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Episode 3: Biohack your gut with 3 simple tips with Dr. Heather

Today I want to share with you 3 ways you can support your gut TODAY that don’t cost anything and are easy to implement. Likely you have tried all the fancy detoxes, trends, fads, etc. But the reality is, if you are not supporting your gut with foundational habits you will continue on the cycle of no relief. Trust me, I’ve been there too. You can think of supporting your gut health like the process of building a house. We remodeled our kitchen last summer so this is all too familiar to me. All I wanted to see was the beautiful backsplash that I picked out up on the wall. But that took time. There’s a process, just like your gut. You need to foundational habits that will then allow you to see the fancy backsplash. But without a proper structure and the right grout, it’s not going to last. In this episode we discuss stress management, hydration hacks and sleep importance.

In this Episode You’ll Learn:

[00:59] Three steps that you can implement to bio hack your gut

[0:21] Step 1: 2-5 minutes of stress management

[08:57] Step 2: Hydration 80-100oz of water

[10:21] The different products you can use to help enhance the mineral quality of your water and help your body to actually absorb the water.

[11:52] Step 3: The benefits of Sleep 7-9 hours of sleep

[13:30] Improving digestion and resting by taking a deep breath before eating

[14:05] Sleeping routine and why it is important


  •      “We can get really distracted by all the really fancy trends and fads and latest diets and detoxes for digestive health, and forget about the foundational things that we need to do to support our gut.” [01:12] 
  •      “If you eat a mostly whole food diet, and you don’t salt your food, then you definitely will need more salt. And that could be part of the dehydration problem.” [11:08]
  •      Now anything that is not caffeinated, I’m counting as hydration. “[09:06]
  •      “When you are really stressed your body is in a fight or flight state. And if you’re operating each day from a fight or flight state, and you’re not resting and digesting enough, tthen of course your digestive symptoms are in a flare.,” [13:08]




Hey, welcome to the love your gut podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Heather Finley, I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to love my gut when all it does is hold me back. I thought the same thing before I found relief from my own gut health issues. I dedicated my life to getting into the bottom of my own gut issues. So I can help women just like you transform theirs. Now, I’m here to guide you through your own gut health journey. We do this through identifying your root causes and making sustainable and transformative changes. As a result, you can unleash your true potential. My goal is to empower you with the information and tools you need to love your gut. So it loves you back, right here on this podcast. Hello, hello, and welcome back to the love your gut podcast. This is your host, Dr. Heather Finley, and I’m so excited about today’s episode. Today’s episode, we are going to talk about three ways that you can biohack your gut. And the best part is they are free. And the reason that I wanted to share this episode with you guys is because I think we can get really distracted by all the really fancy trends and fads and latest diets and detoxes for digestive health, and forget about the foundational things that we need to do to support our gut. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had clients join our program. And they feel like they’ve literally tried everything. And they we ask them, how’s your sleep, how’s your stress, how’s your hydration, and they don’t know anything about how those things actually affect their gut. So we’re gonna go through three main things today that I think you will find easy to implement, and can be so transformative and powerful on your gut health journey, I want you to think about maybe sometime that you’ve either seen a house being built or maybe you personally have done a remodel, we actually remodeled our kitchen last summer. Which sidenote do not recommend doing that when you are in your first trimester of pregnancy. If you guys follow me on Instagram, you saw the whole process, it was such a fun process, but maybe don’t do it when you are three to four months pregnant and so nauseous.


