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The 3 H's of Gut Health in 2018

Hey, hey, hey! It's 2018! After the holidays – and a few too many indulgences – many people look to the New Year for a fresh start and resolve to eat healthier and cook at home more. But even the most motivated among us soon discover that it can be easier said than done. This year can be different, though and The Happy Kitchen, along with Dr. John Cluley, is here to help!

“When patients ask me for advice about healthy eating, I start them off with three simple principles of gut health,” says Dr. John.

Hydrate - Water is one of the pillars of good digestion. You should drink enough water to be urinating about 7-8x per day. Add a big squeeze of lemon to your glass of water in the morning to kick start digestion.

Heal - Highly processed food can be damaging to the gut. Focus on eating REAL and unprocessed food in the New Year. If you have gut issues, an elimination diet which excludes gluten, dairy, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol may help you identify your “problem” foods. January is a great time to try something like this with friends or family members.

Harness - Did you know we have trillions of microorganisms lining our gut that affect our metabolism, mood and many other things? These bugs can be a friend or foe, and in order to (harness) their full benefit, we need to feed them plant-based foods that contain fiber. Dr. John recommends consuming at least 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Snag some oatmeal, apples, and lentils on your next trip to the grocery store to have fiber-rich foods on hand.

Dr. John is a board-certified gastroenterologist who enjoys seeing his patients improve with food instead of medicine. “Outside of my practice, the kitchen is my real passion. Austin has lots of good healthy dining and takeaway food options, but there’s really no substitute for cooking your own meals. It’s cheaper, healthier, and it’s really fun!” For more gut health tips and healing foods, follow Dr. John on Instagram @fitgutmd.

Dr. John will be a guest instructor in the Fundamentals of Healthy Home Cooking classes in The Happy Kitchen this month. With both demonstration and hands-on classes, this six-class series will provide you with essential diet, nutrition and cooking instruction that will help you make 2018 the year your New Year’s resolutions become lifelong healthy habits.