Episode 17 Transcription
[00:00:00] Hey y'all. Thanks again for listening to the Be About Being Better podcast. I so appreciate you. If this episode made you laugh, smile, think about yourself or your life differently, in any way, making your life better, I empower you to share the show with three people who just like you, need to hear this message and have this type of transformation in their lives.
I personally read all the reviews the show and see the Instagram story shares. It honestly gives me so much joy to see that our mission is making people's lives better, and the reviews really do help in increasing our impact. So thank you so much for taking the time to do that. If you need personalized support with anything discussed in today's episode or need help creating a sustainable diet free lifestyle, take my quiz.
It's linked below in the show notes, and that quiz will help you see which one of our coaching programs is right [00:01:00] for you. Thank you so much again for listening and here's to being about being better. Welcome to The Be About Being Better podcast, where we help people make evidence-based sustainable. Small changes for their health that compounded the huge shifts towards a better, more vibrant life. I'm your host Abbie Stasior, a health and life coach, future registered dietician, a master's graduate from Columbia University, and a certified intuitive eating counselor.
And I believe that we can't make lasting or meaningful change single handedly. So I'm so happy that you're here so that together you can see that a diet free, sustainable lifestyle is possible, and you can leverage that to live a better [00:02:00] life. And remember my disclaimer, This podcast is meant to give you general information.
And it's not meant to substitute or replace medical advice, a diagnosis or serve as treatment. Welcome back to the Be About Being Better podcast y'all. Today we are gonna get real, real personal, uh, we are gonna be talking about my gut health journey. I have been through the absolute ringer when it comes to gut health stuff, and this episode has been highly requested. I get DMs. on the daily talking about, uh, and y'all asking questions about, you know, are your symptoms normal?
Why am I bloating? What did you do to heal your gut? I think I have sibo. Wh like, what did you do? Should I be taking this supplement? Like, I get questions from y'all on the daily, so I need to go over my journey and I need to tell you like what worked [00:03:00] for. And what didn't work for me along the way so that you can avoid those things
And hopefully you can kind of sidestep all of the ups and downs that I went through with my health and just get on a path where you feel like you are thriving a lot faster than I did. And this is so timely that we're talking about this because literally I just had food poisoning, which at first I thought it was food poison.
But you know when you get food poisoning, it's just like a one and done. You get it outta your system 24 hours or less, and then you're good, right? I feel like that's like a normal food poisoning. I am like a week and a half, almost like 10 days past my episode when, where I'm still feeling off. My digestion just isn't right.
So I'm actually thinking that I had some sort of stomach bug or stomach flu. I mean, there's so much stuff going [00:04:00] around and I know this time of year everything's going around, but now I'm working. This is my first time working full-time at a hospital, and even the nurses, doctors, the dieticians that I'm working with, they're all saying like, we have never seen a viral season like this, like ever.
You know, yes, COVID was going around, like that's been the main thing for a couple years, but it's like Covid in addition to like R S V and the fall flu and just so many other things, that it's just like really concerning. So who knows what I had, but. I had that during my Thanksgiving week.
I was completely flat out, really couldn't eat anything. Um, but I, I was slowly starting to incorporate more foods back in, and I was with my boyfriend's family in Iowa and in the Midwest, they, you know, eat differently than, than I do sometimes and, I wasn't around all the foods [00:05:00] that I would normally prep for myself.
I obviously wasn't prepping a lot of my meals during the holidays. Other people are normally making food. A lot of stuff is out of your control, so it's like you're traveling and it's the holidays. So I didn't have a lot of control over my nutrition and after I got sick, I was starting to incorporate more foods again, and I just wish I was able to prep more for myself.
So I felt super bloated and gross and just puffy after I was already feeling sick. So as I was started incorporate more foods, the stuff that I was eating wasn't great. It was like stuff that you would eat around the holidays. So I got to the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Feeling like complete trash.
I was like, I am so bloated. I am so irritable. I'm starting to break out from all the greasy foods that I'm eating. Like I just feel like I need to cleanse my system. I feel like I just need to, I know I just was throwing up and I basically got everything outta my system, but now I [00:06:00] feel like what I've now put into my system the last couple of days, I need to get that out as well.
