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Posts Tagged ‘leaky gut diet’

stick to autoimmune diet copy

So you’ve either just gotten the results back from your food sensitivity test or your practitioner says you need to follow the autoimmune diet, also called the leaky gut diet, to manage your autoimmunity. The autoimmune diet comes as a shock to many due its strict limitations and compliance can be tough. The trick to sticking to the autoimmune diet is understanding how to work with your mind to establish new habits.

Although a goal is important — say someone wants to manage her Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland — research shows a goal alone is not enough to change your habits. We’ve all made promises to reform only to quickly succumb to the spell of temptation. Research shows we are more motivated by the daily habits toward that goal than the goal itself. The key is not in the big sweeping gesture fueled by fantasy, but instead the small, tangible things we do each day to move us toward our goal.

How to create new habits to stick to the autoimmune diet

It takes 66 days to create a new habit, so commit to a plan of supporting yourself and your new way of life.

Create a vision board of your healthier life. Create a vision board, a collage of images that represent what life will look at when you reach your goal of more successfully managing your autoimmune disease. For instance, your vision board can feature images of feeling energetic, having fun with your kids, doing a sport or activity you love, a place you’ve always wanted to visit, romance, and other images that capture the life you will lead when freed from your symptoms. Put it where you see it every day so that the images seep into your subconscious mind.

Schedule time for your diet. Schedule time each week to chop veggies, cook meats, put together crockpot meals, and make snacks. You’re most likely to cave when hungry, so create the convenience and accessibility ahead of time to ensure your success.

Check in with your habit building and stress levels. Big life changes are an eternal work in progress  not a destination. You will bring down your health if you make the diet stressful. So check in with yourself regularly to see how it’s working for you and whether it’s stressing you out, and tweak and modify as needed.

Get support from others. Social support is not only healthy in itself, but it’s also vital to your success. Join online groups of others on a similar path, enlist friends or family to encourage you, and don’t engage those who try to ridicule or sabotage you.

Change your subconscious beliefs. Our subconscious mind plays a significant role in our daily habits, good or bad. You may have unidentified belief systems that are working against your success. There are many methods and books available these days to help you, including EFTEMDRhypnotherapy  prayer, and books such as those by Joe Dispenza.

Practice positivity. Yes, the autoimmune diet can be challenging. But having a sour attitude will only set you up for failure. Studies show subjects who spend a little time regularly practicing positivity and gratitude have far better outcomes than those who don’t. It’s no different than learning a new skill — investing just a few minutes a day thinking about something that makes you feel good or about things for which you are grateful pays you back amply.

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 tips for staying special diet

Are you considering going on a special diet, such as the autoimmune Paleo diet, the leaky gut diet, the SCD diet, or the GAPS diet? The thought of a major diet change can bring feelings of uncertainty and questions such as, “Can I handle this? What do I eat for breakfast?” Food powerfully impacts our emotions, and dietary changes can really “rock the boat” in daily life. However, by thinking ahead and employing some simple strategies you can ensure a successful transition and hence better health.

In this article I suggest some surefire ways to help set yourself up for success on your new diet.

Plan ahead and do your research

The most important step is to plan ahead. Why are you changing your diet? Do you understand the potential health benefits? Knowing this will help you move forward with commitment and confidence. Find reputable, current resources through your health care practitioner, at the library, or online. Even an hour of self-education will help you feel more empowered.

Menu planning

Menu planning is key to succeeding at a major diet change. Sit down with your resources, look at recipes, and write out a menu plan for at least a full week. Pick foods you know you will eat so you don’t find yourself falling into old habits. This way you will have backup when you get home late from work or fall behind helping your child with homework. Over time, your menu options will grow. Check out online menu planning services for special diets.

Make a grocery list

Make a comprehensive grocery list that fits the menu plan. Some items may need to be bought later for freshness; know what they are in advance.

Clean out the pantry

Before going to the store, empty your house of all prohibited foods. If there are foods you may test later for tolerance, put them in a location that’s not front-and-center. Grab those grocery bags, and go to the store!

Go shopping

Leave some extra time for this trip; you may be navigating new sections of the store, or finding unfamiliar foods. Ongoing, remember to stock up during sales and ask about discounts on case orders.

Batch Cooking

One of the best tools for a special diet is batch cooking. Batch cooking is preparing meals in bulk ahead of time, and refrigerating or freezing for later. Many who follow a special diet prep meals two days a week. On Sunday, you might take half a day to make a crock-pot of stew, prep a bunch of vegetables, and roast two chickens to put in the fridge or freezer. On Wednesday, you might bake fish for two meals, prepare a sweet potato dish for two meals, etc. It may seem like a lot of time to commit in one day, but soon you will come up with an efficient system where most of your food is prepped ahead of time and you save energy doing it.

