Posts tagged " rebecca coomes "

Enter The Healthy Gut Mother's Day competition

Mother’s Day Pamper Hamper competition

May 9th, 2018 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Mothers Day competition

Have you entered our Mother’s Day competition yet? With Mother’s Day on the way this weekend here in Australia, we want to celebrate our wonderful Mums!

With a little help from our friends, we’ve put together a fabulous prize for our Aussie community that your Mum will love. We’ve got Rebecca’s favourite Pete Evans moisturiser from Ecology SkincareLynda Griparic’s tasty BetterMe tea, a trial kit of natural home products from Pure Home Body , a pack of Bundarra Berkshires super tasty pancetta, which is totally SIBO friendly, and our 3 SIBO cookbooks too!

Prizes

Ecology Skincare

The Healthy Gut Mother's Day competition

Rebecca has been using Pete Evan’s gorgeously lime scented daily moisturiser from our friends at Ecology Skincare. Ecology is one of Rebecca’s favourite Aussie brands, she’s been using it, and nothing else for over 2 years. Their products are 100% natural, handmade with organic ingredients and contain no synthetic chemicals, fragrances or preservatives. Their deeply moisturising Pete Evans cream is great for calming itchy flaking skin and helping to limit breakouts. Great for when the seasons are changing and your skin needs a little support.

 

BetterMe Tea

The Healthy Gut Mothers Day competition
BetterMe Tea was developed by naturopath Lynda Griparic, who Rebecca recently interviewed for The Healthy Gut Podcast. Lynda developed BetterMe Tea after struggling with sluggish bowel movements after when stressed and anxious or after travelling. The specific mix of organic herbs taste sweet and spicy. The tea is a great natural aid for both digestion, and elimination. Rebecca loves to have this on hand especially when she has been travelling back and forth to the US.

 

 

Pure Home Body

The Healthy Gut Mother's Day competition
Rebecca interviewed pharmacist Cara, the founder of Pure Home Body, during the last season of The Healthy Gut Podcast. She and Rebecca talked all about the benefits of low tox living. Rebecca was inspired by Cara to limit her own toxic exposure and now uses only natural, organic products at home. You might be nervous of changing the way you clean, this trial pack from Pure Home Body contains, amongst other things, samples of disinfectant spray and body wash so that you can see for yourself how effective these products are.

 

 

Bundarra Berkshires

The Healthy Gut Mother's Day competition

 Rebecca discovered Bundarra Berkshires at a market in Melbourne while looking for SIBO friendly pancetta, bacon and charcuterie for her SIBO Shopping Tours. “Bundarra” is Lauren and Lachlan Mathers’ family free range Bio-dynamic farm on the Murray River just outside the small township of Barham in Southern NSW. They are dedicated to producing gluten and nitrate free products, from animals that have experienced the highest welfare. We’ve used their delicious pancetta in our Mother’s Day breakfast recipe for zucchini fritter with crispy pancetta and smoky salsa.

 SIBO Cookbooks

The Healthy Gut competition

Win hard copies of both SIBO Family Favourites and SIBO Summer and also an eCookbook copy of SIBO Christmas. With this collection of SIBO friendly cookbooks you’ll be able to cater for everyone in your family. From celebration meals to kids lunch box snacks, Rebecca has thought of something to tickle even the most fickle of tastebuds.

How to enter

This amazing hamper is worth over $200 and it could be yours for free!

So why not treat your Mum to brekkie in bed and a spot of pampering from The Healthy Gut?

It’s super easy to enter.  All you need to do is head to our Facebook or Instagram pages, like the post, tag two people you’d love to win the hamper and follow our friends who generously donated the prizes.

Facebook icon - Mother's Day

Instagram icon - Mother's Day

 

Entries close on 12th May at 11.59pm AEST. Please note we can only accept entries from Australian residents, as the prizes can only be sent to an Australian address.

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

How to know you’re having a healthy poop

April 27th, 2018 Posted by Blog, SIBO No Comment yet

How to know you're having a healthy poop

How to know if you’re having a healthy poop

Have you ever wondered about what your poop says about you, and whether you are having a healthy poop? When you have SIBO your bowel habits can be all over the place, frustratingly changing from day to day. Toilet habits can be a taboo subject but your poop says a lot about your overall health. It’s important to know what healthy poop looks like, what should you look out for, what’s good and what might be an indication that there is an area for concern.

This week Lynda Griparic joins The Healthy Gut to share her toilet bowl confessions. Lynda calls herself the ‘poo whisperer’; using her own personal experience with constipation and her qualifications as qualified naturopath, yoga teacher and wellness practitioner, she shares with us what a ‘good’ poop should look like.

Our poop frequency and appearance gives us insight into how well our gastrointestinal tract is functioning and can even indicate if there is a serious disease process taking place.

The Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS) is a 7-point scale which has been used in clinical practice to measure stool appearance and bowel transit time (the time it takes for food to move from mouth to anus). There is even a modified 5 point scale Bristol Stool Chart for children.

Most of us are detached from our human “manufacturing”. Investigating only when we feel off, gassy, constipated, bloated or when there’s an uncontrollable urgency to pass poop.

I would like to ask you to do the unthinkable? …Get up close and personal with your poop.

To infuse some fun into this foreign concept, I along with the fabulous illustrator Joel Tarling have created poop characters to help your poop communicate with you better. Bridging the gap between you and your bowel behaviour. Consider me the poo whisperer who gently taps you on the shoulder when you’re not paying attention.

You see, your poop is trying to tell you what’s happening under the human epithelial bonnet. If you listen, it may just save you years of poor health and loads of money spent trying to band-aid treat symptoms.

Would you ignore taking action if your baby didn’t poop for a week or if their movements were explosive and strangely coloured? I didn’t think so.

Then quit ignoring the messages your poop is trying to deliver.

Poop characteristics to look out for

✓ Colour

✓ Texture – formed or loose

✓ Shape

✓Size

✓Frequency

✓Any noticeable bits in it (undigested food, mucus, blood, pus, fat globules)

✓ Does it sink or float?

✓ Smell – mild or foul

✓ Straining or easy to pass

✓ Accompanied by pain

✓Any changes from your normal frequency and appearance?

We are all so wonderfully unique which means that there are many variables to the appearance of our poop. There are however some poopy characters that warrant your attention. Some of these are mentioned below.

The Poo Talent Quest

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

The Rock Star

Looks like pebbles, pellets, rocks, nuts or rabbit poop

Often hard to pass

Feels incomplete and unsatisfying

Medium to dark brown

 

 

 

 

Could be – dehydration, dysbiosis (gut flora imbalance), stress, IBS, poor diet that lacks sufficient fibre and water. Pellet poop is constipation.

