How to clear up a sluggish digestive system
When clients come to me for weight loss, or even just for their first consultation, we talk a lot about digestion and bathroom habits. The reality is, about 60-70% of my clients do not eliminate daily, or even every other day. Many of my clients only have bowel movements every 3-5 days, and have been told by their doctor that this is “completely normal”. Yet, they can’t seem to lose weight, feel sluggish and bloated, have brain fog, and just don’t feel well.
Contrary to what modern medicine believes, it’s really important to go to the bathroom every day, at least 1-3 times per day. This is how you were born, and this is how the body was made to function. Think of it as taking out the trash every day and letting your body naturally eliminate toxins. Cleaning house daily will help you get your energy and mental focus back, lose the belly bloat, and absorb your nutrients better and lose weight.
Your poo should look like a solid sausage and have a mild smell at best. If it’s pale in color, you may not be absorbing fats properly. If it’s hard and ball-shaped, your gallbladder isn’t firing on all cylinders. If you’re having diarrhea, you may have a leaky gut, parasites, food intolerances, or candida.
Let’s talk about my tried-and-true remedies to help you go with gusto, reduce belly bloat, quell inflammation, and ultimately lose weight:
1. Celery juice. My buddy Anthony William taught me this life-changing trick. Celery juice supports liver function and provides a gentle daily detox as a result. I have helped many clients get off their heartburn meds in two weeks by having them drink fresh celery juice first thing in the morning! Celery juice rebuilds precious hydrochloric acid and digestive fire in the stomach to help keep the pyloric sphincter closed and eliminate heartburn. It also helps control blood pressure, is a fabulous diuretic, and corrects chronic dehydration. Juice an entire bunch of celery first thing in the morning, drink fresh, wait 20 minutes, and then have breakfast. Within 2-4 weeks you should notice tremendous changes in your digestion and overall health.
2. Ditch the flour products. Yep, you heard me right–bring in the sweet potatoes, white potatoes, winter squashes, plantains, and beans and lentils (if you tolerate them) as your starchy, slow-release carb options. Flour + water = paste in your intestinal tract. Yes, I know you love your Ezekial breads and English muffins and bagels and cereal, but processed carbs are often low in fiber and nutrients. Give your gut a break for 30 days and you’ll truly see the difference in your bathroom habits and energy levels throughout the day.
3. Squeeze fresh lemons + limes into your water. Fresh lemon and lime juice helps restore hydrochloric acid levels in your stomach. The citrus also stimulates bile flow in the liver to get your digestive juices flowing. After you’ve juiced your celery, sip on warm water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and watch the magic happen. I personally find that drinking something on the tart or bitter side curbs sugar cravings like no one’s business!
4. Chew your food for a looooong time. We’ve all done the dashboard dining thing, eating on the fly on the way somewhere. Or we eat lunch sitting in front of a screen. Or while talking on the phone. Or reading a book. It happens, and I’m guilty of it too, sometimes. But here’s the thing: when you’re distracted while eating, you not only don’t pay attention to what or how much food you’re eating, but you also can’t tell when you’re truly full or not. Worse yet, you don’t chew your food enough. Your food needs to be chewed until it’s like a soup or slurry. That is because digestion actually begins in your mouth. Food is one of life’s great pleasures so take the time to put your fork down, chew your food, and celebrate the gift of a healthy meal so your digestive tract can get some blessed relief.
5. Cut back on the protein and up the vegetables. Eating 1 plant-based per meal will lighten the load on your liver and increase your fiber intake at the same time. You should find your energy levels soar and your mind is clear after one of these meals. The beauty of a plant-based meal is that it puts out the inflammatory fire in the body and loads you up with vitamins, trace minerals, fiber, and just plain old REAL FOOD, people! Your skin will glow, your waistline will shrink, and you will feel ridiculously good.
You can treat yourself to plants in many ways:
• A big-ol’ salad: feel free to combine fruits and vegetables at this meal so you feel uber-satisfied. A bed of spinach topped with radishes, fennel, pumpkin seeds, fennel, grapefruit slices, pomegranate seeds, drizzled with olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon is a great way to feel light but full.
• A large bowl of vegetable soup with 2 pieces of fresh fruit • A 24-ounce smoothie: 2 cups raw spinach, romaine leaves, or kale, 1 banana, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup cherries, 1 tablespoon ground hemp seeds, 2 cups water or coconut water – blend ingredients together until well combined
• A large crudité plate with sugar snap peas, sliced carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, radishes, and bell peppers; top with a dollop of hummus and another dollop of guacamole
• Zucchini zoodles topped with fresh marinara sauce and drizzled with cashew cream
• Carrot and cucumber ribbon salad tossed with cubed avocado. Peel the carrot and cucumber to remove skin. Then keep using the peeler to create ribbons from the carrot and cucumber. Super satisfying, crunchy, hydrating and sexy!
Want to take your health to the next level and resolve your digestive issues for good? I’m offering complimentary strategy sessions for the first 7 people to book appointments. You don’t want to miss the chance to finally heal your digestive woes, gas, and bloating. I’ll be traveling next week so get your call in the books pronto.
I’ve been thinking about making an appointment w/ someone to help me beat the bloat and figure out my tummy troubles and then I saw your talk on CT Live. Everything you write on your blog makes so much sense. Thank you,
Chris thank you so much for watching! I just sent you a private email and look forward to connecting. Best, Esther
I just came across your blog post and I love how clearly outlined it is! Very easy to follow. I am a holistic nutritionist but struggle myself still with stomach problems. They are much MUCH better than they were years ago, but I still have little bumps along the way. Always looking for other advice from people in the similar field and I really enjoyed your tips. I love what you said about eating one meal plant-based and am definitely going to try that. I was just recently sick and had no craving for any type of animal protein so was eating only plant-based and really did notice a difference in my digestion! I even do look slimmer, amazing! I used to do celery juice but found it irritated my stomach. This was years ago prior to doing any healing work so maybe I’ll try it again and see how it goes. I also notice that when I eat certain grains it can sometimes cause me issues so probably best to stay away. Thank you!
Hi Jenn! Grains can definitely cause a good deal of inflammation. And if your digestive fire is low, protein can be tricky to digest, too, which is probably why you feel better on a plant-based diet. Curious if you’ve ever done any parasite testing to get to the root cause of your stomach pain?