We listen carefully to every word coming from Donna Gates’ mouth. As an early leader in gut health and healing protocols, Donna is a well-respected voice in our space and we’ve been paying attention to the Body Ecology way for years. Check out her book to do a deep dive, but this guide to gut health recovery from Donna will get you started…
How nice would it be if we could get an advanced notice from our body with instructions saying, “Okay, get ready because tomorrow, you may feel off…here’s why and how to fix it.”? For whatever reason, whether a food borne illness, the start of a virus or one of the various gut health issues many of us deal with these days, two of the most important things you can do to get your gut health back in check is in to reduce anything inflammatory and introduce calming forces containing the best possible bacteria to help create balance.
I also highly recommend learning more about your genetic makeup through Self-Decode in order to match your genes with your food and lifestyle choices to create optimal health.
Basics to Remember as You Move Along
To bring balance back to the microbiome, the focus should be on the gut and the immune system, which work synergistically together. The idea is to get the body into a state so that balance is created and inflammation is reduced by introducing some or all of the following:
When planning any meals, remember the 7 healthy eating principles, including food combining and the principle of 80/20.
Cultured Foods are Key
Add the right cultured foods and or drinks with the proper balance of bacteria and yeast to a diet. Eat alot of raw, fresh and/or cultured vegetables (for those with SIBO, make a vegetable smoothie for easier digestion (no onion or garlic), and cultured vegetables will not be good at this time – cultured vegetables are not good for those with histamine issues either – this is where an individual genetic variation can come in to play).
The probiotics in fermented foods and drinks increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in all the foods you eat by hundreds of times. Fermentation also pre-digests the nutrients for you.
Fermented foods and drinks are far better than supplements. Many mass-produced products (like yogurt) claim high numbers of CFUs (colony forming units) but don’t always offer the types or combinations of probiotics that are ideally suited to human intestines.
Fermentation does not use heat. Your unpasteurized fermented foods and drinks retain their vital enzymes, nutrients, and amino acids that can otherwise be destroyed by heat in the pasteurization process of other probiotic foods, like yogurt.
Remove Acidic Foods
Restrict all acidic foods for a short period of time including animal protein, grains, sugar (including fruit), flour products, nuts + seeds.
Periods of fasting (aka time restricted fasting or intermittent fasting) may help keep viruses under control and resolve inflammation. Autophagy occurs during this which is the body’s way of recycling the good and getting rid of the bad.
Enema’s can be enormously beneficial. What you’re eliminating is toxic, and toxins may affect the body. See a well trained colon therapist if you don’t want to do this at home on your own.
Introduce fulvic/humic minerals, trace elements, vitamins and amino acids since they are burned up very fast in the gut.
Days 1 to 3: What to Eat + Supplements to Take
When you first wake up, your blood is more acidic after a night of cleansing and repair. Your body is also dehydrated. The microflora in your intestines need water too so before you do anything else drink a large glass of pure mineral-rich filtered water. Drink a second glass soon after.
With this second glass you can take any morning supplements. This may be a good time to add in your fulvic/humic minerals, trace elements, vitamins and amino acids to your water. To stimulate natural peristaltic action in your intestines so that you have a morning elimination, also drink 8 ounces of warm water with the juice of a lemon. If you’d like to also mix apple cider vinegar with the lemon and water, this has the amazing effect of alkalizing the body quickly.
Healing Morning Energy Drink
After you’ve had your cleansing morning lemon water, further hydrate and alkalize your body with a healthy, energizing drink. You can make a quick delicious morning energy drink with:
With this morning energy drink, you’ll add beneficial probiotics to your digestive tract, create more alkaline blood and give your body some easily digestible protein that tastes delicious.
Be sure to drink slowly and let the digestion process begin in your mouth. If you also just want to have a probiotic drink without anything else, just sip 2 ounces one or two times per day – there are still beneficial effects on your digestive health and energy.
Once you feel your body’s hunger signals, it’s time to eat your first meal of the day. For some people this happens early, while for others it’s not until 11 am!
Local pasture raised eggs make a great breakfast, and they provide essential fatty acids and healthy protein. They combine well with all kinds of fermented, cooked, and raw vegetables (including ocean vegetables). I recommend cooking your eggs “softly.” You never want to overcook proteins, or they become difficult to digest – and then add your own variations.
A wonderful morning soup option that is full of healthy microflora is miso soup.
