What can I eat for stomach pain? 4 important tips

Do you feel confused about what to eat and what you should and what not to eat when you have stomach pain? Maybe you read somewhere that you should follow a ketogenic diet, low sugar, high fiber, vegan and raw veggies… But you also heard low fat, cooked foods, carnivore diet and low fiber…

It is such a confusing world out there with many different messages about food! Before you jump on one of these special diets, check if you’ve tried these first important steps! They help you decide what works for YOU…

1: Eat whole foods

If you eat a diet high in processed foods and you have bloating, acid reflux, stomach pain… your first step is to replace those by whole foods. Whole foods are – well… what the are! A chicken is a whole food, a sweet potato is. Oats, rice, nuts, seeds are.

Processed foods often contain a whole list of ingredients: flours, sugar, processed oils, colourings, flavourings… That makes it much harder to recognise which ingredient is causing you issues. Processed foods make up most of the shelves of the supermarket and the messages on the package can suggest they’re a healthy food. So be careful and check the ingredients on the label!

2: Ditch the sugar and the refined grains

Sugar and refined grains (like white flour, most breads, cakes, biscuits, pasta, crackers, cereals etc) feed the wrong bacteria in your gut. They can also create yeast overgrowth. And result in stomach pain, fatigue, bloating, joint pain, cravings… I’ve seen many clients feel much better the instant they stopped eating these refined carbohydrates.

3: Eat when you feel relaxed

Many people eat while they’re driving, working or watching the news. If that’s you – you’re in action mode and your body is not focusing on digesting and absorbing food. The result: bloating, acid reflux, IBS symptoms and much more.

If you’re in a calm state you are in ‘rest and digest’ mode. Your body knows everything is safe, relaxes and focuses on sending more blood to your digestive organs. The solution? Resist the urge to eat on the go. Set the table with a nice plate. Light a candle. Make this a time to connect with your partner or family. And take some deep breaths and appreciate the food in front of you. It doesn’t take more than that to switch to the rest-and-digest mode. Your tummy will thank you for it.

4: Write down what you eat and how you feel

When you write down what you eat and drink and you take some time to connect to how you actually feel, you can start connecting the dots. You might for instance notice that you snack more than you thought, or that you always feel heavy after certain meals. This is how you can find out what works and what doesn’t work for you.

If you find out you are sensitive to certain foods and want to know why, check out this video!

Stewed apples for a happy gut!

Something as simple as stewed apple can be super helpful if you need to heal your gut:  🍏

That is something dr Michael Ash, a UK based osteopath, naturopath and nutritionist found out! 😎

He noticed with his patients that if they were eating stewed apples daily it changed their inflammatory lab markers 😮

People were able to lower their anti-inflammatory medication 🤩

Their gut was functioning better – happy poops! 💩

They lost weight 🙌

Their moods were uplifted 😊

And their gut bacteria showed a positive change 😍

If you’d like to check that I’m not talking rubbish, have a read here: https://www.clinicaleducation.org/…/is-this-a-perfect…/

You can download the recipe here:

So go and make yourself a big batch and eat it consistantly for a few weeks!

Have you tried it? Did you notice any changes? Let us know in the comments.

Support your liver with dandelion root

Using herbs – or weeds – from your garden for your health is actually a lot easier than you think! A good example is using dandelion roots to support your liver. Now is the time to make your own herbal remedy and you can totally do this.

We are in autumn and swiftly moving into winter so the growth of plants is slowing down. That means we can shift our focus from using leaves and flowers to harvesting roots, barks and berries. Roots are especially powerful, as that’s where plants like the dandelions store their energy so they can survive winter.

Dandelion roots are great for liver support. Herbalists have used the roots to enhance bile flow. A proper bile flow is so supportive of the liver because it helps preventing the formation of gall stones. Drinking enough water is of course essential as well…

High in minerals and and inulin

Dandelions send their long roots deep into the earth, pulling minerals into the plant. Fresh dandelion roots have a sweet and slightly bitter taste and they make a wonderful nutrient-dense food.

Besides being high in micronutrients and phytonutrients like iron, manganese, carotenes, calcium, and potassium, dandelions are also high in inulin. Inulin is a starchy carbohydrate that can help restore healthy gut flora in an interesting way. It’s a prebiotic, which means it’s food your beneficial gut bacteria love and use to thrive.

