Friday, January 11, 2013

Fixing Digestive Issues: Phase I, II & III

I'm so blown away by how much people are suffering with digestive issues - especially our sweet innocent children! And most of the time, through no fault of our own, we don't realize that issues such as eczema, emotional instability, autism, allergies, Celiac's disease and auto immune disorders are all stemming from one place - the gut!

Do I believe in genetic weaknesses that make some more susceptible to digestive ailments more than others? Yes. But more so, I believe in the ability to heal our bodies through diet and supplementation and that even those who have  those unwanted genes will greatly benefit from the right kind of diet and supplementation.

I've studied gut related issues for some time and have experimented plenty on my own family and here's the protocol/phases I've created:

(Note: The following protocol is what I would do or suggest others to do. I am not a professional health expert etc. etc. etc.)

I'd suggest doing this protocol for at least 2-4 weeks to see if any difference occurs. If it does help, continue the protocol for another 3-12 months, allowing true and permanent healing to occur.

The no-no's: 

NO sugar (only small amounts of RAW honey) 
NO dairy 
NO gluten 
NO starches

 (By avoiding all of these we're giving the digestive system a break and providing it with the ability to heal.) 

Note: even though raw milk is a MUCH better substitute than pasteurized milk products and usually doesn't cause problems for those with digestive issues, there is a substance in milk called Casein, found in all dairy products both pasteurized or raw, that can halt the healing process - so avoid all dairy, period, for some time (1-3 months) to allow full healing to occur.

The Diet:

Juicing every morning.

Most anything will do: carrots, celery, kale, apples, some beets, etc.

Three supplements.

A good probiotic.

I like Garden of Life's brand. And I'd recommend taking a supplement 2-3 times a day, in large doses. You'll know if you've exceeded how much you should take by the presence of good ol' diarrhea.

L-glutamine powder.

This powder is tasteless and can be mixed into any food or drink. It helps in the rebuilding of the digestive lining and overall healing of the digestive tract. Research how much you think you/your child should take.

Vitamin/Mineral liquid supplement. (non-sugar)

This will create a good foundation upon which the body/digestive system can heal.

Whole chicken broth. (aka: bone broth/meat stock).

When boiling away a whole chicken (making sure those good ol' bones are a part of it all) you're creating a broth that contains specific amino acids that are soothing and healing to the gut.

Drinking this broth and using it in meals is a fantastic addition to the gut healing diet.

You can use the broth for meals such as Vegetable and Basil Pasta, Vegetable Millet Soup, Chicken Lasagna (for phase two), or Chicken Stock soup. Or just drink the broth plain!

More tips and info can be found here.

Apple Cider Vinegar. (Bragg's brand):

Mix 1-2T. in 8 oz of water and drink away. 1-2 tsps can be used for children. Drink this 1-2 times a day especially first thing in morning or before going to bed.

Not only is ACV rich in enzymes and nutrients but it also contains those highly desired good bacteria as well not to mention that its a great tonic to take for overall health.

Probiotic Rich Foods.

Foods such as REAL sauerkraut (not the junk stuff found in grocery stores which are heat treated and sitting in unhealthy vinegars), gluten free miso, fermented drinks such as kombucha and water kefir.

(Here's a great recipe for sauerkraut.)

Eat normal (gluten free) meals as usual. I have some of my favorite recipes on my blog but the web is FULL of great GF meals for all meals of the day AND there are so many GF products in stores nowadays which is incredibly helpful.


Eat only meats that are grass-fed, free range, non-mass produced/factory farmed meats. This includes all chicken, salmon or red meats.

Salmon is an excellent meat to eat. It's beneficial to our cells, our brain, our skin, our digestive system - super good stuff.


Good fats only: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil. Hold off on the use of butter until Phase two.

Starchy Foods.

You're already going to be avoiding a lot of starchy foods like bread and pasta since you'll be avoiding gluten. But three other important super starchy foods to avoid during phase one are potatoes, white rice and corn or foods made using corn.

After enough time has gone by on the Phase I Protocol and all symptoms have subsided for some time I would begin incorporating wheat and dairy into the diet.

Only both of those (the wheat and dairy) need to be in their properly prepared, raw or fermented form.

For example:


Eat only sourdough breads (not the sourdough flavored fake breads found in most grocery stores but REAL sourdough breads) or sprouted wheat breads (not the breads that claim they're sprouted wheat but really only contain sprouted wheat.)

I have a great sourdough starter recipe and bread recipe and soaked tortilla recipe which, once you've got the feel for it is a piece of cake.

Or find these in stores near you.


Use raw fermented dairy such as kefir, raw cheeses, cultured cream cheeses, etc.

Goat milk will always be best - it's closest to human breast milk out of any animal derived milk out there and is easiest to digest.

BUT I fully understand that not everyone has a way to get raw milk. Nor, in fact, is it even legal in some states. If that's the case I'd try small amounts of fermented pasteurized milk products and see if symptoms begin to return or not.


Begin using butter. Raw, as always, is best, organic is next best and higher quality butter (the more expensive kind in stores) would be my third choice.

Starchy Foods.

Low starchy foods such as Yams and red potatoes are okay to eat during this phase.

Follow Phase II only I'd allow the use of sucanat/rapadura as sweeteners (such as in cookies), sparingly.

Continue using probiotic rich foods, back off of the supplements - using only the probiotics as a maintenance dose rather than a healing dose, and continue using properly prepared grains and dairy products as a permanent diet.

You can try going back to the way you ate before making changes to your diet but I'd suggest forever using mostly/only grains that have been properly prepared and raw and cultured/fermented dairy products.

Two great books to read are: 

Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride's book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome

and Jordin Rubin's book, The Maker's Diet.

** Even though there are only minimal amounts of gluten in sourdough and soaked grain products some Celiac patients should never eat gluten even in minimal amounts. Listen to your own body and your own doctor.

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