Your mid-day meal should be the largest of your day, since this is when your “digestive fire” is the strongest (between 10 am – 2 pm). This is also an ideal time for your animal protein meal.
Try turkey burgers with sweet mustard sauce with your favorite green salad, cultured vegetables and ocean vegetables. Look for organic, grass fed meats.
If you’re not eating animal protein, try sautéing your favorite vegetables and serving them with a grain-like seed, such as sprouted buckwheat quinoa, millet or try some miso soup, lentil soup or raw sashimi.
Afternoon Pick Me Up
When you feel that late afternoon slump, resist the urge to reach for acid-producing sugar and caffeine!
Instead, try Vitality SuperGreen mixed with water or your favorite probiotic drink. This drink will provide hydration (dehydration is an energy zapper), alkalize your blood, heal your gut AND provide healthy probiotics for an overall natural energy boost!
Or even sprouted almonds make great “brain food.” (If you have a virus, or known viruses in your body, almonds would not be a good option.)
Another snack might be turkey roll-up filled with cultured veggies. Or if you do not want protein again, try organic blue corn chips dipped into cultured veggies. Homemade kefir (young coconut kefir as a non-dairy alternative) may also be a great option that provides good bacteria to the gut.
Your evening meal should be light and easy to digest, so it’s best to stay away from heavy foods and traditional meat-centered meals.
A grain-based meal is ideal because it’s easy to digest, and the nutrients in grains provide a calming effect, helping you sleep better. A quinoa salad like this one (consider eliminating the dairy products from) is a great grain-based dinner salad to eat during warmer months. Don’t forget that 80/20 principle too!
Add an ocean vegetable like Nori to the side of a basil veggie stew.
In Between Meals
Since it’s best not to drink too much liquid during your meals (it dilutes your gastric juices), be sure to hydrate throughout the day. Besides the two glasses you drink when you first wake up, find time to drink about 6 more glasses of pure water throughout the day.
Many people do find they do well on sparkling mineral water in particular. For many people it can help stimulate digestion. You’ll have to experiment and decide if it’s good for you or not. A bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice with stevia makes a refreshing way to obtain your daily water intake, especially in the warm-weather months. (with Stevia, beware that you don’t overdo it – it can affect hormonal balance)
Through-out the day you can also sip on:
– Green tea or black tea sweetened with stevia
– Good, filtered water.
– Fermented drinks, like young coconut kefir or probiotic drink
Other Supplements to Add
Maybe you ate something with bad bacteria and contracted food poisoning. Phages protect the digestive system from foodborne pathogens. Bacteriophages exclusively attack gut pathogens and leave healthy gut flora completely in tact – cleaning up the gut, urinary tract and birth canal to restore order and promote a healthy immune system. In fact, research shows that the genome of the bacteriophage, T4, for example, has the genes to kill pathogenic E. coli.
Phages act quickly, and are effective against antibiotic-sensitive and antibiotic-resistant bacteria and disrupt bacterial biofilms that can disable treatment from occurring. Pioneered in Europe before the advent of antibiotics, certain bacteriophages selectively target specific, harmful bacteria while leaving beneficial microbes to flourish. This is one of the most relevant tools to treat bad bacteria since the good bacteria in your gut naturally limits the growth of other harmful bacteria.
Essential oils of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) and clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology demonstrated that essential oils of lemongrass and clove are especially effective at busting through the tough biofilm that Candida hides behind. Bacteria and yeast do not develop a resistance to herbs and their oils.
Candida is a yeast that naturally lives in the body. Unfortunately, many don’t even know that they may have an overgrowth of it which can lead to a systemic overgrowth and a host of issues.
Microbes are good at constructing a strong, slimy substance around itself called biofilm. Biofilm is a tough slime that can house Candida, parasites, and other disease-causing microbes. As colonies of Candida form and lay down more biofilm, this sticky goo protects the yeast and supports its growth.
In addition to lemongrass and clove, previous studies have found that the essential oils of thyme, patchouli, and cedarwood can also inhibit the growth of Candida.
A strong immune system and a healthy inner ecology keep the yeast Candida in check and prevent it from taking over its surrounding environment.
Try this type of a protocol for at least 1-3 days and think about incorporating some of the changes you made beyond this time. Overall, the best form of treatment and/or prevention for proper gut health (remember 70% of your immune system is in your gut!) is to learn more about your genes so that you can customize an exact plan that is right for you – it can be life-changing when you learn how to silence the bad genes and turn on the good ones!
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