The following regimen will heal weak digestion, repair leaky gut, and remove inflammation causing foods from your diet. Follow the regimen and diet as strictly as possible, making no exceptions for 30 days. Strengthening digestion and healing leaky gut is essential for further detoxification and healing processes.
Though these guidelines are meant to be followed rather strictly, after the 30 days you can begin to slightly modify this protocol based on what your intuition may be telling you. Follow this diet for 2-3 months and you can be guaranteed to have healed leaky gut. And remember, this diet is not permanent. Once leaky gut has been healed, you can enjoy some inflammation causing foods in moderation.
Begin the following regimen and diet, and maintain it for at least 4 weeks. You can do all of the following steps simultaneously. Here is an overview of the steps for Healing Leaky Gut and Digestion; 1) heal the intestinal lining, 2) Remove Inflammation causing foods, 3) Increase digestive fire
1. Healing the Intestinal Lining (Healing Leaky Gut):
1. Begin the Diet described in the next section
2. Begin taking the following supplements daily (according to the directions on the bottles):
– Slippery Elm Bark (be sure to take 1 hour before food)
-Probiotics (see “Fermented Foods” page for details)
-Aloe Vera Juice (Optional*) Drink the minimum recommended dose for two days on, then three days of.
-Cayenne Pepper drink—Combine the following ingredients to make a healing digestive elixir with 1-2 cups of water: -¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar. Consume at least two times a day, 20-30 minutes before lunch and dinner. Start off with one serving a day, working up to three servings. Though it may seem counterintuitive, cayenne pepper is a great remedy for healing leaky gut. While it might be assumed that cayenne is an irritant, it is not. The pepper is actually a stimulant—meaning that it does not harm tissue in any way, but rather stimulates blood vessels within the tissue. The active compound in cayenne, capsaicin, tricks the body into believing it has a wound. While no damage is actually being done to the tissue, the body responds as if there were, increasing blood flow and initiating the healing response.
-Turmeric, Ginger, and Cinnamon Tea—Combine any ratio of turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon into a cup of warm water and sip. Add a pinch of black pepper (which significantly increases the healing effects of the active compound in turmeric, curcumin). Drink this tea in the morning or before going to bed. Each of these ingredients contains powerful healing properties that will help to reduce inflammation, repair damaged tissue, and cleanse the blood.
3. Begin a Liquid Diet
– Put 60-70% of your meals through the blender with just enough liquid to blend it up (with a majority of your food being blended raw vegetables). You can also make blended soups out of cooked vegetables (remember, just enough liquid to blend it up). Experiment with the liquid diet by doing either a full day of liquid diet for 2 or more days at a time, followed by 1 or 2 days of eating solid foods in between. You can also do a liquid diet for the first half of each day, and then have a dinner of solid foods. You may feel so good on a liquid diet, that you want to continue for weeks at a time. However, you also may experience a healing reaction as your body adjusts to the increase in enzymes present in raw foods. Listen to your body, go at a comfortable pace, and go for it! (see: “green smoothie” at the bottom of the page for a nutritious breakfast smoothie).
4. Intermittent Juice or Water Fasting
– Fasting can be one of the most powerful ways to let the intestinal lining heal. Fasting gives the body a chance to repair itself and rest from the processes of digestion. Juice fasts will also accomplish this without as much detoxification symptoms as a water fast. I would suggest starting with a 1/2-3/4 day juice fast, only drinking fresh pressed vegetable juice (no store bought juice or fruit juice) for the first part of the day, breaking the fast with a light meal for dinner. If you have never fasted, perform a succession of 3-4 partial fasts before attempting a one day fast. Fasting can cause detoxification and other health complications when performed incorrectly. Please consult with a holistic health practitioner before attempting a water fast if you have any health concerns.
2. The Holistic Healing Diet
Foods that are Okay to Consume
(buy organic and GMO free whenever possible):
-Raw and cooked vegetables (except for corn, tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplant)–raw and cooked veggies should consist of roughly 70-80% of your diet.
-Organic chicken, turkey, eggs (in moderation, 1-2 times a week) beef, or lamb. No fish, due to high levels of heavy metals. If you must eat fish, do the research to consume fish with the lowest levels of mercury and other heavy metals. To heal the intestines, a good amount of protein is needed, so be sure to get somewhere between 35 and 55 grams per day, on average (this, of course, will vary depending on your constitution and daily activities).
