The Problem My client, Tina, suffered from both fatigue and severe digestive distress. Her symptoms presented as a combination of bloating and constipation. She had her GI track checked for serious illness, and did not have any, so I surmised that she may be dealing with imbalanced gut bacteria due in part to her diet, which was high in meat and acidic food choices. The Plan We began with an intake of greens and fresh produce but we were careful not to inundate her system with too much roughage, too soon. We chose juices and smoothies as a digestible way to accomplish this, and Tina slowly began consuming those alkalizing foods (green leafy vegetables) and substituting plant-based protein sources to replace heavy amounts of meat. The key for Tina was making gradual changes, and customizing them based on how her body adjusted. We didn’t do it overnight. We eased her into a new way of eating, and tried new things. As she began to feel better, her body craved more of what it needed for healing. This led to protein smoothies, for example, which sustained her and gave her more energy, and were easy on her digestive system. Exercise is important for everyone, especially if you’re challenged with digestive issues. Movement helps to keep things moving, all over! So, we started Tina off with a minimum of 20 minutes a day of walking, in the fresh air ideally. For Tina and many clients who are starting essentially from scratch with a healthy living plan, I adopt a multi-pronged approach. First we identify problematic foods and behaviors and create a corrective strategy that can be implemented gradually. I stay closely involved during this time because it’s important to be mindful of how the body reacts during this stage. I then create a customized approach for cleaning up the diet, and generally encourage my clients to do a cleanse, but only when they’re ready. I work closely with Dr. Frank Lipman and have found great success using a slightly modified version of his program. Finally, I bring in a select number of supplements for the final implementation period. This includes a probiotic and though the type may vary depending on the individual’s unique health history, I really prefer a powder blend because it can be added to your daily smoothie and readily absorbed. Basic supplements will, of course, vary but might include magnesium or vitamin D for women and a potent fish oil for men. The Outcome Meat and animal proteins can be difficult for some people to break down, if you’re eating them in excess. And others can easily digest animal protein, and thrive when they’re of high quality; grass fed, for example. In Tina’s case, her body didn’t have enough time between meals to process it, and she wasn’t consuming enough fiber to move it through. When she began eating more plant-based foods, incorporating a probiotic, and exercising regularly, her system became more efficient. This helped heal her intestinal tract which led to increased regularity and less cramping / bloating after meals. Want more? You might also like: Top 3 Benefits of Magnesium (And How to Get More Of It!) I Was the Mom Missing Out on Social Events Because of Migraines, Chronic Pain, Depression...Until I Had a Nutritional Awakening My Doctors Said They Couldn’t Help My IBS and Leaky Gut, So I Helped Myself. Here’s How 7 Essential Tips I Use to Make Life Better with IBS Need a Plant-Based Holiday Menu? Your Guests Will Rave About This Menu Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.