A Message on Gut Health, from CEO of the Elevated Elixir, Beth Hutson
Hey babes! It's Katie, back again with some super valuable insider info. Last week I had the privilege of sitting down (virtually) with Beth Hutson - owner of Elevated Content, and the Elevated Elixir - to chat about her health and wellness journey and give all of you some insider tips on how to stay healthy, happy, and balanced in every season of life.
We chatted about everything from gut health to hydration to autoimmune diseases, and she opened up about her personal health journey.
As women, we all know that hormonal fluctuations can cause huge shifts in weight, mood, and anxiety. But one thing we seem to forget is that we do have some control over these shifts through our health regimens. Here are her top tips on health and wellness, as discussed in our recent IG Live series (you can check out the full video @fidgeyray on Instagram).
How did you start your wellness journey?
A few years back I was under a great deal of anxiety. I looked successful on the outside and believe me, I was thankful. But I was stretched thin and working around the clock to balance it all. Being a business owner, wife, mama, I was exhausted. At a doctor’s appointment, my physician seemed concerned that I was gaining weight. After some testing, they discovered that I had Hypothyroidism and specifically Hashimoto’s, an auto-immune disorder, where your immune system attacks your Thyroid. I got into an Endocrinologist to manage this, but what made the biggest impact was working with a dear friend and a functional nutritionist. She walked me through healing my gut and getting on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet.
What’s the AutoImmune Protocol Diet?
It’s a healing and nourishing diet that aims to reduce inflammation, pain and other symptoms associated with Autoimmune disorders. But really, this way of eating is healthy for anyone. It’s basically a stricter version of Paleo or Whole 30. In fact, many people go to an autoimmune paleo-style diet in the maintenance stage.
So What Do You Eat?
- Clean meats
- Fresh seafood
- Veggies excluding some things like nightshades and white potatoes
- I cook with olive oil, coconut oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs
- Dark chocolate or coconut based yogurt and ice cream are my occasional treats
- Now that I’m more in the Autoimmune Paleo maintenance phase, I’ve reintroduced eggs, almonds, walnuts, pecans, mushrooms, peppers, etc.
What do you drink?
I drink lots of water, water with sugar-free/gluten-free electrolytes, sparkling water, Kombucha and I gotta be honest, I never gave up coffee. I just cut back and replaced the cream in my coffee with organic coconut milk.
I also love making creative mocktails! I’m a social girl, but just because I cut alcohol doesn’t mean I have to miss out on fellowship or a tasty drink!
What do you avoid?
- Processed foods
- Sugars that aren’t naturally occurring in fruit
And why is it worth it?
Well first of all, my anxiety started subsiding and I felt happier. I felt more productive and energetic and got much better sleep! With all of those amazing benefits, I didn’t obsess about the weight, but 4 months in, I had dropped 20 pounds. I’m down 30 as of today!
And when I felt better on this level, I felt more confident, relaxed and content. I was able to think more clearly and remove other things in my life that were barriers to my peace and set better boundaries. Yes, that meant making some changes at work and in my personal life. It wasn’t the easiest at the time, but I am so thankful I took those steps. My life isn’t perfect, but I’m much more balanced and fulfilled now. It’s easier to say no to things that don’t feel right in my diet and in my life choices.
Can you tell us more about gut health?
It’s a game changer. Your gut is the main hub of your immune system. It’s a work horse and it takes a lot of abuse, especially from the standard American diet. Your gut’s job is to disperse nutrients, while keeping bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins from entering the body. Over time, if we’re not loving on it, the filtration system and protective lining gets worn down. And when this happens, toxins get in your bloodstream. This causes inflammation, joint pain, anxiety and exhaustion and can lead to chronic illness. You’ve probably heard of the term leaky gut, this is it.
So how do you repair it?
I went through a whole protocol with my Functional Nutritionist, Julie Kennedy with Raw Wellness. But basically, it included 3 key supplements from ApexEnergetics.com (and no, this is not an ad! Beth really uses these products.)
- GI Synergy, an herbal and fatty acid supplement
- RepairVite, an Enzyme based dietary supplement
- Strengtia Probiotic
I did this in conjunction with the AIP diet, which means avoiding things that are particularly taxing and inflammatory like gluten, sugars, processed food and alcohol.
Other helpful tips are enjoy gut supportive foods and beverages like coconut milk based yogurt and Kombucha.
Allow your body plenty of digestion time. I like to cut off my eating by 8 pm. and I don’t eat the second I wake up. I try to wait an hour or two and focus on getting hydrated first.
About water, should you really drink 8 glasses of water a day?
Absolutely! Every system in your body needs water, from your brain to your lungs to your heart and digestive system.
It helps remove toxins. It also helps you feel better mentally and makes your hair, skin and nails pretty! It boosts physical performance and helps you lose weight.
And what about Electrolytes, I see you had a post about them recently?
Yeah, I had a little scare. I have been loving my nature hikes, but the Texas sun can be brutal. I was drinking lots of water, but with heat and activity, you tend to sweat. I was loosing electrolytes and feeling lethargic, sad and had heart palpitations. I’m not gonna lie, I got a little freaked. Cause I normally feel pretty fabulous. But then woke-up one day and had a lightbulb moment, I needed more electrolytes. I feel much better now! So I try to drink at least one serving a day. I love the
Ultima brand because they’re plant based, gluten-free and sugar-free. Organic coconut water is also great!
What other tips do you have to share?
1. Stay Active
Find an activity you love and stick with it! Consistency is key, even if you start small! I love nature hikes. I started at 1 mile once a week. Now I walk at least 5 times a week and up to 10 miles a day! I also love yoga, barre, pilates and my new favorite is Fidgey Ray’s Fit program. It’s been super helpful, especially when I cut my gym membership post pandemic. An active lifestyle is beneficial in so many ways!
2. Meal Prep
Set yourself up for success, by having healthy ingredients, snacks and meals accessible. For example, I’ll grill an extra chicken breast at dinner, so I can have healthy protein to put on my salad the next day. Or I’ll have fresh veggies portioned out and ready to go for quick snack. Really the possibilities are limitless. But your future self will thank you for planning ahead!
3. Minimize Stress
Stress is bad for the body. Bad for the mind. We all try to be super heroes and take on so much. But at what cost? Balance is where it’s at. And it takes work daily. Some times hourly. Evaluate your life. Does everything feel in alignment? If not, make changes. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Learn to say no and set boundaries. Surround yourself with the right people and experiences. Also, self-care is not selfish. Dedicate consistent time to the things that fulfill you and replenish your body mind and spirit.
4. Get Adequate Sleep
Get a full 8 hours of sleep. There’s a reason REST is in the word Restorative and a full night’s sleep is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your mind and body. Society seems to wear busy-ness like a badge of honor. But balance feels much better. Adequate sleep improves your overall health. It boosts your immune system. It boosts productivity and your overall mood.
This has been a lifestyle change for me over 3 years. I still indulge sometimes. That’s life. I just do it, give myself grace and get back to my healthy habits. I feel so much better when I do.
Where can people follow you?