Food Combining + Gut Health

Food combining? Sounds complicated right? I thought the same when I first started studying it a few years ago, but I can assure you it's much simpler than it sounds. Food combining is a great way to improve gut health dramatically. It helps to combat bloating and fatigue post-meal as well. 

Back when I "thought" I was eating healthy (insert muscle head diet of chicken and brown rice constantly) I was still experiencing daily bloat. I can recall this one day that I was so bloated that I felt like I weighed 1,000 pounds. My stomach was sticking out further than a 8 month pregnant lady. And it was so uncomfortable. I didn't even want to leave the house.  I was so confused because again, I thought what I was eating was "clean."

At that point, my daily diet consisted of some type of egg breakfast with gf toast, lunch was chicken and brown rice, and dinner (if I even felt like eating by then, was some type of animal protein and steamed broccoli. I was so strong and so lean, yet I felt TERRIBLE everyday. Something had to change.

This is when I started to research how food actually breaks down in our intestines and what I found was astounding.

Each type of macro nutrient (protein, fats, carbohydrates) digest at different speeds. In addition, each type requires different enzymes and body solutions to break the food down. 

Acid vs. Alkaline

Let's take the example of my chicken and brown rice go-to lunch. Chicken, a protein, requires an acidic environment in which a digestive enzyme known as pepsin releases. An acidic environment  Pepsin is an endopeptidase (enzyme) that breaks down proteins into smaller peptides (that is, a protease). It is produced in the stomach and is one of the main digestive enzymes in the digestive systems of humans and many other animals, where it helps digest the proteins in food.

Brown rice, a complex carbohydrate, requires an alkaline environment to digest that releases an enzyme known as ptyalin. Ptyalin is an amylase (another word for saliva enzyme) found chiefly in saliva and pancreatic fluid, that converts starch and glycogen into simple sugars.

Since you can see that these two foods require very different environment's to completely digest, the result is that the food confuses the body and releases too many enzymes at once. This, in turn, slows down the digestive process. (Insert "aha moment")

What happens then? Bloating, fatigue, post-meal sluggishness. (Ahaaaaaaaa!)

If your food digestion is slowed down then it makes it easier for food particles to get stuck in the intestines and villi. (For more info on the gut, see Gut Health 101)  The longer those food particles linger in your intestines, the more they are inclined to ferment and cause bacteria. This is what the bacteria Candida, an overgrowth of yeast, lives for. Fermented starchy food hanging out in the gut is a breeding ground for bacteria. (I know, so gross!)

Food combining 101

Let's dig into the "rules" of food combining so you can make smarter choices to improve your overall gut health and digestion. 

1. Pair protein with non-starchy vegetables

Since non-starchy vegetables are rich in their own digestive enzymes, they do not need an alkaline environment to break down. Combining them with high-quality proteins is an easy way to break down and absorb you meal quickly, leaving you full of nutrients and a boat load of energy. 

Examples:

Wild salmon + Broccoli
Organic Chicken + Bell Peppers
Organic Turkey + Mashed Cauliflower

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2. Pair starches with healthy fats and vegetables

Keeping foods together that require an alkaline environment will help boost digestion of starches and help you absorb the nutrients more readily. I've had many clients call me and say they get bloated from quinoa or legumes and my number one response is, "What did you eat it with?"

9 times out of 10, they combined it with a protein, because that is what they thought they should do, and I don't blame them because I thought that too! Keep the starches together like a little starch family and you shouldn't have a problem. 

Disclaimer: soaking your grains, beans, and legumes overnight helps release phytic acid making them easier to digest as well. Might as well take all precautions!

Examples: 

Quinoa + Chopped Cabbage + Avocado
Swiss Chard Salad + Sweet Potato + Olive Oil
Brown Rice + Carrots + Toasted Sesame Oil

3. Eat fruit alone (sad sigh) 

This one can be tough, especially because there are 100 delicious smoothies out there that have been known to help gut health. It's important to remember that this may or may not be ok for you considering that every one is different. Keep a journal and track when you get bloated from meals. If everyday after your fruit filled breakfast smoothie you are experiencing discomfort, then it may be time to switch it up a bit. 

