When I noticed my stomach worse, I switched to paleo about a year ago and continue to follow it now. No matter what I ate, even if it was raw almonds, chicken, or roasted veggies, my stomach would hurt and become bloated. During the same time, I navigated a season of rest which meant most of my days were spent in bed. The season allowed my body to recover and heal. As a result, even with trying to do everything right but still having my stomach health plummet, battling through proved taxing.
There were times when I did not eat because hunger proved easier to deal with than stomach pain . There were times I ate a bowl of rice as it was all I could tolerate. The season was extremely exigent. I felt like food or rather the lack of food controlled me. I need to be near a bathroom. I could not eat at any restaurants and numerous nights I laid awake in pain. There are a handful of things I did in this season to help my gut heal. This is by no means advice on what to do. I am just sharing what worked for me.
- Eat what your body can tolerate- I lived on smoothies and rice for months. As I started to figure out what was going on, I changed what I ate as it was more important to eat than be strictly paleo.
- Start a food journal- For a couple months, I tracked everything I ate which allowed me to understand my body as it reacted to certain foods.
- Find a practitioner who understands gut health- I discovered symptoms of something called IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Once I started treating with supplements, and a more strict food diet, I started to see improvements. Then as I discovered my root cause of IBS, I saw even more healing (will share more on this next week).
- Prioritize sleep- Sleep is so important and most of us do not get enough.
- Reduce Stress- Find ways to manage stress and relax. It is crucial in helping heal gut issues. I decided to not work and reduce my high intensity workouts. Reducing stress can look different for everyone so whether it is yoga, meditation, or working only part time find a way to reduce your stress.
- Say what you need- For me this time was already punishing but it can be even more difficult doing it alone. Walking through it with my husband was a huge help. He knew I needed to be near a bathroom, most nights we would spend watching a movie and going out to eat just was not possible. People want to help but they can only do so if we allow them and tell them what we need. Be honest with the loved ones around you.