4 ½ months ago my life took an unexpected turn for the better. After deciding to give up alcohol nearly 4 years ago I started to experience, or maybe I never noticed due to the drinking, a plethora of health symptoms. Symptoms like memory loss, trouble with word recall, the inability to complete a thought, task or sentence, extreme fatigue, restless insomnia at night despite the daytime fatigue and the inability to deal with stress on any level which led to bouts of anxiety and depression. Symptoms that turned very serious and left me on verge of filling prescriptions for an anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety and a sleep medication. Oh and throw in some weight gain and hair loss to top it off. Sound familiar?
Full disclosure, I have been a health coach for the past decade and was dumbfounded that I was unable to figure out what was wrong with me despite my vast knowledge of nutrition and supplementation. Honestly I was feeling hopeless and thought about leaving the industry all together. I have been to so many doctors I’ve lost count. I have spent thousands of dollars on blood work (that always came back either slightly elevated or low but within “normal ranges”) and alternative therapies. From hypothyroidism to adrenal fatigue to hormone balancing to cognitive repair to physical therapy to restrictive diets (gluten/dairy free, paleo, keto etc.) – you name it I have been down that path. I tried upping various nutrients thinking my symptoms must be the result of nutrient deficiency. Towards the end there I was taking 40+ whole food supplements a day. NONE OF IT MADE ANY DIFFERENCE.
Ok now let’s rewind back to 4 ½ months ago. It was brought to my attention by a friend in the industry that knew what I was going through suggested that I should look into restoring my gut microbiome diversity with a focus on optimizing my gut-brain axis. I had always taken probiotics so I had very low expectations that this could be the answer. The protocol started with a 3 Day Gut Microbiome Reboot from Amare, a new company which is exclusively focused on optimizing mental wellness through healing the gut-brain axis. The 3 Day Reboot consisted of a vegan diet for 3 days along with some nourishing herbs which is designed to reset the gut-brain axis and set a healthy, clean foundation for restoring gut microbiome diversity. Day 4 to current day consists of the gut-brain axis restorative protocol which has changed the course of my life forever. Here is the exact protocol I followed:
Within a couple of weeks I noticed my stress and anxiety levels subsided. I no longer felt like the world was ending which, keep in mind, landed me in the hospital earlier this year. My memory and focus returned. My energy levels skyrocketed. The weight started to fall off unexpectedly which wasn’t my goal going into this but was a nice side effect – 16 lbs. and counting. The doom, gloom and extreme cramping during my monthly cycle lessened. My tightly wound type A personality and the need for constant control started to fade away. I started to feel normal again. I no longer felt the need to pound the pavement 5 days a week at the gym – upping my meditation practice and going to a yoga class here and there was sufficient.
But why was this? Below are some of my light bulb moments:
1. All disease begins in the gut.
There are 100 trillion bacteria in your gut designed to keep you healthy if you nourish them properly. 60-90% of neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, norepinephrine), hormones and immune cells are also produced in the gut. They communicate with our brain via a complex nerve superhighway, primarily the vagus nerve. All of this plays a vital role in the regulation of appetite, mood disorders, the immune system, obesity, asthma, spectrum disorders, degenerative brain disorders, heart disease and inflammation. When gut microbiota diversity is depleted and nerve endings aren’t functioning properly all sorts of things are out of whack. The protocol I followed addressed all of this.
2. Taking probiotics alone wasn’t enough.
They needed to be the correct probiotic strains that have been shown to positively impact mental wellness (see below) correlated with the right prebiotics (encourages growth of good bacteria) and phytobiotics (protects good bacteria). Come to find out most probiotics and prebiotics on the market are mismatched. Specifically the probiotic strains that have been shown to balance cortisol levels, decrease anxiety and stress levels and improve cognition. The protocol I followed has been clinically proven to increase gut microbiome diversity by 300-1000%. The two strain probiotic I had been taking all these years was not sufficient. Plus, probiotics should be taken in conjunction with gut-brain axis nutrient support for maximum results.
3. Over supplementation and mega dosing, specifically with antioxidants and minerals, was doing more harm than good.
I was trained in the school of thought that if something was wrong with me it had to be the result of a nutrient deficiency. While nutrient deficiencies can play a role in many health symptoms, I had to reevaluate my supplement intake since I wasn’t feeling any better. Mega dosing with certain nutrients have been shown to interfere with cellular metabolism and therefore can be harmful to our health. All new information to me. I now take a small handful of targeted gut-brain axis enhanced supplements and feel amazing. If I only had a picture of my previous supplement drawer – all I can say is that when you know better, you do better.
4. My gut was responsible for the weight loss plateau I hit, not turning 40.
First off, I had to stop the cleanse, detox, weight loss/fat loss/extreme exercise challenge insanity – fine by me – constantly adhering to a restrictive diet and feeling as though I have to workout everyday to maintain my weight was EXHAUSTING. Although I have coached on this for years, I now believe they are completely unnecessary and most likely even contributed to the deterioration of my gut microbiome diversity and the slowdown of my metabolic response. Restoring my gut microbiome and healing my gut-brain axis completely changed my taste buds (I no longer crave sugar, refined carbs or much meat for that matter) and reduced my appetite. I am now at the weight I was at in high school and WITHOUT DIETING. And I will confess, when I was that weight in high school I was battling a raging eating disorder and partying way too much so its nice to see that number on the scale achieved by healthy means.
If you are struggling with similar health symptoms and have been down every rabbit hole imaginable I want you to know that there is hope. If you are ready to start feeling better today we invite you to get started on the same protocol I used by clicking the button the below – the 3 Day Gut Microbiome Reboot comes FREE with your Amare Fundamentals Pack order – keep the Subscribe & Save check box checked (can cancel at anytime) add on an additional FREE product of your choice – I highly recommend Mood+ which has been shown to decrease stress related symptoms by 70%:
With love, light & hope,