I, I was so close to starting up a liquid nutrition cleanse again, one that I had done in the past when I was in the thick of my gut health healing journey, and we will get to how I got to that very, very low place, and I felt like I was just at another low in my health already and I was getting frustrated with myself cause I'm like, oh, like I've really done a lot of work over the last three year, few years to cultivate a non diet mindset and lean on intuitive eating. And I know that these cleanses and crash diets and detoxes aren't good for you. Why was I feeling this sudden urge to go back to a liquid nutrition diet that caused me so many issues, but literally I was this close to purchasing the shake online because I felt so gross and I was so desperate for something to just cleanse my system. I just wanted a [00:07:00] quick fix in that moment, and I'm so happy that I chose not to do that. I'm so happy that even though. I was feeling gross. I was feeling uncomfortable in my skin. For those of you that also have cystic acne, like you know how uncomfortable that feels on your face, like I was starting to break out and get those types of breakouts, they're so painful.
Like you just feel awful in your skin.
I was disappointed in myself. because I was like, Ugh, I should be farther along in my journey. Why am I feeling the need to go buy this liquid detox shake when I know that that's not good for me? I know that that's not a sustainable solution. I know that in the long run it's gonna be worse for my health than it is good.
Like why was I even considering that? . So I need to, I needed to give myself some grace. It is okay. Diet culture has such a strong pull on us, and it's stuff that's ingrained in our society. [00:08:00] It's ingrained in our subconscious mind, and it's been being ingrained and reinforced for years. So it's normal to have these diet culture thoughts pop up every once in a while, and it's a journey.
There's ebbs and flows, but it's, do we act on it or not? It's normal for the thoughts to come up. We're not gonna feel. Great in our bodies every single day, but are we acting on those thoughts? What, what's the action? What's the behavior behind it? So I decided not to get this liquid nutrition shake, and I just meal prepped nutrient dense food for myself that I felt, okay, these are foods that are safe for me.
It's not gonna make me feel nauseous. It's, there are nutrient dense items, so there's gonna be some fiber, but not too much fiber. Like for me that's carrots. So I roasted some carrots, green beans and for a lot of people that have gut health issues, those tend to be two vegetables that offer a lot of nutrients.
I love that they're two different [00:09:00] colors cause they offer some slightly different vitamins and the profiles are different on them, so that's great. Based on the colors and they yes, have fiber, but it. Too much. So if for someone that's having some gut health issues, you can still get some vegetables in, but it's not too much on the system.
So I'm like, okay, I know that these are two very safe vegetables for me where I am still eating some nutrient dense stuff, but it's not going to super, super upset me and I'm gonna have some chicken for protein and just keep it super plain for myself. And some white rice, like I love white rice.
And I just meal prepped some stuff that was neutral but was real food and real nutrients. I did not need a detox, and literally that made me feel fine and I was so proud of myself that I didn't fall into diet culture tendencies and didn't order that shake in a moment of weakness. So I want to explain my story and what the shake was, why I even [00:10:00] tried it in the past in the first place, and things that I've learned along the way about my gut health that I think will help you, especially if you're struggling right now and you are feeling bloated. If you do have irregular bowel movements, and that's such a vague term, irregular bowel movements. What does that mean? We probably need a whole episode on like stool school so that you know what's normal and what's not, because I went so many years not knowing what's normal. So let me know. Send me a DM if you would want more of an episode that's like what is normal and what's not, because we'll get into some bowel movements today. We need to normalize talking about these things, but I can't spend the whole episode talking about that. But yes, we will be normalizing talking about poop. So if you're feeling bloated, if you're having irregular bowel movements, if you are just not feeling like you're digestion is normal, if you feel like you might have some either food intolerances or gut health issues. I know that's kind of vague, but [00:11:00] there's so many different things that could be going on. This is a good episode to listen to, to yes, hear my story, but I'm also gonna give you some tips at the end. It's like, okay, where do we go from here? What do we do?
Because gut health stuff is so, so personalized, so, You need to lean into some different types of professional support to rule different things out, and you're gonna need your own path to figure out what's wrong. So my journey is gonna give you a lot of stuff like what not to do, and then also some harmful tips.
Okay. After listening to this episode that is super general, like you need to figure out for you, you need someone to look at your case and your body and hear your symptoms and how you're feeling after you're, you eat certain foods or whatever it is you need to get some individualized support. So I'll give you some tips on, on what to do after listening to this episode at the end.
So my gut health journey started in college. That's really when stuff started. I didn't know that it had started then,[00:12:00] but it did, I didn't realize that I was having. Bowel movements that weren't normal until I had graduated from college.
And I had started be about being better. And I had, um, our life coaching program was open for enrollment at the time and we had some people in there. This was back in 2018. So I had already graduated college. I worked for my sororities headquarters for a year. I was about six months into starting be about being better, and I brought on a guest to speak to some of my life coaching clients about gut health, and she pulled up the Bristol stool chart, which goes over, uh, the different types of stool consistencies that you can have, and kind of gives them a number so that you can look at the chart and be like, okay, my stools are normally a five or, um, one, so normal, "normal" stool are like four or five on the chart where if you're, if you have a lower number on the chart, that means you, you're more [00:13:00] constipated and you're having more diarrhea. If you are, have a higher number on the chart and it goes between one and eight. So if you're like 6, 7, 8, you're definitely having loser stools, closer to diarrhea, stuff like that.
So this guest speaker pulled up the Bristol stool. and she was like, if you're having stools that are seven or eight, this is not normal. And I'm, I literally start sweating on the call getting so nervous. I'm like, mm, my stools have looked like that for like five years. So that's why I said that my gut health stuff started in college, but I didn't even know it because I was having regular bowel movements that all looked the same way, like I was consistent and consistent for years, but like where I landed on the stool chart, like those types of stools were not normal . So I was like so crazy. I was having super, [00:14:00] super abnormal bowel movements. For years, but I just didn't notice because it was consistent for me. So after that guest speaker call, I'm freaking out.
I'm like, what do I do? So, you know, I just felt like I tried so many different things. But I did end up seeing a functional medicine doctor, um, and that was an interesting experience. She was an md, but also did some functional medicine. They ran a bunch of tests on me, like they did a stool sample, which if you've ever done a stool sample, A literal, traumatizing experience.
It, I'm not gonna get into details on here, but it's a traumatizing experience. So I had to do that and I did this breath test to check placebo, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. And the thought is that when you. Like breathe into these tubes, like you take a solution of like sugar, I think it's like lactose or [00:15:00] lactulose or something like that.
But you take the solution and it's tracing the acidity in your breath, either hydrogen or methane gas in your breath as you're breathing into these tubes over different time points, like literally you have to like fast for the test or only have like white rice and chicken. I'm like, okay, my two favorite foods.
So that's fine. Uh, you have to have that, but then fast for a little bit before you do the test and then you can't eat the test takes hours. and you can't eat like I'm literally starving. And you have to take these breath samples at different time points so that it can see based on the gases in your breath, how your digestion process is going.
And it's believed that the presence of hydrogen or methane in your breath in these samples indicates the level of gut bacteria that you have and it can tell you if there's too much gut bacteria in your small intestine, then [00:16:00] what should be there? Cuz we all have bacteria in our gut and there's good bacteria.
There's bad bacteria. I'm sure y'all have heard about this, like gut health stuff is just trending so much right now. Um, but sometimes you can just have too much bacteria in your small intestine and that's a problem. So, Apparently this test can indirectly see, okay, is there too much bacteria in your small intestine based on like the hydrogen and methane gas?
I don't know. It's pretty confusing. So anyway, I did that test a bunch of blood work, found out I was super vitamin B deficient. That's when I found out that I'm a carrier for hemochromatosis. So this is why I talk about this all the time on TikTok, but I don't recommend that you just start taking an iron supplement because.
This functional medicine doctor saw that I was iron deficient, gave me an iron supplement, and then the next time that I got blood work, my iron levels were literally through the roof dangerously high. Like it's bad if your vitamin levels or mineral levels are low, but it's also very dangerous if they're too high.
So, She was like, whoa, we need to stop taking the supplement. You're a [00:17:00] carrier for hemochromatosis, which means that you store a lot of iron. So when you're taking a supplement, like you're just giving your body too much iron at one time and your body's holding onto it, so it's actually dangerous for you to take an iron supplement.
And I'm like, I would've never known that. So just be wary of taking supplements and make. You're doing this under the supervision of a doctor, regular blood, blood work, all of these different things, or get iron or other vitamins, melt through food. There are so many iron-rich foods that you know, I could have been eating instead of taking a supplement anyway.
Neither here nor there had a bunch of tests run and they diagnosed me with cibo, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and I went through a series of treatments for that. First I started with antibiotics, which high antibiotic use can give you gut health issues and I was also someone as a kid that had like a lot of pink eye and um, I don't think I had any ear infections, but I, I just felt like I was always on antibiotics for something, so [00:18:00] that messes with your intestinal like lining and just your gut health overall. So, , but they give you antibiotics to treat SIBO first. It's like the most common treatment. So I was on, I think I did two rounds of antibiotics, and then I was on these herbal treatments.
