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Heal’r Your Gut

Written by Tanya Lee

In Preparation for the Heal’r Your Gut Program.

Whether you’ve only recently discovered Heal’r, or you are a long time follower, you most likely know that we in the coming weeks, 8 of Heal’rs finest will be trialling the Heal’r Your Gut Program.

With the start of a new year, and an increasingly evident link between the gut and health, 8 Heal’rs will be trialling the ‘Heal’r Your Gut Program and Cleanse’. This program emphasises the importance of gut health, whilst individually addressing hormones, skin, anxiety, weight loss and pain. In order to prepare for the program, our main goal was to cut out any aggravating habits. Essentially these habits include foods or drinks which result in gastrointestinal discomfort, sleep disturbances, breakouts or emotional changes.

To keep things simple, some of our Heal’r’s focused on eliminating caffeine for the first seven days.

While there are some conflicting studies of both the positives and negatives to drinking coffee, we are certain of something – too much caffeine may result in addiction, fatigue and anxiety. Therefore, the focus this week was assessing the effects it had on sleep, energy and mood.

Coffee + Life​

Cutting out one’s beloved morning coffee actually seemed pretty achievable. Most of our Heal’rs were never a coffee drinker, until they started studying (hello all-nighters). Over the last 3-4 years of study, some developed a morning routine of a sit down breakfast and a coffee, (some Heal’rs limit themselves to no more than two cups a day), others on the run smoothies. Coffee to some is a warm hug, a cup of deliciousness that gives you a little pep to your step in the morning. How hard could it be to give up?

The first 2 days…

Turns out, some of our Heal’r’s bodies showed signs of withdrawal. Day 1 & 2, it took a lot of will not to reach for that morning brew. Some experienced an 8 hour lingering headache on the first day, alongside an irritable and vague mood. One Heal’r was tried, craved sugar and experienced big afternoon slumps. But “don’t fret”, they kept telling themselves. Surely it would pass.

Day three and on wards – there was light!

As of day three, waking up was more easy, with a good mood and bounding energy. And each day got better. More energised, able to concentrate and experience no afternoon slumps. The Heal’rs noticed how easy it was to fall asleep and even felt more motivated to exercise! By day 5, some Heal’rs even forgot there were avoiding coffee!

Ready to give it a try? These are the 3 thing you need to kick that caffeine habit.

1. Dandelion Root

Before starting your mini cleanse, make sure you have a cupboard full of herbs like Dandelion Root and Chicory Root. Commonly used as a coffee substitutes due to their bitter flavour; Dandelion Root is rich in antioxidants, and is known to support liver health, digestion and help fight bacteria (perfect for gut health!). Dandelion Root is delicious in a “milk alternative” to make a latte, you can also find Dandelion Root and Chicory Root in Root’d by Heal’r. Reaching for a ‘similar’ brew in the morning really helps maintain your routine, and being caffeine-free, you can easily have one in the afternoon and it won’t disturb your adrenals.

2. H2O

Water, water, water! You’ve heard it a billion times before but H2O will make those first few days a bit easier. Alongside caffeine withdrawal, dehydration will play a large part in developing that nasty headache. So invest in a stainless steel water bottle, use boiled or filtered water, add either lemon, ginger, rock or Himalayan rock salt – to assist absorption, and aim to drink at least 1.5 -2L per day. Absorption is the key here. If you drink tap or cheaper brands of bottled water, they lack the minerals and nutrients for your body to absorb the water. At Heal’r, we use a filter that not only filters our the nasties, it adds the necessary minerals back in. Contact us for more details. 

3. Exercise

Everyone is different, so the exact day you feel a boost in energy may vary. But as soon as you do, we encourage you to move! Whether it be walking, swimming, Pilates, yoga, football training – the list goes on. Adding exercise into your week will further aid in better sleep, happier mood and sharper concentration.

4. Mindfulness

The Gut Mind Connection that is not often connected to as an underlying factor, is our emotions. Emotions play a big part in our commitment and success of any program. During the first few days, it can be tempting to give in, give up. You might also experience lack of motivation, irritation or sadness. This is normal and common. The things to be mindful about, are the attachments to the things we are giving up, as well as the beliefs we have about giving them up. The more things we give up, the more resistance can arise. How we manage these emotions, observations and connections is how we Heal’r. Detoxing, cleansing, changing your habits can bring up personal memories and thoughts we didn’t know were still there. 

Emotions trigger a chemical response in our bodies. The more intense the emotion and the more we experience the same ones, the more hormonal responses circulate around our organs and nervous system. This is why Gut and Mental health can be more than just cutting out a food group. It is the total sum of your mind, what we consume, your physical health as well as your existing optimal organ function.

If these triggers continue to hinder your progress, or keep playing on your mind, it would be ideal to continue with our Heal’r Your Gut Program or speak with one of our Heal’rs to discover why.

New blog post on our Heal’r Your Gut Program coming.

Written by Tash Ryan (Naturopth, Heal’r Intern) and Tanya Lee

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