Tag: skin

What Is Leaky Gut & Do You Have It?

leaky gut

Leaky anything never sounds good: Pipes. Faucet. Radiator. Can you think of a situation where leaking is a good thing? I can’t think of one. The worst leak of all, one that affects millions of people’s health and happiness is leaky gut. 

How Do You Fix Leaky Gut?

Fixing a leaky gut isn’t easy and it takes time. Unlike calling a plumber, you can’t call a GI handyman to fix it fast. This is especially true if you’ve been experiencing the above symptoms for many years. 

The first step in conquering leaky gut is to stop it from leaking more. And to do that, you need to stop eating and drinking things that will continue to weaken it. For this, I recommend two options. The more accurate but more expensive way is to get a food sensitivity blood test. That takes the guesswork out. If you want to go the cheaper but longer route, follow an elimination diet. That’s where you avoid all potential allergenic foods like gluten for at least 4 weeks and then reintroduce them one by one to see if you have any allergy symptoms. 

There are certain foods like bone broth and collagen protein that may actually help repair the gut lining. But you can’t just sip a cup of bone broth and continue eating allergenic foods expecting miracles. 

As a certified nutrition therapist, I wish I could work one on one with you to help repair your gut. But one recommendation I have for you—besides replacing the typical American breakfast every day with my Organic Green Drink—is working with a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor. Through diagnostic testing and supplement recommendations, these natural health experts can help you overcome leaky gut and get you living your best life. It’ll cost a pretty penny but isn’t looking and feeling your best worth it?

Gut: Not The Same As Belly

You’ve probably heard of leaky gut but aren’t quite sure what it means. In order to understand what leaky gut is, it’s important to first understand what the gut refers to. 

Many people think the gut is the stomach or abdomen. But your belly is just a small part of your gut. Your gut, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract actually begins in your mouth. Digestion begins even before you take the first bite of food. When you so much as look at or even smell what you’re about to eat or drink, saliva starts forming, ready to soften food for transit down the digestive tract. Eventually, what you eat is eliminated through your backside, which is where the gut ends. 

So now that you have a clear definition of what the gut is, let’s focus on a specific area of the gut that heavily influences your immune system, mood and overall health… 

Your intestines are home to trillions of bacteria. It’s also here that 80% of your immune cells reside. Some people believe that in order to have strong digestion, you need a strong stomach. But actually, the part of your body that has the most influence on your health is called the intestinal mucosal barrier. 

stomach mucosa - leaky gut

The Mucosal Barrier & Gut Health

Years ago, when I first heard the term mucosal barrier, I was kind of grossed out. When you hear the word mucus what do you think of? Disgusting runny noses, right? But it turns out that mucus is one of your best friends. Your intestines are lined with a mucosal barrier. This barrier protects you from potentially-disease-causing pathogens like harmful bacteria, viruses, fungus, etc. In addition, the barrier interacts with immune cells, absorb nutrients and is also responsible for directing waste out of the body. 

Your mucosal barrier is lined by epithelial cells. A healthy mucosal barrier has tight junctions between the cells. 

Leaky Gut Explained

So here’s where we get to leaky gut. Because of several reasons I’ll mention in just a sec, the tight junction can weaken over time. And when this thin intestinal mucosal wall leaks now you have a leaky gut. What exactly is leaked? Undigested food particles, toxins and microorganisms (bacteria, etc.). 

leaky gut

What Happens When You Have Leaky Gut?

Bad things. Autoimmune disorders can arise. A weak gut lining can cause rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other imbalances in which the body attacks itself. 

Why does the body attack itself? It’s because when these undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria flow unimpeded through the bloodstream, the immune system mounts a defense and tries to destroy them. This creates a high inflammation response in the body, leading to painful joints, skin and digestion problems and more…

Why Hasn’t My Doctor Told Me About Leaky Gut?

Because leaky gut isn’t an officially recognized medical disorder. The closest thing to it is “intestinal permeability.” But in order to get diagnosed with that, you need to undergo a biopsy, in which a slice of your intestinal tissue is removed. 

There is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario with leaky gut. Did the weakening of the mucosal barrier cause an autoimmune disease or is it the other way around? 

I’m convinced that because of various factors, leaky gut causes inflammatory conditions, not the other way around. 

probiotics

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

You don’t have to have an autoimmune disorder to have a leaky gut. Other signs that your intestinal wall has gotten weaker include:

  • Brain fog
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling cold
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Acne, eczema and rashes
  • Anxiety and depression

Causes Of Leaky Gut

If you have any of the above symptoms do you relate to any of the following causes? 

  • Frequent antibiotic use
  • Gut dysbiosis (not having enough friendly bacteria, having too many harmful bacteria)
  • Chronic stress 
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals like glyphosate
  • Excess alcohol
  • Consuming too much sugar
  • Eating foods to which you are allergic or sensitive, e.g. gluten, dairy. (This is also a chicken or egg question: are you allergic because of leaky gut or did leaky gut cause the allergy? Hmmm.)

There are other causes of leaky gut but these are by far the most common. 

Go With Your Gut: 3 Ways to keep your microbiome healthy

your microbiome

Scientists say that the state of our gut is vital to good health and influences our ability to lose weight. Each of us have a “microbiome” in our belly – our own set of bacteria. Staying mindful of the impact of what we eat on our gut and following a healthy diet  has a huge impact on how we feel. The good news is that most of the bugs in your gut are friendly. But when the bad ones start multiplying, that's when your skin and digestion can suffer. Here's 3 things you need to know about your microbiome.

It's kind of creepy when you think about the fact that there are about 100 trillion bugs (bacteria) in the human gut.

Imagine looking under a microscope and seeing all those critters swimming around in your belly, enjoying a buffet of the food that's in your gastrointestinal tract.

If you think you're human, think again. We're actually more bacteria than we are human. In fact, your body has at least 10 times more living organisms in your gut alone than your whole body has human cells.

your microbiome - bacteria

1. Your Gut controls your health – understand it.

Think about that. All the cells that make you, well, you, including skin cells, bone cells, and muscle cells, all over your body is tiny in comparison to the number of bacteria that's living inside of you. Scientists consider your gut so important that they call it your “second brain”.

The good news is that the majority of the bacteria in your gut is friendly. Friendly microbes play an important part of your immune system.

But because of several factors including genetics, antibiotic use and lifestyle choices (poor diet), you may have too many unfriendly bacteria.

Researchers just a relative blink of an eye ago have discovered that the bugs in your gut more than anything else including diet and exercise determine your health.

For example, we now know that obesity isn't just linked to eating too many calories and junk food. It's also a consequence of lacking certain beneficial bacteria. (Want to read more on this topic? Here's a good article.)

weight and your microbiome

image courtesy Custom Probiotics Inc

The Gut Health Overall Health Connection

In addition to the examples of the overall connection between bacteria in the gut and overall health, here's another one: joint pain.

It used to be assumed that joint pain was a result of simple wear and tear. But now, researchers believe that the bacteria in your gut can determine whether or not you develop osteoporosis and other joint disorders.

The bugs in your gut can also determine how healthy your blood vessels are and whether or not you'll develop hardening in your arteries.

Moreover, all kinds of inflammatory disorders such as autoimmune disease and cancers of the GI tract may be caused by poor gut health.

Your mood can also be directly related to your gut bacteria. Anxiety and depression may not only be the result of circumstantial, external factors, but also because of your internal environment.

As you can see, having a diverse amount of good bacteria is perhaps the biggest influencer of  overall health. Gut health can even determine skin health.

If you spend a lot of time and money on skin care products, perhaps you need to rethink your skin care regimen entirely. That's because poor skin, from excessive dryness to acne and other skin conditions can be traced to what's inside your gut.

skin health and your microbiome

2. Feed Your Gut Good Stuff – Probiotics & Green Drink

But if genetics is a major determining factor in your bacteria portfolio, is there anything that can be done to change what's inside your gut?

The good news is there are a few simple things you can do to boost the number of beneficial bacteria.

For starters, if you're not taking a probiotic supplement, buy one today and start taking it every day. It should contain at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per serving (usually one or two capsules).

Like any other supplement, not all probiotics are created equal. If you buy a cheap one from Rite Aid it might not be effective. Do some research before you buy.

Another easy thing you can do to improve your gut health is having 16 oz of my Green Drink every morning. Good bacteria love to feast on the seven certified organic green leafy veggies in my Green Drink. The veggies contain prebiotic fibers. You can think of prebiotics as food for probiotics (good bacteria).

You can take the most expensive probiotic supplement in the world, but if you're not feeding the good bacteria with prebiotics, they're not going to flourish and multiply and colonize your gut.

