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Wellness
Published Wednesday Jun 05, 2019 by Molly Alliman

5 Steps to Identify Food Intolerances and Heal Your Gut

Expert Advice
Food

We’ve all been there—uncomfortable bloat and gas after what seems like every meal. Acid reflux that keeps you up at night, or consistent stomach issues that keep you in the bathroom when you’d rather be enjoying life! It is likely that your digestive woes are caused by food intolerances and sensitivities that have gone unidentified. 

Do you know the difference between food allergies and food intolerances/sensitivities? Food allergies will cause a histamine response in your system that will typically reveal itself on your skin in the form of a rash or hives, and in extreme cases, by anaphylactic response. (If this is the case, please consult your physician). Food intolerances and sensitivities will result in digestive symptoms—heartburn, acid reflux, stomach aches, bloat, gas, constipation/diarrhea.

The good news is that your food intolerances can be identified by following these five simple steps to become empowered by your food choices to heal your gut:

 

Step 1: Keep a food journal.

Keeping a daily food journal, for a minimum of one week, will give you great insight into which foods are causing any digestive symptoms. For each day, write down what you had to eat and drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Take note of your digestive symptoms that day. Pay attention to what you eat or drink on the days that you have symptoms. Start circling the food and beverages that you believe are linked to digestive symptoms caused by food intolerances. 

 

Step 2: Eliminate foods linked to digestive symptoms. 

For the next three to five days, remove the foods from your diet that you circled in your food journal.  If after that time your digestive symptoms still persist, move to Step 3. If your digestive symptoms subside, continue to remove these specific foods for a total of 10 days before moving to Step 4. 

 

Step 3: Eliminate common allergens + digestive disruptors*. 

Eliminate all common allergens. These include gluten, dairy, eggs, shellfish, and soy. You can also remove other foods that commonly cause digestive symptoms. These include nightshades, chocolate, sugar, coffee, alcohol, and processed foods. It is recommended to eliminate these foods for a total of 10-14 days until digestive symptoms subside completely before you reintroduce. 

 

Step 4: Reintroduce* 

For each day following the 10-to 14-day elimination period, reintroduce the foods you eliminated one by one. Isolate these foods for reintroduction. For example, you may be craving a bagel and cream cheese but you would be reintroducing gluten and dairy at the same time, making it difficult to identify which one may be causing digestive symptoms. 

 

Step 5: Rebuild + Repopulate

Once you identify your food intolerance triggers, continue to keep these out of your diet for four to six weeks while you heal your gut. To rebuild and repopulate healthy gut bacteria, I recommend taking a daily probiotic supplement with at least 5 billion strains. You can also eat your probiotics by trying fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut kefir, goat milk kefir, and whole milk plain yogurt (if ok with dairy). 

*It is recommended that you work with a Certified Health Coach Professional to help you identify what foods should be removed from your diet, for how long, and to create a structured reintroduction plan specifically for you. 

 

Molly offers her 10-day Balance Cleanse and elimination diet with her full support to help you identify food intolerances. She also offers one, three, and six-month programs to better help you with food intolerances, gut healing and to accomplish your health goals. 

For more information about her cleanse, programs, and pricing check out www.balancebymolly.com/ and use code MINDBODY for $20 off the Balance Cleanse!


MINDBODY HAS NOT VERIFIED THE CLAIMS OF THIS ARTICLE.
Molly Alliman
Written by
Molly Alliman
Certified Health Coach
About the author
Molly is a certified Health Coach who works with her clients to form better relationships with food and healthy habits. She truly believes that health should be about balance and not stress. Molly is an avid fan of carbohydrates, pine-scented candles, golden retrievers, and one-ingredient foods.
Prenatal Fitness - MINDBODY
Fitness
Published Wednesday Sep 11, 2019 by Whitney English

The Do’s and Don’ts of Prenatal Fitness 

Yoga
Pilates
Barre
Strength Training
Cardio
Expert Advice

For many pregnant women, exercise can take a backseat. I get it. You’re exhausted and uncomfortable—slipping into a pair of tight leggings and sweating your booty off doesn’t exactly sound like a great way to reduce your discomfort.
 
While working out may sound like the last thing you want to do when you’re carrying another human inside of you, engaging in regular, low-impact activities during pregnancy is extremely beneficial to both you and your baby. In fact, some studies show that prenatal exercise may help to reduce aches and pains, improve sleep, and boost mood. But figuring out which exercises are safe for you and your baby can be confusing. If you Google prenatal exercise, you’ll find a wide range of conflicting opinions on what moms-to-be should and shouldn’t do.
 
As a dietitian, a Certified Personal Trainer, and a mom to a 16-month old, exercise has always been a priority for me. During my pregnancy, I was determined to continue my regular routine as long as possible, so I spent a ton of time researching and speaking to experts to learn the best practices for exercise during pregnancy. Here is my list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to prenatal fitness, no matter where you are when it comes to motherhood. 
 

Yoga

First up, yoga. You want to avoid any poses that cramp your baby’s space or put pressure on your stomach. It’s easy to modify most poses to make them safer and more comfortable for you and your baby. For example, instead of trying to do a regular forward fold, open up your legs for a wide leg forward fold, which gives your belly more space. 
 
