Restoring your gut health is one thing.
Maintaining a healthy gut a completely different ball game.
Sure, it’s easier to monitor all your foods, take your probiotics, and enrich your gut with super foods all during the restoration phase.
You’re motivated. You’re determined. You’re seeking a solution!
But what happens when the bloated bellies subside and now you’re just looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle (??) – all while being able to drink alcohol and eat sugar.
Stick with me and I’ll be your gut health guide. Together we can navigate these seemingly troublesome waters – and make them as smooth as a kiddie pool real fast.
I want to take a minute to reiterate that many of these practices are for AFTER you are very limited with your diet.
Being stingy with your diet and ensuring that every food you consume is anti-inflammatory is very important when you are restoring the health of your gut.
And these healthy habits are something to commit to for a very long time – it is tricky to tell you how long for YOU, since everyone has a different body and various extremes for how badly their gut needs to be healed – but it definitely is not an overnight process.
So some of the topics covered in this section are to help you to love your normal routine, helping you to not live for those “cheat days” and give into sugary temptations.
For me, it has taken a few years. But I had developed a gluten intolerance without knowing for several years, so my gut was in very poor shape once I realized what had happened.
It’s truly all about making those anti-inflammatory foods an enjoyable part of your routine.
Create meals that satisfy you and that you WANT to eat – because you absolutely will need to stay committed to them for the long run.
So just to note, many of these practices are the occasional use – a fun girls night out, a family outing, or just that time when you kick your feet back and say, “I deserve a treat!” Others are to help you live a life where you feel you do not need to escape.
The topics we’ll talk about here are:
🡲 How to incorporate enjoyable, healthy practices into your daily routine
🡲 How to eat healthy on a budget (and if you splurge – how to read nutrition labels)
🡲 How to come back from a cheat day
🡲 How to restore your body if you get sick (antibiotics)
🡲 How to eat out at restaurants
🡲 How to integrate alcohol and sweets into a healthy diet
1. How to Incorporate Enjoyable, Healthy Practices Into Your Daily Routine
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Ever heard that saying?
Well, it’s the same concept when it comes to your foods!
The key for optimal success is to create a life that you do not feel as though you need to escape. You want to enjoy your daily routine so that you are able to stick with it for the long run – and it’s very simple.
Our taste buds begin to crave our habitual foods. I’ve been eating anti-inflammatory meals for quite some time now, and it’s very easy for me to say no to processed, sugary treats that I used to absolutely adore.
It is our minds that are hooked on sugar – not our bodies.
Our bodies feel incredible when we fuel them with the proper nutrition.
Our minds are the ones that are hooked on the dopamine release the sugar creates.
So all you need is a determined, detox period – a temporary time spent knowing that you are stronger than the temptations.
Fuel your body with wholesome, anti-inflammatory based meals, and you’ll find that sooner than later, your sugar cravings will be greatly reduced.
Experiment on Pinterest and double check the ingredients with the “Eat This – Not That” guides.
We have an amazing one from HIK right here!
And if a food is not found on the list, simply google, “Is _______ anti-inflammatory?”
Remember – create a high focus on wholesome, unprocessed, real ingredients. You will be amazed how MUCH you can eat when you eat the RIGHT foods.
Your body will thrive.
But treat yourself to a smoothie or healthy dessert. There are so many incredible options that allow you to love your meals.
Your Super has awesome recipe ideas, as well. They created an entire recipe blog and that was how I got most of my meals when I started out.
I loved what I ate, felt amazing after eating it, and did not feel so tempted to live for those “cheat days.”
2. How to Eat Healthy on A Budget (& Tackle Nutrition Labels)
Most people have the assumption that eating healthy is really expensive – and it is, if you buy the products labelled, “gluten free, sugar free, lactose free, no artificial preservatives, GMO free, soy free” and more.
This is a handy marketing technique that the food industry tends to throw on packaged and processed products to get consumers to think they are eating healthy while jacking up the prices.
But real ingredients that are naturally free of processing and need no marketing techniques to disguise them as healthy are actually very reasonably priced!
Foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and oils, and gluten free carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, and oats.
“Healthy” foods (products) can be quite confusing because of how great the marketing departments are at doing their job. A bag of chips can seem as if it’s the next best thing in your life – when in reality, even though their product is “gluten free” – it’s nothing more than a bunch of starches.
You can begin to see how it would be most beneficial to prepare your own meals and use simple ingredients. But if you are interested in adventuring out for a cheat snack, you can read the nutrition labels to reveal everything inside.
You do not want a product with added sugars, ingredients you cannot pronounce (most end up being chemical additives or artificial flavorings), starches (complex carbohydrates that are difficult to break down), corn based ingredients, or a long list of ingredients.
Simplicity is truly the key to successful meals. But temptations are always going to be real and very present. There will be appetizing looking snacks, sweets, and more – but you are stronger than any impulse buy!
A great way to prevent buying any unnecessary food items (which also saves you money) is to go in with a game plan – ie, a grocery list.
If you stick to just the foods on that list, you are guaranteed to keep more money in your pocket, and more calories on the shelves.
