Note: This is a special guest post from one of our expert "Partners in Health." See below to learn more about Jessica and RSVP for her upcoming book launch party!
When it comes to keeping your gut healthy and happy, there is incredible power in small changes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the “should”s out there and the long lists of what to eat and not eat. Working with a trusted healthcare professional who can help you come up with a doable routine that suits your unique needs is a great way to set yourself up for long term health.
There are lots of little lifestyle tweaks that allow you to build a strong foundation over time. In my book, The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety, I share some of my go-to little life hacks to help support your goals even when you feel like you have limited time, energy, or money and can’t take on big changes. Here are a few of my favorite game-changers for supporting a healthy gut:
Put Your Well-Being on Your Calendar
A big game-changer in my own life was blocking out time in my week for myself. Literally putting your own name in your calendar doesn’t just help you carve out time for self-care, it also serves as a powerful reminder that your health and well-being should be a top priority.
Practice "Hanger" Management
When our blood sugar is unstable, we may feel irritable (hungry + angry = hangry), sluggish, and unfocused. This can also make it harder to think clearly in the moment about our food choices. Having a combination of protein, fat, and carbs spread throughout the day in a way that aligns with your natural energy flow will help your stay on an even keel so you can stay mindfully fueled.
Make It Convenient To Get What You Need
Planning ahead and prepping or purchasing the foods and supplements you need to feel great will help you stay on track during busy times you might be inclined to reach for unhealthy items or foods that may make you feel less than your best. Ordering groceries online and stocking up on your favorite prepared foods like meals from Epicured can help make your life easier.
Embrace Meal-Prep Shortcuts
Love to cook but don’t have tons of time or energy to prep? I always tell me clients there’s no shame in shortcuts. Pre-cut veggies and frozen produce can seriously streamline your process. Batch cooking items you can repurpose for multiple meals will also go a long way in simplifying your meal-prep routine.
Find A Form Of Movement You Love
A consistent workout routine is great for the mind and body, digestive system included. Try a bunch of different things to see what forms of movement you enjoy and can sustainably fit into your life. And it’s totally okay if your ideal is different from someone else’s. What matters is that it feels good and that you can actually make it a regular part of your life. On busy days, remember that something is better than nothing.
Journal It Out
Stress can seriously mess with our digestive system—and sometimes when we’re dealing with distressing health issues, that can stress us out too, fueling the cycle. A little hack that’s been useful for my clients (and in my own life) has been to make journaling a habit. You can spend as little as a few minutes a day clearing clutter from the mind by putting pen to paper, and it’s also a great outlet when you’re struggling with stress. For people experiencing physical symptoms, keeping a food journal can help identify potential culprits. A food-mood journal can also be a useful tool to help you spot emotional eating patterns.
Rather than focus on how you want to look as inspiration, shift to focusing on how you want to feel. I’ve often encouraged clients to regularly look at a photo where they’re really happy and to note what helps them feel that way. The positive effect can trickle into other areas of your life and help you stay motivated to keep up healthy habits on challenging days.
You're Invited to the book launch!
Join us for the book launch for The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety at the Epicured Test Kitchen in Soho!
RSVP here to meet Jess Cording on January 14th for an evening of healthy-living tips and Epicured food.
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, INHC is a registered dietitian, health coach, and writer with a passion for helping people streamline their wellness routine and establish a balanced relationship with food and exercise. Through her writing, consulting, public speaking, and counseling, she works with individuals, corporations, and the media to help make drama-free healthy living approachable and enjoyable. She is a part of the mindbodygreen Collective and author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety (Viva Editions). She also creates guided meditations for Simple Habit.