In this episode
This week, I had the great pleasure of talking to Hannah Richards, owner of The Gut Clinic and author of the supremely fascinating book, “The Best Possible You”.
Hannah shares her incredible – and often controversial – advice about improving gut health and offers really useful advice about the signs of vitality and the signs of ill health that we should all be on the lookout for.
How and why did the gut become your focus?
Hannah talks about how the world of nutrition mirrors the world of medicine – in that they both tend to look for single solutions to single problems rather than looking holistically at the entire organism and its environment. Her training led her to see health differently and the gut became the obvious place to focus.
What are the 4 bodies?
In Hannah’s book, she talks about 4 bodies – nutritional, mental, physical and spiritual – and each one plays a role in gut function and in the choices we make.
This theme features heavily throughout other parts of the podcast too.
Viscero Somatic Pain Patterns?!
I had never heard this term, so when Hannah used it, I had to ask her what it meant.
The effect of posture on your organs & health
We’re so busy focusing on the big things, we often miss the little things that make a massive difference to our overall health.
Here, Hannah talks about how something as basic as our posture can have an impact on stress levels and overall health.
All systems firing
We get to the heart of the issue. What are the basic signs that you’re firing on all cylinders and that your gut is working as it should?
Food creates Energy
Hannah explains that digestion takes masses of energy and that our food has to provide that energy.
Most of us blame the food when things go wrong but Hannah believes we’re focusing in the wrong place.
Stress and Digestion
Stress is the enemy of gut health.
Stress robs us of energy because our energy is being used to keep us in a fight/flight response. Without energy, digestion doesn’t happen the way it’s meant to and this can can lead to all kinds of health issues.
Waking up feeling sleepy / Sleeping for 10+ hours
If your gut is working as it should, there’s no reason to wake up feeling sluggish.
Hannah also talks about people who say they sleep for longer than 8 hours. Where some would say this is great, Hannah believes this indicates an imbalance in the gut.
Energy after eating
We’re quick to blame the food but that’s only half of the story.
How are you eating? How much do you chew? How much attention do you pay to your food or the people around you? How satisfying is the experience of eating?
All of these make a contribution to your overall digestive function.
Sometimes good, sometimes bad
Why do some of us have days where we feel great and then days where we’re sluggish and have no energy?
Getting started with gut health
Hannah offers some useful tips to help those who are just getting started on their journey towards gut health.
The advice she offers contradicts much of what we’ve been told about healthy eating but she explains that many healthy foods such as raw vegetables can be extremely difficult to digest. They can therefore cause trouble in a malfunctioning gut. It’s not that these foods are bad for you, it’s that you have to be able to digest them in order for them to be good for you.
Different people pick different things to over consume. No matter what we pick, overconsumption is usually a sign of an imbalance in the emotional body – a sign that we are seeking to replace something that’s missing.
Right for you
Each of us is unique. To learn what’s right for you, pay attention to your body and the signs it give you. There is so much conflicting information out there but if you listen to your body, you’ll know what works for you.
More Practical Tips
Hannah shares a list of things we can and should do to take charge of our health before symptoms manifest.
Food Rules for People who have Digestive Issues
Some simple, practical advice if your digestive system is struggling.
All about your poo!
It turns out, not all poos are created equal.
Know what to look for and what your poo is telling you about the health of your gut.