Tips for IBS, Bloating, Stomach Pain, & STRESS During This Wild Time <3
How are you feeling this week? It’s more than okay to be feeling all over the place. In fact, if you’re not feeling all over the place… tell me your secret. The climate is heavy right now. Very. And if you’re here I am guessing you may feel similarly to me and be feeling the stress in your body. My sensitive stomach issues are RAGING right now, from IBS to bloating to severe stomach pain and indigestion, and let’s be real IT AIN’T PRETTY! So today’s post is all about what I do in a flare.
You flaring too? If so, you are in the right place! This also feels like going back to my roots of blogging because it was my stomach issues after all that spurred + inspired the start of this blog back in 2013. It only feels right to bring it full circle today.
There is a lot going on right now. Important issues in our world are being discussed and brought to light — and between BLM, COVID, tragic losses, an extremely long stay-at-home order (are you guys still doing this? Would love to hear), a never-ending dramatized news cycle, many well known people and brands getting “cancelled” for many different reasons, and so much more… us energetically sensitive & empathic beings are feeling it big time.
I mean, I can read a mean comment on someone else’s Instagram and swallow it up like it was addressed to me because I am so freaking sensitive… and that kind of stuff really multiplies and amplifies over time. Not to mention the mean comments I actually do get but we don’t have to go there. I know we’ve all experienced it and it’s never fun. What I am getting at here is… there is a major climate of stress right now, on and off of the Internet and everywhere in between. Much of this is for a GOOD REASON (fighting for justice!!! and equality!!!! and hope for the new world!!!!) but it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Stress, stress, stress!!!
And if you’re anything like me, when you start to feel stress then your stomach starts to hurt. I have been this way my whole life, truly since birth. I’ve gotten a lot of messages on Instagram from people wanting to help me figure out my stomach issues this week, pinpointing things like my recent water fast, me starting to drink coffee again, my vegan diet, and beyond. I always appreciate the concern but I am not looking for answers, because whenever something like this happens I tune into my body and my body guides me straight toward the root cause.
I also think that because digestion, plant based healing, and healing through food is something I teach and share so much about, people expect that if I am experiencing these issues myself that means something must be really wrong in my body. I am not immune to stomach issues just because I have found ways to ease my symptoms in daily life, and I am just as prone to flares as everyone else. Sadly!!! But it’s ok because it is all part of my journey. 💜
So I just want to say before we even dive in — I can say without a shadow of a doubt what’s causing my stomach issues right now is a combo of STRESS, emotions, and residual Lyme + parasite issues. When you’ve lived with stomach issues your whole life it’s not a matter of “what’s causing this?” but rather “how can I remedy this and start feeling my best again?” I believe healing on all levels is possible and I also believe & KNOW our bodies are extremely interconnected with our minds. For some of us when we feel stress or overwhelm we break out, for others our stomach turns into knots, and for others we put on weight or lose weight or get hives or can’t sleep or a million things in between.
The mind body connection //
It’s almost wild to me how quickly stomach issues can pop up once we start feeling stress in our bodies. And that’s not to say stomach issues will be the problem for everyone. My body has specific issues that tend to flare or feel off when I start to feel stress, and for me it’s always my stomach, my skin, and raging insomnia. All of which are definitely in a flare right now.
The first thing I always turn to when my stomach is in a flare is Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Body (which can be found here on my Amazon shop page) — it’s an amazing book that details not only the mind body connection but also how we can heal each individual symptom with affirmations and by getting to the root of the issue, which is never physical to begin with. What Louise has to say specifically about stomach problems is…
STOMACH & INTESTINAL PROBLEMS: Dread, fear of the new, or not feeling nourished.
Affirmation: I digest life with ease.
So the first thing I do is repeat this mantra to myself, either in a meditation, in the bath, or when I am out walking in nature. Or even while I eat! I digest life with ease. I breathe, and send love into that area of my body. In my waking back up to your soul course, I teach you how to speak to specific parts of your body, ask them what they need, and give them the space to respond. This is done best with your hand placed on that area of your body and deep in meditation (the meditations are provided in the course, too!).
