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Apr 23

Gut Health Supplements + WIAW

I’m learning to accept help.

 

At least when it comes to my gut.

After learning the results of my Alcat food intolerance test, I was determined to do whatever it took to fix it.  With Megan’s help, I immediately eliminated the foods I’d developed intolerances to.

Then I accepted help from a couple of friends that know a LOT about digestive health: Lindsay and Brittany.  They suggested a few supplements to further help my intolerant tummy.

Supplements for Gut Health

 

For a little more education, check out Lindsay’s post here.  After doing some of my own research, I decided to take the following.

My Gut Health Supplements

  • Aloe Vera Juice – Aloe is a detoxifier and an anti-inflammatory; it soothes the digestive tract and decreases the amount of unfriendly bacteria in your gut which keeps intestinal flora in balance
  • Stress B-Complex – The B’s help to regulate adrenals, helping the body deal with stress (which has a huge impact on digestion)
  • Matcha – Aside from the fact that I like the taste, matcha is a detoxifier and helps with relaxation
  • Betaine HCL – Good for the producing the acid needed for breaking down foods and optimizing use of nutrients
  • Probiotics – Regulates the healthy bacteria in the gut (and the lady parts)
  • Colostrum - Antibodies from cows (vegans, cover you ears).… it’s touted as a “super food.”  It protects the gut, helps the body to maintain proper metabolic levels, may have anti-aging benefits and increase muscle mass and muscle growth, and has been reported to have mental health and sleep-quality benefits.  Further reading said it even shortens recovery time from strenuous exercise.  If it works… whoa.

 

I ordered all of these from iHerb (where I also get my peanut four).  Use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!

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This WIAW is week 2 with my food intolerances eliminated from my diet.  I know I’ve slipped up a couple of times (I’m only human… a sad realization), but I’m militantly avoided everything in the most severe category.

WIAWbutton

Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!

________________________________________________________________________________________

Breakfast:

My morning cocktail had the aloe vera juice added it.  There’s no way I could take it straight – that stuff is foul!

I’ve been on a chia pudding kick lately.  This morning I enjoyed my Pear Chia Pudding.  It tasted better than it looks, I swear.

Pear Chia Pudding

 

Lunch:

We went to lunch as a team today at work.  I successfully ordered an olive oil-free meal at an Italian restaurant!  (Olive oil is one of my severe intolerances.)  Cobb salad with chicken and bacon.  Yes, I ordered this 100% for the bacon.

Cobb Salad

 

Afternoon Snack:

Sriracha-Grapefruit Salmon over greens and peppadews.  I love peppadews.  No idea why I don’t buy them more often!

Sriracha-Grapefruit Salmon

 

Having missed my mid-morning snack, I needed a mini-snack after work before I hit the gym.  Just a bit of carbs and protein – I don’t want to be stuffed, but getting hangry half way through a workout is miserable.

Purple sweet potato with Growing Naturals chocolate rice protein sauce (powder + almond milk) and pepitas.

Sweet Potato Protein Snack

 

Dinner:

I went a bit #strangebutgood with my brinner scramble.  It was eggs and more salmon with mushrooms.  Served over a bed of greens with my Easy Oat Flatbread and a drizzle of fig-balsamic.  Fo’ shizzle.

Salmon Scramble + Oat Flatbread

 

Dessert:

Without exaggeration, this might be the best thing I’ve put in my mouth.  That’s what she said.

I’ve been terrible about eliminating cow’s milk (per my food intolerances).  I decided to try out goat’s milk yogurt to replace my Greek yogurt addiction this week.  It is amazing – the creamy, rich quality makes it perfect for dessert!  I mixed it with Growing Naturals Chocolate Rice Protein, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a bit of vanilla.  Topped with rice whipped cream, hemp seeds, and chocolate syrup.  My topper was 1/2  broiled Cookies n’ Cream Quest bar (best flavor ever).  I’m actually amazed I paused long enough for a pic.

Chocolate Protein Goat's Milk Yogurt

***

I’m convinced it’s not a placebo effect… since eliminating my intolerance, I really do feel better!

