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2018 was the year I focused on my health. First, I changed what I was putting into my body, in adding things that would help me and removing things that would not. Since I have Hashimoto’s, the first thing that had to go was gluten. Yup, bread, pasta, beer — it all had to go, or at least be modified to gluten-free. Next, I did some experimenting with food, eliminating known inflammation triggers like dairy. I added them back in one at a time to see how each one made me feel once I had eliminated them. I found a new way of eating and working out called the Faster Way to Fat Loss (FWTFL) and it was a game changer for me! I also did a food sensitivity test and used those results to help guide me in what foods to avoid or temporarily eliminate.
Because I was eliminating some foods from my diet it was important that I choose a probiotic that does not contain dairy and is gluten free (many aren’t, so you have to check the ingredients on the label). I like Nature Made® Advanced Dual Action Probiotics because it is made up of two different probiotic strains, one that assists the large intestine and one that aids the small intestine. If you aren’t familiar with probiotics and what they do, here’s why they are so important. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that naturally exist in cultured or fermented foods (like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, among other things) that offer benefits for your digestive system. They crowd out unwanted bacteria and allow more of the “good” bacteria to be present in your gut.† This helps in both digestion and regularity, as well as in your overall health.† For me, my poor gut health and gluten in my diet were contributing to occasional flare-ups. So you can see why supporting my gut health was so important to me, and why probiotics are one of the first steps in supporting a healthy gut. Using a probiotics supplement is a great way to increase your intake of “good” bacteria and help support your digestive balance and healthy gut flora.† I take mine every night before I go to bed as part of my bedtime routine, that way I never forget. You can find Nature Made® Probiotics at Walmart at a great low price.
It definitely isn’t easy to eliminate so many foods, especially gluten and dairy. They are in SO many things. You can’t dine out easily and you have to read the ingredients on the foods you buy, but that isn’t a bad thing! When you read labels, you know what you are actually putting into your body. It is still hard, don’t get me wrong, but it is easier than you think once you get the hang of it. I had already gone dairy-free after Quincy was born for almost a year because he had severe reflux and was breastfeeding. He seemed to improve when I eliminated dairy from my diet. Gluten was harder at first, but I’ve found substitutes for most of my favorite things. I use gluten-free pasta when I make spaghetti or gluten-free bread crumbs too. I haven’t found a good gluten-free bread that I actually enjoy, but I’m used to it and mostly just do without. I’ve found lots of delicious recipes that I make for my family that are free of gluten, dairy, and soy. I try to stick to the FWTFL way of eating as much as possible but as long as I limit gluten and dairy I can feel a big difference. The second thing I did to support my health had to do with what I did with my body. I started going to bed earlier to get more sleep, doing a daily 15-30 minute guided meditation (and even more as needed, like when my kids are yelling full blast or commitments get overwhelming), and trying to work some exercise into each day. The Faster Way program I mentioned has great workouts for each day and gives you gym, home, and beginner options so I have no excuses not to fit it in, even if it is during nap time or after the kids’ bedtime! Getting my body moving and rested helped cut down my stress, increase my endorphins, and supported my overall health. This is still a work in very early stages of progress, but I am making progress. I think one of the most frustrating things about gut health is that it took me so long to know and understand how important it is. Why wasn’t I taking a probiotic for all these years? No one ever told me that I should. And that is why I wanted to share my story with you because it is one simple thing you can do each day to help give yourself the gift of good overall health and wellness.
How do you care for your gut health and overall wellness?
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.