🗑️You’ve eliminated one food group after the next only to be stuck with your GI symptoms…😖

You aren’t alone. This is a very common story when clients come to our practice. There is this AHA moment when someone takes a step back and they realize they are eating the same 5 foods day in and day out, but they still have their GI symptoms, in fact, their GI symptoms may have gotten worse the more they restricted their food choices.

📢BREAKING NEWS: Maybe food isn’t the problem. Maybe restriction is not the answer! In fact, we are doing our gut microbiome a disservice by restricting food variety. Did you know that researchers at the American Gut Project found that individuals who ate more than 30 different plant foods each week had a more diverse gut microbiome, in comparison to those who settled for a mere 10 or fewer? Now that’s food for thought!

It’s time to start thinking about what we can ADD to our diet vs. what we need to eliminate.⭐

Your gut bugs crave a variety of plant foods, not just the same ole three foods everyday. Just like your favorite food is probably different than your best friend’s favorite food, one gut bug may “crave” or favor something different than another gut bug. 🦠 Let’s dive into why variety is so important:

🌱 Preventing Nutrient Deficiencies: Different plant foods provide us with different nutrients. By consuming an assortment of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs & spices, whole grains, and legumes, you’re giving your body the nutritional variety it craves and needs for optimal gut health.

🥝Fueling With Fiber: Fiber keeps the bowels running smoothly and supports a thriving and diverse gut microbiome. Now, here’s where it gets interesting—various plant foods have different types of fiber. So, the more variety you pack onto your plate, the more variety of health benefits.

👋Say Goodbye to Boredom: Who really enjoys repetitive meals every single day? Certainly not me! Including plant variety into your diet  can help create excitement into your cooking journey, transforming a boring and bland meal into a fusion of flavors and leaving you genuinely satisfied.

This doesn’t have to be stressful! Adding variety can be easy and fun! Here are 5 practical ways to embrace plant variety while increasing your fiber intake:

  • 🛒Explore the Produce Aisle: Go to the grocery store or farmer’s market and challenge yourself to pick a new vegetable or fruit every week. You could even try something somewhat familiar like purple cauliflower vs. white cauliflower or go “extra exotic” and try something new like dragon fruit or persimmon.
  • 🌾Whole Grains Exchange: Instead of your standard wheat bread or brown rice, give a new grain a try! Switch out the rice in your stir fry for quinoa. Use farro as the base in your grain bowl. Incorporate sprouted grain bread like Ezekial in place of your traditional wheat bread. Make some buckwheat pancakes or add oat bran to your breakfast muffins!
  • 🥜Legume Love: Lentils, chickpeas, beans—oh, the possibilities! These legumes are more than just fiber-packed; they’re also full of plant-based protein. Toss them into salads, stir fry, soups, and stews. Substitute your traditional pasta for lentil or chickpea pasta. Throw some beans into your chili. Roast some garbanzo beans for a crunchy snack. If you are feeling extra adventurous you could even try baking black bean brownies!
  • 🍓Berry Bonanza: Berries are full of antioxidants and fiber. They combat inflammation and feed our good gut bugs. Sprinkle a handful of blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries onto your morning oats or yogurt. Throw frozen berries into a smoothie. Toss some strawberries on top of your summer salad. You can easily get variety here by rotating which berry you buy week-to-week.
  • 🌿Spice It Up: Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and mint aren’t just aromatic; they also count towards your plant total and contain valuable nutrients. Toss them into salads, blend them into dressings, or use them as garnishes. Spices like cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and curry also count towards your plant variety! Incorporate cumin into your tacos and cook up a savory curry!

Embracing food variety isn’t just about nourishing your body and gut microbiome, it’s also about enjoying food again.❤️ Restriction can create food fear and isolation which can negatively impact gut health. Let’s break the chain of restriction 🔗. Think about all the doors adding food variety can open for you!

🤩The single greatest predictor of gut health is the variety of plants in someone’s diet. Variety is the spice of life. I want to help you get there.

Is restriction holding you back? If you struggle with IBS symptoms that impact your day to day, it is possible to find relief once you identify your root causes and can learn to navigate your symptoms long term. Food restriction is not addressing your root causes. Find relief from your bloating for good in the gutTogether membership. Find out more information and enroll here.

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