A general rule of thumb is to stick to the perimeter of the store.
This is where most of the fresh vegetables, protein, and natural ingredients are found. The center and aisles are typically the processed and packaged goods.
3. How to Come Back From a Cheat Day)
If you slip up (we all do sometimes – you’re all good) there is an easy way to reset your digestive system.
This method is known as Intermittent Fasting, which helps to detox the body – and a complete guide can be found HERE!
This seems challenging, but it’s actually very doable.
Fasting for 24 hours gives your digestive system enough time to break down the foods that are causing you to bloat and become inflamed, and pass it through your system before having to process more food.
You simply eat your next meal 24 hours after your last meal.
During the day, just make sure you continue to hydrate with lots of water and give your body plenty of rest.
Then take on the next day with a determined, detoxed attitude and stick to your anti-inflammatory foods.
4. How to Restore Your Body if You Get Sick
One of the greatest concerns for gut health is when you are prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics definitely will take out some of the good gut bacteria – but not all hope is lost.
It is far better for you to listen to the advice provided by your medical practitioner and take the antibiotics. You can always rebuild your gut health – and it will not be from scratch.
Simply go back to the basics:
- Eat a healthy, nourishing diet
- Fill your diet with superfoods
- Take your probiotic daily
Your gut health is an ever evolving, complex system. Do not fear antibiotics, cheat days, etc.
Instead, just go back to everything you have learned in this course and apply the core foundations: a healthy diet, nourishing superfoods, and a potent probiotic.
5. How to Eat Out At Restaurants
More and more restaurants are moving to fresh, healthier, lighter alternatives. A good amount of places even require the nutrition facts to present on the menu.
But there are simple ways to navigate menus when eating out even when they do not.
Before you head to the restaurants, see if you can find their menu online.
Most places have an online menu posted, and it allows you to make your choice before you’re sitting in the restaurant, taking in all the delicious smells, and giving in to the temptations.
You can also choose the restaurant based on the different options you see on the menus.
If one restaurant has fresher, healthier foods – that would be a better restaurant for you.
If you know that you will be eating out, you can also portion your prior meals accordingly.
Eat smaller meals that keep your hunger curbed, and will not have you starving by the time you are eating out.
When choosing the meal that is healthiest for you, be sure to keep an eye out for lean protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and minimal dairy (cheese).
Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume (some restaurants bring out chips or bread), and look for fresh ingredients.
A helpful way to navigate the menu is to look for the wording. Look for words such as “broiled, steamed or grilled” as opposed to “fried, breaded, sauced, smothered, rich, creamy, alfredo, or cheesy.”
This hints to how the food is being prepared with oils and fats.
Salads can be a great option, but salads can also be the least healthy option – it all depends on the ingredients that make up the salad and the dressing on top.
You can always bring your own dressing to a restaurant, or request the dressing to come on the side. This way you can control the portion sizes.
You also want to keep with the healthy mantra when it comes to your side dishes. Instead of fries, you can choose vegetables, a side salad, a baked sweet potato, or even fruit.
The same rule applies as when you prepare your own foods at home – keep your meals simple.
You want to know everything that makes up your meals, so don’t shy away from asking your waiter/waitress more questions.
6. How to Integrate Alcohol and Sweets Into a Healthy Diet
Moderation is always incredibly important when incorporating alcohol and sweets into a healthy routine. For instance, a glass of red wine during the evenings, or a special treat during the weekends.
But consistent, overuse of alcohol and sugars will never be good for your gut health.
Here’s a great guide by Business Insider for the six healthiest alcohols: CLICK HERE.
Remember, keep to portion size and consume only on special occasions when restoring your gut health.
As far as sweets, you want to find healthier alternatives to boxed cakes, muffins, brownies, etc.
You can make your own, and many times – they taste the same or better! And are guilt free!
There are ways to satisfy your sweet cravings without actually consuming high amounts of sugars (or added sugars).
Again, once you know the ingredients, you will have a better understanding of whether or not that is a food you wish to incorporate in your diet.
I always try to remind myself of how I will feel after I eat something that is not good for my gut.
It’s typically a great sensation of “this is exactly the food I’ve been craving” that slowly turns into remorse as I’m holding my bloated stomach.
Next Steps. First Steps. Baby Steps?
If you are new to the gut health community, I must extend a warm welcome!!
See, our gut – a fancy term to describe the part of your digestive tract consisting of your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine – regulates SO many of our body’s functions.
For a quick snapshot, here’s a list of everything your gut regulates in the body:
➪ Healthy Digestion
➪ Weight Management (and weight loss)
➪ Skin Health
➪ Nutrient Absorption
➪ Heart Health and Cholesterol Levels
➪ Brain Clarity and Mental Health
➪ Sleep Patterns
➪ Hunger and Appetite
➪ Bloating and Inflammation
➪ Chronic Illness
So, you can see how this one simple thing is by far THE one thing you want on your side.
By restoring your gut health, your body begins to reap incredible benefits from each of the bulleted categories above.
If you are interested, be sure to check out the 21 Day Gut Health Challenge to help you to restore gut health quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively!