How Healing My Gut Changed My Life

This is me 3 years ago before I started my health journey

This is me 3 years ago before I started my health journey

Let's take it back a couple years. I was 32 years old, working at a stressful, unfulfilling job. Always feeling tired and unmotivated. I was in a constant brain fog reaching for coffee and sugar to keep me going for the day. I was 40lbs over-weight. I felt anxious, had painful PMS cramps and hormonal acne. I suffered with bad headaches that kept me from work some days. I had tonsil stones, and painful acid reflux that interrupted my sleep pattern. I felt faint if I didn't get food as soon as I felt hungry. Also ... I had really terrible gas and bloating after most meals (much to my partner's dismay!!).

Oddly enough, I didn't think I had any health issues, or that what I was experiencing wasn't uncommon. Lots of woman have cramps and get zits, right? Lot's of us reach for the TUMS after a rich meal, or a spicy one, right? Who doesn't fart or burp after meals? Or carry a bit of extra weight in their 30s? Anyone else get HANGRY?! 

Major life lesson I learned in Nutrition School - JUST BECAUSE IT'S COMMON DOESN'T MEAN ITS NORMAL.

Little did I know, I had a majorly unbalanced gut that needed some serious love! I was suffering from Dysbiosis. To be healthy, 85% of all organisms in and on our bodies should be good bacteria. Dysbiosis happens when we don't have the ideal level of good bacteria, allowing bad bacteria and other pathogens to cause us symptoms and issues. 

In the summer of 2015, I was hit with a serious bout of Food Poisoning from some raw sushi fish that really rocked my health and I have never been the same since. 

When there are not enough good gut bacteria, the lining in our guts becomes damaged from pathogens like bad bacteria, yeast, drugs, alcohol, and other harsh man-made and natural chemicals. This causes the gap junctions to stay open and allow pathogens and undigested food particles into the blood stream and force the immune system to attack them, causing inflammation and other symptoms. This is called “leaky gut.”

After the sushi incident, I developed a serious Gluten-Intolerance but didn't realize until I started school at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.  I was my own very first case-study and learned that I had Leaky Gut and that the stress I was putting on my body by eating the wrong food, was causing inflammation.  I learned how to balance my gut bacteria and repair my gut lining and I discovered the benefits of fermented foods (see my previous posts about fermentation).

I learned what a big role the liver plays in my body and how important proper digestion is.

What we put into our bodies is so important, but also how we eat it. You could be eating the best organic, whole food diet but if your body is not digesting the foods, or if the food is feeding the unwanted bacteria in your body it could cause a host of unwanted symptoms.

And here I am at 35 and feel the best I have in my life!

And here I am at 35 and feel the best I have in my life!

Since working on healing my gut, I have lost 40lbs and gained so much insight and understanding about how my body works, and what it needs to feel alive and healthy. I have steady energy throughout the day and feel a calmness that I never felt before. My mind is clear and my blood sugar is under control (no more hangry mood swings). No more gas and bloating, no more acid reflux, no more tonsil stones or hormonal acne! I can’t remember that last time I had a headache either.

And most importantly, I've learned to listen to my gut! 

Working on my health and healing my gut is a constant and conscious choice I make daily. It's a lifestyle change and I wouldn't ever go back to how I was living before. The best part? It's all with FOOD! No crazy supplements, no intense exercise regimes (although it's SUPER important to move your body-- But at your own pace). We all have to eat each day; why not feed your body with food that will fuel it and make you feel AMAZING?

Does any one this sound resonate with what you've been going through?

If you're interested in learning more about how you can start to feel the benefits of a healthy gut, sign up for my Newsletter and keep in touch!

Toby RaeComment