There are many good reasons to give your body, and digestive system in particular, some time to pause from our modern lifestyle and restore some balance. A gut support or repair program is perfect for this, as it was specifically designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger to help repair the gut wall and lower gut inflammation.
If you are experiencing symptoms already or feel you're suffering from the "aches and pains" of aging, know that it doesn't have to be that way. Feeling tired all the time, bloated, with indigestion, or with mental fog, is not an inevitable part of aging or of your genes. Most of these symptoms are a result of our modern lifestyle and diet, which we can turn around.
The Gut Repair Program is a great way to jumpstart some of these healthy habits while you learn what foods are good for your body.
Below we share 12 good reasons to repair your gut.
1. Give your body a break
Our body needs to constantly handle and process everything we put into it: the air we breathe, the water we drink and shower with, the products we put on our skin, and especially, the food we eat. Most of the food we eat normally in our diets is loaded with chemicals. If it's not loaded with chemicals, they are often foods that trigger immune responses in our body. Some of the foods that commonly cause sensitivities are gluten, dairy, eggs, red meat, nightshades, corn, among others. This is why we remove these foods from our programs.
In addition to the foods to avoid from the Clean 7 and 21 program, the Gut Repair Program also eliminates grains. Dr. Junger explains that grains act as "sandpaper" to our gut wall when it is already suffering from inflammation and permeability. Avoiding grains helps restore the health and integrity of our gut wall.
2. Improve your digestion
When removing certain foods and adding certain nutrients and supplements chosen specifically to support our gut health, our digestion usually improves. This is what happens in most cases. Some people have other underlying issues that they need to work on or uncover. But gut repair is an ideal first step to figure out if our digestive issues are a result of inflammation due to certain foods and lifestyle choices or if it's something else.
3. Reduce your sugar cravings
Have you noticed that we commonly crave the foods that make us sick? This is because our cravings are often a result of our gut bacteria or microbiome. When our microbiome is out of balance (more bacteria that work against us instead than for us) then we crave the foods they feed off from, usually processed refined carbohydrates and sugars. This is why Dr. Junger says "Craving toxic food is a classic sign of being in a toxic state." As we restore balance in our microbiome with whole fruits and veggies, and reduce our intake of processed refined carbs, our cravings will also change.
4. Identify your food triggers
When we take a break from foods that cause sensitivities all together and at once, we realize what it's like to live without digestive issues and other reactions. Once you're done with the program, it is a golden opportunity to reintroduce each of the foods you removed and observe your reaction, one by one. We call this the "Reintroduction Phase" and we have guidelines in our programs about how to do that effectively.
5. Increase your energy
When we remove our food triggers and reduce the workload of our digestive system with liquid meals, as the protocol in our programs calls for, we free up energy in our body. Our immune system is no longer overreacting to foods and we are spending less energy on digestion. This feels like increased energy in our life to do the things that we want to do. To learn or explore the new interests we might have or to show up with our families or work with more focus and vitality.
6. Kickstart healthier habits
Starting on a detox or gut repair program in a guided group setting is a great way to kickstart healthier habits. The group support, guidance through resources, and the availability of our Clean Wellness Coaches provide a structure that helps ensure your success in the program. Plus, doing a program for 21 days is a great amount of time to try out some of these healthy habits and see which ones you want to sustain going forward. Many past participants maintain the smoothie in the morning or the 12-hour fast each day.
7. Take a break from alcohol
A lot of people decide to start a detox or gut repair program because they feel they want a fresh start, and in many cases, because they feel they have been drinking too much. The occasional glass of wine or beer is different than drinking several drinks several times per week, which ends up impairing the quality of our sleep and the energy with which we face our lives.
Alcohol is made by fermenting grain or fruit sugars into ethanol. It’s yeasty mix contributes to the disruption of our microbiome. Since it is also acid-forming in nature, alcohol helps create the conditions for inflammation and the weakening of our immune system. Plus, it has a dehydrating effect, which is important because when we do a cleanse or gut repair program we seek to enhance our detoxification process, which needs water to function properly and eliminate toxins.
8. Create a routine of healthy eating
The protocols in our programs include a liquid meal or smoothie in the morning, a solid lunch, and a liquid dinner. Plus, the 12-hour fasting window between the last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day. Practicing this routine for 21 days is a great way to see how it makes you feel and keep some of the habits and routines that work for you once you are done with the program.
9. Increase mental clarity & calmness
Many of our participants report feeling an increased sense of calm and mental clarity during our programs. Doing a gut repair program reduces the negative reactions our body has to certain foods and helps repair our cells, reducing inflammation overall. This also includes our brain cells and nervous system in general. When we restore balance in our gut, we are able to produce enough serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter that helps us regulate mood.
10. Improve the *glow* in your skin
The skin outside is a reflection of the skin inside—our gut wall. When there are microorganisms in our gut wall that shouldn’t be there they can turn into foci of infection with inflammation. This can show up on our outer skin as acne, rashes or pimples. Plus, some of the foods we eliminate in the programs are known to be mucus-forming, such as dairy products. By removing them, you reduce the mucus in your body and this can improve the glow in your skin. Read more about the relationship between skin and our gut here.
11. Listen to your body and nurture it
Taking a pause from our regular lifestyle and diet helps us tune into our bodies in a different way. When you remove the distractions and buffers that we create via food, coffee, and alcohol, you are left with a better sense of what is going on physically and emotionally. It helps you listen more carefully and without distractions.
12. Improve the quality of your sleep
Finally, participants report and improvement in deep and restorative sleep. Many even report that that have more vivid dreams! Lowering inflammation and your immune reactions to food, plus eliminating coffee and alcohol likely contribute to this improvement in sleep. It is known that coffee can contribute to inhibiting a metabolite of melatonin, which is what can cause an interruption in sleep.
Getting enough and high quality sleep is one of the pillars of health, as important as diet and exercise. When we don’t get enough sleep, some of the consequences can be decreased insulin sensitivity, feeling increased “hunger”, more inflammation, cognitive impairment, and mood changes. Improving the quality of your sleep can improve many areas of your health and life.
Not convinced our Gut Repair Program is for you? Email us at email@example.com and our coaches will be happy to guide you.
Ready to sign up for our online group Gut Repair Program? Register here: www.cleanprogram.com/gut-repair