My Holistic Approach to Digestive Health

Happy Tuesday, Happy Tuesday, Happy Tuesday, Tuesday to you.

I had quite the productive Monday morning. It started with a chiropractor visit. I realize I haven’t yet mentioned that I am seeing a chiropractor. I started having back pain this summer and denied/ignored it for a while before going to seek help. The first chiropractor I found was in my network and in my neighborhood and I began seeing her a couple of times a week. I felt better within a few weeks but as we started to space out our visits the discomfort came back.

I wasn’t ready to give up on chiropractors quite yet, but I wanted a second opinion. I found another chiropractor who uses the Gonstead method in his practice.

Interestingly enough after examining my x-rays, he found that there are three vertebrae and their related nerves which are causing the discomfort. The one that most intrigues me is lumbar five, whose nerve directly functions with gastrointestinal health. The vertebrae are not aligned correctly therefore the nerve in between is being pinched which causes can disable the body from functioning at it’s highest capacity. Could there be a relation to the ulcerative colitis and my back? Quite possibly!

The chiropractor I am working with has a doctorate of chiropractic and is also a certified chiropractic wellness physician, so not only are we working together to fix my back problems, we are also working together on holistic healing through nutrition. He does a great job of answering my questions, offering suggestions, and guiding me towards my ultimate health.

There have been many changes in my diet in the past couple of weeks. This was partly due to my own research, being inspired by others, and the icing on the cake was talking it over with my chiropractor.

My Holistic Approach:

  • Supplements: I truly believe that if you are eating healthy, and are completely 100% healthy, that you may not need to take a supplement, but for those of us with compromised health, it can be a very good option.
    • I am currently taking cod liver oil, a multivitamin, calcium plus vitamin D3, and a probiotic.
  • Diet: I have eliminated processed sugars and most processed foods.
    • I am eating whole foods like fruits, veggies, meat, beans, eggs, nuts, and oils.
    • I have begun incorporating coconut oil into baking and cooking as it has been shown to help heal the gut lining.
    • I am in the process of incorporating fermented foods like kefir and saurkraut because they can aid in gut healing as well.
    • I am beginning to implement homemade bone broth which is an excellent source of calcium, and again, can help heal the digestive tract (do you see a pattern here?).
    • I am limiting dairy products.

bone broth

Physical Activity and Energy Level

  • In just the short amount of time that I have been living this wholesome lifestyle, I am shocked at the difference I feel already. I am remaining very active. My body feels lighter yet stronger and changes are beginning to show very quickly.
  • I have found that I function best when I eat 4-5 small meals throughout the day versus 3 big meals in order to maintain my energy level. It is a fun and new challenge to find healthy snacks and meals using natural ingredients.

I’m not perfect

  • I do my best at maintaining optimal nutrition, but I will ABSOLUTELY allow myself fun foods now and then. I figure if I can go 90/10, favoring the healthy choices, it will be a lifestyle that I will easily be able to maintain.
  • I WILL be eating my treats now and again, just not as frequently as I was before, but more than likely I will be waiting on those treats until I am completely healed.

I continue to take medicine prescribed by my doctor but will eventually be eliminating it all together and will no longer need it. I am thrilled to say that the combination of the supplements, seeing the chiro, and working with my GI doc, that I am significantly seeing and feeling improvements with the Ulcerative Colitis. I can’t wait for the day when I can say I am finally in remission. That day will be soon.

I am just so amazed by our bodies and what they can do if they are treated kindly. Remember, we are all different and react differently to foods and exercise, so finding the perfect balance for ourselves is the ultimate goal. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.

I realize everyone has their own opinion in regards to choosing a chiropractor, physical therapist, doctor, etc., and I have decided to try this route, and so far I am very happy with the progress we have made.

Disclaimer: Before you make any changes to your diet or start any supplements, PLEASE contact your physician or dietitian.

Anyway….after my chiro appointment I had a few errands to run including a tune up to my car. While I waited, I walked over to a nearby Starbucks and ordered tea with honey. I was glad I packed snacks because I was HUNGRY. Besides the homemade trail mix you see below, I also munched on a bag of sugar snap peas and an apple.

starbucks and a snackAfter the car appointment, it was home again home again jiggity jag. I got the chicken going in the crockpot so I can put together the bone broth in the next couple of days, I snacked on some dates with peanut butter, then a piece of banana bread, and then got my workout on (in my new workout tee from mom and dad).

melanie workout top

I started on the treadmill with a 5 minute walk warm-up. Then I ran 1 mile at 6.0 speed, recovery walk for 2 minutes, 1 more mile at 6.5 speed, recovery walk, and then one last mile at 6.7, followed by a 5 minute cool down walk. Whew!

Next, I worked out the legs. I completed this workout that I found on Pinterest that I’ve done before. Bring on the squats baby. I finished with a 1 minute plank.

This little guy kept me company during the wall-sit portion of the leg workout. Such a good boy sometimes.

moose wall sit buddy

It was sloppy and slushy yesterday but I took advantage of the warm weather and threw the ball to Moose in the yard. He was loving life. These poor dogs become slightly exercise deprived in the winter when the days become super cold like they were this past week. He is definitely antsy and has been starved for attention lately.

moose

For dinner, chicken salad made with avocado, lemon juice, coconut oil, cilantro, salt and pepper.

chicken salad chicken salad

And some snacks later on…

blueberry snack

Have a great day! xoxo.

4 thoughts on “My Holistic Approach to Digestive Health

  1. I have been dealing with stomach issues for the past few years and recently it has gotten worse so I understand your pain! Most of my pain comes from my lactose intolerance and my refusal to believe that I can’t eat dairy. However, it has gotten worse over time and I am going to soon go in for more tests, I have been reading up on UC actually when I saw it in your post, but it could be a number of things. I really like how you changed your diet to help your stomach feel better- I think it’s a great way that you can actually control how you feel instead of relying on pills, treatments, etc. Something that rarely bothers my stomach because it’s mostly natural with fruits and veggies is smoothies!! I love having them before and after workouts. Here are some great ones I found: http://watchfit.com/weight-loss/smoothies/smoothies-recipes/5-smoothie-receipes-quit-drinking-coffee/

    But I would love to see what your thoughts are on smoothies or if you have any recipe suggestions!

    • Hi! You will continue to learn so much about your body and learn what you can tolerate and can’t tolerate. That’s great that smoothies sit well! I love smoothies too. I have one nearly every morning for breakfast. My favorite is: frozen banana, frozen blueberries, frozen kale, ground flaxseed, scoop of peanut butter, almond milk and a spoonful of raw cacao powder. It sure looks ugly but it tastes GREAT!

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