Category Archives: Gut health

Always Learning: The Pegan Diet

I am reading The Pegan Diet by Mark Hyman, MD. The author also actually had c-diff. He notes, “I was down for the count for five months and couldn’t work, focus, or even answer an email. I lost 30 pounds.” Sounds familiar. It ultimately left him with ulcerative colitis long-term, so it was a long road back to health during which he learned a lot about the microbiome and healing the gut. Also sounds familiar.

From the chapter on gut health:

➡️ “Sadly, our gut microbiome ain’t what it used to be. We eat gut-busting foods, live a gut-busting lifestyle, and take gut-busting drugs.”

➡️ “Want to grow toxic weeds in your gut? Feed them a processed diet high in sugar and starch, food additives, and the microbiome-destroying weed killer glyphosate, used on 70 percent of all crops.”

➡️ “Our diet is also low in food for the good bugs: prebiotic fibers and polyphe nols (all the colorful medicinal compounds in plant foods).”

➡️ “We also take too many gut-damaging antibiotics, acid blockers, anti-inflammatories like Advil, hormones, and steroids. Add to that environmental toxins from our food, air, and water, and our inner garden is a sorry place with too many disease-causing bugs and not enough healing bugs.”

He offers three steps to resolving gut problems: weed, seed, and feed. Luckily, that’s exactly what I did and have been doing post-treatment, and after 7 months, I’m not totally healed, but I’m definitely significantly better. So today I am #grateful for all the health lessons I’ve learned since getting so sick; better health as a result; and the opportunity to continue to improve and grown in good health. #Healing2021 #operationrecovery

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It

Prebiotics: Gut & Mental Health

We know that prebiotics are good for gut health because they’re what our good bacteria eat. And they need to eat to be strong to fight off bad bacteria like c-diff. But…prebiotics help with anxiety too! At least according to this study: “A new study has found that 4-weeks of daily galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) prebiotic intake can reduce anxiety levels and result in an overall improvement in wellbeing in young women.” Of course, we know from experience that c-diff affects us mentally as well as physically.

As many of you know, I prefer to get my pro and prebiotics from food naturally, rather than from supplements. I don’t know of this research would translate to that. The supplement in this study is galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). GOS are made up of plant sugars linked in chains. They are found naturally in dairy products (no, thank you!), beans (yes!), and certain root vegetables (double yes!). I’ve eaten beans and root veggies throughout my recovery. Turns out maybe they’re good for gut and mental health!

Note: WebMD did offer a warning for those with autoimmune diseases, since GOS (as a supplemet) can kick up the immune system, it may have some negative effects. Also, if used medicinally, it can have side effects no c-diff survivor wants, like gas, bloating, and even diarrhea (also WebMD). It’s kind of why I like to stick to foods instead of supplements. We benefit from the other nutrients that surround them when we get them from food: it’s like “a spoonful of sugar,” it helps make the medicine go down. 😉

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It

Good victory: hummus snack plate

This is the first proper snack plate I’ve had since I got really sick in September. 26 weeks post-treatment this week. I made hummus with my lemon tahini sauce from the other day and sourdough flat breads for dipping. Tahini is packed full of vitamins A & E, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Chickpeas are a good source of magnesium, folic acid, manganese, protein, and fiber and can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. Oh, also…delicious. Grateful for my snack plate; everything I’ve learned about food and nutrition lately; and the ability to make my own food.

Sources: The Tahini Table and Healing Foods.

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, In My Kitchen, Just For The Health of It

Triphala for GI Tract Wellness

During my recovery, I started learning more about Ayurveda (5,000 y/o holistic healing system) and adopting more of its principles (eating according to my dosha; daily tongue scraping; healing spices like turmeric; yoga & meditation, etc.), including a nightly dose of Triphala. According to my book, “triphala is made from three detoxifying and tonifying fruits that help you more effectively absorb and assimilate nutrients and get rid of waste through healthy bowel movements.”✳️  Sounded good to me as I was recovering.

This morning I read this article that explains more of the health benefits of Triphala. 📝 Note: it does say it has a natural laxative effect. I’d guess it’s pretty mild because I’ve never had that affect me personally, but obviously everyone is different. Some key points from the article:

👉 The most commonly known health benefit of Triphala is that it helps in the digestion process. 
👉 It also helps in strengthening the digestive tract of the body by increasing the number of good bacteria in the intestinal tract.
👉 According to a study published in The Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Triphala is great for our immunity and also acts as an immunosuppressant.
👉 Regular consumption of Triphala can help fight infections and control allergies due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

➕ It also explains its effects on dental health, enhanced vision, and weight loss.