Try upping your fibrous vegetable intake to 3 cups per meal, increase purified water intake to at least 1.5 litres daily and make sure you move your body to help reduce stress and stimulate healthy bowel movements.

 

 

How to know if you're having a healthy poopThe Overweight Opera Singer

Lumpy,  large, hard and thick

Difficult to pass, feels like concrete, often accompanied by straining and pain

Stools may contain blood due to tearing of haemorrhoids or anal tears (fissures)

Bowel motions are often infrequent

Medium to dark brown

 

 

 

Could be – constipation, dehydration, a sedentary lifestyle, consuming too much protein which stresses the kidneys and can result in chronic dehydration. Hard dry stools are difficult to pass. Poor diet that lacks sufficient fibre and water.

Aim for one palm portion (excluding your fingers) of quality, unprocessed protein with every meal. Avoid processed meats and processed protein shakes and bars at all costs. Water, fibre and movement will support you here too.

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

 

The Pop Singer – The Exhibitionist

Likes to expose what she’s eaten

Contains visible undigested food remnants

Colour – varies

 

 

Could be – Maldigestion – incomplete or impaired digestion and Malabsorption – poor absorption of nutrients from food, dysbiosis (putrefactive or fermentative), low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) or pancreatic insufficiency.

Start optimising your digestion today by having 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in room temperature water 10-20 minutes before meals, chew food slowly and thoroughly, avoid having large glasses of liquid with meals and use loads of bitter foods and herbs and spices with meals. Learn more about optimising digestion here.

 

 

How to know if you're having a healthy poopSmooth Crooner – Da Man

Sausage, S shaped, smooth, long

Well formed

Slides out easily

Pinches off at the end without leaving any debris on the bum

Mild smell, not repulsive

Feels like a complete emptying of the bowels

Sinks slowly

Painless and without blood

Says hello once or twice daily

Medium brown like milk chocolate

You may even experience  Poo-phoria a feeling of euphoria after a bowel movement…It’s a real thing according to gastroenterologist Dr Anish Sheth.

 

 

 

Could be – a healthy poo-ing experience

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

 

 

 

The Tortured Lean Muso

Narrow, skinny, pencil-like stools

May be accompanied by straining

Feels Incomplete

 

 

 

 

 

Could be – Infrequent narrow stools is not of huge concern however if experienced often, consult your healthcare practitioner as it may be a sign of bowel obstruction, faecal impaction, or a tumour especially if accompanied with bleeding or severe pain.

 

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

 

 

 

 

The Toxic Musician

Can smell foul

Black, tarry (sticky and shiny), bright red, maroon or red

 

 

 

 

Could be – Black stools may indicate bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, Ulcers etc. Red or maroon blood may be indicative of diverticula, Inflammatory conditions of the colon and rectum, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, Haemorrhoids and Anal fissures, even cancer.

Black or red stools can also be due to medications and supplements such as iron or foods such as black liquorice, squid ink, beets or blueberries. If your stools are black and or tarry seek an evaluation from your healthcare practitioner.

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

 

 

 

The Roadie – The Floater

Floats to the top of the water

Floating stools indicate gas production by bacteria in the colon and is often mistaken for steatorrhea (fatty stools)

Generally light in colour, pale, grey, green or yellow

 

 

 

 

 

Could be – malabsorption or excess gas in stool due to certain foods such as sugar, lactose, starch, fibre, lactose intolerance, gastrointestinal infections, Celiac disease or Cystic fibrosis.

Reduce intake of common trigger foods such as gluten, dairy and excess sugar and implement digestion optimization techniques to see whether the floaty behaviour subsides.

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

 

The Greasy, slimy singer

Contains fat globules (steatorrhoea), mucus or pus

Might be bulky, mushy, greasy or oily and difficult to flush

May have a foul stench and usually floats

An oily anal leakage or faecal incontinence may be present

Pale, light yellow, clay coloured, grey

 

 

 

Could be – Malabsorption and maldigestion. Impaired digestion of fats, poor bile production, an infection or inflammation in the bowel, IBS, inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis, leaky gut, chronic pancreatitis, SIBO, cirrhosis, short bowel syndrome or colon cancer especially when associated with blood and pain.

Note – Mucus is produced in the intestines to protect and coat the gut lining.

Avoid harmful man-made fats and reduce excessive overall fat intake, avoid alcohol and gluten and consider having your bowel, gallbladder and pancreas checked.

 

How to know if you're having a healthy poop

 

 

The Love Song Singer

Loose, watery, liquid, diarrhoea

May contain food particles, blood, pus or mucus

May be accompanied by fever, chills, and abdominal pain

More than three watery bowel movements daily.

Colour varies

 

 

 

Could be – dehydration, a virus, bacterial or parasitic infection, food poisoning, nerves, IBS, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, carbohydrate malabsorption such as lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis or leaky gut.

Diarrhoea can also be a sign of a type of constipation called bowel overflow where loose stool seeps out around a hard impacted stool. Your body’s desperate attempt to get rid of waste.

Medications and supplements such as magnesium, antacids and laxatives can cause diarrhoea. Diarrhoea dehydrates and upsets our electrolyte balance which weakens the body and should not be left unattended for more than three days.

During this time avoid common trigger foods such as gluten, dairy and excess sugar and make sure you re-inoculate with the appropriate prebiotic and probiotic strain. Consider stool testing if diarrhoea persists.

Poop colour and scent

Brown

Medium brown is ideal. Variations from brown may indicate incomplete or impaired digestion.

Green

Green poop often means that food is passing through your digestive tract quickly, which can be a sign that something is not agreeing with your body and it is being removed asap. You may be moving toward diarrhoea. Certain foods and supplements such as leafy vegetables, spirulina and chlorophyll can cause poop to be green too.

Grey, yellow or white

May indicate the presence of mucus and/or a problem with the liver, bile production, gallbladder or pancreas. Certain medications such as antacids and antibiotics may produce white or yellow stools. Yellow stools may also indicate an infection from pathogens such as giardia or be indicative of Gilbert’s syndrome.

Black, tarry (sticky and shiny), bright red or red

Congealed blood is black; fresh blood is red. See The Toxic Musician for more on this.

Smell

It is normal for poop to smell, however if the odour is extremely foul, it should not be ignored. Foul smelling stool may be a sign of conditions such as a malabsorption, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, carbohydrate intolerance, food allergies, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, short bowel syndrome and infections (bacterial, viral or parasitic) such as Clostridium Difficile.

