everything you want to know about gut health

*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.


So pretty much everything positive or negative you might be experiencing, involves your gut.


Gut is such an unsexy word, so is bowel, but what it does is amazing and so I want to rename gut to like “muffin” hahaha. Like could you imagine, we’d be like “my muffin feels weird”. Hahah. Nah we’ll stick with gut.


Gut health is integral to optimal health and everyone needs to stop shying away from talking about it, because it’s such an awesome indicator of what’s going on in your body. Everything from allergies, to eczema / psoriasis, to autoimmune diseases, to energy production, its all to do with the gut.


When we talk about the gut, we’re talking about both the small intestine and large intestine. Our small intestine is where the magic happen; the food we digest is broken down and most nutrients are absorbed here, with wastes and toxins travelling into the large intestine and we poop it out (YAY). In the large intestine, nutrients are re-absorbed, water’s absorbed, and our bacteria happily live here, doing their job of keeping us health or not so healthy. (moral of the story is; we love out gut bacteria).



bloating – what’s up with it, what causes it, ways to overcome it


Bloating is weird, its like both a good thing sometimes and a bad thing. When we eat foods, predominantly carbohydrates, the bugs in our gut called Bacteroids, break it down into fatty acids, and in this process, cause gas. Other foods are more gas producing than others, because of the type of carbohydrate/starch/enzymes and phytates (plant nutrients) that they’re made of.


We’re talking about all them good goods; carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, capsicum, legumes and beans, grains, carby fruits like banana, apples, dates, figs, etc.

And all your shit processed foods that are also really carby, like pasta, cakes, biscuits, bread et cetera. 


Also dairy, as 60-90% of the WORLDS population lack the ability to properly break down and utilise dairy, so consuming dairy will also contribute to bloating (and heaps of other problems...)


Also, as we'll explore in the upcoming blogs, FODMAP foods (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) cause bloating also, as the bugs aren't able to digest the short-chain carbohydrates that they're made up of. This includes for some people; garlic & onion (RIP). 


How to avoid? COOK your veggies properly.


Whether thats steaming, roasting, boiling, BBQ'in, grilln', whatever way you love to cook. 

Our bodies do better when food is already partially broken down, ready for our lubly bugs and body to extract the nutrients, without having to deal with the phytates and anti-nutrients. Of course, there’s the raw activists out there, and if you feel awesome on a raw diet, go you, do you boo boo.

BUT biologically, we found fire, utilised it to… cook our food and became the dominant species on the planet!!! All because we could extract more goodness out of it, plus fire destroys any anti-nutrients and poisons that can harm us. WOO FIYA 

In defence of raw biddies, when you cook foods you do kill / lose some enzymes and nutrients.

If you’re eating lots of legumes, beans and grains, again, our gut isn’t able to properly digest heaps of them because of the lectin's that they have (check out our blog bout it). So the bugs not being able to break them down properly, ferment them, creating gas, bloating and discomfort. So if you do want to munch on legumes, beans and grains, just make sure they’re really soaked (overnight ideally, with some sea salt) and cooked through so it’s easier for your gut and lubly bugs to digest.

On a side note, which is what makes us so awesome, is that our bodies adapt. So you might not even notice your experience gas, bloating, or pain if you eat something on a regular basis, but when you give your body a break and reintroduce it you might experience it, so just heads up and stay conscious of what’s going on.


Oh and even like chewing gum or eating your food quickly causing you to gulp air also causes bloating, also if you have heaps of salt (but again, everyone is different)


Also, in regards to going from 0-100 real quick, in the sense that you’re like “yep, I’m gonna up my veggie intake, HEADS UP, all this added fibre can cause everything to get backed up, thus you’re gonna bloat and be a balloon. This happens because if you’ve been consuming a low fibre / plant diet, your GI tract’s gotten lazy and hasn’t had to work so hard, and this sudden influx of fibre and starch causes constipation. So if you’re already there, don’t fear, it sucks, but your body will eventually get used to all the fibre and be killa killa bomb dilla, or option 2, ease your gut into it and just increase your plant foods and fibre slowly. And drink heaps of water, even some magnesium will help


So in a nutshell, bloating is caused by our gut bugs breaking down carbohydrates. To decrease bloating, cook your veggies properly, soak your legumes, beans and grains, sit down to eat your food, notice and be conscious of foods that cause you to bloat, and either change the way you prepared consume them, or swap them out for something equally or more nutritious.