I was literally taking pills of like oregano, . I'm like, okay, can't I just like cook with oregano? Why do I need a pill? I don't know. Who knows? This is where like functional medicine gets a little, like, I don't know if this works or not, but I was just trusting this. . And so I was taking that and then they put me on the low FOD map Diet and FOD maps are an acronym for a carb binding protein that's in a lot of fruits and vegetables.
So there are fruits, certain fruits and vegetables that when we eat them, it gives us a lot of gas, gives us a lot of bloating. So we wanna try and avoid those in fine foods that are lower in FOD maps. [00:19:00] FOD maps are in so many different. So being on a low FODMAP diet is already very, very restrictive. And in addition to having to be low fodmap, I had to be gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, alcohol free, and then obviously low fodmap.
Like it was just so many things free. I basically had nothing left other than quite very centric like that's literally all I was eating. I had a very poor relationship with food. My mental health absolutely plummeted at this time. I couldn't go out to eat with friends, and if I did, this is what I had to do.
I had to make the reservation, I had to find the place. And when you're always the one making reservations, and maybe you're this person in your friend group, it's exhausting to always have to be initiating plans and finding the place and seeing if there's a reservation and booking it. Like it's just a lot on top of everything else we have to plan for and devote mental energy to.
It's a lot. So I always had to [00:20:00] search the menu, find the place, see if there was something I can order, or if they could modify some of the dishes. And then I would have to call the restaurant, ask to speak to the chef, and give them all of my dietary restrictions. And I would say, Hey, I have a reservation for 7:00 PM tonight.
I'm gonna be coming in. I see that you have this entree. Are you able to modify it in a way or what can you do for me? Here are all my dietary restrictions and it, you know, it, it's not that those phone calls didn't take that long, but there's just so much planning that was involved in it. It was exhausting. There it was. It was, it was exhausting. And if anyone's listening to this right now and you have celiac disease and you can't eat gluten, like, you know what that's like, you really do.
Or if you've had other gut health issues. But I just, you know, I've worked with a lot of women that have celiac disease and I have a lot of friends that have celiac disease and they have to deal with that [00:21:00] over their whole lifespan. And it's just, it's really hard to easily, and it's almost impossible to ang.
go out to eat. So I was very limited socially with what I could do, and I always had to make this big effort if I did want to do something socially when it came to food and it just made it really hard. It was, it took a toll on my mental and emotional health. I always had to be prepping my own food, lots of cooking, and y'all know I'm not a great cook and I don't really enjoy cooking.
I know I'm working to be a registered dietician. It's ironic, isn't it? But I just don't enjoy cooking, so that was really taxing as well. I was like, oh, I just don't find this process energizing. So it really took a toll on my mental, emotional health and I started to isolate myself and turn inward and not spend as much time with friends and it was just [00:22:00] not good. And at the time I was in a different relationship than the one I'm in now, and that relationship also wasn't going well. So that was causing me a lot of stress. I was preparing for grad school. I was also still running my business full-time. It's, it was a lot. I was under a lot of stress and none of these things were working. I kept taking these breath tests and my results kept coming back, that I still had sibo. I still had a high degree or high levels of gut bacteria in my small intestine where it really shouldn't be. Like most of that should be in your large intestine. So that's when my functional medicine doctor said, Hey, you're not responding to the dietary changes.
You're not responding to the antibiotics, the herbs, nothing. The next step is for us to put you on a three week liquid diet. It's this powder. You mix [00:23:00] it with water and ice. It's better if it's cold cuz you can't really smell it or taste it because it smells and tastes disgusting. This is what she's telling me.
Smells and tastes disgusting. It's very, it's concentrated nutrients and it's pre-digested macros. Macronutrients. So all your body has to do is absorb it. It's already digested, so your stomach doesn't have to do any work, but all you have to do is absorb the nutrients. And if you're on this for three weeks, then it kind of gives your gut a break.
Just let it relax, let it, give it a little bit of a break. Just absorb the nutrients and then we'll start reintroducing foods and, and we'll go from there and see what, see what you do and I'm like, okay. Like I was just trusting this person and I didn't know how dangerous this shake was going to be for me and how damaging to my self-esteem, my mental and emotional health, and my relationship with [00:24:00] food.
