Those of you who know me well, you know that I have digestion issues. Although this is the butt of many jokes (pun intended), it has been painful and exhausting to manage. About 6 months ago, I was introduced to the GAPS diet. This intrigued me so much that I bought and read the Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Cambell McBride. This book changed the way I look at food and although I am not currently following the diet completely, I have changed many parts of my diet and these changes have made me begin to feel better and better.
These are the top 5 things I have changed in my diet that have caused my digestion to greatly improve.
- Drink bone broth daily
Bone broth is full of nutrients that our gut needs to heal and digest, this article can explain why bone broth is so good for you. I will either make a large batch of bone broth each week or buy the Bonafied brand bone broth from Natural Grocers. I will drink this at least twice a day and every time I take a drink I feel like my body is thanking me. To make the broth a little tastier, I add a little italian seasoning blend and some pepper. I also add about a tablespoon of sauerkraut juice for added flavor and probiotics.
2. Limit processed food
I have been slowly cutting out processed foods from my diet and trying to eat mainly organic produce and meat and fish that Jordan has caught and shot himself. After reading the GAPS book, I look at processed foods as a last resort, special occasion type of thing. I won’t be passing up a homemade elk burger at my friend’s BBQ, but I will be skipping the buns and condiments. I do still eat processed foods on occasion but try to cut them out wherever possible. This is not something I do to try and lose weight, it is something I do for my digestion and overall health.
3. Eat and Drink your probiotics
Oh glorious probiotics!!!! I fill my day with probiotic foods including sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and whole-milk grass fed yogurt. When you first start including probiotics with your meals, start small and gradually work your way up to a full portion of these delicious bacterial foods. I have made my first batch of sauerkraut this week and am so excited to see how it turns out! My current favorite brand of sauerkraut and kimchi is Wildbrine, and I find it at Natural Grocers.
4. Cook at home as much as possible
In order to really limit processed foods and save on calories and money, Jordan and I cook at home 99% of the time with the occasional slice of pizza after the brewery every couple of weeks. I am very lucky to be married to a man who is very good at cooking. We have a system where we alternate cooking every other night. This works out very well and typically all I have to change is adding some probiotic food to my meal.Cooking at home with non-processed foods is one of the best things you can do. Don’t have time each day to cook every meal? Food prepping is an amazing way to tackle that dilemma. Cook up some meat, roast some veggies and cook up some rice or quinoa and you are set with the basics for a bunch of different meals throughout the week. I will be doing a post on food prepping in the near future!
5. Limit Drinking
This has been the most difficult thing for me to change and cut back on. I am a social drinker and I am a drown-my-feelings drinker. I have made the decision to cut back on my drinking and due to some changes in my medications, I am unable to drink very much without feeling sick and tired. My trick for this is sparkling water. Oh glorious La Croix and all your delicious flavors! I will add just a splash of my favorite fresh-squeezed juice or some berries and sip on that after I have my alcoholic beverage of choice. Alcohol is not good for your body especially when ingested in larger quantities. A glass of beer or wine occasionally is totally fine. But a giant bottle of wine in one night is horrible for you, I have learned from experience! My body has felt incredibly better ever since I have cut back on drinking and accepted that I can be social without getting drunk!
Have you tried the GAPS Diet? Do you have any tips or tricks to keep your gut healthy and functioning properly? I would love to hear from you!