Fruit is the fastest digesting food with an average of 20-30 minutes. If you combine it with any other food, it will develop a traffic jam in the gut since most other foods take at least 3-4 hours to break down. The best thing to do is simply eat them as a snack in between meals on an empty stomach. Then you can absorb the fiber without all the discomfort.

However, combining leafy greens or celery with fruit does not usually cause a problem since these veggies are mostly made from water. This is where the Liver Detox Smoothie comes in and saves the day!!

4. Drink water away from meals 

Gulping large sips of cold water during eating dilutes the digestive enzymes and slows the process. Rule of thumb is room temperature water is way better for the gut but in general it’s better to finish eating before you sip some water. 

You can assist the digestive process by drinking the room temp or warm water with lemon 20 minutes before meals or after you meals. Lemon contains natural absorbic acid which will stimulate and activate your digestive juices. (Oh yea baby!)

5. Keep it simple stupid

My mom has been saying that to me since I was a little girl (in the nicest, most playful way possible.) I kept that saying in the back of my head for my entire life. Anytime anything wasn't working out for me I would hear her saying it while laughing and pointing her finger. 

As a society, we tend to overthink and overdo EVERYTHING! This stands true for digestive health too. Keep your meals as simple as possible to avoid food gut bombs and traffic jams. 

Remember, gut health is the root of total body wellness. Happy gut, happy life. 

As a recommendation to understand your bio-individuality more, keep a journal when changing things around. Your body is your best guide. Keeping notes will help you become your own investigator and realize what does and does not work for you. 

In addition, if you’ve been struggling with bloating and giesting food for awhile, you can try a digestive enzyme to help your body break down food. My favorite digestve enzyme is the GI-ZYME by Mannatech. My clients experience less discomfort after meals and reported barely any bloating after taking for 1 week. Purchase here.

If you have been trying to break free from bloating for far too long and you can't seem to get a handle on it, sign up for my newsletter and receive my FREE 5-day Fix to BEAT THE BLOAT! My tips will help you break free from bloat and chronic inflammation of the gut for good.

I love hearing from you. Please leave your comments and concerns below! Got a friend who could use this info? Feel free to share!

Happy healing!

XO Jaclyn Renee

 

Turkey Sausage with Goat's Milk Tzatziki

You know how many people go to bed but have a hard time falling asleep because they can't stop thinking about stress or work? This happens to me, but with food and recipes! I guess it's not a terrible thing to think about all night. I'm constantly trying to come up with creative ways to make healthy food taste good and be easy to assemble. 

I've been reading a great book by Dr. Amy Myers lately titled, The Autoimmune Solution. I've lived with autoimmune for my whole life and have been working on healing it for over a decade. Keeping a healthy mind-set, exercising and eating well has helped me to a great place of healing today. If given the opportunity, the body has an incredible ability to heal itself. However, one person's food can be another person's poison.

One diet or way of eating may work for some people but not for others. Some people find that being vegan has helped them lose weight or lower their cholesterol. Some have found that eating meat has helped them, calm inflammation. There are many ways to eat, but the most important is to find the healthy way to eat for you!

For me and my symptoms, I have found that eating mostly Paleo with a small amount of goat's milk dairy and occasional gluten free grains or legumes has done well for my body. It keeps the inflammation down and my symptoms at bay. I stay away from sugar, alcohol, and caffeine as they only tend to ignite the problem and cause me to feel off track.

This recipe came to me in a dream the other week. Since I started incorporating goat's milk kefir, a recommendation from my good friend and colleague Nutritional Therapist Melanie Mack, and have been doing very well on it. Except for one thing. The flavor is boring! So, in this dream, I thought of how much I missed sauces in my life and that I could figure out how to make a tzatziki sauce from the kefir. I've paired the sauce with some turkey sausages and placed over a big bed of greens.

This recipe is easy and delicious and could be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The leftovers are great too!