Literally lost my period. And that's a sign that you're not eating enough, something is going wrong. So many horrible things like I wish I could look. Hindsight's always 2020. I just wish I could go back and not go through this. But here we are.
Hopefully I am helping somebody listening to this. Who's considering going on the Elemental Diet. That's what this is called. Uh, hopefully I'm preventing someone from going on this as well because it truly will do more damage than good. Now the shakes on this, they call it the elemental diet cuz it's literally just like the elements of food.
It's all pre-digested so it tastes so bad. I could only stomach about 500 calories a day and you're not eating anything, you are just sipping this. It's not like a juice cleanse, like it's not even different flavors, it's the same flavor for three weeks. At the same time that I was going through this, [00:25:00] I was in midterms in grad school at Columbia , so very intense.
I had just moved to New York City and I was in a roach infested apartment, so lots of stress. I had just went through a breakup and on, I was with that person for five years. I mean, it's a significant breakup. So going through that mentally and emotionally, and now I can't even eat food and I would be walking home from school.
At that point, I lived like 10 minutes from Columbia, so I'd be on my 10 minute walk home and I would feel like I was gonna pass out. I was having hypoglycemic attacks. It was so bad, y'all, my hair started falling out, I was hungry all the time. And I was just stressed all the time and crying all the time because I'm trying to deal with this breakup, deal with grad school, keep up with my business, keep a, you know, friendly face and trying to smile through it.
It was such a hard time, and at the same time, there was a part of me that was also happy and [00:26:00] that like I wanted to keep going with this liquid nutrition diet, like I could have stopped, but I kept going with it because I finally wasn't bloated. One of the main symptoms when you have SIBO is like excessive bloating and you just feel six months pregnant like all the time.
So there was a part of me that was like, oh, like I just went through a breakup, like revenge body, like the, this is great.
It's like, what? Like looking back on that time in my life, I'm like, I just wanna shake myself. I'm like, what were you thinking? What were you doing?
But this was diet culture talking. It was so reinforced for me th that I thought that that was okay. And it was really hard because I knew logically that this was not good for me, that these shakes were, it was not enough nutrients that I really was starving. I was hurting my relationship with food.
My hair was falling out. I lost my period. Like it was really [00:27:00] bad. Like I was literally starving myself and having some pretty serious physiological effects. But then there was also a part of me that was, Oh, keep going. Like this is good.
Like as far as societal standards go, this is what you should be doing. You're succeeding. It was just this weird dichotomy of psychologically knowing that this is really bad and dangerous, but then on the other side, but this is good. It was a really hard and confusing time. So after I started to, you know, work regular foods in, and I wasn't on the liquid nutrition anymore, I just completely plummeted. I started gaining weight like crazy. My symptoms started relapsing. I was binging. I was drinking too much. I just totally spiraled out of control and my symptoms got worse.
So the whole thing was just like, give my gut a break and then you'll be better on the other side and your gut bacteria will just die off because you're not giving them any food or any nutrients for three weeks. Um, that's like not how that [00:28:00] works. That's not how that works. And. My body was just so ravenous for food.
I just ate everything in sight and I felt like I just went through the hardest thing of my life. By doing this for three weeks, I deserved to treat myself. When you restrict your calories for so long, your body fights against that. It sees that as you being in starvation mode, you being in a state of scarcity, so that when you start to give yourself nutrients again, like your body wants to fight against the weight loss and the restriction, cuz it sees that as threat.
So once you start eating and drinking more again, your body will gain more weight back than where you originally started. It's kind of like during the pandemic, when we were gonna run out a toilet paper, as soon as the shelves were stocked with more toilet paper, E, everybody was hoarding more toilet paper and keeping their stores up, keeping their supply up. Cuz we [00:29:00] didn't know when we were going to run out of supplies again. So that's exactly what your body's doing. Your body doesn't know, okay, when are we not going to get into nutrients? When are we not gonna get fed? So when you finally do get fed, your body is storing all of that.
That's why a lot of people gain more weight back than where they originally started.
So obviously the physiology is a little bit more complicated than that. I, you know, I'm kind of oversimplifying, but that's essentially what your body's doing, and that's what my body did at the time. I had so much to heal and I leaned into cycle syncing and aligning my lifestyle to my menstrual cycle. I leaned on intuitive eating and to heal my relationship with food, and I fired my functional medicine doctor because she's really harming people and I started working with a different coach who, I came to him and I was like, okay, what's my meal plan? What can I eat? What can I eat? Like what do I do with sibo? What do I do if I have ibs, irritable bowel syndrome, what do I do? And he was like, I'm not gonna tell [00:30:00] you what to eat and what not to eat.
