How to Treat Gastroparesis

How Do You Treat Gastroparesis?

Now that we have gone over what Gastroparesis actually is, we have to talk about how to treat it.

There isn’t a lot out there on great methods for treating GP, but what there is a lot of out there is fear. Terms like “incurable”, “chronic”, “life-altering”, etc. While, technically, GP has been deemed a chronic and incurable condition, I can tell you that can’t be further from the truth.

Gastroparesis CAN be cured, and at the very least, it can be easily managed WITHOUT medication. That in itself is a win in my opinion.

So, what does the treatment plan look like?

The typical treatment path that is recommended is this:

  1. Try a flurry of terribly written diets

  2. Try an even bigger flurry of medications that don’t actually work

  3. Suggest surgery like a pacemaker in your stomach, or a feeding tube

I have also talked with many GP sufferers that have mentioned their doctors put them on anti-psychotics, which basically is their way of saying we don’t believe anything is wrong with you, so you must be crazy.

I’m not a doctor, so I will say that making sure you keep a doctor in the loop about your condition is important. However, I have now gotten myself to the point that I don’t need a doctor anymore, because it’s not as severe. And to get myself to this point, I took a totally different path.

Treating Gastroparesis…. the right way

What if I told you that you could eat whatever you wanted when you wanted and on your terms of when your body will act up? Right now, you might say I am crazy, but I can promise you that it can be done.

The following are a few ways I have helped myself, and many clients:

  1. Juicing. Especially in the beginning of your treatment, because your body is so devoid of the nutrients it’s needing. Juicing will help replenish those and then you can start working on the rest.

  2. Acupuncture. Think of your stomach as a battery of your car. It needs the energy to run. So, when you do acupuncture, the needles are like the jumper cables being attached to the conductors. Put a little heat over the needles and it’s sending that “voltage” to your stomach muscles through your nerves. It’s life-changing

  3. Walking. Wait, what? Yes, a simple morning 15 minute walk does WONDERS for your body. Boosts metabolism, wakes up the system, and if you do it before eating anything, you burn more fat!

  4. Nerve Toning. In my Thrive with Gastroparesis nutrition program, I teach you 3 different techniques you can do to tone the nerve. Toning your nerve back to optimal function is what makes the difference.

  5. Warm Lemon Water. I am sure by now all of my followers are like “geeze, lady, we get it. Drink warm lemon water.” That is how much I swear by it. First thing in the morning, drink a coffee cup size of warm water with a squeeze of lemon, however much you can handle. This gets your digestive system moving and creating the necessary acid.

More importantly, you have to be willing to do all of these things for longer than just a week. It didn’t take a week for you to get sick, so it won’t take a week for you to get better.

By week 3 of the Thrive with Gastroparesis program, my clients were starting to notice a real difference in their bodies and that is the coolest thing.

So, where do you go from here? Good news is that I have a completely FREE 3-day Gastroparesis Healing Guide. Just shoot an email to info@realpeeljuice.com and I would be happy to send that to you! Finally, the next Thrive with Gastroparesis program hasn’t set a start date, yet. However, if you would like to participate, send me an email and I will put you on the wait list.

Until then, get started juicing, drinking your warm lemon water and going for walks. I guarantee you will start noticing a difference.

Keep it Fresh. Keep it Simple. Keep it Real.

Aubrey

What is Gastroparesis?

If you have been following me for a while, you would have heard me talk about Gastroparesis many times. I might have dropped a few bits about what it’s like and how to handle it, and I have even talked about my Thrive With Gastroparesis program, but I have never done a proper explanation of it.

Some of you might not care what it is, but I remember years ago being really sick and not being able to get any answers from doctors and then I found 1 small article about Gastroparesis and knew immediately that’s what I had. It gave me some relief and hope that I would be able to get an answer. How to treat it was another story, but I am hoping that this will help those who are currently struggling and stumble upon this, find relief.

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What is Gastroparesis?

By definition, Gastroparesis is a stomach condition that affects the stomach muscles and prevents proper stomach emptying, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are two types, Diabetic and Idiopathic. For the sake of this blog, we are mostly talking about Idiopathic, although, a lot applies to both.

By my definition, it sucks. But truthfully, the nerves that are connected to the stomach muscles, don’t fire properly and so the stomach muscles don’t get the message to move food along. This then allows the food to sit in the stomach and go rancid and that’s when you see a lot of the symptoms pop up.

Symptoms typically include:

  • bloating

  • nausea

  • heartburn

  • feeling full very quickly

  • vomiting

  • abdominal pain

  • unbalanced blood sugar

  • lack of appetite

  • malnutrition due to lack of nutrient absorption

  • major weight gain or loss

  • and these don’t include all of the mental and emotional side effects

What Does Gastroparesis Look Like?

