5 Things to Avoid for a Flourishing, Happy Gut Microbiome

Being the outdoorsy woman that I am, it's encouraging to recognize the overlap we have with nature within ourselves.

Your blood are rivers, your spine is a root system, your lungs are trees, your microbiome are bacteria, fungi and viruses, your bones are rocks, your tears are rain, your heart is the sun, your digestive system are composting leaves, your liver is a swamp and your intuition are animals. 

Your entire body is an ecosystem, just like nature. 

When your internal channels are clear and there is flourishing good bacteria, you feel strong, capable and joyful. When there is stagnation and an overgrowth of bad bacteria, you suffer.

You are ALIVE quite literally with microbiota.


What is the microbiome?

The microbiome is the host for good and bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body (did you know we are 10x more bacteria than cells in the body?!) and there are multiple microbiomes. They are essential to other organ functions including the liver, lungs, intestines, brain, heart and kidneys. The "gut" refers to the microbiome in your large intestine and is arguably the most influential one to our overall health because it governs digestion.

Think of your gut as border control. When you have no protection anything can injure your gut lining and get in causing damage, this is also known as leaky gut syndrome. This then activates an immune response, causes inflammation and manifests in different ways in the body. Our bio-individuality determines how it "shows up" and can include autoimmune diseases, poor brain function, low immunity, digestive issues like IBS, hormone imbalances, poor sleep and is even linked to depression. 


A healthy microbiome helps break down foods with enzymes that may not be in our food, making new neural pathways for learning and memory and can absorb incoming antioxidants. It's function includes managing inflammation, leaky gut and how you metabolize sugar (think energy and weight management).

You may be thinking, "If this is so important, why am I just learning about this now?" The science of the microbiome and connection to our wellbeing has only occurred in the last 10-15 years and is still fresh to the scene. Thankfully, western medicine is slowly adopting the science and microbiome health is more widely talked and written about.


Why are so many suffering with gut health?

Here's a quick list of realities that damage the microbiome.

  • Being born c-section 
  • Environmental toxins
  • Diet
  • Antibiotics 
  • Family genes

Many of these may seem "out of your hands" but the amazing part is a low functioning microbiome and the symptoms you may experience from it are reversible. Read here to learn How to Rewild your Microbiome


Things that negatively effect the microbiome that you should mostly avoid

  1. Low quality gluten and dairy products - aim for organic, whole grain wheat, barley, rye and oat products. Processed gluten foods are stripped of good fiber and nutrients making them inflammatory to the body and add no real nutritional value. Same for dairy. Aim for organic, full fat, unsweetened dairy products (local if possible). Low grade dairy is detrimental to hormone balance and cause further digestive and skin issues. 
  2. Pesticides in food & environment - pesticides are a chemical mostly used to kill insects for crops and organisms...but if we have billions of bacteria inside our body aren't they killing those too? Yep. Our most intimate connection with pesticides are with food so buy organic, local and direct from your farmer as often as you can. Pesticides are unfortunately found in our breathing air and drinking water too so filter your water and visit open, natural areas on the regular. Nature for the win!
  3. Alcohol - It's wild that alcohol is socially accepted even though it directly causes inflammation in the gut, especially those who have leaky gut syndrome. It's like adding fuel to an already burning fire. Don't get me wrong, I love a refreshing cocktail but if you are serious about repairing your gut, taking a break from alcohol for a few months will make a huge difference in helping rebuilding your good bacteria.
  4. Added sugar - I'm talkin' the refined white sugar that is added to foods. Real, whole foods that turn into sugar in the body like sweet potato, fruits, pasta and foods that are sugar, like honey and maple syrup - these are all okay. Beware of items like yogurt, drinks, salad dressing, sauces and processed foods that contain high amounts of sugar. It's best to add your own sugar by hand. When you cook at home, you know what's in your food. :)
  5. Stress - this is fascinating but stress increases the permeability of your gut lining. Again, increasing your chances of having leaky gut syndrome. We are what we feel, think, overdo and worry about.  Like Dr. Vincent Pedre, author of Happy Gut Life says, "You can't out diet and out supplement stress." What's the best thing to do? Address the elephant in the room. What's stressing you out that you have control over? A Job? Relationship? Sickness? Retirement? Face it head on with a few trust worthy humans by your side, offering help and encouragement. 


Narrowing in on improving your gut is like looking under the hood. "You don't have to have a gut issue to have a gut related issues."  Symptoms of an imbalanced microbiome can also look like foggy brain, hives, depression, achey joints and big mood swings.

By healing your gut, you can reverse symptoms with proper nutrition, lifestyle behaviors and stress management.


Encouragement to keep going

Don't keep living with a reduced quality of life. I know you're tired of googling your symptoms and leaving doctor visits with no answers; feeling more deflated than you already did coming in. You are worth it to keep going and discovering what will help.

Because I know you are curious about your microbiome and intuitively know there is a connection between how you feel and your gut health.

Knowledge is power and once you have the knowledge of what to do, take action!

If you feel stuck, you may be afraid of the changes but I promise when you take action you will feel better. 

You may be thinking about what you're giving up. What foods, drinks or activities that currently take the edge off. Focus on the long term benefits vs the instant gratification because once you feel good, you'll want to stay there.

Think of your health as a financial investment. Start small and over time your efforts and choices will compound on each other. Focus on what you'll be adding in.

Because it's when you create safety in the body will you then heal.

Pause the rushing, over working, feeling overstimulated...you need to slow down. Your finances, relationships and life will be ok. YOU are more important. 

Listen to your gut. Listen to your intuition. Listen to the whispers in the early and late hours in the day that have been incredibly patient and persistent to get your attention to make a change.

It's not about, "I'm never going to have gluten and alcohol again!" Oh my goodness, no no no. It's about making positive, healthy choices and choosing to have a healthy body and mind because your life will become so easeful.

It won't be as hard as you think it's going to be.

The beautiful part is you don't have to do it on your own. 




Power of the Gut-Body-Mind-Spirit Connection