Greetings, and a happy start to this holiday season from my family to yours.
Today I want to talk just briefly about something that is especially important this time of year - healthy digestion - and then I want to share some exciting news with all of you.
So when we talk about healthy digestion, let’s first talk about some signs that your digestive system may not be working optimally. Are you feeling bloated? Gassy? Are your pants fitting a little tighter than you’re used to? Skin not as clear as normal? Feeling fatigued? Not quite yourself? Are you bowel movements not as regular as usual? If so, optimizing your digestion may help.
First things first, let’s talk about gut flora. Gut flora is essentially the balance of “healthy” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. Bad bacteria would be any of the number of organisms that can make us ill. Healthy bacteria are the bacteria found in things like probiotics, fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir. Additionally, the fermentable fibers in foods like sweet potatoes, squash, yucca, yams, etc. can help build your healthy bacteria supply.
There are many other issues - lifestyle, stress reduction, exercise, water intake, infections like SIBO (which I discussed in more depth in a previous blog post), candida, etc. that can play a role in unpleasant GI symptoms. If you have tried all. of. the. things. and still have found no relief, it may be time to work with a healthcare provider (we have some great providers here who are happy to help!) to see what else may be going on.
Lastly, though in my opinion, most importantly, let’s talk about diet. Here at Tailor Made, we pride ourselves on being 100% gluten free, but sometimes a gluten free diet is not enough. Ultimately we can be intolerant to any food, but the most common culprits (aside from gluten) are: dairy, eggs, corn, soy, certain sugars, artificial sweeteners, and beans/legumes.
If you have eliminated gluten, or gluten plus a couple of other things, and are still struggling, you might be a great candidate for an elimination diet. Essentially, you start with a highly hypoallergenic diet and gradually introduce foods, one at a time, while logging any symptoms/adverse effects. For example, I never thought I had an issue with dairy until I removed it and tried adding it back. Then it became quite obvious that it was contributing not only to my GI issues, but to some skin issues that I was having.
The exciting news that I mentioned earlier is that we here at Tailor Made are bringing classes back by popular demand! The first class we will offer will be taught by me (Krista) and Sonja (Tailor Made employees), and will cover how to do a 21-day “reset” elimination diet after the holidays are over. You will learn everything you need to know to customize a plan to eliminate potentially problematic foods and then reintroduce them.
If you are interested, we would love to see you at either of the two December classes, which will be held on the evenings of Thursday, December 1, and again on Tuesday, December 6. Sonja and I will be there to provide you with information, to answer your questions, and help you get ready to start. (We will also be doing this 21-day reset ourselves, as are several other Tailor Made employees, and we are really looking forward to it!)
Oh, and did I mention that this class is FREE? Yep. We want 2017 to be a great year for all of us, so please just come and learn and bring your questions. There is a sign-up sheet at the register in the store, or feel free to call us at 651-702-2522 for more information and to RSVP.
Until next time, be well.
*Krista Ostrom is a “nutrition geek” with extensive knowledge about food intolerances, nutrition, elimination diets, and integrative health topics. When she’s not working at Tailor Made Nutrition, you can usually find her hiking with her family, practicing yoga, traveling, cooking her favorite meals, and working at her other job, placing international exchange students with host families. Krista is writing this blog for informational purposes only, and it should not be considered medical advice.