How Do You Know If You Have Bad Gut Bacteria?

You’ve probably heard the words “microbiome”, “gut bacteria”, or “flora” quite a bit these days.

Maybe you’ve even read a few articles on why you should pay attention to your gut bacteria and how important they are for your overall health.

You know that “bad bacteria” aren’t great for your health…But now you’re wondering – how do I know if I have bad bacteria? Hint: you might have bad bacteria even if you don’t have digestive issues.

Let me walk you through it!

What is Unbalanced Gut Bacteria?

When you hear the terms “bad gut bacteria” or “unbalanced gut flora”, this can refer to a number of different conditions. The most common include small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), an imbalance of gut flora in the large intestine (commonly referred to as “dysbiosis”), pathogens, or parasites.

Let’s do a quick rundown of each of these conditions:

SIBO

The small intestine should be relatively sterile when compared to the large intestine, which houses the majority of our bacteria in what is called the “microbiome”. When bacteria translocate to the small intestine for any reason and overgrow,

Can Your Gut Bacteria Help You Lose Weight?

Are you struggling to lose weight?

Perhaps you’ve tried restrictive diet after restrictive diet, exercise programs, and more – only to find that your weight doesn’t budge.

What if the answer to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight has been inside of you all along?

The Microbiome

Your digestive system is home to a vast ecosystem of trillions of bacteria that are diverse and complex. (1)

The different bacterial species all work together, much like a community, to ensure your digestive system and body functions appropriately. (2) The correct balance of microbiota can help your metabolism, increase your immunity, and can even enhance your brain functioning. (3)

Gut bacteria is acquired from birth, passed from mother to child (4), and there are many factors that could affect and alter your gut microbiota throughout your life, including:

  • The environment you live in. A large study investigated the differences in gut bacteria in rural and urban dwellers and found that urban people living in America had vastly different bacteria in their stool than those living in rural Malawi and Venezuela. They found that urban American fecal matter was the least diverse out of the groups,

Want to See What’s Inside Build Your Biome? Here’s a sneak peek!

I’m so excited to open up the Build Your Biome course again, and I hope you’ll join us!

In this video, I go over the 8-week course outline. You’ll see exactly what you’ll learn in the course, plus get a sneak peek inside the website itself to see what the videos look like!

Want to join the program? Click here to register!

A European Adventure – Visiting Paris, Lisbon, Sintra, Reims, and Epernay

I just got back from an absolutely incredible trip to Portugal and France!

As a wedding gift, my long-time best friend Kristin gave me a flight to Paris with her for a much-needed girls trip (our first one together!). (Also, sorry Aidan, apparently this wedding gift is just for ME :)).

We knew we wanted to visit somewhere other than France since we had both been to Paris before, and spent a while deciding where to go. First we though Barcelona might be fun, but since we had both been there before too, we wanted to find somewhere new to the two of us.

We were looking at cheap flights from Paris to other destinations in Europe and stumbled upon Portugal! Now, I’m a big traveler and of course I have a huge list of destinations that I want to go to…surprisingly, Portugal hadn’t been on it. But, boy, it DEFINITELY should’ve been.

I absolutely loved our time in Portugal, which I’ll tell you about in a bit!

First stop, Paris!

So we flew into Paris and stayed one night at the Terrass Hotel in Montmartre (complete with an awesome rooftop bar –

2016: My Year in Review

Wow, I still can’t believe 2016 is almost over!

In a lot of ways, 2016 wasn’t a great year. Dealt with some health issues, had to move, politics were absolutely insane, felt like a I didn’t make a ton of progress in my business…

But in many ways it was amazing.

I’d like to share an exercise with you to review my (and your!) 2016. I hope you’ll think about these questions, too!

1. What are you most grateful for in 2016?

2016 brought me a new family 🙂 I married the love of my life in June, and I couldn’t be happier about it! Not only did I get an awesome husband, but I married into an amazing family as well. Here’s all of us (being silly, of course!) below:

I am most grateful for my husband, who is the most supportive, amazing person I have ever met. He pushes me to be better, comforts me when I’m feeling down, and is the best adventure-partner I could ever ask for.

We lost our cat this year, sadly, but we also brought home a new kitten!

I’m Married!

I’m Married!

Yay! After 10 years of being together, my fiance (now husband!) and I were married on June 4th in New York City, the place we’ve called home for the last 5 years.

We had a private ceremony with immediate family only, ate arepas from our favorite restaurant, and drank far too much alcohol with our loved ones. We’ll celebrate with our extended family and friends in October!

Just wanted you all to know why my name changed around here 😉

I’m working on an awesome new website with my new name and a new url to match…coming soon!