Please note that this is a general guide only. The big take home is that if you experience a change in bowel frequency and appearance, don’t ignore it or suffer in silence. Seek professional advice as your poo may be trying to tell you something.

Learn about how to get your poop back to normal with the following article 15 Tricks To Have A Great Poop, Every Time.

Illustrations by Joel Tarling.

SIBO Meal Plans

 

 

 

5 tips for managing anxiety

5 tips for managing anxiety

April 13th, 2018 Posted by Blog, SIBO 1 comment

5 tips for managing anxiety5 tips for managing anxiety

Anxiety. We’ve all felt it at some point and we all have different reasons why we have it. It could be anxiety about relationships, work, children, busy places, flying, we all have different triggers. When you become sick with a chronic illness such as SIBO, worrying about your health and wellbeing can feel overwhelming and cause anxiety. Our 5 tips for managing anxiety are about helping you to create a more positive outlook on life, seeing the little things and realising their importance.

I know that I found myself feeling anxious, spending time looking at my symptoms, trying to understand the complexities of what was happening to my body, dealing with feeling unwell and trying to manage my life. Those stressors added up to me feeling anxious all the time.

Managing anxiety is one of the biggest reasons that I developed the SIBO: Back to Basics Coaching Program. I believe that having an open forum to talk about any worries and concerns with others and the opportunity to learn more about your condition can really help you confidently tackle SIBO.

This week Kate from The Healthy Gut talks us through her top 5 tips for managing anxiety.

Before we get into my own 5 top tips for managing anxiety I want to reassure you that it is manageable and you will feel better. My own tale of anxiety started when I was pregnant with my second child. I had numerous issues with my pregnancy and was also suffering with severe gut health problems. I was plagued with panic attacks, could barely sleep at night, felt on edge all the time and became irritable over the tiniest things.

My stress about just being fit and healthy enough to be a mummy to two small boys became overwhelming and ended up with me feeling anxious all the time. It took a good friend to recognise that I’d tipped over the edge. She insisted on making me go out for a long walk with our buggies once a week. During this time we’d talk about everything. I’d download all of my worries and so would she. Somehow just verbalising it all helped enormously. Over time I realised that I was coping better, my anxiety had receded and I felt able to cope better with everything.

Anxiety occurs when you’ve been putting all of the things that make you stressed about into a box and not dealing with them. When the box is so full of those stressors that it starts to overflow, and you can start to become anxious. Stress is the cause of anxiety. One doesn’t happen without the other.

If you’re suffering from stress check out our 7 ways to destress with The Healthy Gut team. Dealing with stress before you become anxious is important but once you are already anxious then finding ways to manage anxiety in a way that works for you is key.

 

5 tips for Managing Anxiety

 

Talk about it

Talk to friends, family or a professional counsellor. Talking about how you feel can help you to feel the release you need, and enable you to get to a point where you are managing anxiety not just living with it. One on one time or in a small group is best. If you’re feeling emotional, you need to know that someone cares and is listening. It also gives you a chance to hear about someone else’s life, which often helps us to realise that we aren’t alone, or the only ones who have worries and concerns. I try and make sure that at least once a month I schedule some time in with a good friend to just catch up, talk about our lives and vent any of those things that are frustrating or upsetting me. Turn this into something fun. The last time I did this with a girlfriend, we went paddle boarding and made complete fools of ourselves. Laughing together was a massive release.

Just breathe

It sounds simple but stop and think, when was the last time you took a big, deep breath? Try it now, feels good doesn’t it? Breathing is an unusual bodily function in that it is both voluntary and involuntary. Breathing is managed unconsciously, however, when you want to you can be totally in control of it. Controlled deep breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to come online and counter your sympathetic nervous systems fight or flight response. You can find many apps online for assisting with breathing for relaxation. My own favourite is Breathing Zone. I try and earmark a few minutes a day, usually just before bed, lying comfortably, to breathe consciously. This lowers my blood pressure and puts me in the right frame of mind to get to sleep. If I need a little more support I’ll tune into one of the sleep stories on my Calm app just to completely turn my brain off.

The Healthy Gut Blog - 5 tips for Managing Anxiety

Find your joy

I say to my family all the time, ‘it’s just the little things’ that make us truly joyful. The big joyful events like the birth of a child, marriage, buying your first house, all evoke feelings of joy by a heightened, extreme form of joy. When you are feeling anxious you can struggle to deal with this kind of rollercoaster of emotions. Finding those little things that bring you joy is so important when you are struggling with anxiety. They are the sunshine from behind the clouds, the moments when you will feel like you are managing anxiety and that it’s not managing you.

We all have those little things that make us joyful, so what’s yours? Write a list somewhere you won’t lose it; on your phone, in your diary or just on a piece of paper that you pin on the wall. My own little things are simple and easy to find time for when I need that little shot of joy. I take the time to make myself a really great cup of something warm and drink it mindfully as it’s my treat, I persuade my boys to bundle into bed with me in the morning at the weekend and just be together and sometimes I just crack open a new bottle of bath bubbles and escape to the tub for a while. Whilst it’s not possible to be joyful all the time, those little pockets of joy keep me going when things are hard.

Write your own story

Writing down our problems has long been a recognised way of beginning to chip away at those things that cause you worry and stress. Think about the things that are worrying you and once they are written down spend a little time asking yourself what can be done to resolve any issues or make things better. Chipping away little by little will help you feel more in control.

There is nothing worse than a long ‘to do’ list. If you can’t deal with everything on your list alone then don’t be afraid to share it with friends and family. You might be surprised what help and assistance people come up with. For example when I first moved to a new town with my second son a mere 2 weeks old, I happened to mention to another mum, who I’d never met before, how hard I was finding the school run after a C-section. I was amazed when she offered her help and brought my older son home for me most nights until I felt able to cope again. The kindness of strangers is not to be overlooked. I belong to a couple of gut health forums where I also find the support invaluable.

The Healthy Gut Blog - 5 tips for Managing Anxiety

Sleep

I remember someone telling me long ago when I was relatively footloose and fancy free that I’d grow to treasure and appreciate a good night’s sleep as I got older. I never knew or appreciated the amazing feeling that comes from a really good night’s sleep, as little disturbed me in those days, sleep came easy.

Now though, on the edge of menopause with depleted oestrogen, kids who think nothing of waking me up no matter the time, worries and stress galore and a snoring husband, I long for those simple days when I went to sleep at 10pm and woke up at 7am. When you’ve slept properly your physical response to anxiety is improved and you’ll find that you are managing anxiety better as your cortisol (stress hormone) has had a chance be regulated while you sleep.