Do you take any supplements for gut health?

Are you good about accepting help?  I’m still working on this in other areas!

 

79 comments

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  1. Elena

    Yum. Thanks for the reminder about using pepitas for crunch! And good to know about the supplements. I just got off a three-day detox cleanse so seem to be on a better digestive path- but will definitely consult your suggestions if things start acting up again.

    1. Laura

      Glad you’re feeling good! I love those little re-sets.

  2. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I am the QUEEN of digestive health. I have every single digestion pill bottle in my house. When people come over, they think they accidentally went to Vitamin Shoppe. LMFAO!

    Oh and it’s hard to decided what the BEST THING to have ever crossed my lips has been……..

    1. Laura

      That last line opens this up to so many comments…

  3. Amalia

    I’ve been so curious about the ALCAT since you took it. I feel like its the key to my digestive success – and trust me, its been really unsuccessful lately. I need to find someone who can help me out with this!

    1. Laura

      You should reach out to Megan! She was really great with walking me through it.

  4. Melanie @ Nutritious Eats

    Isn’t it wonderful when you find substitutes that work for you? You realize changing a diet when necessary can be totally doable. The salmon looks delish!

  5. Caren

    I’ve started taking turmeric suppliments as well as they fright inflammation. A good fish oil is also worth considering.

    1. Laura

      I used to take fish oil… then realized with the amount of seafood I eat it’s probably overkill. :)

  6. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Mmm that dessert sounds amazing! Seeing as I’m on a light training week, I didn’t eat a proper meal before the gym last night. What a mistake – I was seriously hangry!! I had never been more thankful to live across the road from the gym, so I was able to slam down dinner in 2 minutes flat.

    1. Laura

      I’m still so jealous you’re that close!

      1. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

        Not for much longer! I’m moving today :( A 15 minute walk seems so far after being this close!

  7. Cat

    Ahh I’m so jeal of all those supps! I’ve been suffering a little recently with digestive issues since eating a little more slack, so could probably do with a bit of extra help in that area ;) I like to do what I can with food first, but supplements are definitely worth it on occasion. Would love to keep updated on how you find the colostrum btw :)

    1. Laura

      I’ll definitely post updates. I’m really excited to see what it does!

  8. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    I just started taking a Probiotic and kind of amazed I feel the difference already!

    1. Laura

      That’s awesome! I love how fast the body can respond.

  9. Kim @ FITsique

    I always take a probiotic and have recently been adding in digestive enzymes which seem to really be helping. I am also trying gluten free for 2 weeks to see if I have a sensitivity there. I am only a few days in so I don’t know yet if it is helping! Gut issues are so frustrating. Good luck and keep us updated!

    1. Laura

      Let me know how the GF thing works for you! It’s funny wheat was on my list, but gluten itself was fine.

  10. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Your doing good with your setbacks! I’m terrible at accepting help….which is a double edged sword!

    ALWAYS order food for the bacon.

  11. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Probiotics are awesome for a happy gut, and if your gut is really distressed, digestive enzymes before a meal can help you absorb more nutrients.

    1. lindsay

      yes yes! always!

  12. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Confession: I don’t have the slightest clue what a peppadew is.
    I’ve tried probiotics and all that jazz, but I’ve noticed that since upping my calories my digestion has greatly improved – it’s fine without me having to think about it or take extra steps to regulate it. Definitely a good side effect!

    1. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

      Its a small red, sweet pepper! You can find them in the olive bar at WF and other grocery stores! Try them (with cream cheese!)!

      1. Laura

        Yes. What she said. ;) The yellow ones are my favorite – they’re a bit sweeter. I like them with goat’s cheese!

  13. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    so glad you are feeling some better!! Keep me posted!!

    1. Laura

      I will! Thank you for your help!!!

  14. lindsay

    keep me posted!! and thank goodness for growing naturals SPROUTED BR protein! YES!! also, next time try the Max stress B from PRlabs. It’s a live source B vitamin complex with probiotic culture. this will help permeate the gut faster and which allows more healing and natural absorption in the liver. Not trying to sound like a naturopath, but it’s the best out there. PROMISE! the synthetic versions work, but not as effective.