But that’s besides the point. So when you remodel a kitchen, or you build a house, the thing that you’re most excited about is the outcome, right? You’re so excited to see your beautiful kitchen, your beautiful home, you want to pick out the wallpaper and the backsplash and the tile and everything that is going to be so beautiful in your new space. What you likely don’t think about as much unless you are maybe an architect or that is something that you do for a living is how you’re going to get there. You don’t think about the plans and the measurements and the wood, and the grout and all the things that you need the foundations of this beautiful house or kitchen or whatever it might be, that you are going to build. And I think that’s why we get so distracted from digestive health in today’s day and age is because we have shiny object syndrome, we are so concerned about what supplements we need to take or what diet we need to go on, or what trend or fad we need to do. But we’re forgetting the foundation, we don’t have the measurements, we don’t have the wood, we don’t have the grout, and this fancy wallpaper or the backsplash that you really love. It cannot go up unless you have those things. And so, yes, we are so focused here on the outcome of gut health and improving your symptoms. But we have to set the foundation to do that. Number one, the number one foundational habit that I recommend you do is stress management. Now I want you to think you can even pause this episode if you want. What came up for you when I just said that. You’re probably thinking if you’re anything like me of a woman sitting on the floor in front of the beach, meditating and her beautiful new yoga outfit and you’re thinking yeah, that is not me. And I’m not going to do that. I’ve had that thought before as well. And so if you are anything like me, you are not alone in that thought. I know that it is stress management can feel like a super overwhelming topic, because I think it also has been very glamorized in today’s day. An age. But the reality is stress management could look like two to five minutes of doing something that you love every single day, that could look like you going outside and taking a walk without your air pods. Or it could look like taking a bubble bath or reading a book or calling a friend or laughing or whatever it might be. But I want to explain to you why stress management is so important. You’ve probably heard of the gut brain connection, the gut and the brain are connected via the vagus nerve, which is the largest cranial nerve in the body, and your gut in your brain are constantly communicating with each other. When your brain is stressed, or when your brain senses any kind of stress, whether that is stress from lack of sleep, or stress from being in traffic, or being in a meeting with your boss, or maybe your kids are listening to you whatever it is, your brain is thinking, I’m getting chased by a bear, this is not good. So I need to prepare to run as fast as I possibly can. So as a result, your body is responding by shunting blood or moving blood away from your gut to your muscles, it is decreasing your salivation because there’s no time to eat if you are being chased by a bear. It decreases your stomach acid, it decreases your enzyme availability, it actually slows down your gut motility. If you are in stress, or a chronic time or a long period of time, in the short term, it actually could speed up your gut motility, we’ve probably had all an experience where you are about to give a speech or you’re nervous and you find yourself running to the bathroom. There you go. That is the gut brain access, doing the work that it was meant to do. I want you to think about all the different stressors that you could have in your life. There are so many things pulling at our time and our energy and our attention, your job, your family, your relationships, your friendships, your nutrition, are you under eating, that can actually be a huge stress on the body, your exercise, are you over exercising is your body, lacking the ability to actually recover from the exercise that you’re doing, due to not having the time or the nutrition to do that. So sometimes people hear me say stress management and they think, Oh, I’m not stressed, I have a great family, I have a great life, there is no reason that stress is pulling at my gut health. And the reality is most likely in some capacity it is because we all have stress in various forms. What I want you to think about and step number one here is how can you implement two to five minutes of stress management throughout the day. And if you’re thinking that you don’t have two to five minutes, then there you go, you have too much going on, you need to find the two to five minutes. Like I said, this could be going outside, this could be taking a bath, this could be actually meditating, if that is what works for you. It could be anything that decreases your stress response. And it even could be this is something that we tell our clients all the time. If you are worried about being consistent with a two to five minute stress management routine, what about every time you find yourself getting overwhelmed, you take a deep breath, and you start to train your body to breathe. When you feel stressed. How powerful will that be in decreasing your stress hormones if you just breathe when you start to feel overwhelmed. So that’s step number one, two to five minutes of stress management. Step number two is hydration. And obviously this is going to vary. Everyone’s needs are different. In general 80 to 100 ounces of water is typically what we are telling our clients and most people are not consuming that much fluid. Now anything that is not caffeinated, I’m counting as hydration. So even like an herbal tea that could count towards hydration. Obviously water counts towards hydration. So you can count the tea that you’re drinking as long as it’s not caffeinated towards your water goals. But a couple things to note. There’s a lot of people that are drinking maybe this much water, but they’re still dehydrated. They still have pebbly stool, and it’s they’re still extremely constipated. Part of this is maybe a mineral or electrolyte issue. Your body may not actually be absorbing the water that you are consuming. And some key ways that you can know about this is are you constantly going to the bathroom, or do you feel like you just drink water and it goes straight through you Are you still thirsty all the time, even though you’re drinking tons of water. Those are just a couple of ways in which you might know, a lot of our clients actually really need to add minerals and electrolytes to their water. And there’s a couple products that I really love. I will link them in the show notes in case you want to check them out. We use adrenal cocktail, which is fairly high in sodium and potassium and vitamin C. For a lot of our clients, we use ultimate electrolyte powder, you can use element electrolyte powder, you can even just use trace mineral drops to help enhance the mineral quality of your water and help your body to actually absorb the water. When you are hydrated, you will feel so much better. Lack of hydration or dehydration can lead to poor energy, constipation, brain fog, sluggishness, it can even affect your sleep. So dehydration, again, one of the most common things that we see, especially in our clients that are constipated. And another thing to note here is if you eat a mostly whole food diet, and you don’t salt your food, then you definitely will need more salt. And that could be part of the dehydration problem. I know there’s this great salt debate going on right now. And a lot of people are really scared of consuming salt. But more than likely you need it again, you need to consult your provider on what is appropriate for you. This is just generalized advice. But you might need actually more salt, which is contained in some of the products that I actually just mentioned. So step 280, to 100 ounces of water, most likely plus minerals, and electrolytes. Step three is seven to nine hours of sleep. So if you’re anything like me, in the past, you probably have had the motto or maybe have the motto of I can sleep when I’m dead, I don’t need sleep, I can function on no sleep. And I’m here to tell you that that is not true. Even if you feel like you can just push through it and you know, drink your afternoon coffee and make it through the day, you need to rest so that you can digest and without rest, your stress hormones are very elevated, and most of the time, it will also affect your blood sugar. And you can then also affect your just overall digestion. You have to sleep in order to repair your body. And we find too that most of our clients, whenever they’re working with us to repair their gut, they actually need more sleep and less exercise, they need to rest more than they’re pushing themselves. Now, you’ve probably heard of the term rest and digest like I mentioned earlier, and fight or flight. So just to give the contrast here. As far as point number one, when you are really stressed your body is in a fight or flight state. And if you’re operating each day from a fight or flight state, and you’re not resting and digesting enough, then of course your digestive symptoms are in a flare. You can even find ways to rest and digest throughout the day, not even through, you don’t only rest and digest through sleeping, you can take a couple of deep breaths before you eat, and you can get your body into a rest and digest state. And that’s not only going to help improve your sleep because it’s decreasing your stress hormones, but it will also improve your digestion. As I mentioned in point number one, anytime are overwhelmed taking a deep breath and trying to decrease the stress response and getting yourself out of that fight or flight state is extremely important.


