your digestion right now:

1. Reduce Fiber

While fiber can sometimes boost digestion, it’s important to remember that too much of a good thing can turn bad. In regards to digestion, too much fiber can actually inhibit digestive function. If you eat a high fiber diet and experience digestive distress, consider reducing your fiber intake. 

Additionally, fermentable carbohydrates can cause bloating and digestive discomfort for some, while insoluble fiber can be detrimental for others. As you can see, bio-individuality is a real thing! If you deal with chronic gut inflammation, avoid consuming too many vegetables that are high in insoluble fiber, like greens (spinach, kale, arugula, etc), onions, garlic, bell peppers, green beans, eggplant, celery, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Instead, opt for veggies with low amounts of insoluble fiber, including carrots, squashes, yams, sweet potatoes, plantains, beets, parsnips.  These foods are higher in soluble fiber, which tend to be easier on the gut.  I have found much digestive success in my clients who stick to these starchier foods.

 

2. Cook Your Veggies Well

When eating vegetables, especially those high in insoluble fibers, be sure to cook them well. Cooking helps to break down the hard-to-digest fibers. This process makes them easier on the digestive system and allows for easier nutrient absorption for your body. I recommend cooking your veggies by sautéing them with healthy oils (see below), baking, or steaming. I love steaming my vegetables in my instant pot.

 

3. Increase Healthy Fats

Surprisingly, eating healthy fats can help get things moving. It’s usually a big missing piece for those struggling with constipation. Some healthy fats include coconut oil, grass-fed ghee or butter, beef tallow, or lard. At all costs, avoid vegetable oils or industrial seed oils (canola, rapeseed, peanut, safflower, sunflower etc).

An easy way to increase your fat intake is to include more animal protein in your diet. Look for grass-fed meats and organ meats, wild caught fish, and pasture-raised whole eggs. These animal sources not only provide additional protein, but a variety of nutrients – way more than you’re going to find in the vegetables you’re avoiding. I love to order my meats from US Wellness Meats, a company that ensures everything I get will be grass-fed and grass-finished and sustainable. They deliver high quality, nutrient-dense meats right to your doorstep. Use the discount code “RAWFIT10” to receive 10% off your next order! 

 

4. Drink Bone Broth 

Bone broth is all the rage in the health and wellness world right now, but for good reason! This superfood has been used in traditional cultures for thousands of years, as it’s packed with minerals and amino acids, including those found in it’s gut-healing gelatin.

And, that’s not all. Bone broth contains glycine, which stimulates the production of stomach acid. Low stomach acid is frequently an underlying issue for many gut issues, so it’s essential to support healthy stomach acid production in order boost digestion. This liquid gold also aids in healing and sealing the gut lining and reducing the overgrowth of harmful gut bacteria.

 

5. Get Moving

Daily movement and exercise can help move food through your digestive system. Even low to moderate exercise, like walking, is an excellent strategy. A post-meal walk can help you better digest your food and also reduce your blood sugar levels. A nightly walk after dinner is also a great way to connect with your significant other or family members.

 

6. Consider Probiotics

Admittedly, probiotics are the only supplement I recommend to all of my clients. Why? Because 70% of our immune system is found in the gut. If we don’t have enough healthy gut bacteria to crowd out the bad ones, digestive and immune issues can arise. Always look for a high-quality probiotic that has been proven to survive the digestive process, otherwise the bacteria in your probiotic might be useless when it finally makes it to your gut! I recommend this probiotic to my clients. You can receive 15% off by using the code “RAW15.”

 

At the end of the day, bio-individuality is key. However, implementing these basic, foundational tips can help you improve digestion on a daily basis. If you’re still struggling with digestive discomfort or tell-tale signs of poor digestion, let’s chat! We can work together to figure out the root cause of your digestive issues and finally heal your body so you can live your life!

 

Gut-Healing Marshmallows

These gut-healing marshmallows (unlike the store-bought ones) are free of artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and common allergens. They’re fluffy, delicious, and surprisingly good-for-you!

gut-healing marshmallowsThese gut-healing marshmallows have been my go-to, guilt-free treat for the last several weeks. I’ve practically made them every day since I first created the recipe. They’re just too good to pass up!

Not only are these marshmallows delicious and gut-healing, they’re also so easy and quick to make. Seriously, my little nephew could make them without any help! So, if you typically stick to tossing cereal in a bowl or cooking boxed mac ‘n cheese, you’re in luck. These gut-healing marshmallows are fail-proof, even for the rookie chef!