Bitters for digestion

The roots also have some bitter properties and bitters stimulate digestion. Using bitters can help when you have bloating, acid reflux or stomach pain. Here’s how it works: when you eat a bitter food or take a bitter tincture, it hits the bitter receptors on your tongue. They alert the brain: something bitter is coming! The brain then sends a signal to your stomach, pancreas and gallbladder to start producing more saliva, stomach acid, pancreatic juices and bile. More of those means better digestion!

Make your own tincture!

Dandelions grow everywhere, so go outside with your spade, fork or trowel and dig up a few. Give them a rinse and a brush. And make them into a tincture!

Here’s how that works. After cleaning the roots, you cut them into small pieces and put them in a clean jam jar. Then you add vodka, enough to completely cover the root peices. Because everything that is not covered in alcohol, can get moldy.

Leave the tincture in the house, away from direct sunlight. Give it a swirl every day for the first week, send it some love and then leave it alone for about four weeks.

It’s now time to separate the roots from the alcohol. I use a sieve and a clean piece of cloth. Old cotton sheets work great for that. I use a glass measuring jug, so I can see what the tincture looks like and how much I have. The procedure is very simple: I just empty the jar in the sieve and see the tincture running! Try to press out as much of the good stuff as possible.

dandelion root tincture for liver support

I then pour the tincture into a clean jar and label it with name and date. And some of it I pour into a dropper bottle so it’s ready to use! Dandelion root is generally considered safe, but be sensible and stop using it when something doesn’t feel right. 10 drops 3 times a day is a good dosage to start with.

Tinctures keep quite well (most of them at least three years) but not forever. I always keep them in a dark place, away from sunlight.

If you feel you have some longer standing issues with your liver, gallbladder or digestion taking a herbal remedy can be supportive but is probably not enough. If you’re ready to get to the bottom of those, let’s talk!

Schedule a free 30 minute call with me here so we can explore how we could work together.

How to get rid of pesky candida?

Oral or vaginal thrush, athlete’s foot, jock itch, fatigue, sinus issues, joint pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue… How to you get rid of candida?

If this is you, an overgrowth of yeast in your gut might be causing these symptoms.

Testing?

How can you be sure it’s candida? I can test for it (I use the Organic Acid Test (OAT)), but it’s a bit pricey and having a look at your symptoms and what happened in your life can be a big clue.

If, for instance, you have had to take antibiotics often in your life, had a diet high in sugar and refined carbs, have a history of binge drinking or have diabetes AND some of the the symptoms, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with yeast overgrowth in your gut.

Candida is what they call an opportunistic organism. Now what does that mean? We all have some yeast in our gut, it’s a normal part of our microbiome. But when you’re taking antibiotics, eat a lot of sugar, have a stressful life or have low immunity, the yeast can take the opportunity and start misbehaving.

Just kill and get rid of candida?

People often ask me what they can use to kill the candida. The idea is: candida is bad so when you kill it, it’s gone and you’re done. Easy! But it doesn’t work like that…

Before you start using antifungals you need to create balance in the gut so it can’t grab the opportunity again. And make sure you’re not feeding the yeast the food that it likes: sugar!

Create a happy gut!

Creating balance in the gut is something that takes some time and attention. It’s not a quick fix! It’s like being a gardener who lovingly looks after the health of the soil, so the plants can thrive.

This is the best – and frankly: the only – way to get lasting results. And get rid of the itching, pain, fatigue, brain fog and thrush.

Did you follow an anti candida diet and/or take supplements and didn’t feel better? I’ve helped many people address the yeast overgrowth in their gut and get better energy, sleep and digestion.

I can do the same for you. Just book an exploratory call with me here

Apple and cinnamon yoghurt bowl

It’s fall and it’s apple time! Nothing reminds me more of autumn than the scent of apples and cinnamon…

I’m always so happy when the local apples are back! There are so many different kinds – much nicer than the always-the-same Gala’s that have been shipped all over the world.

I think this is a lovely fall breakfast that will keep you full for quite a few hours.