    1. Laura

      LOL! Ok, ok… I was trying to get it all in one iHerb order. :)

  15. stacey

    I have eliminated olive oil and now use avocado oil instead! I find it super cheap at Costco in a HUGE bottle. Love that it has a higher heat tolerance and is made from my favorite avocados!

    1. Laura

      I got a massive bottle in Chile. It’s so good!

  16. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I don’t take anything for gut health. My sister has to take probiotics, but I seriously think some of these others may help her out. And I will gladly accept help … well, most of the time ;-) But if it’s something like this, I would totally be asking for advice especially from Mrs. Cotter!

  17. laura

    I did the ALCAT as well (the deluxe one) Boy was that a surprise. Been 3 months so I am reintroducing items. between that and the FODMAPS there wasn’t much I could eat but I did start to feel better immediately! I do utilize most of the supplements you have posted and have added bone broth and gelatin which soothes my stomach. Good luck and glad you are feeling better :)

    1. Laura

      Its so good to hear you’re having success – it’s inspiring. :)

      I will check out the gelatin. Megan suggested that too!

  18. Dietitian Jess

    The supplements sound great, let us know how you thinking they are working for you! Probiotics are a must for everyone but I get them with kefir or yogurt so I don’t usually supplement. Glad you are feeling better… I recently cut out cows milk to see if it made any difference and the only change was I broke out really bad. Hope you’re having more luck.

    1. Laura

      I don’t think the cow’s milk is really a problem for me… maybe that’s why I’ve been so lazy about cutting it? I’m pretty sure the olive oil and spinach were big ones!

  19. Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    You know how happy it makes me that you’re starting to feel better!!!!! Like you, I admit I’m not too great at accepting help, but I’m working on it and getting much better!

    I totally feel your pain on the Greek yogurt – I think that was the hardest thing to eliminate for me. The combination of all dairy + things that are commonly subbed for dairy in milks / protein powders / etc. (almond, coconut, rice, pea) has been pretty tough, but I’m working through it! I’ve actually been considering goat’s milk yogurt since the casein is more easily digested by both, but I’m still trying to hold out without it at all! We’ll see.

    I am familiar with / am taking / have taken all of those supplements, and I think doing everything you can by adding those in is super helpful. I definitely recommend at least the probiotics + digestive enzymes to most people who need to heal their gut. I’m so glad Lindsay and Brittany helped set you up with a good lineup! Two that I don’t include right now are aloe and matcha. Are you doing matcha tea or mixing it in with food? I’m actually not a fan of the taste alone so I’d love your ideas :)

    1. Laura

      Getting help is hard! I so appreciate you.

      I think I’m bad about cutting it because I don’t really thing it bothers me. I need to give it the college try though. The goat’s milk yogurt really is good! Oddly, it’s cheaper at Whole Foods than Kroger.

      I drink the matcha, but I happen to really like it. I know the Purely Twins have a few recipes using it though!

  20. Lucie@FitSwissChick

    I feel you on accepting help – not so easy sometimes! Though I got a lot better and it’s actually a wonderful feeling to have support.
    I take probiotics and I drink hot lemon water and acv in the morning, plus I have psyllium husks on an empty stomach – all things that helped me a lot with my digestion.
    I asbolutely LOVE your evening snack!! This is exactly what I eat almost every night :-)

    1. Laura

      Psyllium is on my list of things not to eat! Isn’t that weird?!

  21. Maureen

    I take probiotics, B-12 & colostrum for my gut health! I’ve tried Aloe juice in the past and it is so gross…but maybe I just need to bite the bullet and try it again!

    1. Laura

      I definitely have to mix it! I put it in a smooth today. I’ve also made hot cocoa (just cocoa powder and almond milk) and added it in.

  22. Hayley @ Oat Couture

    Oooh interested to see what you think of colostrum! My fingers are crossed that these changes have you feeling a bit better soon, love! Gut intolerances are no fun! :/ Also… ‘only human’?! No friggin way, I demand to see tests! Haha! ;D

    1. Laura

      LOL! It’s sad but true.

