1. Reduce your anxiety levels
One feeds the other, so it is important to get this under control. There are many simple methods that can help you manage your stress and anxiety with very little effort. I use a grounding method almost every day. Meditation is brilliant and can now be done on your phone with a number of wonderful apps, great if you need help falling asleep or getting back to sleep. Daily, enjoyable exercise is a must. Start your day as you wish to continue. Every person is different it’s about finding out what works for you.
2. Repair your gut
Your stress and anxiety have a profound effect on the health of your gut. When you have lived in a state of stress for any length of time your gut lining and your nervous system cops a hiding. Your goal is to get healthy and move onto the next step, but your body can’t absorb the nutrients into your blood stream if your gut lining is damaged. I bet a lot of you have tried removing foods in the desperate attempt to improve your symptoms, but all that does is severely restrict your nutrient intake and make you miserable. Heal the gut and your body will happily accept a wide range of foods, including the ones you used to enjoy. To help your body heal we need to remove grains, dairy, sugar and alcohol. Don’t panic it’s not forever! We then need to give your gut lining a nice coating to give it a chance to heal. I would be recommending some practitioner only supplements* here just to speed the process along such as L-Glutamine, N-Acetylcysteine and Quercetin. As far as healing with whole foods then Aloe Vera juice, bone broth, kombucha, kefir & fermented vegetables are a must.
3. Increase your nutrient intake
You fear of eating, plus your damaged gut lining, means that you are surviving on very little and your bodies nutrient stores are basically nil. Your gut is well on the way to being fixed, so let’s build up your stores and bring back your energy levels. Continue to stay away from grains, dairy, sugar and alcohol for now, you’re not ready for those yet, and stick with all the healing foods, particularly the bone broth, kombucha, kefir and fermented veggies. They are all packed with essential nutrients and will continue to benefit your body. Time to step up the good stuff, it’s pretty simple really, aside from the above just stay away from processed foods. If it has a barcode, and you need a science degree to understand the ingredients, don’t eat it. We want a wide variety of seasonal foods, spray free, grass fed and organic where possible. If you like blended smoothies then consider fresh turmeric, ginger, aloe vera, seasonal berries and coconut water, yum! Don’t forget the water, filtered 2-3 L a day, we need it for lubrication and to get rid of the toxins. Depending on the person we may consider some short-term supplementation with digestive enzymes to get you feeling better faster.
4. Improve your lifestyle
We think of lifestyle changes and most people go straight to exercise which is invaluable, and I would recommend that you pick something that works for you. A simple daily walk, yoga, gym session, whatever you choose, make sure you are having fun! Without joy you will only come up with excuses not to do it and before long you’ve quit. There is a lot more that we can look at to improve your lifestyle. Do you sleep well? Do you have a good support network? What do you do for you? Are you happy with your job, relationship, self? These are all questions that only you can answer but when we answer these truthfully, we can start to make some positive changes that will benefit you enormously in all aspects of your life.
5. Live your life
Gosh you are amazing, you have done all this hard work and you are starting to see the sun through the trees. This is where we gradually start
introducing those foods you simply can’t live without and make you happy. Hopefully we’ve weeded out a few nasty ones, but the odd treat is good for the soul. Get on with it, you are healing and more like your old self. It’s time to make plans, dinner out, get together with friends, book that holiday you’ve been putting off. You’ve done it, you’ve got your life back!
*Practitioner only supplements are government regulated, in the right format and the right dose for your condition. Over the counter supplementation could lead to poor results and potentially cause negative side effects.