New Year, New Gut - Nikki Yelton RD

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New Year, New Gut

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I don’t blame you if you think New Year’s Resolutions are overrated. But, I do have a New Year resolution for you that is totally worth it. It’s time to reset your gut!

Healthy yogurt bowl to reset your gut

Reading Time: 10 minutes

With the start of a new year, resolutions and goals run wild- most of which are forgotten about by mid-January. That being said, I don’t blame you if you think New Year’s Resolutions are overrated. But, I do have a New Year resolution for you that is totally worth it. It’s time to reset your gut!

Yep, your gut!

Your gut is the catalyst for so many bodily functions and processes and it only seems right to target this powerhouse in the new year! Your gut is responsible for immune function, hormone health, anti-inflammatory abilities, energy and vibrancy, mental health- and this is just the short list! 

WHY RESOLUTIONS DON’T STICK

The #1 New Year’s resolution each year is always centered around the same thing— bettering your health. Most of us will be jumping on the “get healthier” bandwagon more than ever before. But I want to caution you, because even though this is a great intention, resolutions don’t stick! The gyms will be more packed and the produce sections busier than ever. And while this is fantastic, each year the same pattern emerges. Come February or March, the gyms empty out and the snack aisle becomes a hot spot again. 

After helping men and women crush their health goals for over a decade, I can confidently tell you making resolutions around your health is a waste of time. And why is it that New Year’s resolutions never seem to stick? I believe this is because of our tendency to focus on the big goal rather than the process of getting there. New Year’s resolutions so often fail because they’re not sustainable or realistic. We go all in for a short amount of time, only to feel defeated by the time Valentine’s day rolls around. There is no instant gratification when it comes to your health. 

Why resolutions don't stick
MINDSET SHIFTS TO SET SUSTAINABLE GOALS AND STICK TO THEM

Creating healthy habits, being intentional with your time, and changing your lifestyle is hard. Every step you take towards a healthier you, regardless of how tiny it may seem, is still a step. I encourage you to focus on small sustainable goals rather than big resolutions. The key is to form habits over time so those big goals don’t feel so far-fetched anymore! 

Sometimes your mindset can be the biggest roadblock when it comes to progress. Here are  some tips to help shift your mindset and set sustainable goals that actually work.

1. Plan for your current self: 

When you set goals or make plans, it’s so common to plan for your perfect self. This is because we plan while in a motivated state. Your perfect self is fully energized ALL the time, never feels overwhelmed, and never makes excuses. Your perfect self does all the things and still has time for rest. Then when you don’t have the energy to move your body or to meal prep, or when you forget to take your supplements or up your water intake, you’re left feeling inadequate. 

When you create goals for the perfect version of yourself, you’re set up for failure. When you don’t measure up to this ideal self and stick to the habit 100%, you adopt the belief you’re doomed. Your perfect self is not realistic… and that’s okay! Planning is easy, following through is hard. This is not to say you shouldn’t strive for big goals. Big goals are possible and amazing if you plan for a realistic version of yourself. 

When you plan for your health goals, focus on growth from your current self. The lifestyle changes you make need to serve who you are right now. Think about the time you have, your energy levels, and your current habits. Plan new habits for the current you and what the current you is capable of. Plan to be a little bit better than the day before. 

2. Know a little bit everyday compounds over time:

A little bit of action every day and the power of time compound to create BIG results. Perfection is not the secret to a healthy life, but consistency is. Everyone knows when you invest a little money every day, as time passes and interest compounds, that money grows… and by a lot. You can apply the same idea to your health!

Maybe when you planned with your current self in mind, you planned to eat a healthy and nutrient packed diet. If you aim to include at least one veggie filled meal or snack each day, over time this will become habit, momentum and motivation will build, the results will compound, and you’ll start to heal. Combine baby steps with consistency and time, and your goals will feel so much closer. Remind yourself each day: EVERY STEP COUNTS. 

3. Acknowledge that struggle is part of the process:

Normalize struggle. Acknowledge no matter what changes you’re making, whether that be eating healthier, exercising, meditation— there WILL be struggle. Once you recognize that this is a natural part of the healing process, it feels so much easier to practice self-compassion. When the feeling of defeat comes creeping in, acknowledge your setback, dust your shoulders off, and try again. This practice becomes less difficult when you remind yourself that struggle is good. 