Let us know if you want to give it a try! You can download a PDF of the recipe here

Recipe: how to deconstruct a falafel

Who likes falafels? I do!

These deconstructed ones are much easier and quicker to make than the original ones and don’t need to be deep fried or oven baked.

Your beneficial gut microbes will love the chickpeas, onion, garlic and cumin – this recipe has lots of fiber!

There’s also a good amount of protein, it’s high in vitamin A and folate and it provides a third of your daily zinc requirement. Good to know in these times…

Oh, and this meal is great when your on a candida diet. What’s not to like about that!

You can use chickpeas from a tin but the tin lining contains BPA (read more about that here).

Using dried chickpeas takes a bit more time but is a lot cheaper and bypasses the whole BPA thing. In this hummus recipe I explain how to do it.

You can download and print this recipe here.

Are you going to give this recipe a try? Let us know in the comments!

I love compost. I love soil. I love gut bacteria!

I love compost and I love soil. I love growing gut bacteria!

Three years ago I started to make a lot of compost. I now compost food waste for many people plus my own garden waste in my nine hotbins. I also have several normal compost cones.

Many different things go in there. Garden waste, cooked food, leaves, a bit of soil, peelings, the leftovers from Gut Feeling’s kombucha process…

The bacteria love this diversity, eat the food waste and change what once was waste into something very valuable that feeds the soil in my garden. I use the no-dig methode and leave compost as a mulch on top of the soil. Over time the soil grows healthier and healthier and the vegetables thrive!

It’s the same with the gut.

When we compare our health to a tree, the symptoms and diagnosis are the branches. What mainstream medicine mostly does is try to make the branches work again. But when the roots of the tree aren’t healthy and the soil is poor, this is not going to work… So the soil where the roots grow is where we need to focus our attention! And that’s what we do in functional nutrition!

The ‘soil’ life in your gut is created by the bacteria in your intestines, the microbiome. They eat what you eat and when they love the diversity of the things you eat they love they thrive and produce health!

When we compare our health to a tree, the symptoms and diagnosis are the branches.

Let’s compare the population in your gut to a city. There are different nationalities and cultural groups in a city.

If you only feed one group their favourite foods, that population will grow. But other groups will grumble and move away.

A fun challenge: bring in more diversity!

So your gut bacteria want you to eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Now how can you do that? Here’s a fun challenge:

Go to the shop and add two vegetables or fruits to your trolley that you haven’t tried before or in a long time. Find a way to prepare them – raw, cookeed, stirfried, peeled, unpeeled, steamed… Then explore how you like them best. Did you find a way to prepare them that you like? Then add them to your regulars and choose two new ones.

Are you in? Which ones are you going to try? Let me know in the comments!

Simple things to try first if you have bloating

Do you experience bloating? Do you feel full and heavy after eating? Have people asked you if you were pregnant (and you weren’t…) ? Would you love to get rid of the bloat?

If you have bloating, don’t immediately jump to medication, testing, supplements or restricting your diet.

There are some simple, obvious and often overlooked things you can do first if you want to get rid of bloating!

Get cooking

Did you know that something simple like cooking your own meals could actually help your digestion?

When your kitchen starts filling up with lovely aromas, your brain starts alerting your digestion that food is coming soon. It will send a message to your salivary glands, stomach, liver and pancreas to start producing all the digestive juices needed for proper break down and absorption.

Do you find cooking too time consuming and overwhelming? Have a look here for some really practical tips!

Sit down for a meal – without Netflix!

If you’re in a calm state your nervous system is in the parasympathetic state. You are in ‘rest and digest’ mode. Your body knows everything is safe, relaxes and focuses on sending more blood to your digestive organs.

However, when you are stressed, your body acts as if there’s danger. You think there’s no danger? It can’t differentiate between what you see on the news on tv and running for a tiger!

So even when you watch the news, play a competitive game or have a difficult conversation when you’re eating: your body immediately turns the switch to the sympathetic state. It sends more blood to your muscles, heart and lungs because you need to be able to jump up and run away. In dangerous situations it doesn’t make sense to focus on digestion.

Chew, chew, chew…

Chew your food

Are you someone who chews a few times and then swallows? Are you a fast eater?

Sadly enough, there are no teeth in your stomach. That means half digested food travels to the intestine – hello bloat!

