How to Do a Total Gut Reset: 3 Key Steps to Heal Your Gut Today

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Written By

Lauryn

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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.

Total Gut Reset - Fitness Woman Drinking Water During Workout

Does Your Gut Need a Total Gut Reset

Let’s talk about something that I believe is the missing link in our pursuit of optimal wellbeing amidst an escalating chronic disease epidemic: gut health.

Growing up, I never fathomed that I’d talk about things like poo for a living…

But, if you were a fly on the wall at Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin on a Friday night, you are guaranteed to hear me striking up a conversation with the guy standing in the checkout line behind me:

Are you regular? And I am not just talking about grocery shopping at 9 p.m.

This of course after some casual small talk about gluten intolerance, acne, hypothyroidism or another health challenge related to the gut.

You can tell A LOT about a person based on how they are poo-ing (or not poo-ing).

Total Gut Reset - Golden Poo Chart

Mashed potatoes? Not golden.

Pebbles? Not golden.

Don’t go every day? 

Total first date turn off!

No, but in all seriousness, your gut is kind of a big deal.

Your Gut = The Gateway to Health

Total Gut Reset - Doctor Supports The Colon Of A Person

Think about it: Why is it that our great grandparents ate foods like steak and potatoes, smoked cigarettes, worked hard for very little pay, and never went to the gym a day in their life – yet they were 3 times less likely to be overweight, or face diseases that we do today—like cancer, autoimmunity, diabetes and heart disease?

Meanwhile, in our generation, more Americans have a chronic disease than do not,  93% are metabolically unhealthy, and the annual cost spent on treating diabetes alone is about what experts estimate it would take to end world hunger. Moreover, today’s millennials are the first generation on track to have worse health in their middle age than their parents. 

All this despite 24/7 access to health information at our fingertips, gyms on every corner, and 1 out of 2 people on a diet at any time, eating gluten-free everything…

Many of us know what to do, and we are even taking action…But something is not working…

And it’s not about the food. It’s not about pills or supplements. It’s not about more knowledge. 

Studies show that a big part of that answer comes down to BAD GUT HEALTH. Something researchers call the “disappearing gut microbiome theory.”

Plain and simple:  Our ancestors—even our grandparents— had healthier guts—almost 50% more microbes than we have today— connected to better health overall.

Hippocrates once said that “all disease begins in the gut.”  And I say, “all wellness begins in the gut” too. 

Health is an inside job

Something I learned first hand…

My “Bad Gut” Story

My love for the gut was born at a young age.  For as long as I can remember, I had tummy problems. 

I grew up a constipated—Fiber One cereal replaced my Lucky Charms for breakfast, I popped Tums like candy, and sipped Miralax cocktails for dessert after dinner. 

And do you remember your first most embarrassing moment? Mine happened at age 6, when I let one rip…right in the middle of story time.

Totally mortified, it was actually in that moment, my first light bulb went off: The gut impacts how we feel! If it doesn’t feel good, I don’t feel good…

All this unrest inside led me to be super self-conscious—declaring an internal war with my body that would continue for years to come. 

Fast forward to age 10—4th grade recess, pink scrunchy in my frizzy hair that my mom made me wear and all I wanted to do was fit in! The popular girls invited me to join the gossip circle where they were laughing at Melody Strawn’s ugly sweater and gawking over Eric Arthur’s cute freckly face, when the topic of weight came up. 

The Queen Bee said, “OMG! I just weighed myself last night and I am 69 pounds…so fat!” Then turning to each of us – “What do you weigh?!” 

And one by one we had to go around the gossip circle and report to our drill sergeant. 

At a healthy 80 pounds, I was by no means a fat kid, but when the circle got to me, I gulped and lied… “I dunno”. Going home that day, I’ll never forget standing in the pantry and turning over my favorite Dorito’s snack pack and learning a brand new language—fat grams and calories…at age 10, my life path took a sharp turn. 

Little did I realize I’d spend the next 2 decades on the pursuit of “feeling good” from the inside out with no resolve. 

I became a trendsetter for this new diet—the fasting diet…until the day I passed out in the shower…then it was on to South Beach, Atkins, vegan, keto, carnivore—whatever was popular at the time …until my loving parents caught on.

I spent 4 years accumulated “behind bars”, living inside hospitals and treatment centers, as my parents fought for my life— investing my college and wedding fund savings to see over 100 different specialists—many whom prescribed the same 3 P’s—pastries, pizza and Prozac. 

Yes. Way. 

Just like the classic “move more, eat less” advice for people who are overweight, or the “take a pill for an ill” advice for people with a lifestyle-induced disease, my symptoms were treated with what made the most sense for food freedom and weight gain. 

This went on for years…until that day, when I stepped on the scale only to see a number I had not seen since I was that 10 year old girl—79 pounds—only this time I was 23. And for the first time, it scared me. My life was on the line. 