Some poses can be fine during the first or second trimester, depending on your prior yoga experience, but may be less safe later in pregnancy. If you are comfortable doing full wheel, it can be fine early in your pregnancy. I did this pose until about 25 weeks, but everyone is different. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not the time to push yourself with new poses. Additionally, after the first trimester, it’s best to avoid lying face down. Instead, try doing certain poses on your knees rather than on your stomach—like substituting camel pose for bow pose.
 

1
Yoga

First up, yoga. You want to avoid any poses that cramp your baby’s space or put pressure on your stomach. It’s easy to modify most poses to make them safer and more comfortable for you and your baby. For example, instead of trying to do a regular forward fold, open up your legs for a wide leg forward fold, which gives your belly more space. 
 
Some poses can be fine during the first or second trimester, depending on your prior yoga experience, but may be less safe later in pregnancy. If you are comfortable doing full wheel, it can be fine early in your pregnancy. I did this pose until about 25 weeks, but everyone is different. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not the time to push yourself with new poses. Additionally, after the first trimester, it’s best to avoid lying face down. Instead, try doing certain poses on your knees rather than on your stomach—like substituting camel pose for bow pose.
 

Pilates + Barre

Similarly, with both Pilates and barre, you want to avoid doing any stretches or poses that put pressure on or around your abdominal cavity. During the early stages of pregnancy, you may not need any modifications, but the most important thing is to listen to your body and not push the limits. As your pregnancy progresses, remember to ask the instructor for modifications, so the exercise feels good for both you and baby.

2
Pilates + Barre

Similarly, with both Pilates and barre, you want to avoid doing any stretches or poses that put pressure on or around your abdominal cavity. During the early stages of pregnancy, you may not need any modifications, but the most important thing is to listen to your body and not push the limits. As your pregnancy progresses, remember to ask the instructor for modifications, so the exercise feels good for both you and baby.

Hot Exercise + Heated Classes

Another crucial thing to avoid during pregnancy is hot exercise. There is a lot of misinformation regarding hot exercise, but be wary of anyone that tells you that it is safe. Increasing your core body temperature is known as hyperthermia, and it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women. It is especially dangerous in the first month just after contraception, but hot exercise and heated classes should be avoided at all stages of pregnancy.

3
Hot Exercise + Heated Classes

Another crucial thing to avoid during pregnancy is hot exercise. There is a lot of misinformation regarding hot exercise, but be wary of anyone that tells you that it is safe. Increasing your core body temperature is known as hyperthermia, and it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women. It is especially dangerous in the first month just after contraception, but hot exercise and heated classes should be avoided at all stages of pregnancy.

Strength Training

When it comes to strength and circuit training, exercises like lunges and jumping may put excessive pressure on your belly as you get farther along in your pregnancy. Trust your body and discontinue these if they feel unsafe. Any exercises that cause you to hold your breath or could result in trauma to your belly, (for example kettlebell swings or powerlifting) I would advise against.

4
Strength Training

When it comes to strength and circuit training, exercises like lunges and jumping may put excessive pressure on your belly as you get farther along in your pregnancy. Trust your body and discontinue these if they feel unsafe. Any exercises that cause you to hold your breath or could result in trauma to your belly, (for example kettlebell swings or powerlifting) I would advise against.

Cardio

With cardio, the rule is that you should be able to continue to hold a steady conversation during exercise. For some, running may be fine up until the end of your pregnancy. Others may find this puts too much pressure on their pelvic floor. Some low-impact alternatives include walking (on both a flat surface and uphill), swimming, elliptical machine, rowing machine, and low-intensity aerobic exercise.
 

If you’re looking for exercise classes to take while pregnant, I recommend searching for something mellow on the MINDBODY app, such as restorative or gentle flow yoga, beginner Reformer Pilates, or any other light, introductory classes.
 
As a general rule, if you’re questioning whether or not something is safe to do during pregnancy, it probably isn’t. Remember that the most important thing is the safety of both you and your baby, and no form or intensity of exercise is worth sacrificing that!
 
For more information on a healthy pregnancy, including nutritious recipes and exercise ideas, check out my Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!

5
Cardio

With cardio, the rule is that you should be able to continue to hold a steady conversation during exercise. For some, running may be fine up until the end of your pregnancy. Others may find this puts too much pressure on their pelvic floor. Some low-impact alternatives include walking (on both a flat surface and uphill), swimming, elliptical machine, rowing machine, and low-intensity aerobic exercise.
 

If you’re looking for exercise classes to take while pregnant, I recommend searching for something mellow on the MINDBODY app, such as restorative or gentle flow yoga, beginner Reformer Pilates, or any other light, introductory classes.
 
As a general rule, if you’re questioning whether or not something is safe to do during pregnancy, it probably isn’t. Remember that the most important thing is the safety of both you and your baby, and no form or intensity of exercise is worth sacrificing that!
 
For more information on a healthy pregnancy, including nutritious recipes and exercise ideas, check out my Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!

Whitney English - MINDBODY
Written by
Whitney English
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
About the author
A former journalist and entertainment reporter in Los Angeles, Whitney English found her passion in wellness and nutrition. Tired of the quick fix promises she encountered in Hollywood, she became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer, making it her mission to research health trends to help determine the best ways to eat, move, and live for long-lasting health.