-Moderate amounts of grains and legumes such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, beans and lentils (see “important notes below).
-Fermented foods and drinks, such as sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir, kombucha and miso, which are all amazingly beneficial for the intestines and body.
-Tempeh—If possible, find a brand that does not contain sweeteners or other additives. Do not consume tofu or other soy products.
-Fresh veggie juice. 1-2 glasses to be consumed every other day (see “juicing” page).
-Nuts, seeds, and nut butters (in moderation). Rinse and soak nuts for a few hours before ingesting (this helps to make them more digestible—avoid peanuts and peanut butter, due to the high mold content of most store bought peanuts), using only fresh nuts, as nuts will go rancid if they are stored for longer than a few weeks.
-Hemp Protein Powder, rice protein powder, or pea protein powder—These are all a good source of easily digestible protein, which can be mixed with water, or added to cooked dishes for an extra protein boost.
-Oils—Coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, sunflower oil. Coconut oil is the only oil to be used for cooking, and one of the best oils for reducing inflammation and reducing intestinal fungus and parasites—the oils listed here are healthy and part of reducing inflammation in the body.
-Unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened hemp milk, and unsweetened coconut milk. Use these in place of cow’s milk (avoid soy milk).
Beneficial spices: Garlic, tumeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne (in moderation), coriander, nutmeg, basil, rosemary, and fennel seed. Use pink Himalayan, or grey sea salt, rather than table salt—limit salt intake to 1-2 teaspoons a day. Absolutely NO sugar or sweeteners of any kind. For a sweetener substitute use Stevia only.
Grains and Legumes
There is some research showing that all grains and legumes (including non-glutenous grains such as rice and quinoa) cause low levels of inflammation in some individuals. For this reason, all grains may need to be avoided completely by some individuals. For those who feel they tolerate grains and beans, be sure to sprout and rinse them first (this releases the phytic acid and lectins which are linked to inflammation, and makes the grains and beans more bio-available and easily digestible).
It is essential to find a good source of water. Spring water is by far better than purified water (such as reverse osmosis), and you can locate a spring near you at the website, www.findaspring.com. Spring water is electrically charged, alive, and filled with essential minerals. If you cannot find a source of spring water, drink filtered water (reverse osmosis)—Do not drink tap water, due to fluoride and other chemicals present in tap water, which can disrupt intestinal flora.
Salt–Quantity and Quality
One of the most important minerals within the human body is salt. Salt is essential for countless processes, as well as maintaining energy levels, and good health. Salt has gotten an undeserving bad rap, and was previously believed to be the cause of health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. It is now understood that it is not excess salt that causes inflammation in the body, but rather salt in combination with excess sugar, gluten, and other compounds which contribute to inflammation. However, what is of the utmost importance, is to be consuming the right type of salt in the proper quantity. Begin using Pink Himalayan salt, or Celtic sea salt which has not been processed, heated, or treated in any way. There are many commercial Sea Salts that have been heated or treated, both which change the molecular structure of the salt crystal, and changes how your body is able to utilize it as well. In general, 1 teaspoon of Himalayan or Celtic Sea salt will be adequate to provide your body with the proper amount of salt. However, if you are more physically active, sweating a lot, or under increased stress, than you may need between 1-3 teaspoons a day. A great gauge for how much salt to consume is to find the amount that makes you thirsty enough to drink 2 liters of water a day. If you are not thirsty enough to drink 2 liters, increase your salt intake until you are.
Foods and Liquids to Completely Remove From Your Diet:
If you are able to adhere to the Diet listed above, then you are doing fine and can disregard the information below! The following is a list of foods that should NOT be consumed (in case there is any question or doubt)..
Under no circumstances should you eat any: dairy, gluten, wheat, bread, pasta, tofu (or other soy products besides tempeh), sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup (or any other sweetener besides stevia) alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, tap water, non-organic food products, nor any GMO’s. Do not consume coffee or alcohol. Strict adherence to this diet is necessary to break the cycle of inflammation in the intestines!
