Wellness | Morning anti-inflammatory routine
Being a picky eater, I sometimes reminisce on the time when I didn’t have to be so cautious. I wasn’t always this particular, but about three years ago something happened that caused me to change my diet drastically. I was diagnosed with gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) which meant that anything I put in my mouth would cause a firey-burning reaction once it hit my gut. If you’re anything like me then you know once you enter the world of gut problems, it is a long winding road to recovery. “IBS” is something you hear a lot, but really, irritable bowel syndrome is sort of an umbrella term. A blanket they lay on us for the comfort of receiving a diagnosis, but we are all so delicately different that it hardly does us any good at all.
There isn’t much else you can do with gut issues but seriously adapt your diet. When I had gastritis, I diligently (and some could say obsessively) researched “what to eat/not eat when you have gastritis.” I eliminated the obvious choices, acidic fruits and veggies, gluten, dairy and processed foods. Some of the less obvious were garlic, onions and caffeine (this one was very difficult for me!). Of course, once again, we are all so incredibly different - no two stomachs are the same! So, naturally some foods react poorly for me but that may not be the case for you. The tough part is finding out which foods work for you and which don’t. It can be disheartening having to be so meticulous with your food choices. On top of the pain in my stomach I would feel anxiety, due to the fear of eating something that would give me a reaction.
Years have passed since my initial diagnosis, and I must say, things have gotten better! I certainly feel a difference when I follow a strict diet but I’ve also given myself the freedom to explore many options. I’m slowly starting to figure out which things upset my stomach, narrowing down my options and eliminating the things that don’t work for me. In addition to adapting my diet, I’ve kindly been given much advice on how to ease my tummy. Whether it’s from new friends made along my travels, functional medicine doctors or my (autoimmune diet following) family, I always have access to the latest research and studies. This can sometime be disheartening though when theories and opinions about nutrition seem to always be changing. Something that has become a constant part of my morning routine is a natural turmeric shot. When mixed with coconut water, raw honey and aloe vera, you get a nutrient rich, anti-inflammatory cocktail.
Note: The main component that our body uses in turmeric is called curcumin, this is where we get the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties. In order for our body to absorb curcumin, black pepper must be present in your system. Strange, I know! But, the body works in mysterious ways. The other ingredients have similar properties and benefits, all of which aid in proper digestion.
Handful of fresh unpeeled turmeric
Pinch of black pepper
2 tbsp raw honey
2 cups of coconut water
1/2 cup of fresh aloe vera
(Super easy) Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Store in the refrigerator and take a shot every morning on an empty stomach.
Since I started drinking this healthy morning cocktail consistently, I’ve noticed that my stomach gets less irritated throughout the day. This being said, I’ve also had to adapt other aspects of my diet to keep my tummy happy and healthy. I take probiotics every morning, either in supplement or juice form. I’ve recently become obsessed with a brand called Good Belly. They create probiotic juices and they’ve just put out a gluten free line!! Woo! It’s an easy and very tasty way to get your daily dose of good probiotics. In addition to supplements, I’ve also taken the time (a lot of time) to eliminate the foods that hurt me. I know I have a poor reaction to gluten but dairy is fine, I have to avoid acidic food or at least limit them and I know I can’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.
It can be so frustrating and discouraging to not know what foods upset your body. This is why I find an elimination diet to be extremely helpful. Start with foods that you know won’t upset your tummy, for me, oatmeal, bananas and honey seem to do the trick! Each week add in another food to see how you react to it and if it’s fine then move on to the next food, and a week later another food. Eventually you will be able to identify foods that make your body happy so that you can continue living your healthy life.
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Much love & happy gut health!
CCT Partnership & Wellness Curator