Travel back in time with me for a moment to a time in the not so distant past where I was sick ALL THE TIME.
Even as a fitness professional, my colleagues would say, “You are the healthiest sick person I know.” I blamed my constant illness on bad genes and having children that brought home the bug. Sinus infections, common colds, pinkeye (yes, as an adult), strep throat, asthma, allergies, adult acne, influenza, and the stomach flu: I had all of it, one after another. However, I had a gradual awareness that my illnesses were wearing on my family and me. I hit the breaking point of being sick and tired many years ago, and I have rarely looked back.
After trying every cream, pill, and supplement on the market, I went to see a nutrition response tester (Kelley Suggs) for my acne. With a few tests, Kelley determined that my acne and most other illnesses were a direct result of candida, a problem in my gut. I knew that the gut was an important part of digestion, but back then, I didn’t know how important the gut was in relation to every other aspect of my health and immunity.
After months of cutting out all sugar and fruit, and eating plenty of gut-healing foods such as bone broth and vegetables, my skin cleared up and my allergies were gone! At first I was skeptical, but when I slipped back into old habits and my symptoms returned, I knew that I did indeed have gut issues that needed to be dealt with once and for all.
It took another wellness expert to help me discover that we need each other in this journey. We have blind spots and stubborn habits. Our friends help us remember our priorities and to make choices based on them. I went in to see Kelley for my acne; I left her office with a health transformation.
After my life-changing transformation, I decided to faithfully and consistently live out what I have been teaching for so long. When I stopped getting ill and no longer struggled with my weight and adult acne, I finally understood why I had been always getting sick; the former me thought I was healthy—for the most part.
Pause. I just said it: for the most part. Looking back at my sick and overweight years, I am honest with myself (now) that I did not consistently eat enough vegetables, pay attention to balancing healthy fats (remember the immune-boosting effects of omega-3s), drink enough water, eat fermented foods, eat only 100 percent whole grains, consistently take my vitamins, learn to delegate and manage my stress, and avoid sugar like a cavity. I was a sugar addict, disguising my issues by being mostly fit and mostly happy with my body. I had moments before my transformation when I hit a personal record for strength gains or even went for a month without getting a cold, but as soon as I treated my gut badly, the pounds accrued and I attracted a stomach bug.
The knowledge of how to take care of my gut has dramatically impacted my family’s health and well-being. And now that my gut is healed, I’m able to enjoy fruit and healthy treats in moderation. Life is amazing in our family when Mom is healthy—everyone seems to stay healthy, and when Mom is sick, everyone gets sick (leaving no one to take care of Mom).
Can you relate to the pain of my past struggles? I hope not, but if you do, read on; gut health applies to all of us.
After reading my story, which of your issues do you feel are connected to your gut health?
Let’s look at an overview how to get started balancing your gut environment today:
- Avoid excessive sugar intake.
- Drink filtered water.
- Consume gut-healing foods such as bone broth and leafy green vegetables.
- Consume a variety of fermented foods such as pickles and vinegar daily.
- Manage chronic stress with exercise.
How will you get started balancing your gut?
Like what you read here? This was an excerpt from Living Wellness for Growth Groups (p. 192-193) which is available on our website here!
You are worth more than mediocre. You are worth exceptional health!
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.