Doing things throughout the day that take the focus off of the food and put the focus back on my mental health such as going on a long walk, taking a bath, doing a yoga flow, sitting in my sauna, or catching up with a friend all lower my stress and cortisol immeasurably, which helps with digestion. And I do not, I repeat EVER, scroll through my phone or watch TV while enjoying my food!!
Then I look at my food & how I feel while I’m eating it //
The next thing I do is turn to my plate. I ask myself what I am eating, what I am doing when I am eating it, what I am drinking, if I am giving myself space to rest and digest, or if I am shoveling food in my face as a coping mechanism a.k.a emotional eating.
As human creatures we tend to use food as a crutch, a coping mechanism, and as a means to feel “full” (even if that means spiritually full, or full of serotonin, full of love, or full of, you know, chocolate… it all applies). And while the goal is always to feel nourished and satiated and fueled, using food as a distraction to avoid feeling or getting to the deeper root of why you feel the way you do is never what we want.
It’s okay to do use food as a distraction, recognize that we’ve done it, and choose again, but until we determine WHY we are doing it, it’s just going to keep happening!
So whenever I feel a craving pop up for something I know does not make me feel good… i.e. a few too many healthy desserts, or adding a bunch of nutritional yeast to my veggies (love me some nooch but my stomach really can’t handle a ton of it), or having a big frothy coffee BEFORE I have had my green juice or something alkaline in the morning, I tune in with myself and ask if that is something I really want or if it is just a distraction from something deeper.
9 times out of 10, it’s a distraction from something deeper. Sometimes it’s a legit craving and if so, I go for it. I am not about deprivation in the least.
Lately my thing has been coffee. I love, I adore it, it makes my world go round. I didn’t drink coffee for pretty much the last year while healing from Lyme (I go off and on with it all the time) and after my recent water fast I made the decision that incorporating something I LOVE as much as coffee was a good decision for my heart and soul. It was also a very good decision for my digestion, given that I am very, very prone to IBS-C and especially in times of stress! And coffee helps keep things flowing! I will do a whole post soon on how I tuned into my body and worked with my guides to come to the conclusion that coffee was a big intuitive YES for me right now. #intuitivelyguidedalltheway
My only downfall with coffee is that I crave it first thing in the AM, when I really know I do better with lemon water and a green juice upon waking up, followed by coffee. But the truth is right now I am trying to be super easy on myself. I have implemented a new schedule where I wake up at the same time every day and I am waking up much earlier than I have been for the last few years since I have mostly just been prioritizing SLEEP anywhere I can get it during my Lyme healing journey. But now I am waking up every day at 8am without fail so that I can get my body back on a more normal schedule.
I still suffer from extreme insomnia, so waking up at 8am isn’t necessarily meaning I am falling asleep any earlier! I am still up until 1, 2, 3am most nights trying to find my groove with falling asleep peacefully. So my alarm goes off every morning and I am exhausted!!! And what do you want when you’re exhausted!??! COFFEE.
Not to mention, waking up for the last few weeks hasn’t exactly been pleasant. Between the news and the stress and my deep desire to support BLM and learn as much as I can every day while still being very new to this conversation and very much deeply afraid to slip up and accidentally “do it wrong,” I am also not jumping out of bed with ease and craving my usual green juice! I am craving the heartier foods that make me feel grounded… like oatmeal, chocolate smoothies, and yes my delicious coffee. 🙂
SO… all of this to say… I go for the coffee in the morning when I feel this way. Because it’s good for the soul and I am living for my routine of waking up, having my delicious coconut cold brew (recipe coming!) with sesame seed milk and cinnamon, and reading a book or journaling or doing something that brings me joy first thing in the AM.
Coffee tips for best digestion: cold brew mixed with a nut or seed milk because the coffee by itself on your tummy may not be best (but you know yourself best) mixed with cinnamon for blood sugar balancing & keep it to one cup so as not to overwhelm the body. If you are into low-acid coffee, try Kion!! I just ordered it + am really enjoying it when I don’t go straight for my cold brew!