-Remove all types of fats and oils, except for sunflower oil, olive oil, flax seed oil (not to be heated), and coconut oil (used for cooking)—the oils listed here are healthy and part of reducing inflammation in the body.
-Really cold or really hot beverages. Both can aggravate digestion. Particularly avoid cold drinks before meals, as this will compromise your digestive fire, making it more difficult for your body to digest food properly. Wait 30 minutes after drinking anything before eating food, or 1-2 hours after eating food to drink liquid. When drinking tea, cool it down with a bit of cold water first.
-Be sure to read labels on processed foods to check for gluten, sugar, chemicals, and hydrogenated fats, as these are all common ingredients in tomato sauce, soups, almond and soy milks, and many other processed products.
-It is of the utmost importance that all of these foods listed above be completely removed from the diet. Many of these substances wreak havoc on intestinal tracts that are not functioning in optimal health. Some of these foods can be moderately re-introduced into one’s diet ONLY AFTER intestinal healing has occurred, but during the time of healing they must be strictly avoided.
3. Increasing Digestive Fire
Because most people are accustomed to diets consisting of processed foods and nutrient poor foods, weak digestive fire in the stomach is extremely common, and the beginning of how digestion breaks-down. The reason is that processed foods (even rice, oats, and wheat, for instance) do not contain as much life energy or enzymes as raw vegetables and fruits. The energy of our food becomes our energy. When you eat foods lacking vital life energy, your body needs to expend a great deal of energy to digest it. Over time this depletes your vital life energy, and weakens your stomach’s ability to release the proper digestive enzymes necessary for healthy digestion. When food is improperly digested in the stomach, it leads to leaky gut, and a downward spiral in your health.
In order to revive your digestive fire, incorporate the following regimen into your diet. Note: Some people experience too much stomach acid, indigestion, or a burning sensation after eating. If this is the case, then the following regimen should NOT be implemented, and you should speak with me to discuss alternative steps for moving forward.
1. Begin taking digestive stimulants before meals, such as digestive enzymes, herbal teas for digestion that contain any of the following; ginger (a must), black pepper, fennel, cardamom, peppermint, papaya, or aloe vera. Begin taking HCL (Hydrochloric acid) before eating meat. HCL needs to be taken in a very specific way: 1) you must find a brand that contains Pepsin, 2) only take HCL when eating over 15 grams of protein in a given meal, 3) take the proper dose (3-6 pills at 650 milligrams each, right before eating meat–you may need to experiment to find the right quantity), and lastly, 4) do not take HCL if you are taking anti-inflammation medication (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or prednisone).
2. Limit meat consumption to a minimum, getting the majority of your protein from vegetables, pea, rice, or hemp protein powder. When you do eat meat, do not combine it with other foods, just eat it on its own.
3. Practice proper food combining–including only consuming liquids either 1 hour before, or 2 hours after meals. This is really important, as drinking liquid with food essentially puts out your digestive fire. Refer to this article for the basic guidelines: Food Combining
4. Breathing techniques for cultivating your life force. In addition to getting our vital life energy from raw, living foods, the air that we breath fuels all of our bodily processes. When you are lacking in oxygen rich air due to improper breathing or poor air quality, it can compromise digestion and other functions of the body. In general, you want to practice deep, slow, rhythmic belly breathing. Before eating, however, you can increase your digestive fire by a breathing practice called breath of fire. Here is a video instructional on breath of fire by Carolyn Cowan: Breath Of Fire
Here is my suggestion for a delicious and hearty breakfast smoothie when doing the liquid diet. I start everyday with a green smoothie, and find that I have tons of energy and feel really good throughout the day. Put the following ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
-2 cups water
2-3 handfuls of a combination of spinach, kale, chard, or salad greens. Use whatever greens you have available, being sure to mix it up so as to receive a good variety of nutrients. Avoid kale if you suffer from any thyroid issues, as kale can disrupt thyroid function when consumed in excess.
1-2 tablespoons of raw, organic maca powder
1-2 servings of rice, hemp, or pea protein powder
-dash of himalayan pink salt
-dash of olive oil
-a few nubs of ginger
-Optional: Stevia, coconut milk, chia seeds, cucumber, or any other vegetable that appeals to you.