An hour later, swamped at your office, you’re gassy and bloated. You feel like you’re going to bust out of your jeans, and you’re certain that hot new assistant is starring at your muffin top while he faxes at the copying machine. At the same time you’re hungry, and you know that bag of Pirate’s Booty white aged cheddar on your desk sometimes soothes your stomach.
You’re tempted to write this discomfort off as an upset stomach, but it happens far too frequently.
You could have food sensitivities or other gut-related issues. Symptoms manifest hours or even days after you’ve finished the offending food and include joint pain, fatigue, mental fuzziness, mood swings, skin issues, constipation, diarrhea, congestion, gas, and bloating.
Take control of your digestive problems with these five strategies and never spend another afternoon stuck in the office bathroom or running to Starbucks for a brain-fog relieving grande latte.
- Ditch the common culprits. Many so-called healthy foods can trigger food sensitivities that develop over time as you frequently consume these foods. Try an elimination diet. For 21 days, dump the dairy, soy, gluten, corn, peanuts, yeast, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. You will survive and feel fabulous. What’s left to eat? Plenty: raw nuts and seeds, a rainbow of veggies, low-glycemic fruits, and clean, lean protein.
- Digest well. No more mindless eating, dashboard dining, or TV dinners. Slow the heck down, make time for your meals, put your fork down between bites, and minimize the sparkling water while you’re eating. (Liquids dilute your stomach acids and inhibits protein breakdown.) You’ll also benefit from a comprehensive digestive enzyme like B.P.P. from Thorne Research.
- Search and destroy. Those pesky microbes, yeast, and parasites can extract more calories from your food and stall fast fat loss. Gut bacterial overgrowth also zaps your energy, triggers serious cravings for Sausalito cookies, and sends you running to the bathroom. An integrative health practitioner can help destroy these nasty invaders. In the meantime, garlic can help. If you want to keep your friends and not radiate bad breath, though, use Kyolic Aged Garlic Digestion Formula 102.
- Build your defenses. Most of your immune system exists in your gut. Boost your defenses with a high-quality whey protein (if you’re not dairy sensitive), such as Whey Protein Isolate from Thorne Research. And build gut flora with a probiotic like Bacillus Coagulans, also from Thorne Research.
- Cool off. Make an oil change and dump the pro-inflammatory vegetable oils for wild salmon. If you’re not eating cold-water fish three or four times a week, you can get therapeutic benefits to reduce gut and overall inflammation with Omega Plus from Thorne Research. Another gut-soothing strategy that makes a perfect mid-afternoon snack: mix freshly ground flaxseed meal with applesauce.
© 2012 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food allergies. She is the bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout & co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters. Watch for The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days, Dec. 2012. Visit JJ at http://www.jjvirgin.com to get her 3 free training videos on the secrets to achieving fast & lasting fat loss.