      Whatcha up to in May? I just got offered a plane ticket anywhere in the world…

      1. Hayley @ Oat Couture

        You did NOT?!! My last exam is on the 29th May, is that too late or can you get away with just having the outbound flight booked in May?! Too many questions… ARE YOU ACTUALLY THINKING LONDON?! Or even Paris?! Ooohhh the excitement!! EMAIL ME!!! Haha! :)

        1. Hayley @ Oat Couture

          Oh my god I’m already thinking of all the foodie places I can show you in London!!! Haha!

  23. Elle

    Hmmm…. I used to take aloe vera juice many years ago and now I don’t. Hope the supplements help you out. How will you know? Just curious, cause you have added several.

    1. Laura

      Funny you should ask… I wondered the same thing as I wrote this post. LOL!

  24. Shashi

    I used to be so horrible at accepting help – me thinks it was me pride – but age has softened me and now I am cool with it!
    Yes, I supplement my gut with dark chocolate which delivers in gut and tastebud happiness :)
    Just joshing – nope, other than boatloads of yogurt, pickles, kimchi, I don’t really take any supplements yet! That colostrum does sound ah-mazing – would love to hear your take on it after you’ve tried it out!

    1. Laura

      Whatever – dark chocolate has health benefits!

  25. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    So is whey still okay for you? That’s the reason I avoided quest bars for so long, although I’m seriously addicted now. I’m still considering the testing, but I’m trying to change a few things in my diet first to see if I can avoid it. I hate spending money on stuff like that. :)

    1. Laura

      Yep! Whey and casein.

  26. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    I am sooo happy you are seeing positive changes! It is amazing what learning about our bodies and then making the necessary adjustments does :)

  27. Christa @ Edible Balance

    So happy you are feeling good! Gosh, I’ve been through so many supplements… taking a break from them for a bit because I’m stressing out too much about when to take them, how and all that junk. I’m curious to see how I do without them! You really should try and get that fermented l-glutamine… AMAZING stuff!

    Your eats are looking mighty tasty! What the heck are peppadews?? That chia pudding looks SO good!

    1. Laura

      That fermented glutamine is on my list to try – I have a full bottle of the regular version right now though.

      Peppadews are sweet pickled peppers. They’re really good! Especially stuffed with goat cheese.

  28. Jordan @ The Blonde Vegan

    Mmmm, pear chia pudding! And I will definitely be interested to hear how all of these supplements help out your gut and your food intolerances. I have had a lot of gut/tummy issues (my whole life, but especially lately) and am always searching for helpful tips and tricks! I am really happy to hear that you are seeing some positive changes!! xo

  29. Hilary

    I’ve never tried goat’s milk yogurt but with that creamy description I might have to grab a little container next time I’m at the store!

    1. Laura

      Let me know if you do – I really love it!

  30. Calee Himes

    Yo! Add to this list coconut oil (which I’m sure you already consume). Not sure how much you can eat with your strict competition diet, but I typically add 1 T to hot tea. I started doing this after reading about the anti-fungal properties and how it seems to help people’s gut health. I was super regular after I started doing that (and then stress happened, so I’m totally going to get that Stress B complex).

    Also, something that’s missing that I swear by is liquid magnesium. I put a dropper-ful in my AM tea, and any time I feel acid building up, I add a dropperful to some water. It neutralizes acid, and it has a bunch of other properties. This is something my naturopath recommended to me last summer above everything else.

    I don’t love the idea of digestive enzymes because I think your body can become dependent upon them, but if you are into the idea, I love Nutriplenish GI ( I think other bloggers have used that one too, but it’s an Iowa-made product!).

    Thanks for sharing.

    Oh wait. One more! Intestinew. I don’t think you need to go for it because it’s mostly glutamine, but others may be interested. I swear by that stuff.

    1. Laura

      I have been adding coconut oil to EVERYTHING lately! Especially since I can’t have olive anymore. :) I also go magnesium every evening (it helps with muscle recovery too). And the glutamine I do in my morning cocktail. BOOM!