IBS, foods that irritate the gut, FODMAP


Let’s kick it off with IBS aka irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is one of those things that everyones like… what even is IBS? It can be medically categorised into 3 types; IBS-D (diarrhoea), IBS-C (constipation) and IBS-M (mixed, bit of column A and B). In the real world, we’re talking about constant/regular gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain, infrequent stool consistency (lol at me even writing that, how profesh do I sound), and you’ll also just probably feel like shit, because as we talked bout in the intro, the gut is responsible for immune function, energy production, hormone balancing, errythangggg yo.


IBS is of course, like everything, positively or negatively impacted by nutrition, movement and meditation, aka what we eat, what we do, and what we think. But in this case, food plays da #1 role, which is awesome (as usual). As we touched on in previous blogs, certain foods are more inflammatory within the gut than others – grains (even wholegrains), legumes, beans, processed foods aka it has ingredients, nightshades (we’ll dive into these), certain foods you might be sensitive / allergic too e.g FODMAP (also, because of how food is produced these days, with all the chemicals, plastics, GMO, dominant species etc), and if you’re going through periods in your life of stress whether it be emotional, financial, spiritual, physical, psychological, whatever, that all impacts the gut, its integrity, and its ability to digest and bounce back from bad bugs.


So step 1 is being aware. Whats going on, on a day to day basis digestion wise. Do you feel bloated, yucky, daddy gasolina, not pooping awesomely? Do certain foods make it worse/more noticeable? If you answered yes to any of these questions, YOU CAN PROCEED TO STEP 2 (you can pass go, and you can totally collect $200)


Like shit, how bad do you feel when you eat something and it fucks up your gut/muffin. You’re like instantly in a bad mood, and you feel uncomfortable and so not sexy, and ain’t no body got time for that. We wanna be bootylicious & biceplicious? 24/7 (boys and gals can be both bootylicious and biceplicious simultaneously ja feel).


So, write a list or keep a note in your phone bout what these are, and then cross reference whether they’re FODMAP related, intolerance related, or hey theyre probably just you related. We’re all different, like I can’t fucking handle capsicum. At all. I like die. And capsicum is delicious, but my body says no no, yet my sista beb @kate_hedley is g with capsi, good for her haha.


So step 3, is to cut out these foods for a period of time, ideally lets go like 3-4 weeks (minimum), and see if you notice changes. And lets be realistic, taking out like 1 food when say 5 irritate you, you aint gonna notice much/any changes, coz yo inflammation and shit still gon be going on. So be brave, swap them out and swap in awesome foods that agree with you. If you get stuck /overwhelmed and are like wtf where do I even start / what are you even saying, holla at ya girl and we’ll devise a plan / suss out what is irritating you 


Oh and like bubbi step 4, is look at what you might be missing which is exacerbating (what a great word hey), bad gut health. Like are we drinking enough H2O (around 1L for every 25kg of body weight), fibre? Where we getting that from? Are we getting enough? Are we stressing and causing everything to tighten up and need more magnesium and other supplements? Are we moving our bodies in a way we love? Are we getting good sleep? (studies have shown individuals who are sleep deprived & jet lagged have the same gut microbiome as an obese person….)


So moving right along. Certain foods are more inflammatory than others, as we’ve explored in previous blogs, so lets chit chat bout nightshades.


Nightshades are foods that essentially cause an immune response, and are linked to autoimmune disease & chronic pain, because of their plant defence systems - so they don’t get eaten by bugs. THEY JUS WANNA SURVIVE. Nightshade family include; eggplant, capsicum, chilli’s, paprika, cayenne pepper, tomatoes and potatoes.


This isn’t to say all nightshades are problematic, they also trigger a beneficial mild immune response, like cayenne pepper for example, AWESOME for triggering your immune system when you're sick to come out and play and beat the bad bugs. And the nutrients within nightshades are also dope, everyone’s different so suss out if you react / feel weird after eating nightshades / hey you might not even notice you even react anymore because you're bodies become adapted and down regulated it. but if you have auto immune/chronic pain/alzheimers (hopefully none of you do), then i'd look at swapping out your nightshades, theres so many other cool herbs and spices and veggies to munch on




F is for fermentable, which just kind of like introduces you to what happens to the ODMAPS; aka theyre fermented in the gut/muffin.

