The new year is a fresh start, making it a great time to re-commit to your health goals. Maybe you’ve done a lot in 2019 to feel better and for that you should be proud! Or maybe health wasn’t a priority and now it’s catching up to you.
Are you feeling tired and bloated? You can’t figure out why you are looking 4 months pregnant? I get it!
Below are my top strategies to start feeling better this year.
#1 Look at what you are eating every day
Food is not always the first place to start but it is one of the most important. If there is a food you crave or have a lot of and often, make sure it’s not something that could be causing inflammation in your body and making you more bloated.
If you know the foods you don’t digest well, are you avoiding them 100% of the time?
#2 Look at your stool
We can ignore important signs from our body because we are so used to feeling a certain way.
Am I having a daily bowel movement that’s not loose or hard? (a healthy bowel movement looks like a banana)
Is there mucus, blood, or undigested food in my stool?
Do I pass gas?
Do I feel bloated?
Do I have stomach cramps?
None of these things are optimal even if they are your “normal.”
#3 Look at past infections: have you had any stomach bugs from food poisoning, a stomach flu, or traveling?
Your body may have not fully recovered from these attacks on the digestive system, even if it was a while ago and you don’t notice any acute symptoms.
#4 Look at the skin
Skin inflammation is often related to your digestion, whether your skin is just itchy once in a while or you’ve always had little pimples. You would be amazed how the skin clears up when you stop eating inflammatory foods and kill off bad bacteria in your body.
#5 Look at your stomach: do you have heartburn or bad breath?
This is a sign to take a closer look at your stomach, looking at possible bacterial infections and stomach acid problems.
#6 Look at your energy levels
Are you dragging your feet out of bed? The more inflamed your gut is, the more energy is being used by your body to repair and heal.
#7 Look at your sleep
Do you feel rested in the morning? Are you waking up at night? Gut inflammation can keep you up at night as your immune system and detox pathways are working hard to repair your body.
Keep in mind, by doing this kind of self-assessment every quarter and using the lifestyle medicine approach, you are preventing more serious problems in the long run (such as autoimmune disease) and are well on your way to feeling better!