My tips for better sleeping better are:

✓ Establish a regular bedtime ritual

A regular bedtime, a cup of herbal tea, magnesium tablets, whatever works for you.

✓ Take time to wind down and switch off 

Turn your devices off and leave them out of the bedroom. Sometimes a warm (not hot) bath helps too, have you tried Epsom salts?

✓ Make sure your bedroom is sleep friendly

Dimmable lighting or a lamp, your favourite bed linen and a tidy room can all help.

✓ Keep a sleep diary

What disrupted your sleep? Diet or emotions for example, what can you do to improve this.

The important thing to remember is that everyone feels anxious from time to time; you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out, there are so many ways to connect with people. Take our Facebook Page; SIBO Bi Phasic Diet Recipes. It’s so great to see people sharing ideas and helping each other. There’s a real sense of community and of supporting one another.

Get the support you need to live well with SIBO

 

7 signs that your IBS may be SIBO

7 signs that your IBS may be SIBO

April 4th, 2018 Posted by Blog, SIBO No Comment yet

7 signs your IBS may be SIBO

7 signs that your IBS may be SIBO

This month is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month and today we cover the 7 signs that your IBS may be SIBO.  So what is IBS and why are we interested in it? IBS can feel like a life sentence those who are diagnosed with it, as they are often told it can only be managed, not cured. IBS is a broad classification for people experiencing digestive discomfort that cannot be diagnosed and is said to affect 10-15% of people in the developed world. In Australia is estimated to affect 5 million people, while in the US, over 100 million Americans are predicted to have digestive discomfort.  People who have been diagnosed with IBS can experience abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, food sensitivities,  and/or abdominal pain or discomfort. It is twice as common in women as men, typically occurring before the age of 45. In conventional medicine, there is no known cure.

There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel for those with IBS. A relatively unknown condition, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is estimated to be the underlying cause of IBS on average in 60% of cases, with one study demonstrating 84% of IBS patients tested positive for SIBO.  So how can you tell if  SIBO may be the underlying cause of your IBS and digestive woes? Check out the following 7 signs that your IBS may actually be caused by SIBO.

1. Bloating

Have you ever had to undo your belt buckle because your gut has bloated, sometimes to the extent that you look pregnant? Bloating is a very common symptom of SIBO and is caused by gasses being released by the bacteria in your small intestine, as they ferment and digest your food.

2. Abdominal pain and cramps

Unexplained pain and cramping commonly occurs with SIBO and can leave you feeling miserable and very uncomfortable.

3. Constipation

Have you noticed that you don’t have daily bowel movements? Or perhaps you don’t feel like you have fully emptied your bowels when you have been to the toilet. The excess bacteria in your small intestine can disrupt the regular movement of the bowel, called the Migrating Motor Complex, which can lead to constipation.

4. Diarrhoea

At the opposite end of the spectrum, some people experience regular diarrhoea with SIBO because their gut is overstimulated. Not only is this unpleasant, it also makes outings difficult as you are left worrying about where the closest toilet is.

5. Gas and wind

Feeling gassy? This is another common symptom of SIBO. The gasses that can make you belch and suffer from flatulence are created by the bacteria as a bi-product of them eating and fermenting your food. The small intestine isn’t designed to be full of gas, so it needs to escape, often going up or down.

6. Food intolerances or sensitivities

The excess bacteria in your small intestine can result in you becoming intolerant or sensitive to foods. Have you noticed that foods you once ate with abandon now cause any or all of the symptoms listed above? Or maybe something in your regular diet has caused a rash/hives?

7. Restless leg syndrome

Have you ever felt like your feet and legs are full of ants and you want to rip them off or kick them until the sensation stops? Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is commonly experienced by people who have SIBO. It is believed that the damage to the gut lining, caused by the SIBO, increases the likelihood of RLS occurring.

So what can you do about it?

An easy first step is to take this free quiz by SIBOtest. By answering a few questions, it will tell you the likelihood of you having SIBO.  

From there it’s important to find a practitioner who understands this condition. SIBOtest have a useful Practitioner list, helping you find someone near you in Australia and New Zealand.  Your practitioner can arrange a simple breath test for you to carry out at home, which will indicate whether you have excess bacteria in your small intestine. If the results come back positive, they can then develop a treatment program for you to reduce the excess bacteria in your small intestine while also repairing any damage to your intestinal tract.

Common SIBO treatment options include antibiotics, herbal antibiotics or a specially formulated liquid diet called The Elemental Diet. In conjunction with these treatments, a modified diet is followed to reduce the foods the bacteria love to consume and ferment. 

If you’d like to find out more then head to our helpful two part blog on what you need to know about SIBO, Part 1 and Part 2.

SIBO Meal Plans
Getting SIBO breath test results

Getting my SIBO breath test results

February 18th, 2018 Posted by Blog, SIBO 31 comments

Getting SIBO breath test results

Last week I shared with you why I was re-testing for SIBO, three years after my original diagnosis.  It was quite a strange feeling, going through the prep diet when I thought I’d never have to do it again.  I felt nothing as I did the test, which perhaps gave me a false sense of security, as when I originally did it, I was quite gassy and had diarrhoea by the end of the 3-hour window.

I tried not to think about the impending results too much, but the inevitable day came where my Naturopath told me the results were in.

The Results

And the verdict is…. my SIBO has returned.

A little part of me felt really sad.  I’ve done so much work on my health over these past 3 years that I had hoped I would be able to keep it away.  But my sensible brain quickly took over, reminding me that my abdominal cavity is full of adhesions, and my ileocecal valve is caught up in them.  It would actually be a miracle if I didn’t have SIBO return.  Instead, what I have had is 3 years of amazing health.  I’ve been healthier and felt better these past 3 years than I’ve ever felt before in my life.  So all is not wasted.

I know you’ll be eager to hear what my results were.  I have hydrogen dominant SIBO.  I have no methane SIBO whatsoever, which I find interesting because I do veer towards constipation rather than diarrhoea.  But I’ve never really fit the mould, so why should I start now?  (Hydrogen dominant SIBO is generally categorised by diarrhoea in patients).  My numbers also peaked higher than they did on the original test.  I am intrigued by this because this bought of SIBO has been around for less time than the original critters.

My Treatment Plan

My naturopath has put me on the following supplements.  But before I share them with you, I want to remind you that what works for me won’t necessarily work for you, so do seek the advice of a qualified practitioner who has experience treating SIBO to work out which protocol is best for you. The SIBO Test website is a great place to find a SIBO practitioner if you need help finding one.

