I forgot how uncomfortable this feeling was. It was even hard to breath because the swelling pressed up against my diaphragm and I couldn't take a deep breath without leaning forward (tripoding) like an asthmatic. I was also instantly upset and couldn't shake this emotional funk that reaffirmed that the gut and the brain are in fact, connected.
So then why the hiccup in my progress? Well, I got lazy. To be honest, I got a little cocky with how good I was feeling and I let a few very important habits get sloppy. On top of not realizing how important some lifestyle factors (that I'm about to share with you) actually are.
Colostrum worked wonders for me, but it was effective only in conjunction with the following 3 tips that I failed to keep up with once the results of the supplement kicked in. So if you're struggling to heal your leaky gut, take a look at your daily habits and see if there is more you can be doing to influence your results.
#1: You're still eating inflammatory foods
And while we are on the topic, I'm just going to go ahead and call myself out on the one thing I haven't completely given up that I know contributes to a leaky gut: alcohol. I know, I know, my fellow social drinkers. I feel your pain and I hear ya! We give up so much and then we learn that enjoying a rich glass of red wine at the end of the day or an ice cold beer over the weekend is out, too?! Say it ain't so! The thing about alcohol, and especially in my case, is that it's almost never just one drink. It leads to several more and before you know it, you're not making very wise food choices to top of all the booze. I love a good beer. Yes, the gluten filled ones. Don't stone me or burn me at the stake for it. I'm just keeping it real, homie. I'm not perfect and I've cut it out quite a bit. But when life gets a bit hectic, unwinding with a crisp IPA over good conversation with friends around a bon fire is just what I need. I'm working on it though.
#2: You're still working out too much
"But working out relieves my stress", you say. Yeah, yeah. I said the same thing. Bullllllll shit. We both know it sucks when you're doing it and nobody actually likes 500 burpies in a row. It may feel amazing when you're done, but it's a stressor on your body, plain and simple. The body doesn't know the difference between you running from a predator, and you running... for fun. Who does that, anyway? Running long distances suck in my world and I really need one of those stickers for my car that says 0.0-- beyond accurate.
Anyhow, the take home message of this is that working out in high intensities triggers the sympathetic nervous system, also known as your fight or flight response. This then signals the body to release the hormone cortisol and it's cortisol that increases intestinal permeability (leaky gut), as well as disturbs plenty of other normal functions in the gut. While the sympathetic nervous system is a necessary part of our biological make up, you can see how daily stressors of running late for work, sitting in traffic, dealing with spouses, finances, kids and a 1 hour spin class to top it off could add up.
How much is too much? It depends. We are all different with varying degrees of fitness levels. When I went back and joined a Cross Fit gym in April, I was immediately drawn to the olympic weight lifting classes. Sounds intense, but in the beginning you're lucky if you're lifting anything more than a PVC pipe so that was perfect for me. However, when I started throwing in a couple of WOD's and running 6 miles per week, that was enough to put my stomach in distress again. But this also doesn't mean don't work out. It just means you need to find the right type of movement and the degree of intensity that's right for your body. Movement is very healthy for you and Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom wrote up a fantastic post on finding the right balance, here.
Recently I've taken up yoga and started doing about 2 low-moderate intensity hikes per week. I've also made it a point to start my morning about 30 min earlier and with a few minutes of meditation to set the tone for the day on a positive note. So far this has been very well received by my body and I plan to increase the intensity at a snails pace.
#3: You're Still not sleeping enough
Don't forget to review my blog post on Colostrum 101 and check out the brand I currently use, here.
Please consider sharing this info with anyone you think could benefit from the healing properties of colostrum for varying GI disorders. I've had an overwhelming response from others who have been searching for answers and found relief from the supplements I recommended here.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read =)