Which is why if you haven't been eating healthy lately, I also recommend doing a Chef V Cleanse. With a Chef V Cleanse, you get four Green Drinks per day plus a detox soup for dinner and two vegan protein shakes in between. The soup and shakes also are loaded with prebiotic fuel to stimulate beneficial bacteria in your gut.

probiotic

3. You can reset your Gut Health with a Detox

Diet is crucial for gut health. Even if you eat a large salad with organic veggies every day, if you're also drinking beer and eating bread and other foods that are rich in either white or wheat flour, your good bacteria won't flourish.

That's because drinking beer and eating baked goods causes yeast overgrowth in the gut. Too much yeast results in the good bacteria not being able to do its job effective of protecting your immune system and fighting inflammation.

Bloated belly, foggy brain, chronic congestion and indigestion … all these are symptoms of poor gut health. And yeast overgrowth (especially from the species, candida albicans) is often the culprit.

If you need a longer digestive system overhaul that will keep the yeast at bay, I recommend trying my 21 day detox challenge. It's easy to follow. I provide all the coaching and instruction you'll need to easily finish it through, and give your gut the fuel it needs to populate good bacteria.

After your 21 day detox is over, you won't be tempted by eating yeasty, sugary foods again. And I'll teach you what to eat after the detox is over to ensure that your success will carry over and your good gut bacteria will thrive.

In the meantime, to boost the friendly bacteria in the gut, you can also eat foods that are rich in probiotics. Drinking kombucha is an easy way to get some probiotics. So, too, is eating fermented foods  like kimchi (Korean cabbage), tempeh and sauerkraut. If you happen to live in a town with good farmers markets, look for stands that sell fermented foods and drinks.

Here's to your (gut) health….

Love,

Chef V

21 day detox from Chef V

Green Drink Skin Benefits: Way Beyond Skin Deep

green drink skin benefits

The benefits of Green Drink for skin can have much more of an impact than a cosmetic procedure like a facial. After all, facials and other beauty care methods are only, well, skin deep. But green drinks can benefit your skin from the inside out. Chef V explains….

Take a look at my picture. If you’ve never seen a picture of me, that’s me. Oh, if only I looked as stunning as Coconut, my beloved pooch.

But in truth I do get compliments on my skin from time to time. Now, I might be comfortable in my skin, so to speak. However, I consider myself a modest person and not vain in the slightest bit. Therefore, I’m not one to usually talk about my appearance. I’m going to make an exception here. You see, sure, genetics might have to do with how youthful your skin looks.

kale

Benefits of Green Drink for Skin: Collagen

Let’s talk about protein. Not the protein you get from food, but the protein that makes up who you are. Your body has hundreds of thousands of different proteins. And the most abundant human protein is collagen. Roughly one-third of your body’s protein is collagen. Collagen is the foundation of your connective tissue.

Collagen is a matrix-like structure formed by amino acids. It’s the most common protein in the skin along with keratin. The reason why we look older as we age is that our collagen denatures, weakens and shrinks. It gets weaker and weaker every year. In fact, after age 30 or so, you lose at least one percent of your collagen’s strength every year. That means by age 60, you’re collagen will be 30% weaker than when you are 30 years old.

But here’s one of the key benefits of green drink for skin: the vitamins and minerals help prevent or even re-generate your own body’s collagen. How cool is that? Do you see why I consider having a Green Drink every day the healthiest thing you can do for your health and beauty?

The dark green veggies in Organic Green Drink encourage collagen production. The older you get, the more important this is. That’s because collagen production slows down as you age. However, veggies rich in vitamin C inhibit the breakdown of collagen.

Benefits of Green Drink for Skin: Better Digestion

Here’s another reason why it’s great to have green juice for glowing skin. Because of poor diet, many people have insufficient stomach acid. Adult acne and other skin problems is a direct indication that not only does the gut not have enough good bacteria, the stomach doesn’t have enough gastric juice to break down the nutrients. This results in inflammation. And acne and other skin disorders are a symptom of inflammation.

And if you don’t have enough stomach acid, you can’t efficiently digest protein. Moreover, just like probiotics, gastric juices help fight bad bacteria. Consequently, if you can’t fully digest your food, microbial overgrowth occurs, leading to inflammation and potential skin problems.

