7 Things I Wish I Knew: Gut Healing Edition

Gut healing is a JOURNEY. 

When I decided to heal my gut I thought it would be simple. Eat certain foods, eliminate certain foods, and I would be good to go…

But did I find out I was SO wrong!

What I found was there are so many aspects to gut health and food is just the start. You may be healing your gut but you are also healing your body (and your brain!). 

When I started my journey to healing my gut (and my relationship with my body) there are a lot of things I wish I knew. These are some of the things I wish I knew and that may help you if you are just starting your journey toward healing your gut. 

Plants heal

Plants are key to healing your gut. Plants are full of vitamins and minerals that are essential to our body functioning properly. These foods literally have the ability to heal the bacteria in our gut (remember, there is good bacteria and bad bacteria). 

If you are struggling with any type of condition (heart disease, chronic illness, etc.), plants are the place to start. When the bacteria in our gut is healed it literally begins healing the whole body. Crazy!!

Something else to remember, plants does not mean vegetables. Of course vegetables are included, but this can also include fruit, whole-grains, nuts, and seeds, and more. The goal is to get a variety of these to allow the gut to heal. 

I had no idea why I was eating the food that I was eating when I started my journey. I started gaining insight into the healing when I became more aware of what I was eating and why I was eating it.

I encourage you to just be aware of how you feel after you eat, both physically and mentally. Awareness makes a world of difference. 

Feel good not look good

I always thought I wanted to be skinny. But I never found satisfaction… I learned that what I really wanted was to feel good in my body, not to be skinny. 

Being a certain size or weight will never satisfy. We will always want less until we heal our mindset. 

When I started treating my body right and simultaneously working on my mindset, my whole life literally changed. 

I was confident and felt GOOD in my body for the first time in a very long time. 

Starting out you may have a goal of losing weight or fitting into smaller clothes, but I recommend setting a goal that has nothing to do with numbers and everything to do with how you feel. 

How do you want to FEEL in your body and your clothes? What kind of joy will you find from feeling good in your body? 

Focus on the non-scale victories and that’s when you will truly find change. 

Skipping meals harms the body 

I always thought the less I ate the better I would feel in my body… but that was never true. I never felt better when I ate less. I was just left feeling guilty and hungry. 

Now I know the more you eat (foods with nutrients) the better you feel. But that was hard to believe when I didn’t feel good in my body. 

Skipping meals throws the body into whack and will prevent you from reaching any kind of goal. 

If you are eating more processed food, sugar, etc., sure you won’t feel good in your body! But if you are eating more plants, that is when you will start to feel good in your body. 

The secret is truly in what you DO eat not what you DON’T eat.

Balance is key

I was always an all or nothing thinker. My gut healing journey started the same way. I felt like I had to be perfect and if I messed up then all my effort was down the drain. 

I learned that it’s what you do MOST of the time that makes the difference. 

The 80/20 rule is a great rule to live by. Fuel your body 80% of the time and eat the not-so-nutritious foods 20% of the time. 

I enjoy my pizza and ice cream 20% of the time and the other 80% I fuel my body with what really makes it feel good. 

Life is not about restricting. Life is about living to the fullest and finding joy. Don’t beat yourself up for eating something not great for you. Just make sure you are consistently filling your body with foods that are great for you. 

Eat food you enjoy

When I was starting out I followed a meal plan created by someone and from there continued to follow these recipes. I had to learn what I liked and what I didn’t like and the meal plan was a good starting point, but the foods weren’t my favorite. 

I started tweaking the recipes and trying new recipes with foods I really enjoy. That is when I started LOVING the journey to healing my gut. 

It wasn’t something I was forcing myself to do, I was actually enjoying it. 

Everyones gut healing journey is different. And while meal plans and recipes are great, you have to make them your own to find healing for yourself. 

Gut health heals mental health

The gut is directly linked to the brain by the vagus nerve. Meaning what influences the gut influences the brain. When we do the things above, specifically eating plants, we have the ability to heal our mental health. 

If you are struggling with mental health, gut health is the starting place for healing. 

I started my journey with so much brain fog, fatigue, and anxiety. As I went through my journey, I found the tools that healed these symptoms and found a way to thrive. 

It’s okay to ask for help

So often we go through life trying to do everything on our own. But one of the greatest things we can do is ask for help. 

We can’t do everything on our own. Knowing when we need to ask for help is a healthy way to make our way toward healing. 

If you have been struggling for some time and are at a loss for what is going to help, it’s time to ask for help. 

The biggest thing to remember is that everyone’s journey is different. These things I learned are guiding principals to starting your journey. You have to find what works for you!

I’m talking more about gut health for mental health in a webinar this Wednesday at 7pm. If you have been struggling with mental health or want to learn how to maximize your mental health in simple ways, this is for you. You can register here!

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I’m Ashley

I HELP women heal their mental health through lifestyle habits

I spend my days helping others learn more about themselves and take care of themselves so they can live a life they love. You are capable of living a life feeling good in your body and I love seeing that happen!

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