1% Improvement A Day For Gut Health!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting Megs from Nutritional Balance on the Mindful Habits members group coaching call. Megs aligns with our groups’ ethos for making small 1% continuous daily improvements and she inspired us with one pertinent message:
“Try to do at least one thing each day to serve your gut health”
The top hits for our group included discussion around sugar addiction, weight loss, hormonal balance, skin complaints, meal planning and bloating. I thought I’d share some hot tips discussed within the group and with the guidance of Megs:
Our western diet has been saturated with sugar, and has blown out consumption leading to increasing burden of disease. In the 1970’s families on average were consuming 3 meals per day and diabetes and obesity were relatively rare conditions. Fast forward 40 years, it’s not uncommon for people to be eating 6 meals meals per day and we are now in a diabetes and obesity epidemic!
Megs reminded us that the recommended daily consumption of sugar, in adding refined sugar, should not exceed more than 4-5 added teaspoons per day. From an Ayurvedic perspective, sweet taste is very important and we can be reminded to get this through wholefoods such as fruit (approx 2 serves per day), dark chocolate (at least >70% cocoa), honey and also carbohydrates such as sweet potato and carrots.
Sugar has a massive impact on neurotransmitters in the brain and can generate overwhelming cravings as potent as those related to drug addiction. As Sarah Wilson says “there is no off switch” for this instant source of fuel and we just impulsively go back for more. I have been inspired recently by Sara Wilson, speaking at the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Wellness Conference, and raising awareness around the link with sugar and anxiety, inflammation and poor gut health. You can read more about Sara Wilson’s journey to healing anxiety as well as improving Bi Polar disorder and Hashimotos (underactive thyroid). The benefits of quitting sugar from a gut health, joint health and mental health perspective has been backed by Megs and leads to the simple truth that quitting sugar is ultimately the best option.
Fortunately it’s not all bad news! Megs encourages us to sweeten our senses with wholefoods including bliss balls and fruits but to also importantly remember to ensure meals are balanced with 40% protein, 30% good fats and 30% carbohydrate (ideally vegetables). Certainly this is key for small steps to intermittent fasting and getting to the other side of conditioned hunger cycles. Actually, getting in touch with true hunger is one of the advantages of intermittent fasting!
Megs encouraged us to experiment with responding to sugar cravings with the habit of brushing teeth - an effective strategy for short circuiting sugar cravings. This is in line with the intermittent fasting research which shows that hunger cravings can fade away in less than 30 minutes and adding in distraction is a great process. The use of spices are also effective for managing cravings with some favorites being licorice or cinnamon tea.
Megs has a passion for anti-inflammatory food and gut health and our Mindful Habits members are looking forward to enjoying Mama Megs wellness broth! Some of my favourite tips from Megs included the remedy for the pesky “single eye twitch” being magnesium supplementation and also the use of chromium supplements to combat sugar cravings.
Stay connected with Anna Berkelmans for more of our conversation on weight loss, gut health, hormone balance, bloating, skin health and meal planning or better still get yourself signed up to the upcoming FREE Intermittent fasting Challenge and Women’s Health and Hormone Balance workshop.