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Healthy Gut Tips With Morgan Lewis

Morgan Lewis grew up outside of Chicago and ate the classic 90’s kid diet; fast food, sugar filled snacks, boxed mac ‘n cheese and minimal fruits and veggies. As a child she would get yearly ear infections, strep throat and whatever virus was going around.

During college her health deteriorated rapidly. She had very little quality sleep, relied on sugar to get through study sessions and suffered from terrible allergies, hair thinning, extreme fatigue, coldness in her feet/hands, and weight gain. She went to a traditional doctor but they never found a root diagnosis so she continued to explore other options which led her to holistic nutrition and the power of diet and lifestyle changes for overall health. She immediately began a supplement regimen to heal her gut, an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet and cut out every single processed food. The outcome was tremendous.

Today, Morgan continues to practice what she preaches by eating a whole foods diet with the use of select supplements. As a Holistic Nutrition Consultant (HNC) she helps those who are looking to make healthier choices and feel more vibrant in their everyday life.

We recently sat down with Morgan to get tips on how to eat better and feel better, her favorite superfoods and why you should avoid intermittent fasting.

What do Holistic Nutrition Consultants do?

Holistic Nutrition Consultants (HNC) offer a variety of services from nutrition support, mentoring, and lifestyle support. I think of a Nutrition Consultant as a food therapist and support system for those who are looking to make healthier choices and feel more vibrant in their everyday life. Oftentimes, doctors think symptoms are “normal” or in “your head”, and I am here to tell you they are not! I believe we know our bodies so innately and we should be the judge of our symptoms. If you believe something is wrong, it’s worth investigating. I believe in supportive care and forming a team with clients, empowering them along the way to make steps towards vitality.

 

How much fruit and vegetables should people consume on a daily basis?

I believe upwards of 6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is the gold star. I would recommend 1-2 servings of fruit (preferably ones that are lower glycemic like berries) and minimum 3 cups of vegetables per day. The gut loves diversity so eating a variety of plants is best to promote a healthy microbiome. I’d be remiss to say that it’s important people listen to their body as we are each unique and may feel better on more or less of the above. 

Does consuming organic products versus conventional make a difference?

YES! Eating organic and pesticide free produce is extremely helpful for overall health. Pesticides are harmful to both our bodies and the planet. They can disrupt the natural hormonal balance and contaminate the land, air, food crops, and waterways. In addition, there is speculation that organic produce has higher nutrient count as the soil is richer in minerals. If you cannot buy organic, you can look into a produce wash that can remove pesticides with a quick rinse! I use one from Trader Joes.

What are some tips you can give women who are struggling with hormonal imbalance?

Avoid intermittent fasting as it puts strain on the adrenals and pumps excess stress hormones. Majority of the research has been done on post menopausal women and men. These two categories of people are very different from menstruating women whose hormones change weekly. 

Load up on good fats from nuts and seeds like hemp, chia, flax, walnut, brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds. Go easy on the caffeine to calm the body and opt for lower impact workouts. The main goal is to move the body into the parasympathetic mode so it can focus on rest and digestion. 

What are your top superfoods you recommend to your clients and why?

Superfoods can be a great addition to help fight off free radicals. I love goji berries, cacao, ginger, and chia seeds. 

What are some steps/tests that you recommend people take to start their holistic journey and why?

Determine the why before you begin your journey. If your intentions of healing are clear, you will feel more motivated and energized to keep up the lifestyle changes. Find a coach you feel supported by, your coach is your cheerleader and can help you stay on track.

What is your favorite way of detoxing the body?

Going back to the basics and eating unprocessed, real foods. Epsom salt baths, dry brushing, time away from social media, and getting out in nature. 

What are your thoughts on supplements?

I think supplements are absolutely necessary as they help supplement your diet BUT you cannot out supplement a bad diet. There is no magic supplement that will solve all of your problems, but when adding in supplements methodically in conjunction with a healthy, well rounded diet, you can see a lot of positive changes. 

Would you suggest people swap their real milks with non-dairies?

Yes and no. If you are dairy free, I highly suggest you find an alternative milk without any additives like guar gum and canola/rapeseed oils. These are incredibly inflammatory for the gut and I do not suggest daily intake. For those who can tolerate milk, finding a nice organic, grass fed milk is a great option as there is only one ingredient and lots of protein and healthy fats. 

For all the caffeine lovers, what would you consider to be the best way to get your daily dose of caffeine?

I prefer tea to coffee as the caffeine crash is delayed due to tea containing l-theanine. For those who suffer from anxiety or a pre morning/afternoon crash, try tea and see if you notice a positive difference 

What are some immunity boosters that can be made at home?

Eat fresh produce that is full of vitamin C like citrus, peppers, broccoli, brussels, and strawberries. Opt for pumpkin seeds, seafood, and meat as these foods have a high amount of zinc. Curb the sugar intake and support your elimination and detox pathways with broth, water, and herbal tea. 

There has always been an ongoing debate about whether you should skip breakfast or not, what are your thoughts?

Everyone is different, but I typically recommend eating a breakfast that is rich in veg, protein, and fat. Aim to keep breakfast 12 hours from your last meal as the body needs a full 12 hours for optimal digestion. I also recommend drinking a large glass of room temperature or warm water before coffee or food in the AM. 

What type of services do you offer and which do you recommend for someone who is starting their wellness journey?

I offer group and individual coaching for those who are looking to reclaim their health. I recommend individual sessions for those who are just starting on their wellness journey so they have ample support during the process. I specialize in gut issues, autoimmune conditions, weight management, hormone balancing, and thyroid conditions.

What’s next for you?

I am launching a monthly women’s wellness group for those who want to learn more about hormones and gut health from a nutrition professional alongside a community of like minded women. If you’re interested, please reach out at threepillarswellness@gmail.com! The first group begins in mid July 2021.

To learn more about Morgan click here.