Batch cooking reduces the stress of cooking every day, and when that moment comes when you might normally say, “Heck, I’m ordering a pizza!” you can reach for that tasty stew in the freezer. Success.

Sourcing local products

Some special diets require hard-to-find food items. You may have some luck at local food co-ops or farmers markets for these products, or even from the farmer directly. Buy bulk where you can.

What about the family?

One of the biggest challenges of being on a special diet is cooking for a family. Ideally, the whole family is on the same diet but anyone with kids knows this is wishful thinking. Depending on the age of your children, explaining why you are eating this way may help encourage acceptance. Some people cook one way for themselves, and one way for the family, but this is a lot of work. Others find they can cook most of the food to meet everyone’s needs, then throw in some extras for the kids (such as grains or potatoes).

Bring your lunch and keep snacks handy

Since you have prepped meals ahead of time, lunch can go in a container with you to work. Also, keep diet-friendly snacks handy in case you are delayed getting home or are hungry between meals. Preventing hunger is one of the best ways to be successful on your diet.

What about restaurants?

Eating at restaurants can be a challenge on a special diet, though more restaurants are becoming aware of special dietary needs. Ask questions, be firm, and don’t order if you are uncertain.

What to do when you fall off the wagon

Just about everyone “falls off the wagon” at some point. Try not to kick yourself for it. Dust yourself off, climb back on, and remember the longer you’re on the diet, the more successfully you will stick to it. Also, when you start to enjoy the health benefits of your diet you’ll find compliance becomes easier. Many foods lose their appeal when they trigger uncomfortable or even unbearable symptoms every time you eat them.

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cultured veggies for leaky gut

Embarking on a diet to repair leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, can be a daunting task. But with cultured vegetables on the gut-healing menu, the diet can also be fun and inventive. Culturing, or fermenting, is an ancient art of preserving various vegetables that not only imparts a zesty flavor but also creates beneficial enzymes, probiotics, and B vitamins, all of which enhance digestive health. Also, for such a restricted diet, fermented veggies add variety and convenience while capitalizing on in-season produce.

Why fermented vegetables on the leaky gut diet?

The intestines, considered the seat of the immune system, house trillions of bacteria that play a vital role in the health of the entire body and even the brain. Inflammation from bad diets, chronic stress, food intolerances, and other issues damage the lining of the intestine, causing it to become overly porous. This allows undigested foods, bacteria, yeast, and other pathogens into the sterile environment of the bloodstream. This is called leaky gut, or intestinal permeability. These pathogens trigger chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease, depression, anxiety, skin conditions, obesity, and other chronic disorders.

leaky gut diet allows the gut to repair and regenerate by removing common inflammatory foods and focusing on nutrients and foods that help repair the intestinal lining. Cultured vegetables are an important component of a leaky gut diet because they act as powerful probiotics, helping to restore a healthy balance of bacteria, or flora, in your gut.

Our gut flora play very important roles in health, immunity, and even brain function. Beneficial gut bacteria help us absorb minerals and produce B vitamins and vitamin K2, which is necessary for optimal usage of vitamin D. They play a role in burning and storing fat and whether a person is prone to obesity. In recent years researchers have found gut bacteria play a significant role in mood and mental health.

How to make our own cultured vegetables

Health food stores carry one or more brands of genuinely fermented vegetables—they are cultured in a saltwater brine and do not contain vinegar, preservatives, or artificial colors. The most popular is Bubbies, which carries cultured cucumbers, cabbage (sauerkraut), and tomatoes. As awareness and popularity of cultured vegetables grows, new brands are popping up in the refrigerated section. You may find some made locally in your area.

However, it is easy and fun to make your own. You can find many recipes online, including at Cultures for Health, an online source for starters for many different types of cultured foods. You can culture almost any vegetable, and the process basically entails washing and chopping your vegetables, mixing with sea salt, covering in a saltwater brine, or mixing with a starter culture, placing in a large jar or fermenting crock, and letting time and natural bacteria do their magic during the next two days to three weeks, depending on the vegetable (the warmer the environment the quicker the process).

The result is a tart, tangy superfood for the gut. The finished product is ready to eat right out of the jar and can be stored for many months in a root cellar or refrigerator. Many people like to make large batches for grab-on-the-go veggies or as a condiment to their main dish.

For more information on how to make your own cultured vegetables, visit Cultures for Health, read Wild Fermentation, or simply Google for recipes and how-to videos.

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