MotilPro – this prokinetic worked well for me last time and will help support me to get my small intestine flushing food and waste through it

Berberine and Bactrex – These two pocket rockets are commonly used to treat hydrogen SIBO.  I will be alternating them so that my body doesn’t get used to either of them.  I’ll do 4-5 days on one, then swap to the other.  I also have to start out at a low dosage, as I can be quite sensitive to the herbs.  I will slowly increase the dosage over several days until I’m confident I can tolerate the full strength dosage.

Candibactren – Due to my intense sugar cravings after eating sugar at Christmas, my naturopath suspects SIFO (small intestinal fungal overgrowth) might be at play. I will take this once I’m established on the SIBO protocol and any die-off has occurred. I will monitor how I feel (if I have SIFO I should feel clearer in the head and my sugar cravings should disappear). If I feel markedly improved, then this will tell us there’s a fungal component too and we’ll treat that as well.

Zinc – My uBiome Explorer results indicated hydrogen sulphide SIBO might be at play. Zinc binds to hydrogen sulphide so if I do have critters who are producing it, this will help.  If not, zinc is good for overall health so won’t harm me.

What’s Next?

I will re-test in 4-6 weeks to see if the treatment has been effective at lowering my hydrogen numbers. Last time I went through my SIBO treatment, I was rigid with my diet, following the SIBO Bi Phasic Diet to the letter.  This time, I’m being more relaxed as I don’t want to end up fearing food like I did last time.  I’m working with Dr Jason Hawrelak on the health of my broader microbiome and am aiming for 40+ plant-based foods per week.  If you’d like to count how many plant-based foods you eat each week, grab a copy of my Plant-Based Weekly Food Tracker.

Most importantly, I am about to commence work on one of the underlying causes of my SIBO: adhesions.  Alyssa Tait from Equilibria Health in Brisbane, Queensland will be doing 4-hours of visceral mobilisation therapy on me in March.  I suspect I will require many more hours to improve the structure of my abdominal area, but I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel after 4-hours with her. I interviewed Alyssa for The Healthy Gut podcast. Check out the podcast if you would like to learn more about adhesions or visceral mobilisation.

 

SIBO: Back to Basics Coaching Program

SIBO Coaching Program

The start of the year is a great time to set some new intentions and goals around getting your health back on track.  I’m excited to announce the launch of the SIBO: Back to Basics Coaching Program. Over the next 12 weeks, I’ll be guiding you through my 5 Key Pillars to Health and why they have been vital to my own journey with SIBO, and how they will be an integral step in your recovery. Join me and other SIBOers for an educational, fun and interactive coaching program, as I show you how you can take back control so SIBO doesn’t ruin your life.

Learn more here >>

Why I'm re-testing for SIBO by Rebecca Coomes

Why I’m re-testing for SIBO

February 2nd, 2018 Posted by Blog, SIBO 3 comments

Why I'm re-testing for SIBO

In January 2015 I was diagnosed with SIBO. By July 2015 I had received my all-clear diagnosis.  For the past 3 years, I’ve immersed myself in all things gut health, with a particular focus on trying to understand why I developed SIBO in the first place.

Over the past few years, I’ve changed my life considerably.  I’ve cleaned up my diet, stopped drinking alcohol regularly, and invested a lot of time, energy and finances on recovering my health. This past December I went away for Christmas, staying with my partner’s family.  I have been able to eat a bit of gluten, dairy and sugar on occasion since clearing my SIBO, so I decided I would eat what was available rather than making special meals for myself. Anyone with SIBO knows the drudgery of being that person who has to eat special meals. After a while, you get sick of it, and I just wanted to feel like a regular person without any dietary restrictions.

Rebecca Coomes SIBO test

Me with my SIBO test kit from SIBOtest.com

After 10 days of eating gluten, dairy, sugar and drinking waaaaay more alcohol than I’m used to, I was feeling pretty rotten.  It’s not surprising, as those things are quite toxic to the body and I was asking my body to process them every day.  I was bloating most days (hello 6 months pregnant looking woman!), I had horrible heartburn by the end of the holiday, I felt exhausted and cranky, and my constipation had returned.  I was extremely conscious of how I was feeling and was concerned my SIBO had returned.  At the same time, I was watching with interest.  I see myself as a science experiment of one, and I like to test things out and see how I handle them.

In early January I had the results from my uBiome Explorer test come back.  I also had a long-awaited appointment with the amazing Dr Jason Hawrelak, and I booked in to see my naturopath Natalie Cruttenden so I could discuss how I’d felt over the Christmas break.  My uBiome Explorer results showed my gut diversity is sitting at 62%.  It could be worse, but I’ve got a lot of work to do to feed some of those bacteria colonies to improve my diversity score.  To do that, I need to increase my prebiotics and certain foods, which don’t make you feel good when you have SIBO. Check out my wrap-up video on what my treatment plan is.

We all agreed that the first step for me would be to re-test for SIBO.  That way we would know if it was safe to proceed with the increase in prebiotic foods, or if the first step would be to clear the overgrowth of bacteria in my small intestine. Dr Jason Hawrelak also wanted me to test for coeliac disease. I’ll be sharing a future blog about this.

Why I’m retesting for SIBO

Since my original diagnosis, I have been on a steep learning curve, trying to uncover why I developed SIBO.  I even flew myself to the US to attend the SIBO Symposium Conference and the Synergy Integrated SIBO Conference.  While I was at the SIBO Symposium, I listened to Larry Wurn from Clear Passage Physical Therapies speak about the role adhesions play in SIBO development and relapse.  Larry was my light bulb moment.  I nearly burst into tears, as I realised I was most likely full of adhesions after several abdominal surgeries and inflammation from endometriosis and SIBO.  I have since had Larry Wurn assess me and confirm I do have adhesions, with a large mass, the size of a head of broccoli, sitting around my ileocecal valve. If you suspect adhesions could be an issue for you, check out my interview with Larry and Belinda Wurn where they explain what they are, how they form and how they treat them.

This little valve plays an important role and sits at the juncture of the small and large intestine. It should stop bacteria and matter from flowing back up from the large intestine into the small intestine, but in people like me, it can be prevented from doing its job.  Thus, I am more prone to SIBO relapses while those adhesions remain present.

Lactulose SIBO breath test kit

My lactulose SIBO breath test kit ready to go on the day of testing

Because I now know I have adhesions, it’s even more important for me to remain vigilant about how I’m feeling.  SIBO symptoms can return quickly with a vengeance, or they can slowly creep up on you, like they have for me.  The results of the SIBO breath test will be extremely interesting.  Has my change in diet and lifestyle helped support my small intestine enough to remain SIBO-free, or have my adhesions put it back to where it was?