When Chronic Illness Comes Knocking…

when-chronic-illness-comes-knocking

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, life can feel really uncertain for a while. Sometimes you can’t do things you used to be able to do, and it can feel like your entire world has turned upside down. You have to slow down; realize that life is a little different.

It’s frustrating. It sucks.

I was recently diagnosed with a condition called Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST for short). Essentially, it means that my heart beats faster than most people. This doesn’t sound too bad until you start to realize that even standing can be uncomfortable and difficult sometimes. Intense cardiovascular exercise? Forget it. And when you’re a business owner whose business is all about promoting health, being sick almost feels like an identity crisis.

Then we found out our apartment had mold. This makes sense, since problems with the autonomic nervous system (the system that controls things that happen automatically like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, etc) seem to be connected to mold exposure. We’ve been in our apartment for 5 years, so I’ve likely had five years of mold exposure unbeknownst to me.

So now not only am I dealing with a chronic illness,

Want to Study Nutrition and Integrative and Functional Medicine? Here are 4 Graduate Degree Options

Want to Study Nutrition and Integrative and Functional Medicine Here are 4 Graduate Degree Options

Lately I’ve been looking for Ph.D or DCN (doctor of clinical nutrition) programs, because…well, I guess I am a glutton for punishment. I haven’t applied to any yet, and I’m still very much in the consideration phase of planning, but in my search I found a few graduate programs that looked very promising so I wanted to share!

I get emails pretty much daily asking how to pursue integrative and functional medicine especially from a nutrition perspective, and many ask about my experience at the University of Western States. I’ve talked about it a bit on The Ancestral RDs podcast in Episode 7, so if you haven’t listened to that, I highly recommend doing so.

I’ll add some information here about my experience as well, and introduce you to a few other programs that sound very exciting.

Master’s Degrees:
University of Western States M.S. in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

I believe UWS was one of the first schools to offer any sort of graduate degree in functional medicine, which is why I was very excited to learn more when I first heard about it. My experience there was overall a good one, and I definitely learned a lot that I use in my practice to this day.

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gelatin Gut Gummies

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gelatin Gut Gummies

This is a guest post by my intern Lisa Hansen, an RD-to-be! Note: this recipe uses my lemon-ginger soda from the Eat The Good Bugs eBook that you can get for free by subscribing to my newsletter.

Who would have thought that “nourishing” and “gummy bears” could be paired in the same sentence? Definitely not me, but I’m here to change that. To throw a twist on the traditional gummy bear, add some good gut bacteria, grass-fed gelatin and you get a guiltless mid-day pick me up when you’re craving those sugar bomb gummy worms from the store. You could almost say these gummies have super powers, especially when made in dinosaur molds.

If you’ve been around the Healthy Gut Healthy Life website then you know how beneficial bacteria can be essential in maintaining your good gut health. Most of these foods revolve around fermented foods with a saltier flavor, so this recipe adds a little sweetness to the mix.

If you’re not sold on these quite yet, all you need is 6 ingredients and 15 minutes once you’ve made the lemon ginger soda.

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gut Gummies

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup lemon ginger soda (you can get the recipe for that in the Eat The Good Bugs eBook here)
  • 1 cup frozen organic cherries
  • 2 tablespoon raw organic honey
  • ¼ cup grass-fed gelatin

Directions:

  1. Blend cherries and lemon juice on high until smooth.

Enter to win TONS of fermented foods!

Enter to win TONS of fermented foods!

I’m so excited for this giveaway! If you’ve recently signed up for the Fermented for 14 Challenge, you’ll notice that many of the brands I mention in the eBook are offering amazing gift packs for winners. Here’s what is available:

BAO Food and Drink:

  • A $75 gift certificate for anything on their site – choose from fermented slaw and even things like fermented ketchup and BBQ sauce!
  • They are also offering a %15 off code to anyone who would like to use it – just enter code (Fermented For 14) at checkout!

Vital Choice:

  • Gift Basket full of non-perishable items (a $150 value!)
  • A $100 gift card for anything on their site (plenty of fermented foods to choose from!)

Fab Ferments:

  • A Fab Four Fun Pack – includes 2 raw cultured veggies and 2 beet kvass (a $56 value!)

The Brinery:

  • Assorted Food Pack – Aura Solanales (hot sauce), “Up North” kraut, Seasonal Pickle (a $28 value!)

Rejuvenative Foods:

  • Assorted Fermented Food Pack (a $50 value!)

Straus Family Creamery:

  • 15 Free Product Coupons

Maple Hill Creamery:

  • OG (Original Grassfed) T-Shirt (Mens or Womens)
  • 5 Free cup coupons
  • Cooler bag
  • Bumper sticker

Firefly Kitchens:

  • Fresh and Fermented Cookbook

Kelsey Marksteiner (that’s me!):

  • Lactobacillus plushie