There is nothing wrong with you if you’re having trouble making changes. We often stress so much about sticking to a habit that we’re exhausted before we begin. Stress will wreak more havoc on your body than any setback. Take a deep breath. Setbacks are normal. Struggle is growth.

4. Stop thinking and start doing:

Be truthful with yourself… How much time do you spend thinking about what you need to do versus actually taking steps to get there?  You become stuck in this cycle of starting out gung-ho and then getting frustrated, losing motivation, and falling back into old habits. Once you realize you’ve fallen off the path a bit, don’t immediately resort to self-loathing! Recognizing when you’ve gone off track is an important first step to progress. Give yourself some grace— you are human after all! But then… get back up and try again. 

When prioritizing your health feels overwhelming, my biggest advice is to stop thinking, and just start DOING. The best way to hold yourself accountable is to acknowledge, move on, and rather than waste time thinking about what you should have done yesterday… take action today! 

WHY THE NEW YEAR IS A GREAT TIME TO RESET 

Think about your habits as we enter into 2022. Think about the healthy habits you’ve already formed, and then focus on what you can improve and build upon. And in my opinion, the best thing you can improve upon is your gut. It’s at the center of your overall health! 

Throughout the holidays, toxins build. We’ve got Christmas treats all around us and holiday parties to attend. You might find yourself having a few more cocktails than you do in other seasons. As toxins accumulate, you may find yourself feeling a tad sluggish and “off.” With the start of a new year, it’s a great time to set a goal of a seasonal reset. A nourishing and balanced reset or detox is scientifically proven to reduce inflammation. It’s not about losing weight, but rather about gaining energy, healing the body, and feeling great! 

At the shift of each season, our cells begin to turn over. This is why the new year is such a wonderful time to reset your gut. Now when you hear the term “reset” or ‘detox,” you mind may immediately jump to quick fix fads like detox tea or juice cleanses. This is NOT a true reset and NOT what I am recommending!!! A true seasonal reset will help you feel more satisfied, nourished, and energized! The key is allowing your body to have digestive rest. 

If you’re looking to start the new year off feeling fantastic, I created a 7-Day Gut & Autoimmune Reset & Reboot Program. In this program you follow a balanced gut healthy and autoimmune friendly meal plan along with phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. You enjoy simple, super detoxifying meals that are easy on the digestive system, target inflammation, and help you heal from the inside out! 

5 WAYS TO RESET YOUR GUT 

Are you ready to boost your gut health this year? Check out 5 ways to reset your gut in 2022, below:

Ways to reset your gut include resetting your sleep, digestion, mind, diet, and movement
1. Reset your Sleep 

Adequate sleep is essential for optimal health. I’m talking about minimally 7-8 hours of sleep per night. By doing so, you can achieve optimal REM and deep sleep, which is imperative to reducing gray matter in the brain, regenerating cells, restoring healing, promoting recovery in the body 

What to Do:

  1. Follow the schedule of the sun. Go to sleep by 10 pm and wake up around 6am.
  2. Keep consistent sleep and wake times so that your body can effectively reset your circadian rhythm. 
  3. Try using an Oura Ring to track and analyze your sleep, activity, and other health metrics. 
  4. Sleep with a Gravity Blanket to relieve stress, calm anxiety, and promote deep sleep.  
  5. Consider supplementing with sleep support, like magnesium.
2. Reset your Digestion 

Optimal digestion is important for the absorption of nutrients, boosting immune function, and many other health functions. However, most of our digestive systems function less than optimally.

What to Do:

  1. Drink 1 cup of warm water with fresh lemon or 1 tbsp of ACV first thing in the morning to stimulate stomach acid production. 
  2. Limit snacking between meals to allow your food to fully digest before eating again.
  3. Eliminate drinking with meals. Be sure to stop drinking 30 minutes before and after your meals. If you must, take small sips of water, but avoid chugging or gulping liquid. 
  4. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. It’s best to chew each bite at least 20 times!
Improve digestion by drinkking warm water, limiting snacking, and chewing your food
3. Reset Your Mind 

In my opinion, mental breaks are highly underrated. By implementing a simple, quick brain break, you can improve your productivity, declutter your brain, and experience more joy!

