December 1, 2018
This post has been sponsored by Renew Life. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ever since I can remember, I have struggled with gut health. While this isn’t the most glamorous topic, I’m sharing my experience in hopes of helping others in a similar position. SO, if you’ve ever struggled with digestive health, this one is for you.
From the time I was little up until college, I felt sick all the time. I visited a lot of doctors and each time they found nothing wrong. It was frustrating, to say the least. For a while, I just assumed I would be like that forever and it shaped my lifestyle in a lot of ways. I pushed aside sleepovers with friends, long car rides, etc, simply because I was afraid of feeling sick and inconveniencing someone because of it. I’m sure a lot of you can relate.
Once I entered college, I had had enough. I realized that if I didn’t take matters into my own hands and figure out what was causing me consistent pain, no one was going to do it for me. That’s when I decided to visit a gastrointestinal doctor. I made an appointment, hoping that she could provide me with an instant solution. Once we met and I told her about my problems, she put me on an elimination diet and told me I needed to take a probiotic asap (Renew Life® Womenâs Care Probiotic to be exact). I can still remember her saying “take your probiotic daily and swear off gluten AND dairy for 6 months. You can’t do this halfway, it has to be 100% if you want to see results”.
To say I wasn’t happy about it is an incredibly mild way to put it. I had grown up on a standard American diet. I mean, my favorite foods were mac n’ cheese and pizza. How was I going to survive without them for 6 months? At the time, it seemed like everything I had grown up eating and loved was being taken away from me. I remember texting friends saying things like “I’m going to starve!” Dramatic, I know.
Little did I know at the time, this one doctor visit would be the first step in a long road to repairing my digestive health, and would eventually lead me to a happier, healthier life. After the 6 months were up, I felt great. I still had the occasional stomach pain, but nothing like the daily struggle I used to have. I slowly re-introduced gluten and dairy back into my system, and that’s when I figured it out. Gluten and me? We’re all good, no problems here. Dairy, however? Not so much. I’m apparently very lactose intolerant. Once I determined this, everything made sense. There is butter, cheese, and milk in EVERYTHING, especially the foods you eat when you’re younger.
Once I cut it out, I’ve never looked back. I was so happy with my newfound diet and the results of Renew Life® Womenâs Care Probiotic, but I knew I still had a ways to go to completely repair my gut health. Today, I’m sharing all of the practices I’ve incorporated into my daily life throughout the past 6 years which have helped my digestive health become the best it can possibly be.
When I originally took action and went to the gastrointestinal doctor, she recommended I introduce a probiotic to my system right away. At the time, I was really unfamiliar with probiotics and their assistance in digestive health so she recommended me her favorite: Renew Life® Womenâs Care Probiotic, which I stock up on at Sam’s Club.
I have now been taking this probiotic for 6 years and couldn’t recommend it enough! There are 25 billion live cultures per capsule (most only have about 10 billion), and they are gluten and dairy free. I’ve found that taking Renew Life® Womenâs Care Probiotic daily really helps me to feel my best and keeps my digestive and immune health on track. As I mentioned above, I always pick mine up at my local Sam’s Club. It’s the only retailer that carries the 90 Count container, which I really love since now it lasts me for 3 months.
While I had always been active and in sports, I didn’t have a ton of motivation to hit the gym. Once I started going consistently, I loved it. Getting into a routine is hard, but keeping a routine is easy. I have found that yoga and circuit training are what I love, but any exercise is great! Find something you like to do, whether that be walking, biking, kickboxing, etc.
For the past five years, I’ve eaten oatmeal almost every single morning for breakfast. My doctor suggested I try it, and I’ve been obsessed ever since! Oatmeal is easy on the stomach and gives the body a nice source of complex carbs and fiber. It’s important to eat breakfast to get your digestive system revved up and ready for the day!
Other good breakfasts for digestive health are fruit smoothies, probiotic yogurt, and granola cereals.
I know you’ve heard this a million times over, but it’s so important to drink enough water. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day has really helped my digestion. Dehydration has been consistently linked to constipation and a lot of other digestive issues, so get your water in! Aim for 8 eight-ounce glasses a day.
Pro tip: If you have trouble drinking a lot, I would suggest getting a water bottle with a straw. This has truly helped me get into the habit of drinking more since it’s so much easier to sip on throughout the day without having to take off a lid.
As I mentioned above, trying an elimination diet is the reason I was *finally* able to diagnose my digestion problems. Eliminating certain foods has allowed me to identify a lot of different products that don’t work well with my stomach. Through an elimination diet, I’ve learned that as well as dairy, I’m also really sensitive to oil, and high-fat foods.
While gluten and dairy are two of the most common allergies, it’s worth trying to eliminate whatever you think bothers you! While I just cut out dairy first, I transitioned to a plant-based vegan diet a few years ago which has really helped my digestion a lot as well. Don’t be afraid to try things out! You may feel a lot better than you think.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and getting a look into my background. I get a lot of comments and direct messages on here and Instagram saying things like “you’re so healthy” which make me laugh because it definitely hasn’t always been that way. My health and digestion path has been such a journey and one that I’m consistently trying to improve upon every day. I hope you guys give some of the above a try if you’re struggling with similar issues or if you’re just looking to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine. They’re simple practices that, if you add in day by day, will make a huge difference in the long run. Your gut will thank you.