On my way to the gym that morning, I prayed, “God help me make a change today!” To say the least, I didn’t make it to my workout. Instead 9 strangers—9 gym goers stepped in, spoke up, didn’t let me go in that day…

Within 48 hours, I found myself once more flat on my back in a hospital bed staring up at all those bright lights, my heart rate in the near 20’s and doctors saying I may not make it…

And, in that moment, another lightbulb went off: There has to be another way…There has to be a missing link…

Fast forward one last time—now age 33. Same exact predicament. Only this time, no eating disorder in sight. By this time, I had recovered, but I found myself diagnosed with 12 incurable illnesses that no doctor could solve. 

This was the 5th time I had been to the hospital over the previous six months, and the 10th doctor to tell me everything was “normal. The Mayo Clinic turned me away…The Cleveland Clinic passed me from specialist to specialist with NO conclusion.

And what was even more frustrating: I was doing all I needed to be healthy— eating right, working out, sleeping. But it still wasn’t working.

Long story short, both my chronic dieting days AND treatment had destroyed my gut …. Which is, again, connected to everything—our immune system…metabolism…hormones…energy…mindset…

Dr. Hung, a frazzled doctor juggling 10 patients in the packed ER, walked in, looked at my chart and then delivered the bad news: 

“Lauryn, I know you feel like this is serious…But according to your labs, as far as we can tell, everything is normal…”

Then he said those words that changed everything: There are times conventional medicine will fail you, this is one of them.

And, in that moment, a lightbulb went off: All these years, they’ve been missing the link all along: HEALTH IS AN INSIDE JOB!!!

Which brings us here today—research shows that the same thing is true for 90% of the health conditions we face too. Our health conditions are directly influenced, not by genetics, but by how healthy, or unhealthy our gut is too.

Your Gut is Kind of a Big Deal…

Total Gut Reset - Human Small Intestine, Colon And Magnifying Glass. Close-Up Of Bad Bad Bacteria

Your gut is home to trillions of microbes that run the show of your entire body. 

Did you know that subjects given gut bacteria from obese people gain weight, whereas subjects that get bacteria from lean people lose weight—no change in their diet or exercise at all? No wonder 95% of diets fail! They are focusing on the wrong things!

And at least 70% of our immunity is influenced by our gut, inhibiting cancer tumor growth, skin breakouts, and food intolerances.

Your gut impacts your blood sugar, hormones and cravings! Hate broccoli? You are a super-taster—with a completely different profile of gut bugs than the salad lovers of the world…just like if you can’t stop craving cheese or sweets, you do too. 

And did you know that our gut is our second brain, containing over 500 million neurons—brain cells—inside it, more than any other part of our peripheral nervous system. In fact 90% of all signals that influence how we think, feel, and function—are actually delivered between the gut and the brain.

In fact, the fascinating thing about this gut brain connection thing is it’s not just food or supplements that shape our health as a whole. It really all comes down to stress—mental stress, physical stress and/or emotional stress—code for being out of touch with what our second brain—the gut—needs for optimal function. 

You can be sitting on a beach in Tahiti, Pina colada in your hand, but your body still be under stress if you have undiagnosed Celiac disease, you’re eating food cooked in inflammatory seed oils, and staying in a moldy hotel.

3 Keys to a Total Gut Reset

As simplistic as it may sound, once I focused on resetting my second brain—not only did I send all 12 of my incurable conditions into 100% remission and have the health I prayed for, but over the past decade, I’ve now helped 1000s of clients get unstuck in both their health and life circumstances holding them back from where they want to be. 

In fact, for the past 10 years, since healing from my eating disorder, and then again from those 12 incurable illnesses, I’ve been OBSESSED with understanding what separates those who stay stuck in a rut—stay stuck where they don’t want to be—compared to those who close the gap from where they are, to where they want to be? 

Like how does Tony robbins go from rags to riches…not once, but twice…

How does my colleague Bob recover from terminal brain cancer—when doctors gave him less than 4 months to live? 

How does Taylor Swift go from just another girl playing a guitar in Nashville right up there with Beyonce and Madonna superstar status? Or Oprah go from just another reporter to her own Oprah Show. 

And what I’ve discovered that it all comes down to the 3 keys for a total gut reset

And I am not just talking physically. I am talking figuratively—your gut, your core, is connected to everything. 

Your second brain is the the captain of your ship—running your body and your mind. When you reset your gut—reset your second brain—you come alive! You get unstuck. 

 The 3 keys for a total gut reset are:

#1. Tune In to Your Gut

#2. Take Care of Your Gut, and

#3. Trust Your Gut

Let’s unpack them. 

Tune Into Your Gut

Total Gut Reset - Best Friends Having Fun, Eating Watermelon

First, tune in— in order to move forward or change anything in your health or your life, you need to tune in to your gut— do a “gut check”— a barometer check— to understand:

#1. Where you are today
#2. What you got there and
#3. What you want instead

We are the stories we tell ourselves. In fact, 80-90% of all results in our life are psychology, only 10-20% are tactics, strategies—basically, our beliefs dictate how things pan out for us. 

