Let me tell you about a client of mine who has recently completed The Gut Recovery Programme; my 12 module online group coaching programme for women 40+ struggling with poor gut health and weight gain as a result of hormonal imbalance and chronic stress.
Her name is Nicki. She came into the programme with a history of dairy intolerance, gluten intolerance and was constantly exhausted. She also suffered from persistent loose bowel movements even after she attempted to go dairy and gluten free.
As Nicki progressed through the ERASER Method; the 3 phase, step-by-step methodology I teach in The Gut Recovery Programme, she started to experience an improvement in her gas and bloating and her energy started to return in leaps and bounds. Not to mention, she had lost 2 stone (almost 30lbs) in weight in just over 2 months!)
Here is what she had to say when she shared her amazing progress with her own clients on her website:
"Before and after 3 months apart.So during 3 years of hard studying I put on weight and my skin looked very tired and I started to get back aches and pains and fatigue. All symptoms of my previously diagnosed M.E.I have been taking part in a gut recovery program to improve my own health issues. I have learnt so much from taking part and am feeling alot better. I have lost nearly 2 stone and my skin looks fresher. It really is surprising how changing your lifestyle and eating habits can change your whole well being.This program is run by Joanne Willis. She has a number of programs she runs online. If you have any concerns I can highly recommend getting in touch with her via her facebook page Clean Living Nutrition & Wellness. For hair loss or scalp concerns get in touch with me. Nutrition has such a big part in your well being. Take control of your health. There is no magic pill to eliminate the abuse you give your body. It's down to you to take action, but your not alone. X"
Now as amazing as Nicki's progress had been, she was STILL struggling with one uncomfortable symptom.....the loose bowels!
So as we ventured into the secondary food intolerance testing stage of the programme in Module 11, we had to dive a little deeper. What became apparent after a little more investigating is that Nicki's bowel issues seemed to be connected to her increase in fruits and vegetables!
Now how many of you have increased your intake of fruits and vegetables in an attempt to feel better and lose weight? Probably every single one of you I would imagine! And I know for a fact that Nicki isn't alone when it comes to experiencing uncomfortable digestive issues as a result of eating more healthy fruits and vegetables.
This is because fruits and vegetables are what we call "fermentable carbohydrates". Even though they are loaded with tons of nutritional benefits, an increase in fruits, vegetables and other fermentable carbohydrates such as beans, legumes and other fermented foods can highlight difficulties in some people who are lacking enough of specific types of enzymes in their gut to effectively digest and absorb the nutrients from these foods. And believe it or not, it is estimated that 40-50% of the population struggles with this issue known as a fructose intolerance.
So I asked Nicki to tweak her existing protocol to focus more on low-FODMAP foods for a minimum of 4 weeks. I provided her with a food guide and a meal plan and asked her to track if she noticed any improvements.
And she did!
It has now been almost a month since Nicki started following the low-FODMAP protocol I gave her as part of the secondary food intolerance testing stage and she is now experiencing regular, solid bowel movements for the first time in years!!!
So what is a low FODMAP protocol you ask? What was it about this protocol that finally got Nicki the results she was looking for?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, which essentially are certain types of carbohydrates and naturally-occurring alcohols found in foods that ferment easily and can be difficult for the body to digest and absorb.
When these foods are left to ferment in the gut they cause typical symptoms of gas, bloating and abdominal pain and tend to cause very loose bowel movements. An abundance of certain enzymes whose main job is to breakdown fermentable carbohydrates is required in the the gut to avoid experiencing these symptoms; especially if you have increased your intake of these foods (ie; fruits and vegetables).
If you are experiencing a lot or all of the symptoms noted above, here are a list of the most common, High FODMAP foods you want to try to avoid:
Some vegetables (asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chicory leaves, globe and Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, mushrooms, snow peas)
Beans/legumes (baked beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, butter beans, kidney beans, cannelini beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, split peas)
Artificial sweeteners (agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, sugar-free gum/mints)
Grains (amaranth, barley and rye)
(If you would like to experiment with a free 7 day low-FODMAP meal plan to see if you get relief from some/all of your symptoms, click here to come into our Facebook Group and send me a private message with the words "FODMAP MEAL PLAN" and I'll send it straight over to you :)
Now it wasn't just the dietary approach that needed to change to get Nicki relief, but I also asked her to start taking a specific digestive enzyme supplement that contained two very important enzymes that are essential for helping digest fermentable carbohydrates.....maltase and alpha-galactosidase.
Now a quick caveat here....as a Nutritionist, I find that many people with digestive issues want to jump straight into using a digestive enzyme supplement hoping for a quick fix. However I must point out that if the diet is not corrected and the gut environment remains unbalanced then a digestive enzyme supplement alone will not fix the issues long-term.
Of course, if after making the necessary dietary changes you are still struggling with food intolerance symptoms, then this might indicate the need for supplementation of one, two or perhaps even a few enzymes for a period of time to help get your gut health back on track.
If you are concerned about your gut health and are experiencing chronic painful or uncomfortable symptoms, you may be the perfect candidate for The Gut Recovery Programme!
CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR FREE STRATEGY CALL TODAY and let's find out :)