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Calling all lemons! A home for those who look great but feel like absolute crap to make some lemonade out of lemons.

The 10 Step Tummy Taming Guide

The 10 Step Tummy Taming Guide

Almost two years ago, I starting speaking to a nutritionist after a particularly bad flare up. She began showing me how what I was eating (or not eating) was effecting not only my digestive system, but my whole body. The Ensure I was drinking to maintain my weight actually was empty calories that weren't providing my body what it needed to have energy. The Mirilax I was taking multiple times a day didn't work with my body to help me flush out naturally, leading to a short term solve for what needed a long term solution.   

She asked me to change my diet, take about 7 supplements a day, drink concoctions I couldn't tell you the name of and I was beyond overwhelmed. What I needed to do was insane and I couldn't keep up. We parted ways after she told me I should eliminate dark chocolate (It's an addiction!). I couldn't see it then, but she was actually right about everything I needed to do, it was simply a lifestyle change I needed to do on my own, much more slowly. So, over the past two years, I've implemented almost every part, and my stomach is feeling a lot better. 

Here is my tummy taming guide (the natural way) so you can start making these changes at whatever speed is comfortable for you. 

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The Basics

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1. Go Probiotic Shopping

When I first started my probiotic I dropped 3 pounds and looked like a balloon that had been deflated. This probiotic, Candida Freedom, did serious work for me in debloating, making me feel less full, and taming stomach upset after a rough day of eating. You should try 3-5 probiotics to find one you like because each works with your body chemistry different and what's right for me may not be right for you, but start looking now because it is a gamechanger. 

2. Look for a Good Digestive Enzyme

I use DigestGold after meals. So many digestive enzymes have additives in them, so make sure to read the label closely before buying. Look for one that doesn't need to be refrigerated so you can travel with it and take 1-2 after a large meal. We can try this one together since I've been delinquent and not consistent enough to notice a difference yet. 

3. Take Collagen Powder Every. Single. Day. 

This is my most recent find and probably the most time intensive but SO worth it. When I saw my nutritionist she recommended I take collagen powder 3x a day to rebuild my gut lining. I mostly ignored the suggestion, trying a few times but getting exhausted between that and all her other directions. Lately though, I've seen a lot of my favorite Instagrammers scooping collagen powder into their shakes and thought I'd give Vital Proteins a try.

WOW. One scoop once a day in hot water and I was blown away by the results. Vital Proteins claims to improve your hair, skin, and nails and while I can't say I've seen that improvement, for about an hour and a 1/2 after I have this I have energy, my body buzzes, tingling in the best sense, and most of my symptoms seem to go away.

I know most of you are saying "only an hour and a half?!" but there is very little I have tried that gives me the experience of what a normal person must feel like on the reg. I've also noticed an improvement in my digestion and migraines. 

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The "Good to Haves" 

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4. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar to Eliminate Reflux

How do I love thee apple cider vinegar? Let me count the ways. I had been taking acid reflux medication since I was 15 when I read in a magazine that Apple Cider Vinegar was the new holy grail of health products. I started drinking it with lemon and honey, and yes it is an adjustment to get used to both the taste and smell but an amazing thing happened--my reflux went away! I haven't been on reflux medication in almost four years because of this stuff. Apple Cider Vinegar is good for a myriad of other ailments too including: 

  • Boosting immunity 
  • Teeth whitening 
  • Helping constipation
  • Detoxifying the body 
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Curing colds

It's amazing smelly magic! 

5. Keep Digestive Bitters On Hand for an Upset Stomach

This is a fairly new addition from when I was in Oregon last summer. I was in the middle of a stomach virus and trying to make it through dinner with my family. Me not eating at dinner is something that continues to puzzle waiters, but our amazing waiter at the hotel we were at brought me a seltzer with digestive bitters. I thought they were just a great addition to a mixed drink, but as soon as I had it I started feeling better. These are regularly used during travel and if I've eaten something that has upset my stomach-and saved me from puking multiple times too. I'd highly recommend-I get mine from Whole Foods. 

6. Get The Essential Essential Oils

If you have an upset stomach, you can either put these on your stomach or in a drink:  

  • DoTerra DigestZen: This is amazing to put on your stomach when you're feeling nauseous. It really helps when I travel to put a drop or two into my water as well. 
  • Peppermint: Peppermint is great for reflux, just make sure you get food grade if you put it in your water. 
  • Lavender: I adore lavender, it's so helpful for calming nerves, healing a migraine, or settling a shaky stomach. This one you can put on your stomach, diffuse in the air, or put in a cool bath if you're feeling nauseous. 
  • Sweet Orange: I use sweet orange primarily for migraines but have found it helpful to calm a nervous stomach and it also improves mood in case anxiety is what's causing the upset stomach. 
  • Vitruvi Balance Aromatherapy Oil: Vitruvi, the company that makes the most beautiful diffusers sent me this aromatherapy roller ball oil which is a blend of lavender, fennel, and peppermint that helps a nervous tummy before a flight or a presentation. 

7. Keep Ingredients on Hand for Tummy Taming Tea

When I was growing up, anytime I had a sore throat my dad would make me hot water with honey and lemon. It was so soothing and had me feeling better right away. Since then, I've adapted this to be a great tincture for my stomach as well. It's easy and a lifesaver for an upset stomach. Just blend: Hot water, honey, lemon, fresh ginger, tumeric, celtic sea salt. 

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The Lifestyle Changes 

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8. Eat Slowly and Deliberately: I eat quickly and usually while I'm working or in front of the TV. This is a terrible habit and one I'm still working on. Eating slowly makes sure you're not swallowing large pieces of food which can get trapped in your stomach and make it difficult to digest. It also will ensure you understand when you feel full before the point of being overly full which is a common issue for those with stomach issues. Finally, eating should be enjoyed! If you have stomach issues, meal time can often be stressful. Eating slowly allows you to have more joy in the experience rather than being focused on what could happen.   

9. Go Organic + Eliminate Inflammatory Foods: This is the most important change I've made to my life in the past five years. I had no idea how much not only non-organic food but non-organic makeup, cleaning products, even bed sheets were compounding the inflammation in my body. Start with Eat Dirt by Dr. Axe to begin this journey-it has improved my immunity, my energy, and my overall health. If you're not doing it yet, start. You won't regret it. 

10. Increase Sleep, Decrease Stress: Sleep is SO important especially with a chronic condition to let the body rest and repair itself. Try to get between 7-8 hours a night and if you're struggling take your tech out of the bedroom at least an hour before bed, try to sleep in a cool environment (between 62-67 degrees), and use a diffuser with some of the essential oils recommended above which will all help. Stress is also so toxic to the body and will cause your stomach symptoms to flare the worse the stress gets. I am the first person to tell you living a stress free life is impossible but learning to minimize stress and find coping mechanisms is absolutely key to taming a chronically upset tummy. 

My favorite ways to reduce stress: meditation using Buddhify, working out, taking a bath with essential oils, and having a dance party in my apartment to ridiculous music :) 

Remember: These are all suggestions and you should adapt whatever works for you as slowly or quickly as you want. Getting overwhelmed will only make it worse! So, take your time, adapt what makes sense for your lifestyle, and I hope this helps you have a happier tummy! 

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