Unfortunately, GP is one of those hidden conditions. To most people, I look perfectly healthy. In its beginning stages, Gastroparesis doesn’t cause you to be in the hospital or anything like that. You can function, maybe not optimally, but you can. It feels like a constant, severe stomach ache. However, no one takes that seriously, so you just have to keep going.

Left untreated, it can lead to such severe malnutrition that you end up in the hospital on a feeding tube. Sadly, there have been a few who lost their lives because of it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We shouldn’t have to let it get this far.

How Do You Diagnose Gastroparesis?

Usually before you get diagnosed with GP, you will have run the mill of different digestive tests. It looks something like this

  1. Weird and not fitting to GP, elimination diet. This diet they give you would be helpful if you didn’t have GP, so yes, it does eliminate other possible conditions, but unfortunately, could make your GP symptoms worse.

  2. Some type of reflux or IBS medication

  3. Endoscopy and colonoscopy. They will usually do a biopsy to rule out many different conditions and cancer

  4. Stool test. That one is always fun.

  5. Nothing else has worked, so maybe some other random medication.

  6. A good doctor continues to dig and eventually suggests the Gastric Emptying Test. This is the only way to diagnose GP.

The test involves you going in and they give you a meal that typically consists of eggs, toast, orange juice, and water. In the food is a minuscule amount of radioactive material that they can watch on a scan leave your stomach.

You just lay there and they watch for certain time intervals to indicate what percentage has left your stomach. There is a standard for how much you should have emptied at each time frame, being 1 hour, 2 hours and then 4 hours.

In mine and most people’s cases, if you haven’t emptied more than 40% after the second hour, they let you leave, because you didn’t pass the benchmark and it will be considered delayed. Sometimes, they will make you stay the full 4 hours, though.

You have the Diagnosis, now what?

So, now you have the diagnosis, how do you go about treating it?

Well, I have a lot of thoughts on how it is technically treated and how it should be treated, so we will save that for another blog.

In the meantime, I hope this is helpful for those of you who are in the searching for answers phase. One thing I want to make sure you remember, is to advocate for yourself. You know your own body better than anyone else, and it is okay to ask the doctor for different tests, even if they stop believing you. And if they won’t do it, find another one who will, until you get your answers.

Until next time,

Keep it Fresh. Keep it Simple. Keep it Real.

Love, Aubrey

Why is Digestive Health So Important?

What is Digestive Health, exactly?

Most people only think of their digestive system as being their stomach to their bowels, but it involves so much more. Making sure each part of the system is working properly is important in order to feel your best. So, how do we make sure our whole digestive system is healthy? And why should we care?

What Does the Digestive System include?

One of my favorite ways to illustrate the parts of the digestive system is this graphic from the Nutritional Therapy Association. I think it explains it perfectly.

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As you can see, it starts in your brain and ends, well, at the end. There are many other “side factors” that have an impact on the flow of digestion. For example, the liver and gall bladder. The food doesn’t directly pass through these organs, but they do play a large part in breakdown and flow of the food as it travels through the system.

Why is it important?

The digestive system not only affects how your stomach feels during and after meals, but it has affects on other systems of the body.

For example,

  • Immune system: this can get quite complicated, but poor digestion can cause you to be sick more often, it can also affect how your body’s immune system responds to different things.

  • Nutrient Absorption: this is something I have dealt with personally with Gastroparesis, but when you don’t digest correctly, your body can struggle with absorbing the nutrients. Deficiencies in different nutrients can cause a domino effect of issues. (hair loss, PMS issues, skin issues, dental issues and more)

  • Fatty Acid Deficiencies: fats take a while to break down in your digestive system, so having it working from the get go is super important. If your body can breakdown and use the fats appropriately, you will start seeing issues with hormone production and use, it can affect how well your muscles can perform and even brain function.

  • Sugar Handling: something those of us with Gastroparesis deal with is sugar cravings. That is usually because of our poor digestion. We aren’t getting to use the energy source fully from the food, so we crave that energy spike. So, we turn to sugar. However, this is similar to those without GP. The mishandling of sugar can lead to diabetes and that is not something you want to do.

There are more side effects from poor digestion, but I think this covers the main things. Also, I don’t want this blog to be forever long. But I also think this illustrates how important it is to get your system functioning properly.

How Do You Keep it Healthy?

There are a myriad of things you can do and I am sure there are plenty of “quick fix” products people will try to sell you to get to it, but most of it can be achieved through simple, natural fixes.

  1. Increase acid production (controversial, I know, but it’s true. If you would like to discuss this further, we can) Can be done with more fermented foods, lemon water, ACV and more.

  2. A good probiotic. Something I like to do is sip on Kombucha throughout the week, never drinking a full bottle at once. Too much at once can bloat you.