O is for oligosaccharides, which are sugar chains

D is disaccharides which means 2 sugar molecules,

M for monosaccharide which is 1 sugar molecule, and then

And (lol)

P for polyols which are sugar alcohols (the ‘ol’ gives it away). So now what we know what these mean, we can start to apply them to foods.


Check out the FODMAP table from fodmap.com. It provides some key foods that can irritate the gut and cause the effects of FODMAP; which is IBS!!!

IT ALL LINKS TOGETHER FRIENDS. (insert the hand shaking emoji)


bacteria balance, good vs bad, foods that promote good / bad balances and what this means


So we know that we are literally what we eat. What you put into your mouth is what builds our body; our muscle cells, our skin cells, our immune system, everything. So if we feed ourselves poor quality, basic bitch processed, refined shit – then that’s what our body has to utilise and build our tissues out of; and 10/10 you’re gonna feel like that poor quality, basic bitch, bad shit. And our gut health is a fine indicator of what’s going on inside.


When we’re in dysbiosis – which just means when out gut microbiome isn’t in balance, we feel all types of ways – not only directly – bloated, irregular, daddy gasolina, heavy, sluggish and just yuck, but indirectly, with dysbiosis linked again to all inflammatory states, IBS, neurotransmitter production, sleep quality, mental focus, the list is endless. Moral of the story is; we all know about the GBA (gut-brain axis) aka the vagus nerve aka the enteric nervous system, which is the nerve that runs from out gut to our brain, and send signals to our brain telling us all kinds of things. Things like – I’m craving chocolate, sugar, bread, release hormones, release neurotransmitters, and fun fact; 90% of our serotonin is made in our gut, and 70% of our immune system is located in our gut. YAAAS so you know see why everyones banging on about how crucially important having a good gut is – it controls your happiness and health (literally).


The two main types of bacteria we’re gonna chat about are Bacteroidetes and Fermicutes. These two families are like Montague and Capulet, and they’re balance determines your ability to lose weight or gain weight.

Bacteroidetes > Fermicutes = lean person metabolism, Fermicutes > Bacteroidetes = fat person metabolism.


So I know we’re all like “so how do we throw this balance in our favour” the answer is to eat foods that feed Bacteroidetes and starve off Fermicutes (in a very simplistic sense, as theres heaps of strains of bacteria, most which we have zero idea about). And this equals, all your veggies, lean proteins, good healthy fats, and plenty of fibre. Fibre is fermented in the gut to product SCFA (short chain fatty acids), in which the bugs do, and thus deliver energy to your cells - this in a nutshell is the whole bacteria/human symbiotic relationship, they break down our food for us and give our cells energy.


Theres a bit of evidence about polyphenols and their role in balancing the microbiome – polyphenols are plant compunds that have antioxidant properties and are what give plants their flavour and colour. (coffee’s super high in polyphenols.. jus saying), so eating brightly coloured and flavoured plant foods are ultimate - think veggies, herbs & spices, fruits.

Also ATP Science have brought out GutRight, which packs so many polyphenols and resistant starch into a delicious powder, to help us get our gut right in 10 days 

Fasting is also an awesome tool to utilise to restore gut health. Fasting, whether intermittent (my personal fave), or prolonger dry fasts are able to starve off the bad bugs and increase favourable bacteria. But its important that when you do break your fast, you eat a nutritious wholefood meal, like downing some Nando’s or some shit aint gonna help you coz it's just going to revive those devil bacteria.

Intermittent fasting is around 16-18 hrs, and the way I do my daily fast is I eat dinner, and then just skip breakfast, and push lunch till like 2pm. Within that time, I do train, so depending how fucking starving I am it might be more like a 12-14hr fast (but I also drink black coffee in that mean time coz polyphenols come to mumma). Moral of my story is; aim for 16 hours, but don’t fuck yourself up (which i definitely have done). You can do it the opposite way too, and just skip dinner and then eat breakfast, it’s easier either way because the majority of your fasting time you are asleep, so its like a cheeky cheat haha.

Unwanted bacteria not only causing candida overgrowth, but it also literally causes you to lose control of your “will power”. Along with our hormones, which are signalled by the bacteria, these bugs literally make you crave sugar, as sugar is their food, so hey don’t feel defeated if you’re unable to control your cravings, you now have an insight into why, and can address this through switching up your diet, and/or (even cooler) get your microbiome mapped to see the species that are living there and work with me or a practitioner to develop a plan to conquer the imbalance (uBiome is the main reliable one available in AUS, otherwise go through your practitioner).

