Nutrition and Wellness Blog

Notes from a Gut Health Nutritionist

Nutrition and Wellness Blog

Notes from a Gut Health Nutritionist

3 Key Strategies for Healing Your Gut and Reducing IBS Symptoms

Oct 25, 2023 | Gut Health, Mindset, The Nourished & Thriving Show

You shouldn’t have to become an expert in gut health nutrition to feel better and find success in reducing your IBS symptoms. You know, because there’s this huge mountain of information, and you only just need to know one stone’s worth of information to get you better. So why are you going and learning about everything when you really just need to become an expert in yourself?

*This is a modified transcript of an episode from my podcast, The Nourished & Thriving show. This episode is titled “3 Things My Clients are Doing Right Now to Feel Better”, which you can find on your favorite listening platform here.

*This is not medical advice.

First things first, I’m a registered dietitian on a mission to help you increase your impact and legacy on the world while healing your gut and reducing your IBS symptoms. My goal is to inspire you to live vibrantly and provide valuable resources and information that empowers you to take bold action towards your health goals.

Three Things My Clients Are Doing to Get Results and Reduce Their IBS Symptoms

Today we are talking about three things that my clients are doing to get results and feel better and find success in reducing their IBS symptoms. I’m doing this with great intention because you need to know what is different between you, who is stuck in hot mess gut or one of the other stages of gut rehab, and someone who is achieving success in healing their gut. You need to understand what they are doing differently. You hear about people healing their gut, you hear about people who are feeling bad and they somehow get better, and you need to figure out what they are doing differently that you are not doing.

Tony Robbins actually has a quote about success. He says, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.” And I think that there’s a lot of value in what he’s saying. Instead of trying to forge this path forward completely on your own and scrap these pieces together to come up with a plan and figure it out on your own, copy-paste to figure out what works for other people and apply that to your own life.

Puzzle pieces with images in them showing different necessities for optimal gut health and reducing IBS symptoms, like sleep, mindset, food

Now with gut health, it’s not that cut and dry. Every single person is different, and we’re each made up of body, mind, and spirit. So, we have to take all of those aspects into consideration. This is actually one reason I love working with people on their gut health because it’s really complicated, and I love a good puzzle. I love really figuring out, what are all of the moving parts? What are all of the pieces? How does this all fit together? But here’s the thing, you don’t necessarily know all of that until you start. I’m one where I like to see all the pieces laid out in front of me so I know exactly what I’m doing, but gut health is not like that. When managing our gut health, you get part of the pieces, and then you have to do some of the puzzle solving before you get the rest of the pieces.

So, Tony’s quote and his philosophy with this, of course, has nuance. But I think there’s also a lot of value in learning from others. It’s what helps us expedite our results. It’s what helps us get there faster instead of having to completely start from scratch. It’s working smarter instead of working harder. And so I’m going to share with you guys today, three things that my clients are doing right now that are getting them results in reducing their IBS symptoms that you need to be doing as well.

1. Clearly Define Your Goals

A woman's hands writing in a journal

First of all, every single client of mine who gets great results in my program knows what they want and clearly defines it. We actually have an activity in my program, Gut Rehab, that walks them through this to where they can envision so clearly what healthy or what feeling better means to them that they could describe it to somebody else, and that person can picture the exact vision in their mind of what the person is talking about.

Have you gotten that granular and clear on what it is that you even want? If you don’t know what you want to achieve, if you don’t define what healthy means for you, chances are you are going to get put on a protocol or a diet, or you’re going to start down this path and you are going to find yourself frustrated, unfulfilled, and just feeling like you’re not making progress.

Maybe you have been told to do something that feels impossible for you. And it’s because it’s not lining up with your values and your goals. It’s just a cookie-cutter protocol of basic generalized recommendations. You end up unmotivated to make the decisions that feel tough on your bad days, because you can’t even picture where you’re headed or what you’re working towards. Maybe you don’t even really believe that you’re going to get better – or that’s a true possibility – so your heart’s not into it.

So the first step in reducing your IBS symptoms is to know and clearly define your goals.

2. Stay the Course

A smoothie bowl topped with coconuts next to a journal, iphone and pen

Another thing my clients are doing is staying the course. Like I was saying, we don’t always get all of the puzzle pieces when we’re first starting out with managing our gut health. We get some of them. And then through my skill, my work with my clients, and some testing and all of that, we get a few more puzzle pieces to work with. Then even more information is revealed to us as my clients start taking steps forward and we’re getting feedback from their bodies on how they’re feeling and how their body is responding to different things. That feedback helps us to more completely put all of the pieces together and know what pieces you’re even working with in the first place.

Now, are you working with somebody who is truly partnering with you through this? Maybe you’re working with a GI doctor or functional health doctor who you’re seeing once a year. Maybe they’re giving you a protocol and telling you to follow back in a few months. It can help some, but you’re not going to get as great of results in reducing your IBS symptoms as if you truly link arms with somebody and take those steps together.

In reality, you might not realize how significant it is in the signs your body is telling you or how to navigate the information you’re getting as you’re moving forward. Or you might realize it is significant and be tracking, but still not know what to do with that information. That’s where I come in and help my clients take action towards healing. Because I’m there to guide them, they’re able to stay the course. Everybody, whenever you are healing your gut, whenever you are working to repair something that has been chronically damaged and dysfunctioning, you’re going to bump up against some roadblocks. Sometimes it is not going to be all sunshine and rainbows as you’re moving through this, you’re going to have some hard days. You’re going to have some days where you don’t feel good. You’re going to have some days where you feel like you’re not making progress. You’re going to have some setbacks along the way. But you have to stay the course. And again, it goes back to that first thing of knowing what you’re going for and reminding yourself of what you’re going for in those moments that helps you stay the course.