Ingredients:

1lb organic ground turkey
1 tsp sage
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp coconut oil

Tzatziki:

1 cup goat's milk kefir
1 cucumber (diced and chopped into fine pieces
1 Tbsp. fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

Additional items:

Dark leafy greens like kale or spinach
1 tsp olive oil
half a lemon

Directions:

1. Place turkey in a bowl and add seasonings. Form into 8 small sausage balls

2. Preheat a cast iron skillet or safe non-stick pan to medium high with coconut oil.

2. Put sausages into heated pan. Cook each side for about 5 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

4. Place goat's milk into a bowl and add chopped cucumber and spices

5. Place leafy greens at the bottom of a plat or bowl and sprinkle with melon and olive oil.

6. Add sausages and scoop come tzatziki into a side bowl.

7. Serve and enjoy.

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 

P.S. I'd love to hear from you! Let me know how you liked this recipe. Did you add anything or try a different spin? Is there something you'd like me to post? Share the love! If you post your healthy creation make sure to tag me in it on Instagram @jaclynreneewellness and #jrwapproved 

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first THREE orders? Use the link below! 

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5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

This is one of my favorite dinner recipes to make. Every time I make it, my husband says he could eat it everyday. With limited ingredients and quick prep, this dinner is a weekly go-to for me and I always have a little left over for lunch the next day. I'll take the leftover meat and throw it over some quinoa and add some avocado. No warm-up needed!

Turkey Lettuce Wraps (printable PDF)

Ingredients:

1 lbs. organic ground white turkey
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup any additional veggies
2 Tbsp. organic coconut oil
3 Tbsp. liquids aminos or organic gluten free tamari
1 cup chopped raw organic cashews
½ tsp crushed red pepper
Organic romaine leaves for making wraps

1)      Chop all vegetables

2)      Slowly heat up coconut oil in a pan to medium heat

3)      Sauté vegetables until slightly soft and onion is translucent and place on the side

4)      Return pan to heat and brown the turkey

5)      Once your turkey is cooked through, put the vegetables back into that pan with a little more coconut oil, liquid aminos, crushed red pepper, and cashews

6)      Reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes

7)      Serve in a bowl with romaine leaves on the side

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease.

P.S. I'd love to hear from you! Let me know how you liked them. Did you add anything or try a different spin? Is there something you'd like me to post? Share the love! If you post your healthy creation make sure to tag me in it on Instagram @jaclynreneewellness and #jrwapproved

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Simple detox smoothie

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After a long weekend away or a busy weekend of eating out, I like to fall back on something that will get me back on track. Having a go-to plan of action always helps me stay successful in my healthy lifestyle. 

Starting in the morning I like to take a few minutes to set my intentions for the day or week, spend a few minutes meditating, and then make a simple shake that will help my body digest and rid of the built up toxins. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so even if you have stepped out of line the day before do not skip it. Simply fill it with the right ingredients to get the digestive process going. 

SImple Detox Smoothie

Ingredients:

2 cups non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp. flax seeds
1 scoop Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
1 Tbsp. Artisana cashew butter
1/2 an avocado
2 shakes cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend and enjoy!

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 

P.S. I'd love to hear from you! Let me know how you liked the smoothie. Did you add anything or try a different spin? Is there something you'd like me to post? Share the love! If you post your healthy creation make sure to tag me in it on Instagram and Facebook. 

XO Jaclyn Renee

 

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Indian spiced grilled chicken

Since my days are usually busy driving to clients and working late, meal prep is a must for me to stay on the healthy train. One of the easiest and least time consuming things I prep is grilled chicken. I will marinate it overnight so it has a lot of flavor.  I like to switch up the marinades so it doesn't feel like I am eating the same thing over and over again.

I usually select my spices based on my mood. Right now, I am all about healing digestion with warming Indian spices. The spice blend for this particular recipe has many anti-inflammatory benefits and is easily digestible if you are trying to clean up your diet a bit. 