I’ll be sharing my progress as I discover my results.  Make sure you’ve signed up to receive my blogs as I release them, so you can be the first to know if I’m SIBO free or not.

The most important thing for me is not whether I have SIBO, but that I now have the knowledge to know what to do about it.  I won’t see a positive breath test result as being a massive step backwards, but a reminder that my journey to improved health is ongoing, and that I’ve got other work to do (like treatment on my adhesions this coming March).  I’m not the scared woman I was 3 years ago, fearing I was on my way to cancer.  Today, I’m strong and empowered and approach my health with interest and intrigue.  I love that I am my own walking science experiment and that my body is encouraging me to continue learning long after I left school.

Rebecca x

Want to learn more about SIBO?

Integrative SIBO Conference 2018

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Integrative SIBO Conference.  Held on 7-8 April 2018 in New Orleans, you can attend in person or via webinar.

Read more here >>

 

SIBO friendly strawberries and cream popsicles

Strawberries and cream popsicles recipe

January 12th, 2018 Posted by Blog, Recipe No Comment yet

SIBO friendly strawberries and cream popsicles recipe

On a hot summer’s day, there is nothing better than creamy strawberry popsicles. The sweet tang of the strawberries is complemented perfectly with the creaminess of the coconut milk.  They’re simple to make, using only two ingredients and are ready as soon as they have frozen solid.  Our SIBO friendly strawberries and cream popsicles recipe make a perfect treat for the kids on a hot summer’s afternoon, or a delicious frozen dessert after dinner.

Let your imagination run wild and try different berry flavours.  You can even try different fruits that you can tolerate.  The sky is the limit.  You can also experiment with different nut milks.  We love using coconut milk because the fat content helps these popsicles to stay creamy.  Can’t tolerate coconut?  Try almond milk or another nut milk that you know works for your gut.

SIBO friendly strawberries and cream popsicles recipe

Classification: SIBO Bi-Phasic Diet Phase 1 Semi Restricted, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan, low FODMAP

Serves: Makes 8 popsicles

SIBO friendly strawberries and cream popsicles recipe

Ingredients

2 cups strawberries, hulled

400ml/13.5oz coconut milk (from a can, no thickeners or gums)

Method

Place 1.5 cups of hulled strawberries in a blender. Mix until liquified. If you hate pips, you can strain this mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the pips.

Finely chop the remaining strawberries.

Pour the coconut milk into a bowl and add the chopped strawberries.

Pour the strawberry purée into the coconut mixture. If you would like to decorate the outside of your popsicle moulds with strawberry purée, retain some and pour into the moulds. Swirl around to evenly cover the surface of the moulds.

Pour the strawberry coconut mixture into the moulds. Freeze for 1 hour then add a popsicle stick into each mould. Return to the freezer for 3-4 hours, or until frozen solid. Enjoy on a hot summer’s day.

Note: If you can’t tolerate coconut milk, substitute with a nut milk you can tolerate.

SIBO friendly strawberries and cream popsicles

 

 

Looking for more recipe inspiration?

 

2 for 1 SIBO Cookbooks

Until 23.59pm on 21st January 2018, our SIBO Cookbooks are on sale!  Buy one cookbook and get the second absolutely free!  Get access to 120+ SIBO friendly recipes that will help you feel less overwhelmed at mealtimes. All recipes are suitable for the SIBO Bi-Phasic Diet and are clearly classified, so you can ensure you’re eating according to what phase you’re in. Simply enter B1G12018 at checkout to get your 2nd book for free. Order today >>

SIBO New Year's Resolutions

How to set successful SIBO new year’s resolutions

January 9th, 2018 Posted by Blog, SIBO No Comment yet

SIBO New Year's Resolutions

At the start of every new year, people all around the world set resolutions for the year ahead.  Yet by the 3rd week of January, many people have given up. By the end of February, the majority of people have completely stopped and by the following December, many people are back to where they were, or worse off than before. 2018 can be a great year for you, one where you achieve your SIBO goals. We’re sharing our top 11 tips on how to set successful SIBO New Year’s Resolutions so you can make this your best year yet.

What happens when we set resolutions?

Let’s pause a moment and think about what we need to do to change our behaviour. Successfully achieving a new year’s resolution means forming new habits, and to do that we need to re-wire our brain. Habits are caused by thinking patterns which in turn create neural pathways and memories. These neural pathways are like highways which we travel along every day. We often don’t think about them, because we’re so used to doing them. Some common habits include brushing your teeth and showering. These activities are so commonplace in your everyday routine, that you barely spare a thought doing them.

If we have a habit that we want to change, thinking about not doing it only strengthens the pathway. Instead, we need to crowd it out with a new thought and neural pathway, such as the new habit you want to create.

Why do resolutions fail?

Given so many people set new year’s resolutions, it’s important to know why so many of them fail. The most common reasons include:

✓ They’re unrealistic

✓ They’re not well defined

✓ People aren’t ready to change their habits

✓ The worse the habit, the harder it is to change

✓ People put everything on hold until they achieve their resolution

✓ People didn’t have the right mindset

✓ People have had poor time management. A common expression is ‘life got in the way’

✓ There are too many distractions

With that in mind, let’s look at how you can set resolutions that will be successful for you in 2018.

How to set successful SIBO resolutions

Past, present, future

1. Forget the failures of the past

We cannot change the past, but we can influence our future.  If you set yourself goals for 2017 but didn’t achieve them, look at what you can learn from that experience.  Read through the following 10 items and identify what you can improve upon this year.

2. Set one resolution

You are more likely to achieve success if you focus on one thing rather than several. If you must choose more than one resolution, ensure they meet all of the criteria in this list. Ask yourself: is it realistic that you can succeed in all of these areas? From a mindset perspective, achieving success in one area makes us feel much better than only achieving minimal success, or even failure, in lots of areas. In 2017, Rebecca focussed on improving the health of her back. She had been in chronic pain from it for years, but her gut had always taken priority. With her gut in much better shape, she went into 2017 just focusing on her back. She found new practitioners who specialised in backs and worked with them every week for the entire year. Today, she is out of chronic pain and able to move freely. She feels she achieved great success, and credits the fact that it was her sole motive for the year.