3. Take Responsibility for Your Life

A woman leans back from her computer with her hands behind her head and looks off into the distance

The third thing that my clients are doing is taking responsibility for their lives and seeing the freedom that comes with that, instead of feeling like a victim. I know when you’re having these awful gut symptoms that feel like they’re controlling your life, you don’t feel like you can do anything about them. You can’t control them, you don’t know what’s causing them, and you are really suffering, so you feel like a victim.

What if there’s a little mindset-flip trick for you to try in those moments where you’re feeling like a victim and this is happening to you? Instead of thinking these symptoms are happening to me, my body is revolting against me, my body hates me, try to flip it and say, “These symptoms are happening for me for a reason, because my body is trying to tell me something. My body is trying to tell me that it needs help, it needs support. Something is wrong, and I’m so grateful for these symptoms.”

Can you imagine how wrong everything would be if you had no idea that anything was off, you felt fantastic, and then all of a sudden, one day everything fell apart all at once? That would be awful. People would be dropping like flies left and right because they’d have no idea that something needed attention.

So that’s just a mindset trick for you to try on those days where you’re feeling down and like a victim and like nothing’s ever going to change. Try and think about WHY these symptoms are happening and what is your body trying to help you with. Try that, write that down somewhere, stick it up in a sticky note, put it in a voice recording, and listen to it on those days when you’re having a harder time. Having that mindset switch is really going to be what gives you that in-control feeling versus feeling like you are being controlled by your gut.

Bonus: 4. Hire Some Help

A grey-haired woman in glasses waves high to her computer on a video call, hiring help for reducing IBS symptoms

This one doesn’t even need to be said, but all of these clients also hired some help. Going back to what our friend Tony Robbins said at the beginning, see somebody who’s achieved what you want to achieve and copy and paste it. Well, it’s hard to know what all somebody did if you’re just observing from the outside, and maybe they can tell you and run it through to you. But like I said, it’s not exactly a copy and paste because everyone is so different. So how powerful would it be to have somebody in your corner who has a proven track record of helping people supporting you to adjust and find what works, but who is also able to personalize it to you, your needs, and your goals? That is huge. That is so powerful.

That is a big reason my clients are able to do these three things and stick with them consistently enough to get results with them. So I’m going to suggest it: hire some help. If you feel like we really connect, if you really resonate with everything that I’m saying, I would love to talk with you. If not, if you’re just looking for some information on gut health, find someone who you connect to with a proven track record, who can help break all this down for you because there’s a lot of information out there. I spent a lot of hours training in this field. I spent a lot of hours working with clients and getting actual practical experience every single day. I spent a lot of hours doing continuing education. And here’s what I’ve learned: You shouldn’t have to become an expert in gut health nutrition to feel better. You know, because there’s this huge mountain of information, and you only just need to know  one stone’s worth of information to get you better. So why are you going and learning about everything when you really just need to become an expert in yourself?

Case In Point for Reducing IBS Symptoms

A woman in a bright t-shirt with a number tag pinned to it runs in a race, story of reducing IBS symptoms

Now before we wrap up, I wanted to tell you an inspiring stories about one of my clients who has been working at reducing her IBS symptoms, which I’m going to keep her identity confidential. Before she felt so achy if she tried to work out (despite previously being a fitness trainer). She was having to take a long nap every single day. Her relationships were suffering. She and her husband were very active on trips and vacations, and she felt like she wasn’t able to participate anymore and it was just a huge burden. She would jump between restrictive dieting and comfort eating and still dealing with digestive issues, like bloating.

She was actually getting a colonoscopy around the time we first started talking. And I said, “Whether that colonoscopy comes back showing something like inflammatory bowel disease or it comes back with nothing and they say everything looks fine, you’re going to need some support no matter what.” Navigating those results, creating a plan of action, and having support along the way really resonated with her and she signed up. Ultimately the colonoscopy results were clear and the docs saw nothing, which I know is a common scenario for many of you. But instead of feeling like lost hope, we began working together.

Since then, we’ve been able to figure out what’s going on. I wasn’t able to open a book and all of the answers were right in front of me. It took a lot of work and time on both of our parts and consistency on her part. Now she may take a short 10-15 minute nap a few days a week if she wants to, but she doesn’t feel like her day is wrecked if she can’t take a two-hour nap. She’s confident in what she’s eating. Her energy levels increased. She’s been traveling again and being active. And my favorite part – she’s actually been training for a triathlon that she’s going to be participating in in just a couple of weeks for the first time in years! Just seeing her be able to be active and doing things that she loves again has been so rewarding.

Now I know for a fact that she has been absolutely doing all of these things that I shared with you today to reduce her IBS symptoms:

  1. She clearly defined her goals.
  2. She stayed the course despite any hiccups.
  3. She took responsibility for her life.
  4. She hired someone for outside perspective, support and accountability. (Me!)

If what I’ve been saying resonates, if you want some support in reducing your IBS symptoms, if you’re tired of trying to do this on your own, please reach out with any questions here or apply for a free discovery call here. I’d love to talk with you.

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