I need you to handle your stress. And I'm like, what are you talking about? I'm like, I have a gut health issue. I need to know what to eat and what not to eat. I need a meal plan, I need a list. And he was like, we might get into some of that with us working together, but first you're operating up here. You're at like a 12 out of 10.
I needed you to come down here and be a four. You need to relax. You are so overstimulated and go, go, go. And he's like, it's hard cuz you're living in New York City, you're running a business full-time. You're at an Ivy League grad school, like a full-time. You're doing a lot. I understand that you're operating at a high level, but you need to find some inner peace.
You need to better manage your stress. And I'm like, I'm not stressed. And he's like, ma'am, yes, you are. So I was kind of offended by, uh, this coach [00:31:00] initially, and I was frustrated that they weren't giving me a meal plan, but this was the greatest gift that I could have gotten because I finally realized that the majority of my gut health issues were stemming from chronic low grade stress.
and that's why my gut health issues started in college. In college, you eat differently. Your schedule is different. You're independent, you're on your own, you're just in a, a different season of your life. And I went through so much change and I was under a lot of stress, and especially when I started having changes in my bowel movements like my sophomore, junior year.
I was deciding like, am I going to go to med school or not? And I didn't feel aligned with my path and there was just so much I was going through personally and trying to achieve at such a high level. That's when my chronic low grade stress really started. And when you're under so much stress for so long, that becomes your base [00:32:00] and you don't even realize that you're so stressed because that's just how you are. That's just how you operate. And so working with this new coach, he really taught me that there is a gut-brain connection. If you're looking at a plate of food or if you're looking at a menu at a restaurant and you're starting to get worked up because you're like, I don't see anything on the menu that I can eat, or I, I don't know how eating this meal is gonna make me feel, and I'm nervous that I'm gonna get a stomach ache. I'm nervous that it's gonna make me bloated. You're working yourself up. You're increasing your sympathetic nervous system.
And when our sympathetic nervous system is heightened, that means we're activating our fight or flight response. And when that happens, we secrete less stomach acid, less digestive enzymes, so we don't properly digest our food. So regardless of what you're eating, it could be a perfectly fine low FODMAP, gluten free, dairy free, all the things [00:33:00] free food, like it could be something that wouldn't cause you any bloating or a stomach ache.
But if you are so anxious at in fight or. and you're not secreting as much stomach acid as you need you're not gonna properly digest your food. That is gonna give you a stomach ache that is gonna cost some bloating and gas, especially because if in your stomach you're not digesting your food as well, it's gonna get to your small intestine, like not fully digested.
And in the small intestine, that's where you start to absorb the nutrients. So if it's not broken down enough, your body can't absorb the nutrient. So then it's just going through your system, like kind of half digested, and that's causing a lot of your gut health symptoms. Regardless of if you have a diagnosed condition or not, if you are in a state of anxiety around what you're eating or stressed while you are eating, you're not going to digest your food as well.
We need to slow down when we're eating. We need to chew our food better. We need to [00:34:00] get ourselves out of that fight or flight response. We need to regulate our nervous system and calm ourselves down. Better manage our stress so that when we eat we're more relaxed and when we're more relaxed in our sympathetic nervous system isn't heightened and activated, then our parasympathetic, our rest and digest mode is activated so we can digest better. So that was really the hard lesson that I needed to learn was like how much stress impacts my digestion and eating. . And so it was less about, okay, what do I eat? What don't I eat? And more about how can I find more peace in my life?
And when I started to do that, that's when I started to develop more self-love because I spent more time with myself. I got quiet with my thoughts. Before then. I didn't realize that I [00:35:00] couldn't ever. Like be alone with myself and be quiet with myself. I always had to be around someone. If I was eating something and I was alone, I always had to watch something or listen to something.
If I was going on a walk, I always had to have my headphones and I wouldn't go on a walk if my headphones weren't charged or something. Cause I always had to listen to something. So it's like I forced myself at this point. I like to go out to dinner by myself to have dates with myself, to leave my headphones at home, to eat in silence, and to fully enjoy the experience of eating and be alone with my thoughts. If you're listening to this right now, you feel like you can't be alone with your thoughts. If you feel like it just gives you too much anxiety to be alone with your thoughts, like that's a problem. That is something that you need to examine a little bit more and you might need to enlist a professional.