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 inch ginger chunk, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp. curry
1/4 tsp turmeric

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in a BPA free plastic bag or a glass tupperware. Shake up, marinate overnight in fridge

2. Bring chicken to room temperature before baking

3. Preheat grill to 400 degrees

4. Once the grill has reached it's temperature, place chicken on grill and cook until internal temp has reached 190 degrees. (about 5-6 minutes per side depending on breast size**) 

Alternate ways of cooking:

1. Bake in oven on 400 degrees for 25 minutes, turning half way.

2. Grill for a few minutes each side to lock in the moisture and then finish in the oven on 400 for 10 minutes. turning half way.

**Times may vary depending on your chicken size or grill/oven situation. Use an internal temp of 190.

Baked sweet potato circles

2 sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Peel sweet potato and slice into verttically to create circles.

3. Melt coconut oil and pour over sweet potatoes in a bowl to coat

4. Place on a baking sheet and dust with cinnamon

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes flipping half way

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 

 

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Chicken Bone Broth

Almost every week, at the beginning of the week, I roast a whole chicken and try and make as many meals out of it as I can. I purchase my chickens from Bob Boles who owns this adorable little farm called The Grazing Life in the north end of Rochester, MI. I've seen the farm, walked the grounds, and know the owner well. He treats his chickens with the utmost care, never feeding them any hormones or anti-biotics and giving them a healthy diet of organic food free of crap. They roam free and live well and only have one bad day in their lifetime. 

Roasted Chicken

One of the main things I do with the leftover carcass  and gizzards is make bone broth. I make a large batch to sip on during the week and use as a base for soups and sauces in other meals. The benefits of homemade bone broth are oustanding. By soaking the bones in water, they release minerals and readily absorbed nutrients. Some of the major vitamins include magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus as well as gelatin and glucosamine that help fight against degenerative joint disease. You would have to take up to 10 supplements to obtain the benefits from 1 cup of bone broth a day. 

The broth is also very healing for the digestive system. It contains collagen which repairs the gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation. One cup of bone broth can have up to 16 grams of protein so you can easily swap out synthetic powders for a good wholesome cup of broth post-workout. 

This recipe is a very basic version that can be open for interpretation. Feel free to jazz it up with some of your own spices and flavor. Don't forget to share the love. Post comments below on your take and please feel free to leave questions or concerns.

Bone Broth  (printable PDF)

 

Bone Broth (Chicken)
1 large chicken carcass**
3 chicken livers
1 chicken gizzard
1-2 chicken feet (optional)
6 stalks celery
5 large carrots
1 Spanish onion
4 (1 inch) chunks of ginger
2 Tbsp. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

1)    Place all ingredients in a large pot and cover with spring or reverse osmosis water.
2)    Bring to a boil, then put heat on low, cover and let simmer for 24 hours stirring occasionally.
3)    Grab a friend and have them help you strain the broth. You will need a small holed colander. My suggestion is to take the big bones and veggie chunks out first so you don’t have a splash.
4)    You can freeze your extra and keep some in the fridge fresh for up to a week. Store in glass containers and let cool before placing in fridge or freezer. 

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

5 yoga postures to ease anxiety and digestion

Everything in the universe in within you. Ask all from yourself.
— Rumi, a favorite quote from my featured guest Soojin Kim

Many people are familiar with the popular term mind-body connection, such as a "gut feeling" or an intuition, but how much do we know about the brain-gut connection? With this I am referring to experiencing distress in the gut and it linking completely to how you think, act, or react to situations. This is your second brain triggering in your gut. According to the Harvard Medical School, the brain has a direct effect on your stomach and vice versa. Thus, linking much of anxiety or stress to constipation, bloating, gas, etc.. Basically, these issues go hand and hand and to really resolve these chronic symptoms we must challenge ourselves to find peace mentally to find success physically.

When I sat down with one of my favorite yoga teachers Soojin Kim of  Citizen Yoga, I wanted to dive in with her on this topic and to get her take on the brain-gut connection. Although she has only been teaching yoga for 4 years, she is wise beyond her years. Her approach to yoga comes from a healing aspect and every posture or movement has a purpose. She focuses on the hips, unwinding digestion and elongating the spine. We discussed the intentions of yoga, health, food and many other topics of healing the body holistically. Her connection with yoga comes from the root of medicine, Ayurveda. 