So not eating sugar – in all its forms – fructose, glucose, sucrose, carbohydrates, refined and processed carbs, will help to rebalance your biome – aka a paleo / pegan / keto type diet for depending on your circumstance, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks until balance has been restored.

So its not about “more is better” when it comes to pre & probiotics and fermented foods, but is more about the ideal ratio. And what you choose to consume is the direct result of that. Prebiotics are all our veggies and fibre. There’s also cool things like resistant starch and inulin, which are also prebiotic.

Probiotic foods of course, yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, keffir, and your fermented foods like tempeh, miso, tamari, sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar, etc.


And saying all this, every single person’s gut biome differs in species, because of environmental exposure, genetics, diet, geography, and everything else in between (bacteria run the world). So if you’re feeling anything from fatigue, to brain fog, cravings, sluggish digestion, the gut is the key source of your solution and problem. So work with someone, or do the homework and the experimentation and get that good balance of bacteria. 


rebuilding the gutprotocols/tools/foods/supps for magical gut health


*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.


The first initial step in establishing and creating amazing gut health is to be aware. Do you eat certain foods and then feel tired, sluggish, bloated, pain, and gross after? Ding ding ding, that’s a sign. Pay attention to that, and either write a list on your iphone/paper, or make a mental note that when you eat that food/foods it causes you to have GI upset (gastrointestinal). Then avoid that food. Don’t try to like “push it” and just make your body have it thinking it’ll be okay in a few hours. Like if you eat something and it makes you feel not good, bruh don’t fucking eat it. You’re not gonna die or have FOMO, theres so many alternatives to literally any and every food, we live in the dopest time where foods from the entire world are available to us in like a google search and 3 clicks.


So not eating foods that hurt us is the obvious first step. Second step, is rebuilding your microbiome, which based upon the previous 3 blogs, you should have taken some good notes away from on how to do that.


-       eat wholefoods and anti-inflammatory foods

-       avoid processed/refined carbs and sugars

-       good fats

-       a happy protein source

-       consuming fibre and prebiotics through our wholefoods

-       avoiding/decreasing alcohol (especialllllyyyyyyy beer and all those cruisers and shit filled with sugar)

-       consuming probiotic foods or a probiotic supplement (I’ll recommend a few below), esp. SB (saccharomyces boulardii)

-       consuming polyphenol rich and antimicrobial herbs, like oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic (if you’re not FODMAP), ginger, cinnamon.


Those key activities ensure you’re starving off and killing bad bugs, and the nutritious foods ensuring you’re feedin the goodies. And then we look to rebuild, its like the lawn analogy that the @ATPscience legends use; you need to “weed, seed & feed” the microbiome. (weed the baddies, seed the goodies and then feed the goodies). Rebuilding requires utilising a few supplements.


-       l- glutamine – helps to rebuild the gut lining, preventing leaky gut and acting as a buffer to inflammation that causes gaps between the tight junctions

-       slippery elm powder – soothes and acts as a “mucilage” to coat the inner lining OR

-       aloe vera – the real stuff, also soothes and provides so many key vitamins and minerals to the gut lining, helping to rebuild and support

-       SB (saccharomyces boulardii) acts like a broom and brushes out the bad bugs and prevents them from nesting

-      collagen - (not vegan), helps to rebuild and support the gut lining as well as consuming

-      bone broth - also has super beneficial properties in healing the gut, delivering a plethora of nutrients and minerals, as well as collage which are the building blocks for all connective tissue. i feel drinking bone broth ON ITS OWN, is best. not in conjunction with meals. 

-      zinc carnosine - also has some research for helping the gut to heal, as its not destroyed by the digestive process and can get to the small intestine and large.

-      good fats - coconut oil, ghee, BHB, as it's anti-inflammatory, along with other potent anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, liquorice, peppermint, fennel - all healing and soothing

-      pectin  - also helps to balance the gut and heal the lining

-       And then team that with a good multi-strain probiotic – I like Orthoplex’s Multiflora, Bioceuticals Prodophilus or Ultra 45/60 depending on the person. 

Putting in place these strategies and consuming gut loving foods, along with managing stress, and focusing on getting good quality sleep will help you to have a magical gut biome, and will just resolve so many health barriers and get you feeling 10x better :)

oh and drink water.


the end. holla if you have any questions :) 

- e aka tmn aka overall nutrition badass