And then I have my juice and water and do all of the above INTUITIVELY. I don’t force the green juice down just because it’s “better for me” that way. The emotional state we are in directly affects how we digest our food. So turn to the food you are eating and ALSO how you are eating it. 🙂
The food itself //
It is no secret that I swear by food combining, a plant based diet, and living SOS-free (salt-oil-sugar-free), all of which you can learn about in my 22 day detox if you would like to go deeper!
Eating this way, and particularly the food combining portion, has helped so much with my IBS, bloating, inflammation, and painful stomach issues. BUT… it is not a cure all. The cure all comes from within, from your mental state and how you are speaking to yourself. From your spiritual connection to the way you talk to your body to whether you are allowing space for resting and digesting or rushing through your meals while scrolling through your phone.
A few foods I turn to when my stomach is in a flare that have been extremely comforting and easy to digest lately are… avocado toast on AWG Bakery Bread (the only g-free vegan bread I have found that doesn’t upset my stomach), oatmeal with bananas (bananas are the slowest digesting fruit so the best to pair with oats if you are going to pair your oats with a fruit), rice pasta with a bit of TBB nacho cheese (recipe in my ebook), Reflector Muffins (recipe in ebook, original recipe by my dear friend Jenna Zoe), green smoothies with banana and probiotic powder, and easy to digest veggies like squash, steamed zucchini, and sometimes steamed cauliflower and broccoli.
Also tons of SOUPS like a carrot/potato combo you can find on my IG Story highlights, my coconut curry soup I will be sharing soon, and my broccoli potato cheesy soup that can be found in this video. I am also eating a lot of salads but making sure to massage the lettuce with avocado, lemon, and/or coco aminos so the fibrous part of it breaks down and it is easier to digest.
Also, all of the fruit. But always on an empty stomach. Fruit is always my go to and I find the easiest fruits for me to digest are overripe bananas, ripe papaya, and sliced mango. Dates are good for digestion too as they are one of the most magnesium-rich foods on the planet! Just make sure to drink a lot of water when you eat dates as they are drying and you don’t want to dry out your colon if you are having digestive issues. <3
My daily go-to right now… all of the avo toast on g-free vegan bread! YUM.
And TONS OF GINGER TEA !! And mint tea !! And smooth move tea !! Oh and red raspberry leaf tea because I also have acquired a UTI through this difficult time which is…. just peachy right. 😉 Liquids are always a good idea.
Also, ANTI INFLAMMATORY SPICES ON EVERYTHING!! Turmeric, ginger, and kitchari spice are some of my faves to douse on… well… everything!! Also, PORTION CONTROL. I am doing like 4 smaller meals a day rather than 2-3 bigger ones like I usually do- this is helping a lot because my tummy cannot handle any big meals right now, especially with a lot of roughage.
A few other go to’s? My favorite Seed probiotic (code BLONDE for a discount) which you can read all about here, coffee enemas & chlorophyll enemas (more info here), and doing lymphatic stomach massages on myself. That all helps a TON. Plus taking it easy in the mornings because anyone with IBS knows the morning can be the absolute toughest, especially if you’re in a rush.
The biggest thing for me is tuning back into my spiritual practice. Listening. There is always a deeper meaning for our health issues and pain that pops up. I am not just experiencing stomach issues but also my usual jaw pain and other body pains that indicate… my guides are trying to wake me the f up to go DEEPER. I am listening. <3
And with food right now to be honest with you, it’s the toast and the soups and the rice pasta that is going down the easiest. Is this my typical diet? Is this the diet I teach and share about in my programs? Not really, no. But at the end of the day what is most important to me to share is intuition and eating for your REAL LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES. This is a lifestyle. It’s not always going to be a perfect day of green juice, salads, and nourish bowls (although all of that is amazing too!!!) — do you and do what FEELS GOOD.
Do what works!!
I will be sharing a lot more info and insights on this in the coming weeks and months. I am working on developing an intimate coaching experience with me for becoming SPIRITUALLY FULL, something I feel is of the utmost importance, now more than ever.
So tell me! Are you experiencing stomach issues right now, IBS, bloating?! Do share below! What is helping you? We are all in this together!!