But one of the main benefits of green drink for skin is that the veggies help stimulate the release of stomach acid. Moreover, the veggies in our Organic Green Drink alkalize the body and reduce inflammation.

green drink and digestion

Benefits of Green Drink for Skin: Enzymes

Now, not all green drinks are great for your skin. That’s because most green drinks are pasteurized. However, our Green Drinks are raw. And what this means is that when you chug some Green Drink, you get a ton of naturally-occurring enzymes. Enzymes are critical in absorption of nutrients. One major factor why many people have chronic disease is that they don’t eat enough enzyme-rich foods like raw green veggies. Cooked food destroys enzymes. That’s why one of the healthiest and easiest things you can do to ensure you’re getting some enzyme-rich raw veggies in your diet is to have a daily serving of Certified Organic Green Drink.

Chef V and kale

Cleansing with Diabetes – Whitney’s Story

leaky gut

Whitney generously shares her experience with green drink as she manages her Type 1 diabetes. (@happypancreas) story amidst her journey with Type 1 Diabetes – an incurable disease that affects the body’s immune system response, leading to the inability of the cells in the pancreas to create the blood-sugar-controlling hormone, insulin.

While cleansing with diabetes can be limiting, Whitney has proved otherwise in her experience with Chef V. Her website is Happypancreas.com.

your microbiome - bacteria

Living with Type 1 Diabetes

When living with a non-insulin producing (i.e. broken) pancreas, caution is brought into almost every “no caution needed,” average situation.

Going for a light jog? Running into Trader Joe’s for your favorite snack? Ordering your favorite smoothie?–these seem like random, simple, mindless activities. . . but the reality is that simple jog or healthy smoothie could make waves in your entire day.

With Type 1 diabetes you must always be “on” and aware of your ever-changing (sometimes dangerous) blood sugar levels. It throws a wrench in almost every ordinary situation and can often leave you feeling hindered and limited in trying things “normal” people try especially cleanses due to their (typical) high sugar content.

Attempting to offset the sharp rise in blood sugars from a juice can be nearly impossible with Type 1 so staying clear of them is often encouraged diabetic educators and endocrinologists — and rightfully so.

leaky gut

So when one of my best friends introduced me to ChefV and mentioned the low sugar content, I was skeptic! She wanted me to do try the 3 Day Cleanse, but I was nervous. It seemed impossible for a juice to be low sugar.

But after thorough research, I found that Chev’s blended green juice had less than 6 grams per serving, so I was ready to give this a try and see what happened with my blood sugars.

I knew it would require mindfulness and hard work, since it was new and uncharted territory for me – but I was ready.

Flash forward five years later, and I have successfully cleansed 5 times with Chef V’s three day juice cleanse and it has changed not just how I feel physically, but also my entire perspective on cleansing.

A cleanse doesn’t have to be blood sugar bomb – full of mainly juiced fruits and veggies.

Chef V shows that vegetables should be the star ingredients in all your juice blends. Blending: Black Kale, Green Kale, Collard Greens, Green Leaf Lettuce, Curly Parsley, Green Chard, Dandelion Greens, and using a touch of apple to complement and enhance the flavor of the veggies.

This magical blend is how cleansing is 100% possible with diabetes. All the benefits… minus the sugar trap!

Diabetes: Whitney’s Chef V Experience

leaky gut

Can the answer to managing diabetes be as simple as chugging a 16 oz. glass of juice every day? Not if it’s orange juice, or other fruit juice. But managing diabetes with blended veggie juice like Chef V’s Organic Green Drink is an easy, sustainable solution.

Happy Pancreas, Happy Life

Whitney Louis is one customer living with diabetes who credits Green Drink with helping manage her A1C levels. Take a look at Whitney’s Instagram profile. (Her tongue-in-cheek profile name: HappyPancreas).

“Diabetes makes it super hard to follow cleanses because many out there are juice based (i.e. 100% sugar). This requires a lot of [monitoring], and increases the variability in our blood sugar numbers,” says Whitney.

“The foundation of Chef V is BLENDED super greens so the fiber stays put and blood sugars keep stable … [and] if you are seeking the ultimate reset: minimizing cravings, removing built up toxins, calming inflammation, increasing your insulin sensitivity, AND shedding a few stubborn lbs…. this is a great starting point!” adds Whitney.

Now it might sound like Whitney is a paid shill for Chef V. She’s not. Whitney is just sharing with her followers what she believes is one easy [and tasty] solution for managing diabetes. She says on her blog:

p.s. not sponsored, just showing the love when well deserved! they ship to your door and available across the u.s.

leaky gut

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