Ayurveda Is India's 5,000-year-old medical system and preaches the art of daily living in harmony with the laws of nature. It is the key to curing disease by balancing the body's three fundamental energies, or doshas (vata, pitta, kappa) and an equally vital balance among body, mind, and soul or consciousness. The body, if given the opportunity, will always heal itself, so she encourages to look inside for the answers and work with your body, not against it.  
What is your dosha?

Soojin taught me one of the most important parts of healing both digestive and anxiety in Ayurveda medicine is through breath, Ujjayi, and a daily yoga practice. Like me, she had suffered chronic digestive issues too and found the daily practice of both coupled with some dietary changes to be the ultimate path to her success. Since meeting with Soojin, I have been practicing the postures and have seen great relief. I feel calmer on a daily basis and my head feels more clear to make creative decisions. I also feel longer, leaner, and less tense in my neck and shoulders. The breath has also taught me patience, which has made me a better listener. Follow her guide below and you will instantly see relief after. 

It all start with the breath. Ujjayi - ocean breath. 

Find yourself a quiet environment with no distractions. Sit on a blanket or a block so your hips are higher than you knees. Keep your hands light in your lap or on your knees and your shoulders down your back. Keep you eyes, jaw, and tongue relaxed and with that take 3 deep cleansing breaths by inhaling through your nose and a big relieving exhale through your mouth. Close your mouth. On the next inhale through your nose imagine that you are breathing in through a straw and as you exhale through your nose take the breath down the back of the throat. Let the exhale continue down the spine to the low belly until you feel like you cannot exhale anymore. Pause at emptiness. Feel low belly hug, or tone in, without forcing it. Start your next inhale from low belly where you finished the breath and continue in that circular motion. As you build the breath it should start to sound like the ocean. Just like that, soft and easy, continue the breath for about 5-10 minutes.

Posture #1 - Reclined Butterfly - Supta bad konasana

This posture is both restorative and a gentle hip opener. In Ayurveda, we find balance by incorporating the opposite. If you experience symptoms like heartburn, gas, and diarrhea most like pitta dosha does, you will find relief here. If you are an extremely active person or tend to run hot, this pose can counter that by sending signals to the nervous system and prompting it to relax and feel grounded. If you are a vata dosha, then it would be better to fold foward in butterfly to release gas and to warm the body as vatas are often chilled.

Lie on your back with a vertical blanket along your spine, feet are together and knees are wide. Start with blocks under the thighs to support you and if you have more space you can remove them.  Keep your heart and 3rd chakra lifted which is where you will find self-worth and confidence. Stay in this posture for 5-10 minutes keeping focus on your Ujjayi breath. 

 

Posture #2 - Supported bridge - Setu bandha sarvangasana

This posture is also soothing to the nervous system. If you are fast reacting or anxious, this pose will help cool the body. Pitta dosha tends to get hot quickly.  Back-bends lift the diaphragm while creating length in the abdomen easing digestive discomfort.. When we experience digestive issues, we connect it to the mind as well. Grounding postures like bridge will keep the nervous system calm and release the digestive strain. keeping the chin tucked to the chest in this pose will help stimulate the thyroid and regulate your metabolism.

Lie on your back. Bend knees and place feet flat, hip-width apart. Place a block or blanket under your low back above your glute pack. For the advanced version, skip the support and lock your hands under you body. Tuck your chin to chest, relax your jaw and breath in this posture for 1-3 minutes.

Posture #3 - Seated twist - Ardha matsyendrasan

This posture is helpful for toning the low belly and creating fire. Kapha dosha, who have slow digestion, will find that seated twists help ignite the fire from within and aid in the removal of toxins, constipation, and gas. These symptoms can bring on irritability or a feeling of being energetically heavy. Regular abdominal twists will help keep the fire going and spark the metabolism. It will also help to generate circulation easing chronic digestion and improving lung capacity. . 