You might need to, you know, get some therapy. I know I needed therapy. This is when I started therapy. This is when I started to get closer to God and really developed my spirituality and lean into my faith.[00:36:00] I was already dating in New York, but this is when I started to be choosier about who I was gonna go on a date with versus just kind of like dating anyone for experience. Because I had been in a relationship for five years, this is when I really started to like be more selective and figure out, okay, what do I want? But also taking myself out on dates and focusing on self-care. So this is when I not only was healing my relationship with food, leaning into intuitive eating and focusing on cycle syncing but I was also improving my body image, increasing my confidence and improving my self-esteem because I was finding more outlets for peace, more moments of peace in my day, in my week, I was focusing on self-care, and that's how you develop self-love. I think a lot of the times when we put like, we know what love is, we know.
how to love someone else, but as soon as we put the word self in front of love, it's like, whoa, what does that mean? Like, it's so taboo. So that's what I started to do. I [00:37:00] started to love myself, how I would love somebody else.
I started speaking to myself, kinder. I started to be attentive to my needs. I started to take myself out on dates and spend quality time with myself and affirm myself. I just, I was like, what? What would I do in a relationship? I would speak kindly to that other person. I would spend quality time with them.
Like we would go on dates, I would be attentive to their needs. All these sorts of things, like anything that you would do in a relationship to find love, you need to direct that first towards yourself and be doing those things with yourself and build a relationship with yourself. So that's what I started to do and it decreased my stress.
It gave me so much peace, and that subsequently helped my gut health issues. Now did that solve everything? No, because I was under so much chronic low grade stress for so long. [00:38:00] Dieted for so long I had tried so many different antibiotics and herbs and supplements and then this liquid shake, like I had done so many things that that manifested some real issues.
Physiologically. So I had a. to heal and it probably didn't have to get that bad if I had handled some stress and got better coaching earlier on.
So I hope that this helps some of you. But regardless of if you have like a real serious gut health condition or not, you have to manage your stress and you're gonna fight it, you're gonna resist it. I know because I did for months, but that's really the key antidote. And one thing that helped me and that has helped me to keep my gut health issues at bay and my stress. Down in, in at Bay is the Nerva app. Y'all, I cannot speak more highly about this app. I am obsessed with it. I've never been a meditator. I've [00:39:00] always wanted to be a meditator, and I still don't really consider myself a meditator, but I consistently meditate now because I use the Neva app.
So the Nerva app is specifically for people that have ibs, irritable bowel syndrome. But I have found that people with IBD, SIBO like we can benefit from this as well. It's an evidence-based app, which I absolutely love. But so the studies they've done just look at ibs, but it can really work for so many different gut health conditions.
But basically, it is 15 to 20 minute meditations that are directed towards you lowering your stress or relaxing yourself and improving your gut health symptoms. . It's technically called gut directed hypnotherapy, but it's really just visualization meditations. Out of all the things that I've tried for my gut health, this is the singular, most effective thing. The thing that I still do almost every day and that I lean on, especially when I'm in [00:40:00] flare up. So I'm doing these meditations like more now, especially during the holidays when I know I'm stressed.
I know I'm traveling. I know I don't have as much control over nutrition. Like I recommend this app so much, and there's so many different meditations. The woman's voice is so soothing. I absolutely love her. The meditations are quick and they help you gain more autonomy over your symptoms.
It's hard to explain. But i f you go to the link in the show notes, you can try the app Nerva for free for seven days. So just try a few meditations, see if you like it. and I would recommend going through their six week protocol for six weeks. You do their meditations every single day, and then they kind of wean you off of it, but then you still have access to the app when you go through a flare up or you need it.
And so if you go to the link in the show notes, I have a little special for you where you get the seven day free trial. But then if you also wanna invest in the me. And actually have access to the app for at least three months, then you get 10% off of that membership. So just try it. [00:41:00] Try it for seven days, get 10% off the membership.
