Case Study: Gut Health Journey #7
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 & Certified Mindset Coach
I began Phase 4, the reintroduction phase, on July 7th. With this phase I started 2 new supplements Flora Protect and a supplement called PepZin GI. These two supplements are to repopulate the gut with good bacteria and to protect the gut barrier and gut immunity. I will maintain the S. Boulardii with these two supplements and I have continued the peppermint oil. I am reintroducing foods on a 3 day cycle. The first day, I will consume half a serving of a certain food. If I don’t have symptoms, I will continue to day two where I will consume a half serving twice per day. Assuming there are still no symptoms, I will eat a normal serving on day 3. Day 4 is a rest day, to make sure that I don’t experience any delayed symptoms. Sometimes delayed symptoms can occur if you’re experiencing constipation so we’ve built in a rest day to allow any symptoms to subside before we start a new 3 day cycle with a different food. After the end of the cycle, if there were no symptoms, I have been waiting a week or so and then reincorporating those foods back into my normal diet.
Since the last update, I have reintroduced: barley, cottage cheese, mayo, and peaches. All have been a successful introduction. I also took a 4 day vacation to Chicago where I ate nearly everything I wanted to without any gut upset or discomfort. I did avoid the key foods like onions and garlic that are known to be harsh offenders, but I ate foods that I haven’t consumed for years and felt totally fine. I did experience some anxiety because I was a little uncertain of how it would settle with me and being out and about and not wanting to miss out on seeing sites in town on my vacation.
I am still working through a list of foods that I had eliminated and this will continue until I have tried all the foods that I eliminated so that I am either back to a normal diet or have identified some trigger foods. I am getting very close to wrapping this phase up. I am taking this phase very slowly to be sure that I can clearly identify if there are some trigger foods.
After this phase, we will move on to Phase 5 where we will eliminate Nexium and work on increasing my stomach acid levels.
This is not just a typical before and after.
Yes, you can see that my body is smaller, but look closer. Look at my eyes. Look at the color of my skin. I looked sick and unwell . . . and I was.
Now, a decade later, I look healthier. Am I the picture of perfect health? Absolutely not. None of us are. But I feel better. I don’t feel sick all the time. I don’t hurt all the time. I have more energy. I have a higher sex drive. I sleep better. I’m less stressed. I’m happier. How did I do this? MOSTLY FOOD.
My diet in 2010 was a lot of dining out, fast food, and processed food. The food quality was shit. Stuff that I ate then, I wouldn’t feed to my dogs. Seriously. I also drank Dr. Pepper like I needed it for life. I also ate way too much food. I was also sedentary.
During this time, I had developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol, IBS, PCOS, anxiety and depression. I took 13 prescription pills per day to manage these issues.
Most body and health transformations are 20% fitness and 80% nutrition. I didn’t know this then. I actually just learned this within the last 5 years.
Since the photo from 2010, I cleaned my food quality and reduced the quantity. I stopped eating fast food. I’ve limited my intake of processed food. I prioritize protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I stopped drinking soda. Just in the last few months I’ve started drinking Sprite Zero and I love it, but I keep it to one per day and it’s zero sugar and zero calories. I also stopped eating multiple servings at dinner time. I started meal prepping. When I meal prep, I know exactly how many meals I’m making and I know exactly how much one serving is, and I stick to it. Note I did not say that I stopped eating foods I love. You can bet your ass I’m taking my smokin’ hot wife out to smash pizza and ice cream at least once per week. I also started working out.
Since 2010, I’ve eliminated all but 2 prescription medications. The 2 I take now are only for anxiety. I no longer have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, PCOS or IBS. Read that again . . .
I started really slow. I started with no education and no guidance. I simply reduced the amount of food I was eating and increased activity. I started riding a stationary bike at home. Eventually I started lifting weights and teaching myself the ropes of resistance training. I lost 100 pounds, 11 pills, and 4 diagnoses (illnesses/diseases). I gained better health, better sleep, less stress, more happiness. I have, in recent years, hired my own coaches. Coaches need coaches.
This has been a decade of work. If the changes are sustainable, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work. It takes dedication. It isn’t easy. What most people don’t realize is a shitty diet can cause inflammation. The root of all disease is inflammation. There is a point of no return though. You should start cleaning up your diet when symptoms start. If you maintain your diet and take medications to mask the symptoms, you’re still fueling the diseased state. Food can be medicine. I’ve heard a doctor say, “If you have type 2 diabetes, and you haven’t been told you can reverse it with diet, you haven’t been given proper advice. It’s a disease caused by food and it can only be healed by proper food.”
- Coach J
Kayli is a certified personal trainer and online coach that specializes in fitness, wellness, nutrition, mindset, mobility and everything in between.