"Don't worry; I have a stomach of steel!" I naively said when my running coach tried to give me advice on prepping for an upcoming race.:
As fate would have it, that was the first of many times that my gut blew up while running. I still feel awful about puking on the sidewalk in North Beach.
I continued to battle GI distress for years. But I was stubborn and tried to will myself through pain and discomfort until my body finally said, "Enough is enough!" It was only then that I was willing to dig into digestion to figure out "how" and "why" this was happening to me.
What I learned is that a healthy digestive system is vital. Not just for our athletic endeavors, but also to our health and well-being.
Healthy digestion is essential to not just looking, but also feeling our best. When your digestion system is not working as it should, your whole body suffers. One system becomes compromised, so another has to work in overdrive to compensate for it. That can only go on for so long until something has to give.
Organs stop functioning properly; hormones become imbalanced, and your natural detoxification process is disrupted. Your body becomes overloaded with toxins preventing it from getting all the nutrients it needs.
You may already be eating healthy foods, but if your body isn't absorbing the nutrients from it, it's a moot point. It's not "you are what you eat," it's "what your body can do with the foods that you are eating."
When comes to sugar’s effect on the digestive system, it's less to do with it's mechanical functions and more to do with how what's in your gut keep things working as they should. And would be your "gut microbiome."
The gut microbiome was a hot and trendy topic the past couple of years. It's a mini system in your digestive system that is made up of bacteria. Everyone has bacteria in their gut, and it's healthy to have good bacteria. We want this. But there's also bad bacteria, and when the harmful bacteria outnumbers the good, that mini ecosystem becomes out of balance.
When this happens, our immune system becomes compromised, and our hormones also become imbalanced.
And you experience things like gas, bloating, IBS; more severe digestive issues like SIBO, candida overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome and even other symptoms you may not know are related to digestion like acne, psoriasis, anxiety, and depression.
Sugar is the main culprit that throws off this delicate internal balance.
Sugar feeds the bad bacteria and gives them life. Harmful bacteria thrives from sugar, while the good bacteria loves healthy, nourishing foods that are high in nutrients like fats and fiber.
When you stop eating so much sugar, you will literally starve the bad bacteria that causes every system in your body to suffer.
Just another reason to ditch the sugar and start feeling vibrant and energized again!
But ditching sugar is super easy to say, but not so easy to do. Sugar is addictive. And sugar cravings, as we know, can feel overwhelming and have such a strong hold on us that it can feel impossible to conquer.
What I recommend doing is to focus more on foods that will naturally drive away your sugar cravings so you can avoid feeling starved and deprived as you make healthier changes to your eating habits.
Need ideas on what to eat instead of sugar?
Download my top 10 foods to help you breakup with sugar.
Hi, I'm Naomi!
I help smart and savvy women who suffer from chronic stress, unexplained weight gain and burnout, breakthrough their healthy blind spots and relieve symptoms through natural healing with whole foods and by making lifestyle and environmental changes. Why feel tired when you can feel fired up and ready to go every single day?
I love running outdoors, connecting with like-minded people, and exploring the San Francisco Bay Area with my pup, Coco Pop.