I have always prided myself in being a generally healthy person. When we first started homesteading, we started because our oldest son (at the age of one) was dealing with childhood asthma. We immediately switched to a different diet, started homesteading, and even became part of a raw milk herdshare. Raw milk helped regenerate the lining of his lungs, and now, at the age of fourteen, he’s as healthy as ever.
Yes, we’ve been living this homesteading lifestyle for at least fourteen years now, but just recently did I realize I needed to take my own health more seriously, starting with my gut.
I am the mama of three beautiful babies, but all three of those pregnancies wrecked havoc on my entire body. Especially on my gut and GI tract. I am in constant sick mode when I’m pregnant. I can’t keep anything down, ever. And I normally end up losing 20-pounds instead of gaining it during my pregnancies. More than anything, these pregnancies take so many vital nutrients and vitamins out of my system, and pull them from my body since I am unable to keep down food or drink.
Now more than half-way through my thirties, and with a weaning baby, I could tell I wasn’t bouncing back as quickly. So, I immediately knew, I need to get my gut back in working order so that the rest of my body has the ability to absorb nutrients more efficiently.
In this letter, I’m going to talk to you about easy ways to help get your gut back in order, and how this homesteading lifestyle lends very well to this capability without any (or much) outside help.
Reset Your Gut
If you aren’t pregnant or nursing, a total 3 to 7-day gut reset is in order. You can do this by simply doing a 3- to 7-day fast of water only. This is the quickest and easiest way, though you’re going to be quite hungry.
The next option is to do a juicing fast. It would look something like this:
Day 1—no food or drink except water
Day 2—add a mid-morning smoothie, such as apple and cucumber (not high sugar fruits). Continue to only drink water.
Day 3—drink only water, but have your mid-morning smoothie and add some greens. Throughout the day you can sip on homemade bone broth.
Day 4-7, continue as day 3.
If this is still not enough food for you, then on days 3 through 7, you can omit one of the smoothies and instead eat a small bowl of a whole ancient grain like quinoa (with some cucumbers or other veggie), and some colorful berries, like blueberries.
Your liver and digestive tract need to detox for three days at the very least.
If you want to avoid the elimination diet altogether….
Then a revitalizing reset with capsules and pre-packaged portions may be a better option for you. One of the things I offer to folks is a full gut reset package. In this package you get the 3-day reset which has done all of the prep for you.
It includes packs of electrolytes, freeze-dried bone broth, snack bars, a whey protein shake (with probiotics), and lots of probiotics and cleansing bacterias (in drink or capsule form) for your gut. It also includes the 30-day follow up for a good reset, where you weed out the overgrowth of yeast and bad bacteria, and seed your gut with the necessary good bacteria.
You can sign up and find that reset package here (with a cart I’ve set up just for you). If you have questions about the cart, just holler! (if you’re seeing this in August 2023, I can also give you a $10-off coupon)
“A sick society must think much about politics, as a sick man must think much about his digestion.”—C. S. Lewis
Weeding and Seeding Your Gut
Homesteader terms, right? I love that term “weeding and seeding”.
Whether you do the reset or not is up to you. However, the next imperative step is getting out the bad bacteria, and adding new bacteria. This means that in order for the good bacteria to take over in your gut, you need to add more good bacteria, change your diet, and weed out the bad stuff.
Bacteria thrive on refined sugars, and even modern sugar in general. One of the quickest ways to start getting rid of bad bacteria in your gut is to stop feeding your gut sugar!
Some other ways you can do this…
Drink Raw Milk
Raw milk is full of natural enzymes and so many good bacterias. Raw milk is a living food, unlike pasteurized milk (even flash pasteurized). One of the easiest ways to start healing your gut is by drinking raw milk daily. Remember, raw milk is a meal, not a drink. One of the ways I enjoy drinking it is just plain, or with some whey protein powder. But honestly, raw milk by itself is liquid gold for good gut health.
If you are also trying to lose weight, a protein powder is a great option with raw milk. It makes it the ultimate whole food. The protein powder I use also includes lots of vitamins and minerals. Remember, I’m trying to get the nutrients back into my body and bones!
If you prefer a plant-based protein powder (since some folks have beef allergies), this plant-based organic protein powderworks awesome. If you also have a milk allergy, this protein powder I just linked will work for you.
Eat Raw, Live Yogurt
Again, daily is key here. Live yogurt is also key. It has similar effects as raw milk, but different strands of bacteria. Try to use a natural sugar like maple syrup to sweeten.
Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and drinks like kombucha, help keep those good bacteria in your body. Daily eating or drinking one or more of these things (preferably homemade) is essential to gut health if you’re trying to get your gut back in shape.
Taking Supplements & Probiotics
Perhaps the quickest way to start getting your gut back into order is by taking proven supplements and probiotics. You should do this in addition to eating raw, live food. But for some of us, like myself, eating the raw food wasn’t enough. Or in my case, as a busy mama, I often didn’t have the time to sit down and eat regularly, which can also be chaos on your gut.
Taking a standard probiotic will certainly help get things working to some extent, but it’s important to have a weed and seed process. The supplements and probiotics that I recommend to my clients help cleanse the intestinal tract, reduces gastrointestinal bloat and pain, reduces unwanted microbes and substances, keeps intestinal yeast in balance, reduces candida, promotes healthy pH levels, promotes the growth of beneficial gut microbes, helps balance hormones and glucose levels, and can even increase your metabolism since your gut is getting back into working order so quickly.
I’ve linked what I offer my clients (and myself) above, but you can certainly try to put together your own protocols with store bought options that may be similar. I just enjoy the convenience of the package I mentioned/linked above. Not all probiotics and supplements are created the same. Whatever you choose, make sure it is non-gmo (which these are), and not completely synthetic. There’s no sense in putting something fake in your gut!
Herbs to Support the Digestive Tract
No matter which option you choose, having your body receptive to the work you’re doing is so important. You should consider adding immune-supporting and adaptogenic herbs to your diet. These herbs will help your body to adapt to the changes you’re making, and also allow the terrain of your body to be quickly receptive to good changes, while efficiently expelling the bad.
Poke Root Tincture
This tincture will support your lymphatic system as it detoxes all the yuck and toxins from your body. If your lymphatic system gets slowed down, you’ll have more troubles than you know! Pokeroot helps with this! Especially if it’s already bogged down.
An incredible herb for the urinary tract, kidneys, liver, and overall body health. Drink this in a tea with chamomile, lemon balm, and peppermint, and you have one of the most supportive herbal teas you’ll ever drink. Your urinary tract is essential for eliminating toxins from your body. It’s necessary to support it!
This herb is antimicrobial and is a powerful digestive herb.
Bitter herbs, in general, are essential in every culture. They are even mentioned in the Bible because they are so important when it comes to keeping the digestive tract working and healthy. The Creator knew how to keep the created in healthy, working order. Bitter herbs help get the digestive juices going, which help your body break down foods more efficiently. Likewise, allowing the body to more easily absorb vital nutrients and vitamins from your food.
Some examples of bitter herbs are artichoke, lemon balm, chamomile, endive, catnip, ginger, angelica, dandelion, goldenseal, chicory, yarrow, and horehound.
You can buy bitters in tincture form, or simply drink them in a tea or eat them with each meal, or about ten to twenty minutes before the meal.
“Give me good digestion, Lord, And also something to digest; but where and how that something comes I leave to Thee, who knoweth best.”—Mary Webb
Changing Your Diet
This may be the most obvious fix, because ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you heal your gut with all these recommendations or not, if you’re just going to go back to a horrible daily diet. Trust me when I say, high carbs and sugar are your culprits, as is fake food (GMOs, dyes, and lab grown or stockyard meat, among many others).
If you intend to put all this work into getting your gut back in working order, consider changing your diet as well. Just a few simple tweaks can have you healthier than you’ve ever been.
Go for a whole and real food, lower carb diet. Remember, carbs turn into sugar, and sugar feeds the bad bugs (including parasitic bugs like Lyme’s disease). We don’t want to feed the bad bugs, we want to reduce them!
Try to stay less than 100 carbs a day if at all possible. At least while you’re detoxing and getting your gut back in order. Limit your sugar intake.
It doesn’t mean you can’t “cheat” on the weekends, but try to go an entire month in order to reset your body, without cheating. It truly makes a difference. You’ll be blown away by how much inflammation is reduced and you’ll even lose weight, without a doubt.
Whatever route you choose above (or all of them!), I’m here cheering you on! It’s time to get our gut back in order and live the healthiest life possible. So much bad health stems from a bad gut—it’s that simple. A homesteading lifestyle lends well to good gut health, but only if you make a conscious decision to make it happen! Eat grass-fed meats, drink raw milk, and be a rebel in a society that screams “fake”!