Sit on the floor with legs straight out in front of you. Bend right leg and place over left leg close to the knee. Place right hand close to your right hip and left elbow over your right knee. Lengthen your torso on the inhale and twist the belly on the exhale. Keep ocean breath going and stay here for 1 minute. For the advanced version you can swing the left  foot towards the right hip.

Posture #4 - Revolved triangle - Parivrtta Trikonasana

This posture will lengthen the esophagus helping to relieve heartburn or or gas build-up. Similar to the seated twist, the triangle will also massage the organs as well as create bloodflow and circulation.  This standing posture lifts the diaphragm as well as lengthen the esophagus towards the top of the stomach. This is wonderful to alleviate acidity and feelings of anxiousness or worry.

Stand with left foot about 3 feet in front of the right. Left foot will be facing forward and right foot will be on a slight angle,  Place right hand on a block or you can use books if needed. (something stable) Start with left hand out to your side. When you feel comfortable there, you can advance to lift the left arm in line with the shoulder and open the chest. Hug towards the spine, yet lengthen the body. Again, stay here for about 1-3 minutes maintaining the breath. 

 

Posture #5 - Suported shoulder stand - Salamba Sarvangasana

Iversions are most beneficial for the heart. Lifting your feet overhead creates a rush of blood back to the heart, relaxing and slowing the heart beat. This is great for a sudden bout of anxiety, If you are experiencing heartburn or running hot, start with some of the other poses first to cool the body and then finish with an inversion. Ending here, for pitta, will help calm irritability. Like the seated twist, this pose is helpful for Kapha dosha, or slow digestion, and will relieve constipation. Also, bringing the chin to the chest again will help stimulate the thyroid. Since inversions also help with a reduced appetite and insomnia, the vata dosha can benefit from this posture as well since they tend to live very busy lives and have inconsistent sleeping and eating habits.

Lie on the floor and place a blanket under the shoulders. Lift feet over head and place hands on your low back creating a strong shelf.  Draw chin towards chest and keep your breath moving. If you feel comfortable here and want to challenge yourself more, take your feet slowly behind you head.. You can also do one foot at a time.

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If you find yourself having random bouts of digestive issues or are starting to feel anxious, the best thing is to stop what you are doing and take breath. Even just a few minutes in any situation can help calm the nervous system and restore your mind. If you are experiencing chronic issues everyday, I would recommend practicing this flow on a daily basis. If you are new to yoga and want to learn more, check out Soojin's basics class at Citizen yoga in Detroit on Wednesdays at 8pm. If you are slightly more advanced, check out her Monday/Friday slow flow at 11:15. You will be floating after it!

As always, along with this practice and the Ayurvedic way, we can use food as medicine. Toxic triggers like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine only play into anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and chronic fatigue. Steer clear from these as much as possible when healing your body and reach for dark leafy greens, raw nuts, and healthy oils like ghee and coconut oil to soothe your condition and find relief fast.

XO Jaclyn Renee

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5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

 

 

5 tips to heal your gut

Do you feel like you are constantly bloated and tired? Do you feel like no matter what you eat, healthy or not, your stomach is upset.? You may be experiencing chronic inflammation in your gut. Inflammation in your gut does not only limit you to digestive issues. Many other issues can come along with it including joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, acne, and many more. Society has taught us if there is a problem then to make it better you just have to take a pill to fix it. While that may be true for some cases, healing your gut is not one of them. In fact, taking any medications in general disrupts the healthy bacteria, or flora, that we need to keep our immune system strong and digest food properly. 

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then it is time to start taking action. The key to healing is to nourish your intestines with good food and vitamins to reduce inflammation. The body is a beautiful force and given the opportunity, it has the power to heal itself. Follow these 5 daily tips and you will feel better fast. If you have been experiencing digestive issues for a long time, you may have to continue these things for the rest of your life. My recommendation is to try these tips daily for 6 weeks and note how you feel. Has your bloating gone down? Do you have more energy? If so, then there is no harm in continuing for preventative care. If you fall off and feel sick again, you can pick up any of these tips again to get some relief. 