But I want to talk quick about a sleeping routine. So if you’ve ever had a baby or if you’ve ever babysat before, you’ve probably heard of bedtime routine. And I think as parents, oftentimes people are really, really sacred around that bedtime routine, because it is so important in getting their kids to sleep. And it’s for a good reason routine is helpful for our body. And even as adults we need routine. So just like you would have a bedtime routine for your baby or your child. You also should have a bedtime routine. So maybe that looks like drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea and reading your book and brushing your teeth and washing your face and going to bed. It doesn’t have to be complicated. But what I would encourage you to do is do the same thing every day. ate as much as you can to get into a routine to cue your body to sleep so you can fall asleep faster and get deeper rest sooner. So you can wake up feeling more energized and less stressed, so that you can also improve your digestion. Now, probably heard of the term, that time procrastination, I think we all struggle with that. But it goes back to point number one, if you don’t have whitespace in your day, if you are running from thing to thing all day long, but you find yourself at night tired, but still laying in bed scrolling Instagram to zone out. That is bedtime procrastination. And I would encourage you to try to find that white space throughout the day, even if it is two to five minutes to just decompress, so that you can put your phone away earlier and get more quality sleep. So that way you are not sitting scrolling screens or watching TV or whatever it might be right before you go to bed. So I hope that these three tips are super helpful for you, I want you to think about which one, you can actually go and implement today. So just to recap, two to five minutes of stress management per day 80 to 100 ounces of water per day, plus potentially minerals and electrolytes, and seven to nine hours of sleep per night. So I hope that you found this helpful, I want you to think every time you’re doing one of these habits about how you were just laying such a solid foundation for your digestion so that everything else that you’re doing to improve your digestive health can actually work. Go ahead, hop on over to Instagram tag me Tell me what habit you are going to implement. share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it. And I will see you next time on the next episode of the love your gut podcast and don’t forget that you can love your gut so it will love you right back. I’m giving your gut a thumbs up because you just finished another episode of the love your gut podcast. Thanks so much for listening in to this episode. I hope it was helpful. I know you feel like you’ve tried absolutely everything to get to the root cause of your gut symptoms. And if you ask me, I think it’s about time we find a long term solution. My gut Together program is a life changing program that will help you finally understand what’s going on in your guts and the steps you need to take to find relief. Visit Dr. Heather finley.co backslash gut together for more information so that you can start transforming your gut today. And as always, remember to love your gut so it will love you back.

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Hi, I’m Dr. Heather

Registered dietitian and helps people struggling with bloating, constipation, and IBS find relief from their symptoms and feel excited about food again.

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