This paleo-approved and SIBO-friendly recipe is tasty way to add some extra gut-healing gelatin into your diet, which I’m all about and we all could use!  Gelatin, is the gut-healing MVP and it’s great for:

  • Supporting proper digestion
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Restoring your gut lining
  • Boosting hair, nail, and skin health

Basically, all the good things we’re looking for!

gut-healing marshmallows

What You Need to Make Theses Gut-Healing Marshmallows

Filtered Water

Just as you should always drink filtered water, you should always cook with filtered water!

Gelatin

Gelatin is one of my favorite gut-supporting nutrients. I consume it daily. Gelatin is made from animal bone, skin, and tissues. Although it sounds gross, trust me – it’s not.  We’ve been consuming gelatin for thousands of years in the form of organ meats, connective tissue, and broth, but these days we don’t consume as much of it, which could be contributing to modern diseases. Gelatin helps heal the gut, reduce joint pain, improve skin, clear brain fog, reduce food intolerances/sensitivities, and more!  It’s rich in the amino acid, glycine, which is anti-inflammatory and can help improve sleep quality.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract simply makes everything better. It’s an awesome, gut-friendly flavor to add to your baked goods or sweet recipes. Always opt for a high-quality organic, vanilla extract.

Sweetener of Choice

You can use your favorite natural sweetener, here. I like using monk fruit and maple syrup. Other options include stevia, honey, or coconut sugar. See below for the perfect combination I use!

 

How to Make These Gut-Healing Marshmallows

To make these gut-healing marshmallows, you will need a standing mixer or hand mixer (standing is preferred).

Add half your water to a large bowl and add 3 tbs gelatin. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the remaining water to almost a boil.

Use the standing or hand mixer to whisk the gelatin water on low and slowly add in the almost boiling water. Sprinkle in your vanilla extract and sweetener of choice. Continue mixing on low for 1 minute, then increase to medium speed for 1 minute.

Finally, increase to high speed for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and stiff peaks begin forming.

Immediately, pour the marshmallow fluff into a glass pyrex container and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

Slice into squares of your desired size and enjoy!

 

How to Serve Gut-Healing Marshmallows

I could snack on these marshmallows all day long, but they’re especially good on top of a latte, mushroom tonic, or hot chocolate!

 

Gut-Healing Marshmallows
 
Cook time
Total time
 
These gut-healing marshmallows are free of artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and common allergens. They’re fluffy, delicious, and surprisingly, good-for-you!
Recipe type: Snack, Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup filtered water, divided
  • 3 tbs Gelatin
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Sweetener of choice (I like monk fruit!)
Instructions
  1. Place ½ cup of filtered water into a large, deep bowl.
  2. Sprinkle 3 tbsp of gelatin into the water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. While you wait, heat up another ½ cup of water until it’s almost boiling.
  4. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whisk the gelatin mixture on low speed as you slowly pour the hot water into the bowl.
  5. Add in ½ tsp vanilla extract and your sweetener. I like using 1 tbsp of maple syrup + 1 tsp pure monk fruit- this combo was SO perfect!
  6. Continue whisking at medium speed for 1 minute, then increase to high for another 5-7 minutes or until the mixture thickens and peaks start to form.
  7. Pour the marshmallow fluff into a glass pyrex container and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  8. Slice and serve! You can eat the marshmallows as a snack or add on top of your latte or mushroom tonic.

 

 

The Truth About Heart Disease

Based on the book “Put Your Heart in Your Mouth,” by dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

 

Is everything we think we know about heart health wrong? It just might be. For starters, the belief that saturated fat causes heart disease is wrong, based on recent research and publications. Unfortunately, the correlation between saturated fat and heart disease has been ingrained in our brains for so many years that it seems almost impossible to convince people otherwise. Yet, I’m going to try. 

The Truth About Heart Health

 

Is Saturated Fat to Blame?

Case and point: let’s talk about the “diet-heart hypothesis” proposed by Ancel Keys in 1953. This hypothesis led us to believe that low fat and low cholesterol diets were the answer to preventing heart disease. Keys’ infamous diagram showed the correlation between fat consumption and mortality from heart disease. While he studied 22 countries, only 6 of these countries were included in the diagram. Ironically, these 6 countries were the only ones that “proved” his theory. Interestingly, the same correlation doesn’t exist when the remaining countries are added. 

So, if this correlation is false, why are doctors still telling you to avoid fat and cholesterol? Shouldn’t they know better? Disappointingly, the research and information doctors receive is from the same source as the general public: drug companies. At the end of the day, the health industry is a game of politics and drug companies will do whatever it takes to make a dollar (or millions).