3. Make it SMART

In business, we talk about setting SMART goals when measuring performance.  Setting personal goals should be no different.  SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. After dealing with chronic SIBO for many months or years, you may have found yourself moving your body less than you would like to.  A SMART goal could be that you want to run a 10km fun run in October. To achieve this you may start walking 3 days a week and build up to interval running, before slowly increasing your distance, time and speed until you are running the full 10km. The goal is specific. You can measure it. Did you run the race and the 10km? Yes or no.  You have allowed yourself enough time to build up to it (10 months) so it is achievable and realistic, and by setting a date and writing it in your calendar, you have a clear time frame to work with.

Setting intentions

4. Focus on the intention rather than the outcome

Psychologist Dr Vanessa Thiele recently coached members of the SIBO Coaching Program and discussed the importance of focussing on the intention rather than the outcome.  For many people with SIBO, a goal of being free from SIBO may be unrealistic.  Instead, when we focus on the intention, we can re-frame it as ‘this year I will eat healthy and nutritious food that will nourish my body and support it to heal from SIBO‘ rather than ‘by 31st December I will be free from SIBO‘.  Eliminating the overgrowth from your small intestine will be an enormous achievement, but if every day you made the decision to nourish your body in a way that it needs, you will be helping it to recover.

5. Identify any obstacles

Are there any roadblocks that will prevent you from achieving your resolutions? Assess your environment and identify what they could be, and how you plan to mitigate them.  You may be looking to improve the quality of your sleep in 2018.  Some roadblocks to this could be high levels of stress, which leave your system flooded with cortisol and adrenaline, making it impossible to sleep at night, or ensuring you to wake at 2 am with the world’s worries resting on your shoulders. You may choose to mitigate this with 15-minutes of meditation every morning and night, turning off all electronic equipment 1-hour before bed and removing all electronic devises from your bedroom so you’re not tempted to check Facebook in the middle of the night.

6. Take Responsibility

The only person who can make you achieve your resolution is you.  Others can support, encourage and guide you on the journey, but you are the only one who can make the changes to your life.  If you are prone to blaming other people or circumstances for your situation, look at what you could do differently to take control.

Female friends buddies

7. Find a Buddy

It is well documented that when people have a support system in place, they are far more likely to achieve their goals than if they try to go it alone. Could a friend or family member be your buddy?  If you feel there is no one there to support you, head to one of the many SIBO online support groups and ask for help. The Healthy Gut Facebook page is a great place to start.  You might like to buddy up with one person, or create a group of people who are all trying to achieve the same goals.  Agree how often you will check in with each other, and be willing to hear some tough love if your buddy can see you’re slipping and reverting to old habits.

8. Celebrate mini milestones

For many people, their big new year’s resolution is a huge change in their life, which can take many months, if not the full year, to achieve.  When we can break our big resolution down into mini milestones, which we celebrate, it can motivate us to keep going.  If we think about running in a 10km race, some milestones could be: running your first 1km without stopping, moving your body 4 days a week for 1 month, running 5km without stopping and ultimately completing the race.  Set some rewards for each milestone. They may include going shopping for new running shoes, a massage, a pedicure, or a completely new exercise outfit.

9. Write It Down

In a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, people who regularly wrote down their goals were 42% more likely to achieve them than those who just thought about them. When we write down our goals we engage both the left and right hand side of our brain.  This sends a signal to the brain that we mean business and are serious about achieving it. It also allows our subconscious brain to get to work, looking for solutions for our problems (our yet to be achieved resolutions).

Reset button

10. Focus on the present

We can’t control the past and the future hasn’t occurred yet.  But we can have an impact on today.  Treat each day as a new day, almost as if you have set the reset button.  If yesterday didn’t go according to plan, leave it in the past and don’t carry it into your present. If you’re a visual person, you may like to print out our reset button and stick it on your bathroom mirror.  That way, every morning you can literally hit reset to help you start the day.

11. Have fun

Look at how you can make achieving your resolution enjoyable.  The more fun you have achieving it, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Let us help you achieve your resolutions

2 for 1 SIBO cookbook sale

Is your resolution to get back on track with your SIBO diet?  The SIBO Cookbooks are jam packed full of delicious SIBO friendly meals, helping you to get back on track in no time.  Until Sunday 21st January 2018, buy one hard copy book and get the 2nd for free.  You might like to buy 1 SIBO Summer Cookbook and then you get the SIBO Family Favourites Cookbook absolutely free.  Maybe you have a friend who would like to join you.  You can buy 2 SIBO Family Favourites Cookbooks and only pay for one.  Simply enter B1G12018 at checkout. This offer is not available on electronic editions.

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SIBO friendly Chocolate Caramel Slice

SIBO Chocolate Caramel Slice

December 18th, 2017 Posted by Blog, Recipe 9 comments

SIBO friendly Chocolate Caramel Slice

The Chocolate Caramel Slice is such a favourite Australian sweet treat, so it was with great pleasure that I developed a SIBO-friendly version for Donna.  She made contact with me and asked if I would develop a version that was suitable for the SIBO Bi-Phasic Diet.  After a few emails back and forth to ascertain what she could tolerate, this beauty was developed.

The SIBO Chocolate Caramel Slice uses an almond and coconut biscuit base, which is baked until crispy.  If you can’t tolerate almonds, use another mild tasting nut flour that you can tolerate. The traditional slice uses sweetened condensed milk for the caramel filling, but this is off limits on a SIBO diet.  I condensed full fat coconut milk until it was nice and thick, sweetening it with a bit of honey.  Make sure you use full fat coconut milk rather than a low fat/lite version.  You want the fat content to be high, as this will help the caramel become nice and thick.  If you can’t tolerate honey, use a sweetener you can tolerate. The chocolate topping was made from a mixture of coconut oil, raw cacao powder and stevia.  If you can find a 100% cacao chocolate that hasn’t been sweetened with sugar and doesn’t contain soy, you may like to melt this and use it instead of a coconut oil topping.

While not as sickly sweet as a traditional Chocolate Caramel Slice, this treat is sure to please your taste buds while not providing too much sugar for your SIBO.  This is special occasion food and should be portioned up so you are not tempted to overeat it.  Better yet, share it with friends, family or even work colleagues.  It makes a gorgeous food gift, perfect at this time of year.

