In understanding the basics of digestion, you'll discover who's in charge. Here's a hint. It's not you. 

Digestion one of my favourite topics, as really everything starts and ends in our guts, quite literally.

I think we only think about our stomachs / intestines when we talk about our digestion (gut health), but and this might be a TMI,  our digestion starts in our mouth, and goes all the way to our anus - yup, it's true.

Which is why we must look at all parts of our digestive tract from our mouth (Producing saliva, and the correct enzymes to start the break down of our food), to the esophagus (muscular tube), which then connects to our actual stomach (where Hydrochloric acid lives, which further breaks down our food - this is where for most people their digestive fire is lacking as they don't have enough HCL) and where a valve open's and closes, then from there foods - digested for the most part (hopefully) enter into the intestines where the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are actually absorbed (critical, critical, critical), and then into the large colon, and then voila - one of the most important things in digestion, apart from absorption, is elimination. The least sexiest topic to bring up, but man oh man, is it vital for all of us to be having 1(min) and 2 -3 solid eliminations a day! You might hear that and think it's a lot, but that's most likely because you haven't been doing it for a V long time, and your normal is set to 1 or only a few times a week. (NOTE: IF this is the case, you must take inventory + guidance as it's not normal to be going only a handful of times a week). 

My goal for you, all of my clients, myself and all of my loved ones is to get everyones digestion functioning optimally, because it can make or break our health in this moment, but if we don't get our guts in check now, everything from neurological disorders, cancers, and any and all disease can be linked back to the gut, because as I said above, it's not what we eat, but it's what we digest. And when speaking about this, I'm talking about the average diet, not really meaning "it doesn't matter what you eat", because of course it does, but this is more stating that you could be eating a pristine diet - we're talking all the greens, avocados, lean proteins, superfoods, sweet potatoes, seeds, sprouts, fermented foods, but if you / we aren't digesting it, it doesn't matter. Yes, we might get a little nutrients from it, but most of the vitamins, and minerals will just go to keeping us alive, instead of allowing us to function optimally, have energy, pursue our dreams / goals, and the cherry on top - having nice skin, hair, and hails! If we're not absorbing our food. Period. We're only as good as our intestines. If there are leaks ( leaky gut), or we have inflammatory bowels, or even going all the way back to birth - our mothers didn't have a healthy micro-biome, therefore as children we already had compromised immune systems. Add in sugar laden foods, packaged food, medications, antibiotics, picky eating, and it's definitely no surprise so many of us our having gut issues, whether it's something more serious as Celiac, or just massive inflammation, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial growth), leaky gut (where actual undigested food particles are entering into your blood stream, which your immune system sees as invaders, hence attacks, leaving you with massive inflammation), or you've always just had poor digestion / bloating / uneasiness.  With all of the above, it just goes to show you how delicate our gut health is and how important it is to give it all the love it so deserves.

Our microbiome (the bacteria that makes up our guts) out number us 10:1 - which means we're more bacteria than we are human, aka 90% bacteria, and only 10% human. It's a wild truth, and one I believe we're not fully grasping, or if we are, we're not paying attention to it as closely as we should be. 

Quite truthfully without a healthy microbiome / digestive system, we won't be able to heal, and it's a huge factor in why you aren't healing. Again, you're only as healthy as what you digest. So if you're not digesting, you're not healing, on any front or level - body, mind or soul. 

The beauty of all of this, is that it's not doom or gloom, there are so many things we can do to heal our gut, and while it differs for each individual, as no single microbiome is alike (aka fermented foods might work for some, and wreak havoc in others and some might be able to tolerate legumes, while others it's their nemasis) it's why I work so closely with my clients, and give them individualized guidance / support / protocols, as it really is that individualized. But if we aren't working together, and you want to get a head start, these are some foundational things you can do today, to help your gut out, as it does so much work for us. Our digestive systems are the most energy taxing system in our bodies, and hence needs a lot of energy to digest food. It's why when you eat heavy meals or foods that are laden with more toxins / chemicals, you don't feel so great, as your body is using so. much. energy just to digest the food, it takes it away from your brain, heart, legs, arms, etc... Our bodies are miracle workers, but we can't just kick up our feet and expect to input not so nice things, and to output vibrant health. It just won't happen! So we must take control, and start laying the foundation ( i love foundations) to start feeding our bacteria, as if we don't, we run the risk of staying stagnant, or developing  issues later down the road, which is the last thing I want for you. 





CHEW YOUR FOOD - It seems soooooo insanely simplistic and obvious, but if you were to really think about it - are you really chewing your food? I mean you are, but are you breaking it down enough, for most people we aren't. Remember what you were told as a child? Your stomach doesn't have teeth! This couldn't be more true today. We produce such critical and helpful salivatory enzymes in our mouths that help break down protein, carbs, fats, that we must start digestion in our mouths, and not expect our stomachs to just do the work. I think that's a general theme I see, we just expect - expect our body will do all the work, except it to know what to do with a food that is made up of chemicals, and expect it to just feel great, even though it's struggling a bit. TIP: Start to be mindful of how you're consuming your food. Are you really chewing it? Not just a couple of bits, and then swallow. Like really allowing your teeth to work, your salivatory glands to turn, and digestion to begin. Sounds a little sensual, right? But it is, as food and our bodies are built for pleasure, we just have to make sure we're connected to this pleasure in the right way. 

CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUT - How do certain foods make you feel? Are you eating foods that are serving you? Do you become bloated after eating a singular food or a food group? Begin to bring mindfulness into what you're eating, how you're eating, and how you're digesting. A perfect example of this for me is: I've eaten brown rice here and there, and really enjoy it. I don't have it all the time, but I do enjoy it as a grain when I choose! My partner eats it more than I do, so it's a staple in our household. Last week we had dinner and a had some brown rice with the salad. That evening, and into the morning my digestion with off, and I had a little bit of pain. I reflected back on what I ate - and I said to him " It couldn't be the brown rice". The pain, and discomfort subsided, and I took note, and filed it away in my brain as a memory, but something to be highly mindful of. Fast forward near the end of the week where again, I was heading over for a girls night, and I brought some brown rice - after eating a little bit, SAME THING! AH HA. Brown rice was / is the culprit. Is it scientific or a full blown food allergy - No, but this is what I teach alllllll my clients, it doesn't matter what a single test says, we must go by symptoms, because at the end of the day the body is always, always, always speaking to Us. In true fact, brown rice is a great grain - super rich in fiber, vitamin B and has a plethora of vitamins, and minerals. But for me right now, it's not so great so I'm saying goodbye to it, for now, and will check in, in a few months time. TIP: Listen to your body on a very intense level, if something is up - you're body speaks to you in symptoms. Please don't ignore these and just think it's normal to be bloated, gassy and in pain after eating certain foods, it's definitely not, and it takes the joy of nourishing away. 

FERMENTED FOODS - These can be your enemy or your foe. When starting with fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha start off small, too many fermented foods can cause a lot of gas in a system that's quite taxed. On the other hand, if you're sensitive to histamines, and deal with a lot of allergies, it means your gut needs extra TLC, and because fermented foods have heaps of histamines it's best to stay away. Eating things that cause or create inflammation can cause wear and tear, and therefore lead to intestinal permeability. Therefore if they work for you, start small - quality, over quantity, and if you suffer from gastro issues - stay away, until you've down more intense gut healing.  TIP: Start small when dealing with fermented foods 

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES, PROBIOTICS, BITTERS, TINCTURES, ETC.... - ALL amazing for aiding and helping heal gut issues, but these are more targeted and individualized. They all have their benefits, but they all aren't needed. Further there are so. many. strains of bacteria, that it's best to start small, test the waters and build up from there. Also some bitter are better than others ( I don't like tinctures with alcohol as I find it denatures the herbs too much), and enzymes are a wonderful tool - but people can become dependant on them, as they only feel good when taking them, and it's my goal to get your digestive juices, enzymes, linings / tissue to a state where anything is an enhancement, and not a necessity. Although something like a probiotic or prebiotic should be a staple in all of our lives, because again, 10: 1 - Being more bacteria than we are human, it's critical to give the good bacteria the food it needs. And it's further critical to give the probiotics the food it needs (prebiotic). It's all such a beautiful and miraculous cycle, that I just can't get enough of. TIP: Find a practitioner who can guide / advise you if struggling with more intense gut health issues / and hence can recommend / prescribe healing herbs, tonics, quality supplements + tools for digging deeper into your gut, so you can heal it on a sustainable level.

HYDRATION - Not with your meals, but around meal times, and most notably on an empty stomach. It's hyper advised to not drink while eating (I know this is unrealistic for many) but when give the choice - don't drink and eat. Save that for special occasions. As what happens when we drink fluids while eating it washes away our hydrochloric acid / enzymes which are c r i t i c al for digesting, and hence absorbing the food we eat. Without proper HCL we experience extreme distress, heart burn, acid reflex, and really deep down we're not absorbing the nutrients we so need and desire to be our best selves. Again, you don't have to be militant about it, but start to observe your patterns around drinking, and eating, and see if you can allow your food to digest in the most optimal environments. TIP: If you're super thirsty and need a drink while you eat, ginger tea is your best bet as it also acts as a digestive aid, and create more "fire" within your gut which helps with digestion + assimilation. 

STRESS - This could and will be a post on it's own, but just know how much stress is hindering your microbiome. Not to sound dramatic, but it's plays a critical / massive role in the health of your entire body, but especially your gut... If you're stressed it's essentially hard to digest anything, even the healthiest of foods as you go into fight or flight, and in that state, biologically it's not "safe" to eat, because back in our primal days, this is when they were running away from large animals. The thing is the state is still the same today! Therefore if you think about it, the last thing you would be doing or thinking about is food, and imagine the adrenaline, cortisol, and shock running through your body - food is not welcome quite frankly. Same primal body, different times, more detrimental side effects. TIP: This goes sooooooooo much deeper than just saying stress less, this entails coming up with stress releasing protocol's, gentle and soothing herb protocol's, guidance, lowering your cortisol, balancing hormones, tuning your circadian rhythm, finding joy, being in healthy relationships, feeling abundant, living in a healthy environment, etc.. etc... 


" all disease begins in the gut" hippocrates