5 Tips: Healthy, Happy Tummy

I'd like to start this post and just go ahead and say, Everybody Poops. I'm not a doctor, I'm not 80 and I was raised in a family that is very open...so with that being said, I don't feel the need to be all serious here and use the term Bowel Movement. So now that we got that out of the way....
I'm pretty obsessed with digestion and fascinated with how & why certain foods effect our bodies, in particular our digestion. Knowing that I'm not the only one who has suffered from a not so happy tummy - all the uncomfortable stuff like bloating, gas, IBS, food sensitivities - mainly to gluten & dairy, constipation, and any other I-feel-so-far-from-sexy feeling, I wanted to share a handful of things I do to keep my digestion up to par. 

Typically people suffer from one of two things when it comes to tummy troubles:
- backed up for days
- running to the bathroom after every meal

While you might think its great to poop like a puppy after every meal and believe you'll be skinnier for it, this is so unhealthy, disrupts your GI Tract & indicative of a food sensitivity if not a full blown allergy depending on the severity of your poo-poo problem.  On the flip side, not pooping for days is just eff-ing miserable and makes you want to live in sweatpants. Either way, if you experience one or both of these issues, 1) so sorry, this sucks 2) your digestion is outta whack and in need of some love & attention. 

5 Tips: Healthy, Happy Tummy

Warm Water + Lemon | Apple Cider Vinegar | Cayenne Pepper. 

First thing in the morning, 1, 2 or all 3 of these detoxifying ingredients make their way into a glass to create a health tonic, if you will, and get chugged down as quickly as possible before moving on to what I really want first thing in the morning...Coffee.
There's really no rhyme or reason behind my choice to simply use one or all 3 of the above, It just depends on whatever mood I happen to be in. :)

Here, different combinations to get your morning cleanse on:
-
warm water + lemon
- warm water + apple cider vinegar
- warm water + lemon + cayenne pepper
- warm water + lemon + ACV + cayenne pepper (heck yeah)

LS Tips:
Water: 
make sure to use warm water, not hot. I use half cold, filtered water/half boiled water.
Lemons: Use organic lemons, if possible.  I juice either 1/2 or the whole lemon, this just depends on how juicy the lemon is. If its a super juicy one, speaking from experience, definitely just use 1/2 because the whole thing will be pretty tough to get down. 
- If I'm feeling like I might be needing a little extra cleansing, I will occasionally drink warm water + lemon before bed. Make sure you do this at least 2 hours after eating dinner. 
Apple Cider Vinegar. Using 1-2 tbspns of ACV.
Cayenne Pepper. Just a a dash or two, will do. 
Use a Straw. 1) this protects your teeth from the acidity. 2) it just goes down easier

Probiotic.
Introducing a probiotic has no doubt been one of the best & most helpful things I have done in the last several years to keep my stomach a healthy, happy camper. I generally take my probiotic first thing in the morning. 

Probiotic Health Benefits:
- Improved Immune System
- Improved Digestion 
- Improved Gut Health
- Regular poops
- Weight Loss
- Lower Blood Pressure

Digestive Enzyme.
Not something I take daily, but always have handy, a digestive enzyme. In addition to a probiotic, taking a digestive enzyme has been super helpful in keeping my stomach happy & bloat-free as it works to help break down the foods we eat - carbs, protein, fat, lactose & cellulose - and lead to better, faster digestion which in turn leads to improved nutrient absorption. 

Generally, I'll take a digestive enzyme (1-2) for the following reasons:
- birthdays, holidays, etc... when eating larger meals and/or foods I don't eat on the regular
- eating dinner later than normal
- dining out 
- eating a meal high in fat or meat-forward
- if I happen to be eating gluten and/or dairy (a must & super helpful)

Gluten & Dairy. 
I'd like to preface this with saying that I do not have Celiacs Disease. However, in the last nearly 4 years, after countless visits to a naturapath, supplements & experimenting with gluten elimination/reintroduction, I've learned that I certainly do have a gluten sensitivity and have figured out that I feel 100% better in every way - physically, energetically, mentally & digestively - without gluten in my system. Keeping it real, I am not 100% Gluten Free. I am mostly gluten free and it does sneak into my system here & there on holiday's or special occasions. This is what works for me and keeps me feeling my best. 

I fuel my body and feel my best eating nourishing, whole foods like:
♡ Organic Greens - spinach, baby kale, aruguala & dandelion greens - are some of my faves
♡ Fresh, Organic Fruits & Vegetables of all colors
♡ Raw, Unsalted Nuts & Seeds - sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds, cashews, walnuts
♡ Lean Proteins & Fish - chicken, turkey, tuna, wild salmon, grass-fed beef are staples of mine
♡ Super foods: Chia Seeds, Hemp Protein, Flaxseed, Maca Powder, Bee Pollen

Dairy, another food sensitivity. Same as gluten, I just feel better without it. Alternatively, I use these products:
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- Goat Products: Goats Yogurt & Cheese 

Drink More Water.
I drink a ridiculous amount of water - about a gallon a day. I go to bed with a giant glass of water by my side, often waking up in the middle of the night to take a few sips. I wake up in the morning to immediately finish what's left in the glass only to walk downstairs and fill it right back up again. (adding my probiotic) This fills & hydrates your cells, gets your metabolism cranking and digestion going.. weeee :) 

I can't say enough about the benefits of drinking enough water:
- promotes weight loss
- keeps yours skin clear, healthy & hydrated 
- boost your metabolism
- flushes out toxins
- regular poops
- helps to fight fatigue & increase your mental focus

A few more things....
- I never drink super cold or ice water. Instead, room temperature. 
- add lemon whenever you can
- feeling hungry or tired?? Make sure your hydrated before reaching for food and/or caffeine 
- minimize the amount of water you drink before, during & immediately after eating to help with digestion. Loads of water floating around with your food slows down the digestive process.
- BPA Free!! If I'm not able to drink out of glass, I make sure my bottle is BPA Free.
My top 3 BPA Free Water Bottles are: Essentia, Fiji & Eternal Water
- More Sweat?? More Water. 

Much Love and a healthy, happy, flat & sexy tummy, xx

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