I will tell you that I am not shy at all about my personal life and how I live. Actually, I am probably a T.M.I. (too much information) kind of person, and sometimes people just don’t really want to hear it.
Here’s a specific example…
I’ve been trying to attend at least one exercise class per week just to get a change of routine. I typically work out in my garage early morning, but as a busy working mom, I find the socialization of going to one class a week is really nice.
One of the other moms at a particular class last week asked me,
“Isabel, I know you’ve had two kids. How is your stomach so flat?”
What a nice compliment! And then I answered…
“Thank you for the nice compliment. I’m pretty sure it’s because I poop often.”
Jaw dropped…by her, not me.
And then she replied, “Ummm, okay. Well what do you mean?”
I didn’t mean to be so blunt, but what I was trying to say was that when you get your digestion and your bowels in the right place, flat abs are just around the corner!
So, how did I get to “poop often”…I mean…get my digestion and bowels in the right place and get flat abs?
5 Important Steps to Good Digestion and Bowel Health
1. Eliminate foods you may be intolerant to.
A food intolerance usually comes on gradually and does not show its symptoms like a potentially life-threatening allergy does. That is why these “symptoms” may go unnoticed or be difficult to attribute to a particular food.
A very high percentage of people are extremely intolerant of wheat and gluten and don’t even know it. They may be suffering from constipation, bloating, or gas, or even symptoms like chronic fatigue, headaches, and mood swings, all due to eating food their body is responding to in a negative way.
My recommendation to anyone who is not moving their bowels at least twice every day (yes, I said 2 times) is to eliminate all wheat and gluten-containing products for 30 days and see if you experience a marked improvement.
2. Eat natural forms of fiber.
I am not a big fan of those nasty fiber products you find in the pharmacy and supermarket. They include ingredients like aspartame, corn starch, and added colorings. Those are NOT ingredients you want to be eating under any circumstances.
Besides good ol’ fruits and veggies, I encourage you to try two of my personal favorite fiber choices. I love to include chia seeds or flax seeds into my eating plan every single day. Chia seeds are great first thing in the morning with my Athletic Greens.
1 Tbsp. chia seeds + 1 Tbsp. Athletic Greens + 8 to 16 oz. of water
Shake, shake, shake, and drink!
I also add chia seeds to Greek yogurt, mix them with protein powder and water to make a pudding, or use them in my salads. I absolutely love that they are so versatile. I don’t use flax seeds as often because they have to be ground up immediately before using them, and the healthy fats in flax seeds go rancid very quickly after grinding – so flax seeds are best for less-busy days.
3. Hydrate your bowels.
I know you’ve heard it a million times (or at least I hope you have): You must drink water…and lots of it. When the inside of your intestinal lining is dehydrated, fecal matter will also become dry and hard to pass. This can lead to chronic constipation, gas, and bloating, not to mention more serious side effects like colon cancer. Drink that water!
My easiest recommendation is to always carry a water bottle around with you. This should be to you what a purse is to a woman…you almost feel naked without it. I have also heard that there are tons of apps that will remind you throughout the day to drink your water. I’m not really that tech savvy, but this one has really worked well for many of my friends and co-workers.
4. Chew your food well.
I noticed something really awful the other day. Ever since my second son was born, I don’t just eat fast, I practically inhale food in its whole form. I know how critically important it is to properly chew your food. Digestion begins in your mouth, and when you don’t take the time to properly chew and begin this digestion, whole food pieces travel down your digestive system and can lead to serious discomfort, uncomfortable constipation, and bloating.
You’ve heard the advice “Chew your food at least 40 times,” right? I’ll be a little more realistic and say, “Chew your food more than 3 times.” But in all seriousness, chewing your food properly is critically important to good bowel health.
5. Keep the friendly bacteria high.
I’ve had my own past struggles with intestinal bacteria. Several years of high doses of antibiotics really wrecked my intestines. It wasn’t until I started eating naturally fermented foods – sauerkraut and kimchi, which are loaded with good bacteria and absolutely delicious – and taking a high-quality probiotic supplement that I started to experience a significant improvement in my bowel health.
I know by just implementing the 5 tips above you are going to experience some critical improvements in your digestion and bowel health (and you will poop a lot just like me…hahaha).
For an extra boost in your digestion, I also highly recommend incorporating both digestive enzymes and probiotics into your daily eating plan.
For those who have been experiencing compromised digestion for some time, adding in natural enzymes with every meal will enhance your body’s ability to break down the healthy food you’re eating (and healthy food is really of no use to you unless it is digested!).
I experienced a significant difference in the way I felt after each meal after incorporating some quality enzymes into my daily routine. I take 1 BioTrust™ AbsorbMax 3 times a day with each main meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
>> Get “moving” – take the same digestive enzymes Isabel trusts <<— It makes a difference!
I also take 1 BioTrust Pro-X10 before breakfast and before dinner every single day (as in Tip #5 above). This one is super important for me as I suffered from the ugly side effects of years of antibiotics as a teenager and I am still healing my intestines as a result.
>> Double your internal insurance with New Pro-X10 Probiotics <<— Isabel’s personal choice