1. Hot water with lemon and honey

First thing in the morning, boil some water and add a squeeze of organic lemon and raw honey. Warm food and drink will soothe the inflammation. Lemon is known for it's detoxing properties and will assist the liver in detoxing. Honey has many health benefits including it's anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Together this will help flush any lingering bad bacteria and toxins and start the healing process off nicely. Trade this out for your morning coffee. Coffee on an empty stomach is very acidic and can cause early morning bloating without food in your stomach. It can also stress your adrenals and and spike your blood sugar level. If you need coffee, drink it after you've eaten a little something.

Organic raw honey

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Forget apples. A shot of this a day, will keep the doctor away for sure! With a list of health benefits longer than the line at Starbucks on a Monday morning, you will begin to see instant relief. I always recommend Bragg's apple cider vinegar (with the mother). This is one of the first things I teach my clients to do for general overall health. 

Bragg's apple cider vinegar

3. Eat slower and chew your food

These days everything is about instant gratification. Faster, stronger, better and now! If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they were busy, I'd be rich!! However, you cannot be too busy to sit down and eat food. It is the easiest way to help digestion. If you are gulping down your food in seconds, no matter what you eat, you will be bloated. If you don't chew your food thoroughly, you are allowing air to become trapped in your digestive tract which causes bubbles of gas. Also, the food is going down your throat so fast that the actual digestive process can not keep up and we miss out on essential nutrients and vitamins that we need. The process begins in your mouth with your saliva breaking down your food. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly and enjoy your meal.

4. Remove toxic triggers

The top toxic triggers for poor digestion are sugar and caffeine. They have got to go now! I know you are cursing me under your breath right now, but once you can get away from these things, you will be blessing me later. Both sugar and caffeine cause responses in the body that we are not equipped to handle. They spike our blood sugar levels and create a glucose response that forces us into a fight or flight response. This, in turn, puts a ton of stress on our hormone known as the adrenals. The more our body goes through this cycle, the worse the inflammation in our gut becomes. It also continuously forces the body to use glucose instead of our stored fat, making it near impossible to lose weight, especially in our belly. If you cannot live without caffeine, I recommend consuming it on a full stomach. Stick to decaf if possible or limit to one cup of coffee per day before 10am. For sugar, you can switch to natural sweeteners like honey, dates, or fresh fruit. Coconut palm sugar can be used as a sugar substitute for baking and such. It has a low glycemic index so it doesn't cause the blood sugar spike like white sugar. 

Organic coconut palm sugar

5. Eat cooked leafy greens

ESpecially cooked cruciferous vegetables. I love a great fresh salad but when your gut is inflamed it can be one of the worst things for it. Steam or saute leafy greens everyday with a healthy oil like olive or coconut, or ghee (clarified butter.) Try new dark greens like collards, bokchoy, spinach, chard, or kale. The greens make a huge impact on digestion and contain tons of fiber to support elimination. Don't be afraid to add them to breakfast with eggs or sneak them into soups. These are great for your skin too.

Consider a pressure cooker

Not too bad right? OK, maybe the sugar and caffeine one has you a little upset, but what have you got to lose? You've been suffering for too long and it's time to get relief. You can start slowly and incorporate one at a time or dive in and try them all together. Be advised that you might go through a little bit of a detox when you start to incorporate these things. You may want to start over a weekend so you can get plenty of rest or be prepared for the changes your body will go through. If you don't see positive changes after a week or two, then I suggest booking a  consultation so we can figure out what the root cause is. Book your consultation here. 

It is possible that you could be experiencing food allergies. If these simple steps do not do the trick, you can get tested for inflammatory foods through a simple finger prick blood test from a company called KBMO. I assist my clients ion performing the test. It takes about 2 weeks for the results. Once we receive them, we will meet and go over the necessary protocol to remove these foods and your 6 weeks action plan to heal the gut for good. 

Additional product worth noting! Try using collagen in your smoothies or food every day. Collagen and helps boost gastric juices and aids in restoring the lining. Purchase  JRW approved Vital Proteins marine collagen here.

Happy Healing! 

XO Jaclyn Renee 

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

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5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.