If that's something that maybe you wanna do, just take advantage of it. See if it works. I mean, you literally have nothing to lose. Like there's nothing dangerous about this. Like there's dangerous and real risks with taking a supplement with going on a diet, right? This is a meditation. There's nothing risky about it, the app is definitely an investment, so the 10% off will definitely help you, but think about how much money you've probably spent on all of these different supplements and shakes and low FODMAP foods and organic stuff and gluten free this and dairy free that and like if this can help you lower your stress and manage your gut brain.
like this is the best investment. And they have the app access for like three months at a time because they want you to like go through the program and really use it consistently. So it ends up being like less than a dollar a day. And I was so consistent with the meditations because I treated it like medicine. I treated it like this is my gut health treatment. So I took [00:42:00] them seriously and I saw effects. I mean, it was absolutely incredible and I've had other clients try this app too, and they've seen effects, and they've seen changes, positive changes in their bowel movements and their stress levels and their like a decrease in bloating.
It's wild that I finally felt not bloated just by doing these visualization meditation. . So definitely try it. Nerva is the app. Go to the show notes. There is the link for the seven day free trial and the 10% off of the membership. And let me know if you have any questions and let me know if you try it and you like it, like let me know what you think.
Um, if you are struggling with gut health issues, here's a couple things that, that you should do right off the bat. Number one, you need to go to a gastroenterologist. Make an appointment now, it might take you a couple months or weeks to get in, but you need to go see a GI doctor just to rule everything out because if you are really having severe symptoms, you need to make sure that you don't have inflammatory bowel [00:43:00] disease, that you're not missing something more serious, like you need to rule those big things out.
Then once you've ruled those big things out, then I would go see someone where you could get more personalized support. I would work with a registered dietician, someone that specializes in GI stuff. I'd be more than happy to support you. And if you resonate with me, not that I need to be the dietician that you see, but go take my quiz in the link of my bio.
If either you know, uh, the, the be About being Better Academy, that would probably be the best place, uh, for you to, to get support. Cause that's where I work with those clients the most closely. And, those are the clients that I'm meeting with weekly and I'm messaging them on a daily basis. They get accountability, all personalized plans, stuff like that.
So I would say the Be about being better, academy is the best fit. And we have at, at the time of this recording, we have about eight spots left, but they're flying off the shelves , um, for our January 20, 23 class. So definitely take the quiz, see if the academy's for you. [00:44:00] And we're starting like late January, like early February, like on the, on that border.
So definitely after New Year's and stuff. So this is the time to take the quiz, get on a call with me, see if it's for you. But the first step is to go to gastroenterologist and rule these things out. Then start getting personally support for you. Work with someone that specializes in GI Health.
And I, I would love to support you. And then start working on stress management and just see if that helps, cuz these are very low risk things. Find more peace. Start taking yourself out on dates. I'll do a whole episode two about things that you can do day to day, week to week as far as stress management and self-care cause I think just hearing different examples in what I've done, what I've found to be most effective, uh, can, could be really helpful to spark ideas for you. But try the Nerva app. Just try the seven day free trial and, and see if you like it. That's the number one thing that I would recommend
and do other things for stress management. Start going to therapy. Take yourself out on a date, take a [00:45:00] bubble bath, go for a walk. Like do anything for stress management that seems nourishing and relaxing to you. So that's what I would recommend. Uh, let me know what questions you have.
We are gonna be doing more gut health episodes, so follow up questions that you have about this. If you wanna know more about sibo, ibs, specifically, other gut health conditions, uh, if you have questions about supplements or any of these crazy things, then let me know. I do not recommend those. There is a non diet way to go about healing your gut health symptoms and that's what I wanna help you with, and it's so much easier, obviously, in a personalized setting where I can learn more about you specifically and your food intolerances and your stressors and just your story. So that's why above everything, take the quiz, see if one of our coaching programs is best for you and let's connect.
Let's get you some support So take the quiz, send me a DM with other gut health questions that you have, and I will answer those and to do more episodes in the future about this.
Yay. [00:46:00] All right, y'all. See you in the next episode. Hey y'all. Thanks again for listening to the Be About Being Better podcast. I so appreciate you. If this episode made you laugh, smile, think about yourself or your life differently, in any way, making your life better, I empower you to share the show with three people who just like you, need to hear this message and have this type of transformation in their lives.
I personally read all the reviews the show and see the Instagram story shares. It honestly gives me so much joy to see that our mission is making people's lives better, and the reviews really do help in increasing our impact. So thank you so much for taking the time to do that. If you need personalized support with anything discussed in today's episode or need help creating a sustainable diet free lifestyle, take my quiz.
It's linked below in the show notes, and that quiz will help you see which one of our [00:47:00] coaching programs is right for you. Thank you so much again for listening and hears to being about being better.