Timed eating to help heal your gut, restore your microbiome, boost energy, and turn back the clock.
February 9th, 2021 by admin
Hello, Beautiful One!
Today, I want to shift things up and talk about the best way to calm inflammation, boost your energy, heal your digestion, trim excess fat, and turn back the clock.
As a functional nutritionist who is on the path of self-realization, it is very clear to me, that nutrition is the gateway drug to better health and heightened states of awareness.
It certainly has been like that for me.
My interest in nutrition, which started due to the desire to lose weight as a child and pre- teen, played a big role in putting me on the path to self-realization and self-healing. I struggled for many years with depression and anxiety, irritable bowel, food cravings, weight gain, as well as autoimmune and inflammatory issues, even as a self-identified healer and as a health care practitioner.
My dedication to nourishing myself properly started as an act of desperation that opened the door to self-love and self-mastery.
The path of healing my relationship with food and with my body opened me up to the path of self-mastery and has pointed me in the direction of healing unresolved trauma and unhealthy personal as well as ancestral patterning.
I am very grateful for all of the ways that my body has pointed me toward healing, unconditional self-love, and radical acceptance.
I have tried many different ways of eating, not only in the quest to heal myself, but to understand the various healing diets for my clients.
I spent quite a bit of time eating a paleo diet, as well as autoimmune paleo (AIP), which eliminates grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, in addition to nightshades, dairy, egg, and caffeine. This eating plan (along with emotional and energetic work and a few key supplements) really seemed to help calm irritable bowel and inflammatory symptoms for me and for many of my clients, but this diet is just not sustainable long-term.
It’s also not meant to be sustainable long-term.
What I realized along the way, is that the goal is to heal the gut and restore the microbiome, so that the diet can be expanded and highly varied once again (which is part of maintaining a resilient microbiome and therefore, vitality).
I played around a bit with keto a bit, but honestly, after so long on AIP, by the time keto became cool, I was done with eating in such a restricted way.
And the more I have learned about the gut microbiome over the years, the more I have become convinced that we NEED some whole grains and legumes in our diets, in order to feed and maintain beneficial microbe populations in the gut; AND, diets high in animal proteins and fats have been shown in the research time and again, to promote the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and discourage growth of beneficial bacteria.
So, keto is not for me, and I do not recommend it as a long-term way of eating.
Yes, a ketogenic diet can be lifesaving for those with certain conditions, but for the general population in need of health improvement and seeking health optimization, this is not a healthy way to eat long-term.
Today, I had a consult with a Naturopathic Doctor, who was helping me interpret my first BiomeFX Functional Microbiome Analysis from Microbiome Labs.
I discovered through interpreting my client’s results, that what I have been tuning into personally over the last several months now (plant-based + intermittent fasting) is truly SPOT ON.
If, as I do, you understand that a healthy microbiome is paramount to optimal health, and you understand what it takes to support, restore, and maintain a healthy microbiome, then like me, you will become immune to the hype around keto.
Now, I understand that many people initially feel better cutting out carbohydrates, fruits, and even vegetables. This is because their digestion is compromised, and they are cutting out foods that they are not able to digest.
This is going to offer temporary relief.
The solution, however, is to strengthen digestion and restore the microbiome—not to indefinitely remove gut-friendly foods that are so crucial to good health, including good mental health.
If you have a hard time tolerating carbohydrate- and fiber-rich foods, clearly:
1.) Your primary digestion is compromised due to chronic stress, toxins, antibiotics, and/or eating out of balance2.) You likely have dysbiosis, an imbalance of gut microbes, resulting in the inability to digest your food properly, as well as an overload of undigested food making it to your large intestine, which then creates a lot of inflammatory cross talk between the immune system in your gut (60-70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract) and the immune cells outside of the gut.
Rather than taking gut-friendly carbohydrate and fiber sources out of your diet, you might try intermittent fasting.
Giving yourself an 8-hour window to eat during the day, say between 10 am and 6 pm (stretch it to 7 pm if you have trouble getting dinner by 6), will give your digestive system plenty of time to digest the food you eat, and it will give your digestive tract time to clean out debris via the migrating motor complex. Eating too often creates a sluggish migrating motor complex and creates the conditions for dysbiosis and therefore, an array of inflammatory conditions.
Creating an 8-hour eating window that ends at least 2-3 hours before bed, will do wonders at restoring the health and resilience of your microbiome, which directly correlates to wellbeing on all levels.
