Last week I was a guest on the talk show E! News, talking about “getting fit for summer.” While I’m not one to advocate dieting or working out obsessively to get a “summer body” (what does that even mean anyways?), I do understand that warmer temps and the prospect of shedding our winter sweaters, jeans and boots may provide us all with the opportunity (and motivation) to check in with how we’re really feeling in our bodies.
In my 10+ years working as a health coach, I’ve seen that feeling good in your body starts with feeling good in your belly. I don’t mean how well you fit into your favorite jeans, but how well your digestive system is functioning on a daily basis.
If you’ve been hanging on with me for a while, you may know this by now BUT for those of you who are new (and those of you who could use a reminder), the gut is important for so many reasons:
- 80% of your immune system is located in your gut
- 90% of serotonin (feel good neurotransmitter) is produced in your gut
- It’s the center of you!
Focusing on the health and happiness of your gut is not just about WHAT you eat, but how you digest and assimilate those foods. Whether your goals are to have more energy, lose weight or simply feel better about yourself before you pull on your first pair of shorts for the season, it’s all directly connected to the health or your gut.
Here are a few fun foods and tips for boosting your body’s gut health that I shared with E!:
- Eat fermented foods. Why fermented foods? They help you digest your food better, extract more nutrients from what you’re eating, help with bloating, plus they’re delicious! Check out this blog post for more on WHY fermented foods are so important, plus some ideas for how to incorporate them into your diet: Why eat fermented foods?
- Build your plate according to my Good Gut Rule of Five. The purpose of this formula is to get you eating those good for your gut ferments, but also to eat more during actual meal times. Most of us diet through our meals and eat through our days. When instead you focus on eating plenty of gut friendly, nourishing foods, you’re not reaching for as many snacks or quick sugar hits because your body is satisfied. This allows you to understand your body better, when you’ve had enough food and when you’re actually hungry versus tired, bored or stressed. Plus, giving your body a real break between meals allows your body to better digest the food you are eating. What’s the Good Gut Rule of Five? Check out this blog post for the formula: The Good Gut Rule of Five
- Hydrate, but not during your meals. You should not be drinking water with meals, as it dilutes your gastric juices and messes with your digestion of food. When you can, stick to water before and after meals — I try to give myself a 30-minute buffer on either side. If you must have something with the meal itself, try hot water with lemon, hot tea, or room temperature water.
- Bonus: Soothe your gut with aloe. Aloe vera is soothing, calming and cooling – there is a reason they call it “The Plant of Immortality,” it is a master healer. In traditional Chinese herbal medicine aloe vera is used to promote a healthy stomach, help heal ulcers, and treat constipation. Whether it be needing to get my digestion back on track after my summer travels, or looking to give my gut some extra TLC, I turn to aloe when I am feeling that internal sunburn (inflammation) coming on. Read more about aloe + a few different ways you can incorporate it into your diet here: Aloe for Gut Health
Watch the full segment on E! News online here: Robyn on E! News April 2019
This was such a fun segment to film and I’m glad mainstream media is starting to share more about holistic health.
Now I would love to hear from you: what’s one thing you’re doing to get your gut fit for summer? Leave a comment below and let me know!