So taking small bites, not eating in a rush and taking time to chew until liquid will help you to get rid of bloating

Try it out and let me know if it helps!

If it doesn’t help, schedule a free call to see if I can help you. Bloating is not just uncomfortable, it’s a red flag.

10 minute gut healing jam

I used to make tons of jam from the berries in my garden. I had a recipe that used only half the sugar. But that’s still a lot of sugar. So I stopped doing that. And was looking for a way to make jam without a lot of sugar.

Now I make small batches with any kind of fruit available and use chia seeds to thicken it into a delicious jam. And this jam actually helps to keep your gut functioning well.

Berries are just great. They are loaded with anti-oxidants, have a good amount of plant nutrients, minerals and fiber and they help fight inflammation. Plus: the beneficial bacteria in your gut thrive on them.

More fiber, less sugar

Chia seeds also pack a nutritional punch. Almost all their carbs are fiber, they have a decent amount of protein ánd are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. I have not tried this yet but I think you could use the cheaper linseeds as well. They are just as amazing. I do think you need to use them freshly ground, so not whole.

I really love making this make jam without a lot of sugar!

Are you looking for more recipes? I post a weekly recipe on my blog.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of berries, any kind. They can be fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbps of chia seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp of unrefined sweetener (maple syrup or raw honey work well)
  • 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon (optional, depending on the tartness of the fruit)

How to do it:

  1. Heat fruit in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the fruit is heated through and begins to break down and bubble. 
  2. Use a spoon or potato masher to mash the fruit to your desired consistency.
  3. Stir in the chia seeds and lemon juice. 
  4. Now add your sweetener to taste – but in moderation. Start with 1 tablespoon.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool for a bit. The jam will get thicker!
  6. Give the jam another good stir.  Then serve or transfer to a jar
  7. It keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge or , up to 3 months in the freezer.

Home made beet kvass, a probiotic drink

A few weeks ago my husband Hugo had to rush himself into hospital because a tiny splinter in his thumb had caused an infection that quickly turned into sepsis.

That was scary. Hallelujah for antibiotics! They probably saved his life.

He was on an antibiotic drip for two days and then on oral antibiotics for a week.

After that his sensitive digestion was off. He was bloated most of the day, had stomach pain and acid reflux. And he was tired.

You know, antibiotics didn’t just kill the bacteria in his thumb, but also disturbed the delicate balance of the bacteria in his gut.

He had already started taking probiotics in the hospital. And on top of that I made sure he ate homemade yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles and a small glass of beet kvass every single day.

Three weeks later he’s feeling fine again.

Kvass is a traditional eastern European beverage that was originally made from fermenting stale bread. Made with beetroot it’s a beautiful deep red drink with a great taste. Here’s how you make it:

The recipe

Ingredients

For a 1 litre jar:

  • 1 medium organic beetroot
  • Filtered water
  • 5-6 slices of ginger (you can leave the skin on if organic)
  • 1.5 teaspoon good quality sea salt (so not table salt)

Materials

I like to use a fermentation jar because it’s super easy and the kvass doesn’t get moldy. That’s because these jars have an airlock; when the fermentation process starts, the bacteria produce CO2. That pushes the oxygen out of the jar and because of the airlock no new oxygen can come in.

I use Kilner 1 litre jars with regular sized mouth and special fermentation lids.

It doesn’t look like these are available at the moment but there are similar fermentation lids that fit on mason jars.

How to do it:

  • Brush the dirt off the beetroot, no need to peel
  • Chop the beetroot coarsely; pieces should be around dice size. Don’t grate or cut too finely; than it can turn into alcohol because the sugars are too available!
  • Cut 5-6 thin slices off a fresh ginger root
  • Pop beetroot and ginger into the jar and add the salt
  • Add water up until an inch under the lid. Shake a bit.
  • Put this on your kitchen top and wait for 4-6 days. Don’t open the lid in between
  • Strain out the beets and ginger and pour into a clean jar. Drink a small glass once or twice every day and store the rest in the fridge.
  • If you want a continuous supply, start a new jar every 4-6 days.
  • Adding a few tablespoons of the kvass of an earlier batch will start the process slightly quicker