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Gut Restore: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I finished my gut restore! 

See a full day of eating here, week one here and the overview here.

I highly enjoyed doing Dr.Alejandro Junger's Clean Gut Program. It was an excellent way to restore my gut after being on steroids and antibiotics, and a really good way to make self care and health a priority in February, which can be a tough month for anyone.

I received a couple of comments on how I afford all of those supplements and things like goji berries. I appreciate that health should be accessible to everyone on any budget. Personally, I did most of my grocery shopping at Costco and Trader Joe's, shopped for the best deals on supplements on Amazon, and occasionally splurged at the health food store.

Trust me, these costs were big for me, and sometimes I just had to close my eyes and swipe my credit card. I was already alarmed at the price of doctor's visits, drugs and antibiotics I'd had to pay for, and felt that if I didn't take precautions now, I could be paying bigger bills later.

That being said, I would try doing something like this in the future with less supplements (sticking with probiotics and a B complex), while doing the food elimination portion and making rest and stress reduction a priority. While it's hard to say how effective the supplements are, the above definitely made a difference for me.

So to sum it up, let's go...

THE GOOD

  • Improved digestion
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved immune system
  • Making self care a priority
  • Creating new healthy habits
  • Eating less processed foods (actually saved money with this aspect) 
  • No cravings

THE BAD

  • Supplements were costly
  • Introducing allergens slowly is difficult
  • System seems to be shocked my reintroducing certain things

THE UGLY

One of the great things about doing an elimination diet is that when you reintroduce things to your diet, you realize what bothers you and what doesn't.

Unfortunately, I'm realizing a lot does.

The first time I had dairy I noticed an immediate spike in sugar cravings as well as feelings of sadness and depression. This could be linked to inflammation (our gut is, indeed, our second brain). This was quickly followed by a trip to the bathroom.

Coffee and more than one glass of wine lead me to feel really tired, head achy and worn down. This may be linked to my adrenals which may still be depleted after the Prednisone. Coffee also led to a quick trip to the bathroom.

I was hoping to add these things back into my diet in moderation but am going to be as careful as possible since I have been suffering from a really upset stomach and headaches ever since.

This means kissing a sad farewell to my whey protein powder, bars, and other goodies, and keeping coffee and alcohol to a very limited amount (I told my husband I will now drink like his grandmother, who only has the odd small glass of red wine but is full of energy over 90 years old!)

While I'm not a doctor, I'm trying to learn from my body as best as I can and have booked a consultation with a holistic practitioner so that I can learn and understand more about food allergies, how my immune system works and how to feel my absolute best.

In the meantime I'll be focusing on a whole foods diet, self care and love, and taking all the good that I learned with me for the long haul.

x

G

Gillian YoungComment
Full Body Workout Using Resistance Bands

Aim to do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise. Go as heavy as you can handle, and aim to increase weight/resistance over time.

SHOULDERS

Standing front raise

  1. Feet hip width apart, stand tall with core engaged.
  2. Lock elbows against rib cage and relax shoulders.
  3. Exhale and raise arms straight forward to shoulder right.

Lateral raise

  1. Stand on an exercise band so that tension begins at arm's length.
  2. Grasp the handles using a pronated (palms facing your thighs) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width.
  3. The handles should be resting on the sides of your thighs.
  4. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
  5. Use your side shoulders to lift the handles to the sides as you exhale. Continue to lift the handles until they are slightly above parallel.  
  6. Lower the handles back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  7. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

BICEPS

Standing bicep curl

  1. Feet hip width apart, stand tall with core engaged.
  2. Lock elbows against rib cage and relax shoulders.
  3. Take a deep breath, exhale and bend your arms forward.
  4. Inhale and return to start.

Bicep curls - using loop

  1. Loop the resistance band around your left knee, and hold the other end in your left hand.
  2. Kneel down on the right knee and grab the loop band with palms up grip.            
  3. Keeping your lower back arched, curl the band up to your chest level.
  4. Squeeze the biceps tightly in the fully contracted position.
  5. Slowly lower to the start position.

TRICEPS - using loop

  1. Hold one end of of the band in your left hand and brace it against your collar bone.
  2. Hold the other end in your right hand and hold at chest level.
  3. Keeping right elbow in and down, extend right arm to full extension.

LEGS/GLUTES

Squat + press

  1. Feet hip width apart, stand tall with core engaged.
  2. Lock elbows against rib cage and relax shoulders.
  3. Begin by inhaling and pushing hips down and back as if sitting in a chair, core strong, chest lifted, body weight in heels.
  4. Exhale and press back up, lifting hands above your head.

Lateral Walk

  1. Feet hip width apart on band
  2. Handle in each hand
  3. Lock elbows against rib cage, relax shoulders and bring hands to shoulder level
  4. Slight bend in knees, step to the right side, return to start.

BONUS WITH BANDS

  • Squat walk with band
  • Hip thrusts with band
  • Fire engines with band

ABS (optional without band)

  • 30 Bicycles
  • 30 Crunches

CABLE WEIGHTS:

  • Yellow - extra light 2-3 lbs
  • Blue - 4-6lbs
  • Green - 10-12lbs
  • Black - 15-20lbs
  • Red - 25-30lbs
Gillian YoungComment