3-Operation Gut Heal: The Plan
Every year I do the elimination diet at least once, usually twice as food sensitivities change depending on what you eat & how much of it. Elimination diets consist of removing all known potential food allergens, FODMAPs, and anything you potentially eat very often.
This year, as I wait for all of my lab test results, I decided to start the elimination of with a liquid cleanse. I wanted to give my digestive system a break as discussed in To Fast or Not to Fast. I spent a lot of time preparing and researching prior to starting #operationgutheal. This is not something I take lightly.
I hope you've all seen the movie Food Matters? If not, that's tonight's homework! They have a fantastic website, full of amazing movies, documentaries (that are not boring), lots of resources, and several cleanses. I chose the 7 day cleanse, which consisted of all fruits and veggies either juiced or blended cold, or cooked in bone broth & blended into soup. Some of the recipes were really tasty, you will find some inspo in some of mine in our Recipe section in the blog as well as our Forum. I also chose to do a vitamin C bowel flush (which is worth repeating).
Some of the 'smoothies' contained vegan protein powder and healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil. This was not about deprivation, but more of a cleansing of the gastrointestinal system. Since I was having a lot less calories than normal, I decided that I would take the week off from lifting and focused more on light cardio and yoga. Days 1-3 were ok. I was hungry but not starving. By day 4, I was breaking out all over my face, eczema everywhere, mentally very moody and highly doubted that I would be able to finish. Day 5 came around and I was ok. I made it the remaining 3 days and on the days to follow decided to continue adding the juices and soups and slowly add whole foods back into the mix *making sure that they were not on the elimination do not eat list. I also started a full body cleanse by Garden of Life, a company that I use a lot of products from. (Protein bars, protein powder, supps).
The full body cleanse lasts for 12 days. Within that time, I slowly added whole foods back into my diet along with getting weekly colonics. It might sound gross, but what's even more gross is keeping all of the toxins in your body! Yikes!
There are several underlying conditions to consider and test for with Leaky Gut (intestinal permeability).
SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth)
Symptoms caused by SIBO
1. Gas 2. Bloating 3. Diarrhea &/or Constipation (less common than diarrhea) 4. Abdominal pain or cramping 5. Skin disorder such as eczema and rosacea 6. Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease 7. Food intolerances such as gluten, casein, lactose, fructose and more 8. Chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and neuromuscular disorders. 9. B12 deficiency as well as other vitamins and minerals (iron and magnesium are common) 10. Fat malabsorption
Common Candida Symptoms
1. Seasonal Allergies or itchy ears and skin
2. Low Energy, Fatigue & Malaise
3. Digestive Problems such as bloating, constipation or diarrhea
5. Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)
7. Mood swings, anxiety, depression and irritability
8. Vaginal infections, UTI’s, rectal or vaginal itching
9. Brain fog, ADHD, concentration problems or poor memory
10. Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
If you have ever eaten out at a restaurant or bought food from a grocery store, chances are, you have a parasite. (8 out of 10 people have them) *Its recommended to do a yearly parasite cleanse. I know, SO gross right?!
Since I have ALL of these issues, I had to start a serious treatment plan ASAP!
1. I am daily eating foods that will help to repair my leaky gut as well as NOT feed the candida overgrowth & parasites.
Bone broth- in soups or drinks, coconut products, fermented veggies, avocado, soaking all seeds/nuts/grains for 9+ hours, raw cultured dairy-such as Kefir. 2-3 months on a more plant based diet.
2. 4-8 weeks of the Aloe/Silver Protocol:
1-2 tbsp silver with equal Aloe 3x daily on an empty stomach
probiotics at night before bed (*start with a low dose, increase over time)
3. Introduce herbs and supplements:
20G of L-Glutamine daily divided doses
Oil of Oregano- twice daily
AquaFlora-twice daily on empty stomach
Baptisia-once daily & increase to twice daily after month one
grapefruit seed extract-once daily
CBD oil- 3x daily sublingual
Fish Oil- 1000mg twice daily
Silica (3 tabs 4x day for 1 week-start month 2)
Licorice Root-500mg 3x daily with food
4. DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE! During the remove/replace/reintroduce stages, when the candida and parasites start to die off, its very common to feel ill. You will feel worse before you feel better. I experienced break outs, nausea, lethargy, moodiness, bowel changes, etc.
Candida Die off Symptoms:
Headache, fatigue, dizziness
Bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea
Increased joint or muscle pain
Elevated heart rate
Chills, cold feeling in your extremities
Body itchiness, hives or rashes
During this time, its best to try to listen to your body, get extra sleep when you need it. If you're exhausted, lay down for a few-even if you don't fall asleep. Practice mindfulness-meditation, journalling, and you can also use essential oils.
I am still in the early stage and am keeping detailed logs of how I feel every day. Of course I will report back to you all and let you know how it goes! I am nervous but very excited to be that much closer to remission!
Brianna, Holistic Healing Fit Club