  3. Chewing your food at minimum 15x each bite. Similarly, putting your fork or spoon down in between bites. Also, “chewing” your smoothies or soups will help let your brain know

  4. Get active!! I don’t mean doing 1 hour HIIT workouts. I just mean simple walks. This awakens your system to start moving food through.

  5. Don’t lay down after eating a meal.

  6. Stay hydrated with water. Sip on it, don’t chug it, between meals.

Simple fixes you could literally start doing tomorrow!

Start implementing some of these things, give it a few days and you will start noticing some differences. Then, if you want more help, that’s what I am here for!

Until then,

Keep it Fresh. Keep it Simple. Keep it Real.

Aubrey

I Juiced for a Month Straight - The Results

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It’s Not What You Think

If you have been following me for a while, you are probably thinking, “wait a second, you always say don’t do a cleanse for more than 3 days in a row”, and you would be right.

I did not do a cleanse for a month, because 1. that would be just stupid 2. that sounds like torture 3. your body would be in worse shape. However, I did drink a juice pretty much everyday for the month of February. If I am being totally honest, I did have to miss a small handful of days, because of traveling.

Why Did I Do This?

I have Gastroparesis, and I have talked about it many times, but what I don’t talk about often is how it affects me daily and my diet. It often causes me to be very full after just a bite or two of food, it causes me to have intense sugar cravings, because of the lack of fuel for my body, and it can make me cramp up and feel all around icky.

So, I had been noticing that I was struggling during the month of January, even though I was eating very healthy, and I did some reflecting on when I was feeling my best. This brought me back to when I was juicing daily.

I would wake up every morning and make a juice for breakfast. This allowed me to get a lot of nutrients in my body, fuel me until lunchtime, but without the pain of digesting whole food, the cramping, the bloating and the all around sick feeling. (disclaimer: I will always choose eating food over drinking it, but for one meal, it makes a huge difference)

February rolled around, and I did exactly that. If you have been following me on Instagram, then you would have seen some of the juices in my stories.

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The Results:

  1. Bye bye sugar cravings. Thank the freaking lord, because it was getting bad, and I was getting really fed up with it. Drinking a juice each morning allowed my body to absorb and assimilate the nutrients in my body and be put to use, instead of being stuck in my stomach for hours on end.

  2. Energy for dayyyyyyyys. No, it’s not a sugar rush and then crash. Because my body was getting to use these nutrients, it was fueling my body to perform optimally. One of the days I didn’t get to drink my juice, because my husband drank it, he texted me and was like what the heck is in this juice? He said his energy was insane, and longer lasting than coffee, and no crash. WIN!

  3. Motivation. Sounds weird, but when you put something so good into your body, and start feeling good, it motivates you to continue on for the rest of the day. Best part was as soon as I started feeling hungry, I ate food. I didn’t deprive myself. I was, however, more conscious about making really good choices for lunch and dinner.

  4. Weight loss. I debated on even talking about this, because it wasn’t my focus and I don’t ever want to give the idea that juicing is a weight loss solution, because it is a piece of the solution, not the whole. More than the few pounds that I lost, it’s the way my clothes fit. I feel good in them, not like ehhhhh I need to lose weight. Y’all know what I’m talking about.

  5. Happier. This has other factors that contribute to it, like new business opportunities, learning new things about nutrition and health, family, etc. BUT I do know that when my body feels good, I feel happier, more confident and all around good, which then gets relayed to others and makes them happy.

Should You Do This?

Okay, now you have seen my results, you are wondering if you can get a piece of those feelings, so where should you start?

You need to evaluate what your goals are for it. If they are singularly weight loss, then don’t waste your time. If they are weight loss, but also curb cravings, increase energy levels, teach yourself discipline, etc. then let’s talk.

You drink 1 juice daily for breakfast, then eat regularly for lunch and dinner and any snacks, but ideally you make good choices. If you miss one morning, that’s okay, don’t wait for the next Monday, just start over the next morning. Ideally, picking more green juices is the best route, however, if you are new to juicing start easy with more fruit based ones to get your body used to it.

Overall, I am so happy I did this again. It just reinforced the fact that I shouldn’t deviate away from what makes me feel good. So, I am continuing on into March and so excited to see how I feel after another month.

If you would like to get started, or would like some help picking out juices to start with, please feel free to comment or reach out to me by email at info@realpeeljuice.com.

Until next time.

Keep it Fresh. Keep it Simple. Keep it Real.

Aubrey xoxo

What is an NTP?

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What is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner? What will I be doing?

A friend of mine going through this program with me did a great post about this and it inspired me to inform you guys on what I will be doing as an NTP and what you can expect from me once I am done! (PS. you can check out Lauren on Instagram @backtovibrancy)

First off, if you are new here, Hi, my name is Aubrey and currently I am going through schooling to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. I also am the creator of Real Peel Juice & Nutrition. You can read more about my story, here.