  31. Nicole @ FruitnFitness

    I’m glad your feeling better having eliminated some of the intolerances. My stomach/skin have both been giving me quite a few problems recently. I’m going to look into some of these gut supplements. Goats milk yogurt is going on my list of must try!

    1. Laura

      Let me know if you try any of it! I also use tea tree oil topically on my trouble areas. It’s great for quickly clearing up a blemish!

  32. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    So great that you are getting some answers and finding ways to manage your gut. It can be overwhelming at first but it’s totally doable once you can find the substitutes that work for you!

  33. Brittany @ Barr & Table

    I need to get that intolerance test done! I’m glad you’re finding your way and getting your stomach to feel better.

  34. Missy

    You HAVE to try (and I mean this in the most non-bossy way, but YES you NEED to try)
    George’s aloe vera.
    It. Tastes. Like. Water.

    Seriously! It’s the only one I will use. Plus, you can cook your puddings with it in there, add it to your tea water, use in your amino drinks….or heck just take a chug. It tastes like water.
    Really!

    Because that other stuff is.. not good. (0:

    I found it on iherb for you:

    http://www.iherb.com/George-s-Aloe-Vera

    I don’t work for them, by the way. LOL. I should. I recommend it to everyone.

    1. Laura

      LOL! With a review like that, I’ll have to order that one next. Just added to my wish list. :)

  35. Abby @BackatSquare0

    Lunch looks great
    Avocado + bacon = heaven

  36. Lisa

    I totally thought after eliminating my allergies that it might be the placebo too ;) but it really did make a HUGE difference! I seriously need to check out some of the supplements you’re taking, since I still am dealing with the same ones I’ve dealt with for the past year +.

    1. Laura

      Let me know if you try any! I know already the aloe is doing it’s thing. Too bad it’s so nasty… but it’s do-able if you mix it in other stuff.

  37. Purelytwins

    great supplements, we did not take all of those when we were healing our gut. We took different ones.

    Your eats still look great despite having to avoid some foods ;)

  38. Jess @ Keeping It Real Food

    As a dietitian, I get a lot of questions about which supplements to take, especially for digestive health.

    Personally, I take a probiotic to help maintain good digestive health. In the past, I’ve also used a B-complex.

  39. Sarah Kay Hoffman

    I have devoted my life to gut healing since 2008 and I take many supplements. I take different ones than you, for the most part, but of course the Probiotic is a staple. Good luck to you!

    1. Laura

      That’s great! What have you found to work best outside of the probiotics?

  40. janet @ the taste space

    I have never even heard of peppadews. Gotta look it up. Also, I agree: aloe juice is nasty.

    1. Laura

      You’d love them! They’re like sweet pickled peppers. Really delicious with goat cheese… and I bet with cashew cheese. :)

  41. Lisa @ RunWiki

    Although I don’t have serious gut issues, my husband does- so I get it! I started taking a probiotic and my skin feels less dry and have more energy–bonus! My husband takes some of these but the hard part is getting him to take them regularly- I think being consistent is the key when using the natural approach. I hope you get some relief for your new regime. xo

    1. Laura

      Thanks Lisa! I keep mine by the coffee pot – it’s a little cluttered not he counter but I never forget!

  42. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    I had goat cheese stuffed peppadews this weekend. They were phenomenal and since they were goat cheese, you probably could have eaten them.
    Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Hopefully there were no more room clearing incidents, especially at team lunches. ;)

  43. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Ok, so even after my four years of working at GNC, I can honestly say I never knew that Aloe Vera helped with unfriendly bacteria. I mean, I always knew that it was a “flusher” of sorts (har har) butt (<- ok, I'll stop now) I never thought of it more than just a here and there type of detoxifier. Cool! And thank you for reminding me that my container of matcha is getting dusty sitting in my vitamin cabinet! Glad to hear the new regimen/diet is helping!

    PS, I love SAYING peppadews…but now that I think about it, I've never actually had one!

    1. Laura

      Whole Foods! THey have them on the olive bar. So does Kroger and I think Publix…

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