Despite the influence of drug companies on the health industry, the evidence is very clear: saturated fat does not cause heart disease. I won’t bore you with the science, but here are a couple of notable studies: 

  • Since WWII, the Japanese have been eating more and more animal fat, yet fewer and fewer of them die from heart attacks. Actually, mortality from most diseases decreased in Japan as they ate more animal fat. 
  • In the USA between 1930 and 1960, mortality from heart disease increased 10 times, while the consumption of animal fat decreased. 
  • Dozens of studies conducted in different countries show that people with heart disease eat the same amount of fat and cholesterol as people without any heart disease. The studies do show, however, that eating vegetable oils and margarine is strongly associated with heart disease. 
  • Many studies show that in old age, cholesterol is protective. 

 

The Health Benefits of Cholesterol 

Did you know that cholesterol found in foods has virtually no effect on our blood cholesterol levels? It may be shocking, but it’s the truth. In fact, humans cannot live without cholesterol. Cholesterol is vital to our cell membranes by making the walls of the cell firm and helping to communicate with other cells. Cholesterol protects us from infections, memory loss, and many diseases, like multiple sclerosis and other nervous system diseases. We need cholesterol to produce hormones, regulate our metabolism, energy production, mineral assimilation, and muscle, bone and brain formation. It is an important part of bile production, necessary for absorbing fat soluble vitamins, including Vitamin D, which most of us are deficient in. Recent research also shows eating full-cream dairy products can cure infertility in women. 

Low levels of blood cholesterol has been repeatedly recorded in criminals who have committed murder and other violent crimes, people prone to suicide, people with aggressive social behavior and those with low self-control. Clearly, cholesterol is not only essential for our physical health, but also our mental health.  

Arguably, the most important function of cholesterol is it’s healing properties. Cholesterol is sent to any area of damage or inflammation to begin repair. Healing involves the birth, growth, and functioning of the immune system and other cells that are made out of cholesterol and fats. So, when a blood test finds high cholesterol, we must look at what is causing damage to the body. While atherosclerosis is purely an inflammatory condition, cholesterol is often blamed as the cause- simply because it is found at the site of the crime. 

Causes of Inflammation in the Body

If cholesterol is a response to inflammation in the body, what is the root cause of inflammation?

 

  • Man-made chemicals, like personal care products, cleaning chemicals, detergents, prescriptions, over the counter drugs. 
  • Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke 
  • Industrial pollution 
  • Pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers 
  • Tap water containing chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, and other contaminants 
  • Processed foods 
  • Various infectious microbes 
  • Gut dysbiosis 
  • Nutritional deficiencies 
  • Lack of sun exposure 
  • Sedentary lifestyle and habits
  • Excessive stress 
  • Free radicals 
  • Electromagnetic Pollution 
  • Radiation 

 

In a healthy body, after any injury or increased inflammation, cholesterol is sent to the scene to help the body repair itself. However, in the case of atherosclerosis, inflammation never stops. Why is this? 

Metabolic Syndrome. 

Metabolic Syndrome is defined as a cluster of health conditions that occur together, like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. This increasingly common disease is due to our overconsumption of processed carbohydrates and high levels of glucose/insulin. As a result, inflammation increases and leads to atherosclerosis. Truthfully, heart disease was basically nonexistent before the invention of processed foods. 

How to Prevent Heart Disease

Given the increasing presence of heart disease in today’s society, what steps can we take to prevent this dangerous condition?

 

  • Stop eating processed foods, including breakfast cereals, wheat, processed sugar and salt, trans fats (vegetable oils), and soy. 
  • Eat fresh nature-made foods, traditionally-prepared: 
    • Fatty meats (avoid lean meats) and high-cholesterol and pro-healing foods, like: 
      • Animal brains 
      • Organ meats 
      • Caviar 
      • Cod Liver Oil 
      • Fresh egg yolk 
      • Butter 
      • Cold-water fish and shellfish 
      • Lard 
      • Meat and bone-stock 
    • Fish & shellfish 
    • Fresh fruit 
    • Raw, organic dairy 
    • Unprocessed nuts/seeds 
    • Soaked/sprouted beans/lentils 
    • Natural fats 
    • Fermented/sprouted, whole, unprocessed grains 
    • Unprocessed honey and dried fruit 
    • Fermented foods 
    • Freshly-pressed fruit and vegetable juices 
  • Stop polluting our bodies with man-made chemicals, like house-cleaning products, cosmetics, herbicides, pollutants, and more. 