For example, if you want to be a world class Olympic athlete, you have to train both your body and your mind to be in a peak state.

Sure, you eat, sleep and workout like an athlete—putting in the reps for peak physical health. But, arguably more important: you mentally BELIEVE you are an athlete. You walk around with confidence and grit that SUCCESS is possible, as that 80% psychology propels you forward. 

20-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps credits his mental state as the secret to his success. Before every race, he’d mentally get “into state,” visualizing success, from start to finish—visualizing what it felt like to propel his body through each stroke in the water, feel his heart beating in his chest and stand on top of the podium with a gold medal on his neck, waving to his fans. Sure, he put in the reps to practice, sleep and eat like an athlete, but the key differentiator in his success was the state he lived by—acting as if he was gold medalist 24/7. 

On the flip side, consider the 3 out of 4 of Americans who are overweight. Is it because the strategy for becoming thin, fit, and healthy is incredibly complex? Is the information hidden, only available to the 1% or incredibly expensive? Heck, no.

The answers are available everywhere: Gyms, Google, calorie counts on menus. You have to work to avoid finding the strategies for becoming fit, strong, and healthy.”

If you’re not seeing results and the answer is sitting there in front of you, there’s only one reason: you’ve created a set of beliefs that you’ve tied into a story–a story about why it won’t work, why it can’t work, why it only works for other people. 

So key #1 for a total gut reset is all about tuning in—clearly defining the old story that’s been running the show and then creating a new story, a new vision for what you want instead. 

So as you think you become.

Identify the old story driving the show—what is it and where does this story comes from? 

Then, get a clear vision about who the “healthy you” or “thriving you” is that you want to be instead. Brain dump a list of the specific qualities the ideal version of you possesses—how does she speak to herself? How does he spend his time? What are her eating and exercise habits?  What fills his schedule? If you struggle to get vision, identify a great role model for inspiration. 

Once you’ve got a good list, create a 2 to 3 power statements—incantations—that remind you of who ideal, thriving you is. 

I am healed. 

I am bold and live without fear.

I am strong. 

Repeat these regularly—morning, noon, night. 

Remember: your second brain runs the body. Little by little, you will show up accordingly.

Take Care of Your Gut

Next up: Key #2 for resetting your gut— Take Care of Your Gut.

“Taking Care of Your Gut” is all about getting your second brain into a state of total wellness—mentally and physically.  

This may sound straightforward—especially since diet and health culture talk ad nauseam about eating right and exercising—but this step goes beyond cutting carbs or burning calories. 

The fastest way to change your mental, emotional and physical state is to change your state. 

While your thoughts do run the body, emotion— feeling that drive our thoughts—is created by motion. 

Remember: 90-95% of all thoughts stem from the second brain—the gut—so when our gut is less inflamed, fed optimal gut loving foods and digestion is working better, you can imagine how positive emotions and thoughts come much easier.

If you don’t change your state—your baseline gut health, you will stay stuck. You’ll play the same broken record over and over again in your head. You’ll feel low on energy, bloated or constipated, brain foggy, here but not here. 

How to start? My 5 Gut Love Habits I teach in the Total Gut Reset program of course: 

  1. Hydrate
  2. Digest
  3. Fuel
  4. Move & Reset
  5. Energize

Find out more about the Total Gut Reset program

Trust Your Gut

Lastly: Key #3 for a total gut reset— Trust Yourself. Trust your gut. 

Tap in to your own inner wisdom.

Fact: Your body and mind have the perfect blueprint of health and healing inside…sometimes we just don’t always trust it. 

When I think back to my near death experiences and the long 25 years where everyone else in my life doubted I would make it—doctors, family, friends…and all the noise, opinions, diets, rules, philosophies…

There is no doubt in my mind that it was this decision alone that propelled me forward—the choice to finally trust my gut….The choice to trust that, no matter what—even if I didn’t know the exact steps or strategies—that I was going to heal and life was going to be different on the other side. 

Summary

I am so grateful after all those years of experiencing unwellness— fatigue, brain fog, gut problems, that I finally have the health that I always wanted.

If you or someone you know feels stuck in your life—like you’re going through the motions, climbing up a hill, doing all the things to get where you want to be, wondering when your time will come…and you’re still not where you want and deserve to be, I hope you’ll reset your gut.

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the key to a healthy mind and a healthy body is a healthy gut. 

Tune in to your gut. 

Take care of your gut. 

And trust your gut.

Because health is an inside job and you have all the tools you need inside.

Want support for “resetting your gut” to optimize your gut health, hormones, energy, mindset and beyond? If so, let’s connect on a 20 minute complimentary health strategy call and we can create a game plan to optimize your health and beyond!

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