Give your gut a gentle start to the day with some food-grade diatomaceous earth powder (buy it online) in a glass of water. This natural cleanser helps lessen toxic build-up in the colon and remove heavy metals, also sweeping toxins, pathogenic bacteria and parasites from your body. A flavourless plant-based powder, it’s made from the fossilised remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae, and can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on cereal or soups, or stirred into your porridge. Start with one teaspoon daily, building up slowly to two tablespoons a day. Then have a healthy breakfast such as a nourishing smoothie, overnight oats or try the Turmeric Scrambled Eggs (see recipe). Blending wholesome, gut-friendly foods increases their gentleness on the digestive system. Because the fibres are broken down, they take a huge burden off the gut, and their nutrients are absorbed more efficiently. Consider the blending process an external form of digestion. But don’t forget to ‘chew’. Liquids should still be allowed the time to combine with saliva in the mouth, as this is the first vital step in the digestion process.
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During your day Hydrate!
Sip on ginger, lemongrass, fennel and fresh mint teas, pre-make a smoothie, and carry it with you in a flask. Or enjoy a cup of bone broth to soothe your gut lining and aid detoxification. In the office? Stash pre-made tea mixes in your desk drawer to enjoy throughout the day. Instead of sitting and hunching, think about getting a standing desk. Notice your posture and remember to breathe! If you’re prone to snacking or it’s easier to piece together a bunch of snacks than a full lunch, pack some healthy ‘gut grazers’ such as oatcakes and houmous or avocado. Pack a lemon to add a bit of zest. One of the simple ways to support gut hormones is to avoid a highly processed diet with an excess of sugar and refined carbohydrate.
If you can’t leave your desk at lunchtime, take along an easily digested lunch such as a vegetable soup or a cooked vegetable dish such as a healthy veggie stew or curry. Try the Apple & Fennel Soup (see recipe). If your gut is ready for fermented food, serve with a side of cultured vegetables. If you haven’t prepared lunch and want to eat out, opt for a soup or stir-fry, or something cooked such as salmon and vegetables. Never eat standing, at your desk, or while checking your phone. To give your digestive system all the support it needs to optimally digest your food, start by thoroughly chewing your food. We’ve all heard that digestion starts in the mouth, yet very few of us chew our food properly. It can greatly reduce bloating.
At the office
Be sure to take other short breaks throughout the day. Stress will weaken your immune system and impair your body’s ability to fight off foreign invaders such as bad bacteria and viruses, leading to inflammation in the gut. Go for a walk during your break, or do some yoga poses or stretches to avoid being sedentary, reduce stress and increase focus and productivity.
Choose a meal with protein: fish and vegetables with some healthy carbs, roasted veg or a tofu curry. Or try the Thai Fish Curry (see recipe). Spices, especially ginger and turmeric, are fantastic for reducing inflammation within the gut. Make sure you’ve had enough to eat by indulging in a gutsoothing dessert such as some poached fruit with coconut yoghurt. If you’re still hungry, finish the night with a turmeric latte.
Introduce an evening ritual to bust any stress hanging over from your day and to soothe your digestion. Remember, supporting your gut is all about relaxing it and reducing stress. Try some easy exercise or gentle yoga. Yoga is perfect for supporting and healing your gut, as many of the breathing and postural practices are directly aimed at the digestive tract. Next, enjoy a candlelit warm bath with Epsom salts and a soothing essential oil such as lavender to de-stress and relax your muscles. After your bath, massage your body with warm oil to improve its circulation, activate your lymphatic system and aid detoxification. Avoid bright lights from screens after the sun goes down, opting for a dimmed light or candlelight. To wind down before bed, read a good book instead of watching TV. Try journalling 10 things you were grateful for today. Then go to bed early!
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