What to Do:

  1. Utilize deep breathing: slowly breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and repeat 4 times. Just remember the key number: 4!
  2. Take a 15 minute break for every 2 hours of work. It might be hard to step away, but once you do, you won’t regret it!
  3. Spend time reading the Word, repeating biblical affirmations out loud, studying with devotionals,and memorizing Bible verses, daily. 
  4. Use a gratitude journal to start and end your day! Simply write down one thing your grateful for before your start your day and before you go to sleep at night. 
Boost mental health with deep breathing, taking breaks, and journaling
4. Reset your Diet 

The foods you choose to eat play a significant role in our health, from head to toe. Instead of jumping on the yo-yo diet train this year, follow these simple diet tips:

What to Do:

  1. Eat 3 balanced meals per day. Each meal should contain a serving of protein, carbs, and fat. Don’t forget your veggies, too! An example of a perfectly balanced meal is wild-caught salmon (fat + protein), roasted asparagus (veggie), and baked sweet potato (carb). 
  2. Start your day with a smoothie for breakfast. Smoothies are great on-the-go meals or snacks because you can sip in the car on your way to work and they are typically easy to digest. Again, don’t forget to create a balanced smoothie with protein, carbs, fat, and veggies. Here’s an example: 1 scoop grass-fed whey protein (protein), 1 cup chopped kale (veggies), 1 tbs almond butter (fat), and ½ cup blueberries (carbs). 
  3. Break the sugar and caffeine addiction. I hate to say it, but ditching sugar may just be the best thing you can do for your health and gut. Eliminate all processed, refined sugar and limit natural sugars, like honey, coconut sugar, fruit, etc.
  4. Nourish your gut with healing foods while eliminating any common triggers. A great way to make this simple and easy is through my Gut & Autoimmune Meal Plan Subscription where you get meal plans packed with new gut healthy & autoimmune friendly recipes every single month. Figuring out what and when to eat shouldn’t take up so much of your precious time!
5. Reset your Movement 

Getting in the habit of being active daily is essential to a healthy body and gut. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hit the gym every day! It’s important to find activities that you enjoy and look forward to. Alternative activities include: dancing, kickboxing, hiking, or swimming.

What to Do:

  1. Practice gentle movement that is restorative and relaxing, like Vinyassa, yoga, pilates, stretching, walking, or biking. Performing light activity is a great way to de-stress and boost your cardiovascular health.
  2. Aim for 10,000 steps per day. This might mean opting for the stairs instead of the elevator or parking in the farthest parking spot to get a few more steps in. The small wins add up to big wins!
  3. Hit the weights. By implementing a weight lifting routine into your schedule, you will strengthen your muscle and boost your metabolism- both of which are great for overall health!
WRAPPING IT ALL UP 

To successfully and consistently reach your gut-health goals, try building a few small healthy habits at a time. I suggest picking ONE of these resets each month, and getting consistent with that before moving to a new one. After a few weeks of doing something regularly, it becomes part of your routine and sets you up for success in the long run. 

As we dive headfirst into the new year, will you join me in committing to a healthy gut?! It really is as simple as keeping these 5 health resets in mind! 

You can also use my free Gut Health Starter Kit to learn 3 daily habits to transform your health, including the best foods to eat for a healthy gut microbiome. I also share three simple, easy, gut healthy recipes! 

And if you’re ready to take the next step and truly heal your gut once and for all, I’m opening up spots for my signature program Microbiome Makeover! In this program you receive specific functional medicine testing that informs the health plan that will be most beneficial for you, deep interpretations of your lab work so you understand your unique chemistry, personal coaching calls with me through both one-on-one and group sessions, and so much more! I highly recommend you apply for our waitlist here!

Remember— “all health starts in the gut!”

How to reset your gut in the new year
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"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."

-Nikki Yelton, RD

a note from nikki:

If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment. 

You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.

are you ready?

Ready to resolve your GI distress, reverse autoimmunity, and live your extraordinary life?

I AM READY!

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I'M NIKKI