Fundamentally, our bodies are miraculous creations that heal and repair themselves, as long as we allow them to do so. When our bodies become ill from polluting ourselves with chemicals, processed foods, and unnatural lifestyle habits, it becomes inflamed. Consequently, it calls for help with signals of pain, stiffness, and unpleasant digestive symptoms. Instead of supporting our bodies with what it needs to heal, we turn to prescription drugs to stop the pain, which only silences the body’s cry for help. 

What would happen if we started treating the root cause of inflammation, instead of simply masking symptoms? I’m willing to bet heart disease and inflammation would actually start to decrease, and as a result, our society, as a whole, would gain a better quality of life. 

If you’re looking for help to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health, I would love to chat with you. Book a free discovery call, here!

 

MY TOP 5 FAVORITE HEALTH & WELLNESS PODCASTS

I don’t know about you, but I spend a good majority of the day in the car.  Just yesterday I drove 20 minutes to see clients in the morning, 30 minutes to the gym, another 30 minutes to run errands, 45 minutes to the west side to go to an event, and then another 40 minutes back home.  That LA car life is no joke, unfortunately.  So, to pass the time and also to enhance my mind and health, I listen to podcasts.  I also listen to them at home when I’m getting ready, cleaning, cooking, or eating.  I like to soak up as much as possible.

Even if you’re not a wellness nerd like me, podcasts can be a great way to motivate or to keep you inspired on your own wellness journey.  They can keep you informed on the latest nutritional research or help you feel less alone as you listen to the journey and struggles of others.

 

This might just be my favorite podcast right now.  Luke Storey brings on the biggest names and experts in nutrition, spirituality, and relationships.  The chats, while highly entertaining, are also extremely informative in a way that even the lightest wellness dabblers can understand.  He talks about his battle with addiction, his wellness adventures, and how he’s navigating life and relationships, which, as we know, is never easy.  He is incredibly open and vulnerable, and every time I listen, I’m inspired to be more so.

Favorite episodes:  #68: When Love is a Drug with Neil Strauss & #77-78: Let Food Be Thy Medicine with the Jing Slingers.

 

Another favorite of mine.  Shawn Stevenson breaks down the latest nutritional studies and exercise science in the most digestible way.  Every episode feels like a tangible action step to supercharging your own diet, workout routine, or sleep routine.  What I love most about Shawn is his straight-forward, non-judgmental approach to all things wellness.  He’s also the author of Sleep Smarter, 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success, which is a phenomenal read.

Favorite episodes:  #183: The Best Pre-Workout, Intra-Workout, and Post-Workout Nutrition & #199: Creating Powerful Relationships and Why Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus with Dr. John Gray.

 

This podcast is hosted by two 30-something LA-based rad chicks who talk about everything from morning smoothies to skin care to astrology to yoni eggs (yup, it’s a thing and I want one!).  Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari are like my two best friends supporting me through my wellness journey, who I can always count on to make me laugh and tell me the truth, even if I don’t want to hear it.  It’s my weekly check-in for LA fitness/nutrition/wellness trends, spirituality, astrological happenings, and how to handle it all.  And I always leave feeling like “I’ve got this.”

Favorite episodes:  That’s So Shamanade with Shaman Durek & any episode with Ambi Sitham!

 

This is my go-to podcast for everything biohacking.  Ben Greenfield brings on the top doctors and experts in their field to talk fitness, nutrition, endurance sports, and overall health.  I can always count on him to keep me updated on the latest in optimizing my physical and mental performance.  A good balance between looking your absolute best, while also keeping it (almost) natural and healthy.  A lot of science, but Ben keeps it interesting enough for the average listener.

Favorite episodes:  The Plant Paradox: Are Lectins Really That Harmful or Is Dr. Steven Gundry Wrong? with Steven Gundry & How Females Can Lose Body Fat Fast, How to Fix Your Vision Naturally, 4 Science-Based Superfoods

 

When I think I’ve heard it all in terms of holistic health and alternative practices, Extreme Health Radio never disappoints to prove me wrong.  Justin and Kate walk us through their own journey through physical and spiritual health, while also interviewing the top doctors practicing the most unconventional therapies.  This show is a constant reminder that we actually don’t know anything for certain, even in medicine and science, and that our minds have more power than we could ever realize.

Favorite episodes:  #466: Dr. Jack Kruse, Biohacking Modern Life, How Mitochondria Control Genetic Expression, Dangers of Blue Light, The Importance of Grounding & Magnetism & #543: Ty Bollinger – Flu Shot Side Effects & Do Vaccines Cause Cancer?

 

And more than a few honorable mentions, for your wellness nerds, like me:

 

What are some of your favorite podcasts?  Share with me below.  I’m always looking for new ones to add to my arsenal!