Intermittent Fasting will also allow your insulin levels to drop really low, once during each 24 hour period, which will calm inflammation and cravings, as well as increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Improving your insulin sensitivity will help balance your hormones, prevent diabetes, boost your mood and energy, and lend itself to the trimming of excess body fat, especially around the organs where fat has the most detrimental and inflammatory effect.
Also, think turning back the clock, increasing resilience, and adding exponential quality to the time you have here in this body!
In his new book, Fast This Way, Dave Asprey points out that intermittent fasting has been shown to increase levels of NAD+, an anti-aging molecule that enables your cells to generate energy; helps repair routine DNA damage; keeps your proteins properly shaped, which is key to avoiding mental decline; and protects cells from oxidative stress.
Since I committed to Intermittent Fasting back in the summer, I find that I can eat carbs again, with no issue and no weight gain. I feel like I’ve found the golden ticket…I get to eat what I want (which granted, is high-quality at baseline), and enjoy a much leaner, more resilient, and spry body. Fasting has also brought a new element of discipline into my life, which has made a positive impact on my emotional and spiritual health. And as we know, emotional-spiritual health and physical health are inextricably linked.
Going plant-based has made a big impact on my weight, my digestion, and my microbiome, too, and I know this is a big part of all of the positive shifts in health and resilience that I am experiencing.
High fiber diets that are moderate in protein and fat are known to be exactly what our microbiomes need to thrive. I have been easing into a vegan diet for the last couple of years, after my first meeting with a powerful plant teacher, who I intuitively sensed was pointing me in this direction; and I finally cut the last ties with animal products back in November.
Personally, I feel that I am in right relationship with my food, now more than ever; and of course, I do not judge others’ eating choices. I love and support each beautiful soul, right where they are at in their perfectly unfolding process. Even if you just reduce your animal protein and fat intake, while increasing plant foods and fiber, you will be doing yourself, animals, and Mother Earth (and therefore, all of humanity) a HUGE favor.
That said, if you change nothing about your diet and simply adopt Intermittent Fasting, you will feel loads better!
10 Tips for Improving Your Digestion:
1.) Take digestive bitters 15 min before each meal.
2.) Incorporate carminative herbs that stimulate digestion, into meals and teas. These include ginger, cinnamon, caraway, dill, fennel, anise, peppermint, and rosemary, to name a few.
3.) Eat mindfully. Chew your food thoroughly. It should be a smooth liquid before swallowing.
4.)Make sure you are sitting down and in a calm state whenever you eat.
5.)Taking 3-5 slow deep breaths, saying a prayer of gratitude from the Heart, and taking your food in with all of your senses before digging in, is a great way to begin a meal.
6.) Soak and slightly sprout your whole grains and legumes before cooking.
7.) No raw foods if your digestion is compromised (especially if you tend to experience gas and bloating after meals).
8.) Soak nuts and seeds, then drain and store them in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.
9.) Do not eat grains and fruit together. This is a basic rule of food combining that I often recommend for my clients with compromised digestion.
10.) Make sure to properly hydrate each day to keep your digestive secretions flowing. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces.
I hope this message serves you and gives you insight on how you can begin to heal your digestion, calm and strengthen your immune system, turn on regenerative pathways, AND get the feel-good neurotransmitters flowing again (you need a healthy microbiome for that, too)…
…so you can get down to the business of becoming the fullest, most joyous expression of Spirit that YOU came here to be.
If you have health issues and unresolved trauma, and you understand that there’s a connection between the two, AND if you’d like to heal through a comprehensive body-mind-spirit approach of functional nutrition counseling, optional functional microbiome analysis, shamanic healing, self-mastery, and shadow work, I would love to hold transformative healing space for you.
If you feel deeply called to this Work, and you are ready to invest in yourself and your future, schedule a free 60 minute Clarity Session here.
You can also check out my Heart Warrior Intensive here. I am offering this intensive one-on-one, AND via small group coaching to groups of 3. This program does not include functional nutrition counseling, but does include individualized counseling on how to heal your adrenals and re-pattern your nervous system and limiting beliefs, which is all foundational to the healing of any health condition.
Angie King-Nosseir MS, RDN, LD
Transformative Life & Spiritual Coach | Holistic Nutritionist | Ceremonialist
Gourmet Healer, LLC
Student Journey Director
Transformative Coach Institute