SIBO Friendly Chocolate Caramel Slice

Makes 35-45 small squares

Classification: Phase 2 Bi-Phasic Diet, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo

SIBO Friendly Chocolate Caramel Slice Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Base

2 cups almond meal (or another mild tasting nut flour)

¾ cup desiccated coconut (check it doesn’t contain preservatives or sugar)

80g/2.8oz butter

1 ½ tbs honey (or another sweetener you can tolerate)

1 tsp vanilla

Caramel Filling

800ml/27 fluid oz full fat coconut milk

¼ cup honey (or another sweetener you can tolerate)

80g/2.8oz butter

Chocolate Topping

½ cup coconut oil, melted

½ cup raw cacao powder, sifted

⅛ – ¼ tsp natural stevia

SIBO Friendly Chocolate Caramel Slice Recipe

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a lamington/brownie tin with non-stick paper. Place the almond meal and desiccated coconut in a medium bowl.  Melt the butter and honey, add the vanilla then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly then press into the base of the tin.  Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through and golden.  Cool completely in the tin.

Meanwhile, make the caramel. Pour the coconut milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Slowly bring to a boil.  You may need to stir it constantly as it may spit and splutter.  Reduce the heat to a low simmer, add the honey (or another sweetener), and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly, until thickened and reduced by one third to one half. Be careful not to burn the bottom as it will ruin the caramel.  Once thickened, add the butter to the mixture and stir until completely melted.  Pour into the tin and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling (check out this video of what it should look like).  Remove the tin from the oven and cool completely, before transferring to the fridge to chill.

To make the chocolate topping, mix all of the ingredients together until well combined and all lumps have disappeared. Pour over the caramel and return to the fridge to set completely.

To serve, gently pry the paper away from the sides of the tin and lift the slice out.  Put on a board and cut into small squares with a sharp knife.  You can dip your knife into hot water and wipe between each slice to keep the edges nice and clean.  Keep refrigerated when not eating, as the topping can melt in warm weather.  Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days (if it lasts that long!).

Do you have a recipe you’d like me to make SIBO friendly for you?  Simply drop me an email and let me know what you need help with.

SIBO Friendly Chocolate Caramel Slice Recipe

How To Recover From Thanksgiving Overindulgence

How To Recover From Thanksgiving Overindulgence

November 25th, 2017 Posted by Blog, SIBO No Comment yet

How to recover from thanksgiving overindulgence

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, but for those with SIBO and other digestive disorders, it can also be a minefield.  If you threw caution to the wind this Thanksgiving, you may well be feeling the ill effects today.  Symptoms like bloating, cramping, diarrhoea, constipation, headaches, rashes, gas and belching can be all too common for people with digestive issues after a day of excess. You can’t undo what you ate for Thanksgiving,  but you can control what you do today.  We’ve shared our top tips on how to recover from Thanksgiving overindulgence below.

How To Recover From Thanksgiving Overindulgence

 

1. Remember: It’s Only Temporary

It may feel like the world is ending today, but take heart in the knowledge that a reaction to food is only temporary.  It can last from a few hours to a few days, but it will subside. You won’t be stuck in this state for eternity.

 

2. Drink Plenty Of Water

You’ve heard it before, but water is a key ingredient to keeping your system hydrated and helping to move the food along.  Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water throughout the day.  If you’ve been dealing with diarrhoea, put a small pinch of sea salt into your water.  This will help you absorb the depleted minerals more easily.

 

3. Eat Calming Foods

If your system is inflamed, choose foods that you know are easy on your digestive tract.  Go for well-cooked vegetables that you can tolerate.  You may even like to mash or purée them to make it even easier for your gut to handle.  Soups made from broths (chicken meat or beef/lamb bones) with well-cooked vegetables and some protein can be soothing and easy to digest. Choose grass-fed organic meat and poultry or high-quality fish or seafood.  If you can tolerate them, ensure you’ve got plenty of good fats in your diet today, such as olive oil, macadamia oil, ghee, tallow or lard.  Be aware that eating leftovers can increase your histamine load, and put you at risk of going into a histamine flair.  To be safe, eat freshly cooked food while your system calms down. And be mindful of your portion sizes.  Go for smaller portions to reduce the load on your gut.

 

4. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting can be beneficial when the digestive system is inflamed.  Choose a fasting window that suits you.  You may like to fast for 15 hours and eat in a 9-hour window.  You may like to eat 1 meal for the day and fast for the rest.  You may even like to do a water fast for 24 hours, where all you consume is water.  Listen to your body and choose an intermittent fasting window that works for you.

 

5. Supplements

There are some great supplements that can be beneficial when calming down a temporary flair.  Dr Allison Siebecker has a wealth of information on her website about the types of supplements that can be beneficial. Things like activated charcoal and iberogast can be useful for bloating, magnesium citrate or oxide can be useful for constipation and ginger can provide relief from nausea. However, be mindful that when you’re in a flair, you may be more sensitive to supplements, so start with small doses to test your system can cope with them.

 

6. Exercise Gently

Gently moving your body can help flush the toxins out of your system and can help you feel better.  Go for a leisurely stroll or if you have an indoor heated swimming pool nearby, head there and do some gentle laps.  A relaxing yoga class could be restorative or even tai chi. But don’t overdo it.  High intensity exercise can be stressful for the body, so treat it carefully and allow it to recover.

 

7. Rest and Relax

The more you stress about how you’re feeling, the worse you will feel.  Be kind and allow yourself time to rest and relax.  When we go into a flair, our system is on full alert.  Things like meditation (we love the 1 Giant Mind free meditation app), deep breathing, napping, listening to relaxing music, reading a good book under a comfy blanket, or a warm bath with epsom salts can be great ways to rest and relax your body.

 

8. Get To Bed Early

Your body needs time to recover so ensure you get to bed nice and early.  Turn off all electronic devices 2 hours before bed, avoid caffeine a few hours before bedtime, and don’t do anything too stimulating, like watching a scary movie right before bed.  A warm (not hot) shower can also help you to fall asleep.

 

9. Get Back On Track

Thanksgiving is one day of the year and doesn’t need to see you fall off the wagon completely.  Acknowledge that it is in the past and that you can make wise food choices from today onwards.  The quicker you can get back into your regular way of eating, the easier it will be on your digestive system.  Many people find it helpful to plan their food for the week ahead so they know they won’t be tempted to eat off plan.  Download our free Meal Planner to organise next week’s meals.

 

 

Want SIBO Friendly Christmas Recipes?

SIBO Christmas eCookbook

Don’t feel deprived this Christmas!  The SIBO Christmas eCookbook is bursting with SIBO-friendly appetisers, sides, desserts and sweet treats.  All recipes are based on the SIBO Bi-Phasic Diet by Dr. Nirala Jacobi ND and clearly list what phase they are suitable for.

All recipes are 100% gluten-free and soy-free.  There are dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and low FODMAP options available. Recipes list AU and US measurements, temperatures and ingredient names.

Order today >>