Back to it…

The NTA program develops on a few important foundations, Nutrient-Dense Whole foods, Digestion, Hydration, Blood Sugar Regulation, Dietary Fats and Minerals. Our approach is focused on the individual. The idea of bio-individuality, meaning that each person is biologically unique, guides us away from one size fits all programs. Each person’s body functions differently, so I will dive deeper (explain this more later) to develop a unique diet and lifestyle plan to get their body functioning optimally, as it should be.

We train on 3 levels. The first is like any other schooling. We read, study, do homework assignments, etc. Then, we start on the Functional Evaluation and then end with the Lingual-Neuro Testing. These final two parts are extremely important for us. During these two, we palpate particular points on the body to test for how your body’s organs are working together and guide us on how to develop a plan personalized for you.

Once I finish the program in June, I will have the opportunity to become Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition through the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, which I will definitely take that opportunity. This will allow me to stay up to date on all things nutrition, so that I can always provide you with the most accurate information for your health journey.

What About After?

Alright, that’s all good and well, but what will I do with this new status?

My main focus will be on Digestive issues.

Most of you know that I suffer from Gastroparesis and am on my own healing journey, but there are SO MANY people out there that suffer and the doctors have no answers. Or the answers are just trying every medication on the shelf. So, I will be creating programs to help those suffering, start their own healing journey, and give them hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Along with Gastroparesis programs, I will be creating programs for just about every kind of digestive issue you can think of. So, if you have reached out to me for help in the last few months, hang on with me for another few and I will be happy to help you.

The big question I get a lot, Will I be working on weight loss for people? It’s not going to be my main focus, but I will definitely be taking client for this. A lot of what we learn in our studies will contribute to weight loss, but just like I have said before, I do not have a magic pill or quick fix and I don’t plan to.

Mostly, my goal will be to help people heal, provide them with the knowledge to do it on their own and give them hope. Hope that they can overcome their illness, hope that knowing they aren’t dealing with it alone and hope to know that there are answers out there for you.

Anyhow, I (hope) this has helped shed a light on what I have been up to lately. Thank you to all of you who have been reaching out to me through private message and asking me how it’s been going, I appreciate your support.

Be ready for Summer 2019, because once I am done, I plan to come out of the gate ready to go!

Until then,

Keep it Fresh. Keep it Simple. Keep it Real.

Love, Aubrey

Veggie & Meat Lasagna

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Wowowowow. That’s all I can say about this lasagna recipe.

I don’t ever intend this site to be some type of recipe blog, but I do think with nutrition, it’s important to showcase a few wins in the kitchen. This recipe was one of them.

Typical lasagna recipes are full of ground beef and sausage, but with Gastroparesis, that is not something my digestive system can handle a bunch of. However, my husband is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so we compromise. Most weeks consist of 3 meals with meat and 4 meals without. It seems to be a good balance for us.

This lasagna was a beautiful combination of both. Instead of 2 lbs of meat, I threw in 1 pound and then substituted with zucchini and squash triangles. It added that perfect meatiness to it.

Give it a try and let me know what you thought about it.

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Ingredients:

1 lb 100% grass-fed ground beef

1 tbsp olive oil (can sub avocado oil)

1/2 onion diced

1 tbsp garlic

1 zucchini chopped into small cubes

1 yellow squash chopped into small cubes

2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes (can also chop 4 tomatoes and add water)

1 6oz can of tomato paste

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp parsley

2 tbsp basil

1 15oz tub of ricotta cheese (can sub cottage cheese, goat cheese or silken tofu)

1 egg

1/2 cup parmesan

Mozzarella to top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Boil a pot of water and cook the noodles as directed on the package. Drain and lay out on foil to dry and cool down.

While the noodles are cooking, diced the onion, and cube the zucchini and squash. Heat the oil in a pan, add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the beef, zucchini, squash and salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tbsp parsley and 1 tbsp basil and more salt and pepper to taste, as needed. Bring to slight boil and then lower heat to simmer for about 35 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Combine ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan, the remaining parsley and basil and salt and pepper.

Spoon in sauce mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish to cover the bottom. Evenly spoon ricotta mixture onto each noodle sheet. (about 1 tbsp per noodle) Then, drizzle the meat sauce on each noodle sheet. Roll up each noodle and place in dish sideways. You should be able to get 5-6 lasagna rolls per row for 3 rows. Top the rolls with the remaining meat sauce and then add mozzarella to cover.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. If you like that browned cheese flavor, broil for 3 minutes.

Serve with garlic butter broccoli and ENJOY!

If you make this, let me know in the comments your thoughts or send me pics of it! We LOVED it. It also made enough for 3 meals for both of us! So, 6-8 servings.

Xo Aubrey