✳️ Ayurveda Beginner’s Guide: Essential Ayurvedic Principles and Practices to Balance and Heal Naturally by Susan Weis-Bohlen.

Read all my C-diff posts here.

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Filed under Ayurveda, C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It

Why is Diet Important w/ C-diff?

2 reasons:
1. Many people are intolerant of foods, especially difficult to digest foods, given their intestines have been ravaged by infection. Colitis causes problems with digestion, resulting in gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, etc. Naturally, people want to avoid that, so their GI tract can heal (and because that’s unpleasant).

2. Rebuilding the microbiome is critical to getting and staying healthy post-treatment. Diet is the biggest and most important way we change and support our microbiome. Since CDI is the direct result of a) ingesting spores AND b) disruption to the microbiome, it’s incredibly important to make diet and lifestyle choices that help rebuild and then keep strong the microbiome to avoid future infection.

Want to know what foods to avoid? Go here.

Click here for more in the diet & lifestyle choices I made in recovery. And here for what I’ve learned about diet from my research.

Read all my c-diff posts here.

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Last night I made lentils with a little bit of onion & garlic plus carrots, celery, mushrooms, and… broccoli! Had it for lunch today. So far, so good. Come on, broccoli, let’s be friends. 🤞🤞🤞

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, In My Kitchen

Ready for the Week

Alright, week. I’m coming for you. I am prepped (at least for breakfasts). And I am going to bed #grateful for sunshine and the dogs who love it too (see: sunbathing #aDogCalledOakley); new ways to eat oat bran for breakfast (see: fresh, local duck eggs from Bethel Trails Farm and fresh, local mushrooms from DarkSpore Mushroom Company); and obviously meal prep (all the oat bran with all the oat milk and berries and what not).

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, In My Kitchen, Just For The Health of It, Practicing Gratitude

Gut-Brain Connection

This morning I read this article, “The Mind-Gut Connection: We Are What We Eat.” The gut-brain connection is strong. It makes total sense that so many of us experience anxiety and depression with c-diff (and our messed up microbiomes).

“The health and diversity of our microbiome seems to play a role in our mental wellness. An unbalanced or sparse microbiome has been linked with depression and anxiety. One of several ways a healthy microbiome helps protect against depression appears to involve its important role in modulating inflammatory pathways and in mediating the stress response. There is growing evidence that chronic inflammation and chronic stress contribute to mental disorders such as depression.”

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Savory Oat Bran

Oat Bran is such an amazing source of fiber. But the texture is not my favorite. Overnight oat bran works out better texture-wise for me for whatever reason. Today, though, I tried a new way to do oat bran, and this helped with the texture and taste!

I made the oat bran on the stove as usual but with some Penzey’s Mural of Flavor seasoning. While it was cooking, I sauteed a little onion and garlic in some EVOO. Then I added some fresh mushrooms I picked up yesterday from Dark Spore. I dumped these on top of the oat bran, mixed it up, and put it in a bowl while I cooked two duck eggs in that same pan. I sprinkled some feta cheese on the oat bran, and then when the eggs were ready (over light), I topped the oat bran with them. It came out really good. I got in a great dose of healthy fiber, and protein (plus other important vitamins and nutrients) from the eggs. I’ll definitely make this one again. It’s so filling I couldn’t even eat the whole bowl.

Reminder: how it bran is so good for you.

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, In My Kitchen, Just For The Health of It

Beet Juice

This morning someone shared this article,Beetroot Juice Promotes Oral Microbiome Changes Associated With Healthy Aging, with me.

It explains that “Our findings suggest that adding nitrate-rich foods to the diet – in this case via beetroot juice – for just ten days can substantially alter the oral microbiome (mix of bacteria) for the better.”

“The researchers ran tests to identify clusters (or “modules”) of oral bacteria that tend to thrive together in similar conditions.”

“A module (Prevotella-Veillonella) that has been associated with inflammation was reduced after nitrate supplementation, including a decrease of Clostridium difficile (which can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea).”

Wonder if those fermented beets I’ve been making and eating count? 🤔

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Just For The Health of It