Below you will find 4 foundational habits to implement into your daily routine today! This will support not only digestion (healing your gut), but will also support goals towards sustainable weight loss.
1. Oral Health: Brush your teeth first thing in the morning before anything else.
Your mouth houses lots of bacteria that when swallowed, travels into your gut. Here are a few things to start to practice daily:
Tongue scrape daily first thing once you wake in the morning.
Dip your toothbrush into 3% H202 (hydrogen peroxide) after every toothbrushing to sanitize. I even spray some on my toothpaste before brushing my teeth and make sure to rinse well!
Remember to change your toothbrush / toothbrush head out on a regular basis and sanitize mouthguard if you use one.
Homemade anti-bacterial toothpaste and gargle:
Toothpaste: Combine 1/2 cup baking soda + 1 tsp salt and mix well. Keep in one large container and put a little in a small container and use once daily. Dip toothbrush in 3% H2O2 before dipping into baking soda mixture and then brush for 2 minutes.
Water Pic (or floss): Use 3% hydrogen peroxide with water by diluting as a 1 to 8 ratio, (H202 : water). Use Water Pic around gum line of each tooth daily or you can floss daily.
Mouthwash: Use 3% H2O2 and water. Dilute as a 1 to 8 ratio, (H202 : water) and gargle once every 24 hours.
2. Eat a protein rich breakfast. The goal is between 20-30g of protein paired with fiber + healthy fat. Bonus points if you can do this within an hour of waking up!
Not only does protein play an important role in the health of the cells that line our gut, but it is also important for blood sugar management. When our blood sugar levels are all over the place it puts our body in a stressed state (fight or flight), it messes with our energy levels, brain fog, hormones, and impacts weight tremendously (to name a few).
My go-to breakfast that will help keep you satiated and ready to start the day: 1 scoop protein powder + 1 cup frozen blueberries + 1 cup frozen spinach + 2 tbsp ground flax or hemp + 8 oz. water + lots of ice!
3. Add in gut loving foods daily!
Polyphenol rich foods high in antioxidants are so important to incorporate daily. These foods not only support weight loss, but they feed your good gut bacteria and help prevent the growth of bad bacteria.
Nuts and Seeds
4. Regulate your nervous system (stress management)
Most of us have a lot of stress in our daily lives, so it is important to regulate this best we can. When we are in that 'flight-or-fight' mode, everything slows down (even metabolism).
But, if your body thinks it is safe, your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in (aka your 'rest-and-digest' response). When this happens, all organs involved in digestion and detoxification are stimulated. We can now break down our food much easier and efficiently (this is important for so many reasons) and it allows our metabolism the ability to burn fat.
Stress Management Examples:
Daily deep breathing (especially before meals). The vagus nerve gets activated when you slow your breath down. I love doing the 4-7-8 breathing technique where you inhale for 4, hold for 7, and out for 8. Or you can pick any amount of time that feels right for you. If you do this 5-15 minutes before meals you will feel the difference. This allows you to interrupt your stress response system and bring you into a relaxed state (which will allow your stomach to produce acid and enzymes to break down food too).
Having a mantra- I did this a lot when I was working in NYC in advertising sales and in a constant state of stress. Repeating a personalized mantra brought me back to reality!