8 Best Gut Love Habits to Heal Your Gut, Hormones, And Immune System

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Written By

Rhea Dali

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Family With Gut Love Habits Preparing Food

Do you have gut love habits?

Do you ever feel like you’re doing all the things to be healthy—drinking celery juice, eating paleo or vegan, working out, and taking supplements— but it still seems like NOTHING IS WORKING. You still experience symptoms or a general feeling of un-wellness—headaches, immune sensitivities, bloating, constipation, fatigue and beyond.

What gives? 

Answer: It may be simpler than you think.

Remember, when given the right tools, the body innately wants to heal and work for you not against you.

 

Gut Love Habits - Active Lifestyle

If you feel like you’re hitting roadblocks in your health despite doing “all the things”, when in doubt of how you’re feeling, ask yourself if these 8 “gut love habits” are in check or not:

  1. Breathe & Oxygen
  2. Water
  3. Absorption
  4. Nutrients
  5. Elimination
  6. Sleep
  7. Movement

Let’s briefly discuss each, and ask yourself: Is any one of these missing?

The Gut Love Habits

#1. Oxygen & Breath

Gut Love Habits-Yogi Breathing

Literally and figuratively. We can go 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water but only a few minutes without breath. Oxygen is super energizing and invigorating for all cellular processes (including brain balance and health and gut health/vaginal health).Here are a few ways to get more “oxygen” into your daily routine:

  • Yogi Breathing. In your “off” moments; practicing yogi breathing–10 seconds in through your nose, 10 seconds out through your mouth for 5-6 cycles at least–see how that helps.
  • Morning Routine & Evening Routine. I call these “breath” breaks—times to reset, refocus and disconnect from emails, social media, demands, etc. Create a phone free solid morning and evening routine (unless of course you are using it for meditation!).
  • Mind Body Practice. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, space for creativity and flow, restorative movement, qi gong, prayer and quiet time with the Lord. Something you do every day—maybe even during your morning and evening routine. If you are really struggling with “feeling stuck” or like nothing is working, check out DNRS, the Gupta Program, Microcurrent Therapy, Brain Tap or Alpha Stem—guided programs to help you rewire the stress response in your body.
  • Mitochondria Support. Your mitochondria are responsible for producing 90% of cellular energy. If they are “under functioning”, then your cells and body’s restoration processes will be pooped! A mitochondrial support like MITOCHONDRIAL NRG™ may help, along with antioxidant rich foods, MCT oil and omega 3 fatty acids, infrared sauna, quality sleep and HIIT movement combined with walking and hiking.

#2. Water.

Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water-preferably clean, filtered water. Plastics leach chemicals into our bodies and brains. Every time I drink out of plastic bottles for more than a few days, my autoimmunity and my gut issues act up! Invest in a quality filter like the Berkey Water filter or Wake Water Co. Drink out of a glass water bottle like Glasstic.

#3. Absorption

Gut Love Habits-Eating Healthy

We can be eating but starving at a cellular and bacterial level.

If we are not digesting our nutrients or our basic digestive process is not working up to speed, then we end up nutrient depleted and with all sorts of gut imbalances that can lead to imbalances in our immune system, hormone, brain health, detox pathways and more.

A couple basics to start with boosting gut absorption include:

  • Chew your food really well and pause to take 3-5 deep breaths before meal time (rest and digest)
  • Take 1-2 digestive enzymes and 1 capsule of short chain fatty acids (tributyrate) meals to aid in absorption and anti-inflammation
  • Support your gallbladder with cholagogue rich foods(beets, celery, dandelion, ginger, turmeric, apples, artichoke, fenugreek tea, fennel) and digestive bitter drops with meals
  • Incorporate 1 to 2 doses of a low histamine probiotic and mix up your probiotics (I like to rotate between Seed, Bifido Maximus and Megaspore)
  • Address any dysbiosis after ensuring all 8 of your Gut Love habits are in place

#4. Taste the Rainbow (Nutrients)

Food is medicine. Include a fat, fiber and protein with each meal, aiming for 2-3 different colors at meal time—including something green in most meals (Tip: Not a veggie person for breakfast? No sweat! Start the day off with some green juice at breakfast).

A few additional notes:

  • Rotate your foods—try to not eat the same thing every single day, at least for dinner, mix it up! As for breakfast and lunch, pick between 2 to 3 different rotating breakfast and lunch ideas.
  • Stick to 1-2 servings of fruit per day to keep blood sugar stable and in balance. Also, if you snack, reach for a protein, healthy fat or veggie based snack for the same reasons.
  • No food is “bad” or “good”—food doesn’t have morals. Instead think of food in terms of answering one question: How can I nourish my gut bugs? Carbs, fats or proteins are not the enemy.
  • Use seasonings like Himalayan sea salt, coconut aminos, fresh herbs, bone broths (sautéed veggies) and paleo friendly salad dressings to flavor your food

#5. Elimination.

Poo and sweat daily. Simply put: If you’re not pooping or sweating daily, toxins are more readily re-circulated in your gut and body.

  • Use digestive bitters , magnesium citrate and/or buffered Vitamin C to “go” if you need support
  • Drink enough water + 1 serving minerals and take fiber to help you go too
  • Detox practices: Coffee enemas 1 to 3 times per week and infrared sauna for 10 to 45 minutes 1 to 7 days per week 

#6. Sleep.

Gut Love Habits-Good Sleep

7-9 hours uninterrupted sleep. Pitch black room. Cool less than 68 degrees. Bonus: Warm shower or infrared sauna before bed.

Can’t fall asleep? Nix the screens before bed with blue blocker glasses, a good book or earlier bed time. Also try deep breathing and ashwaganda or phosphatidylserine.

Wake up in the middle of the night? Try eating a small protein snack like a protein shake or bone broth before bed and/or also taking ashwaganda or phosphatidylserine. Waking up can be a sign of hypoglycemia and high adrenaline.

#7. Movement.

Move it. Move it. Keeps lymph moving, releases endorphins, flushes cellular wastes, supports mitochondria…as long as we don’t over do it—especially on the chronic long steady state cardio and running.

Best bets for body balance:

  • HIIT/Dynamic movements
  • Walking/hiking
  • Strength training
  • Yoga/pilates and mobility
  • Dance
  • Fun, play and sports

Mix it up and have fun with it. Note: You do NOT have to earn your food. Eating is a birth right.

#8. Connection

Gut Love Habits - Connection, Women Doing Exercise Together

Connected socially and relationally—who is your tribe or community? Humans were not made to be alone and we have healthier biomes, more balanced hormones and stronger immune systems when we have meaningful relationships and community in our lives.

Connection also involves feeling connected spiritually—do you have something or some One greater than you? And feeling connected to our purpose—do you feel like you know your life purpose, what you are here for (your gifts, passions, talents, strengths, mission)?

One more Gut Love Habit: 80/20 BALANCE

Aim to incorporate thee 8 Gut Love Habits into your daily life all with the mindset of 80/20 balance—NOOOOOOOOO PERFECTION. If being “perfect” in your health is stressing you out more, then it’s not worth it. Purposely do things imperfect. Break a rule (or two) and remind yourself, it’s going to be OK.

Healing is a journey, not necessarily a destination, and you are in process.

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