5 Great Books For Gut Health

5 Great Books For Gut Health

Gut health has been a big topic of research for me over the past 5 years, give or take. I have read many blog posts, articles, and books, as well as listened to many webinars, podcasts, and YouTube videos on the topic. I even enrolled in a nutrition school to learn more about digestive health. It is something that I find very interesting to learn about, and I feel that it is something everyone should be aware of. The gut is essentially the core of your immune system and most of the “mechanics” and wellbeing of your entire body. These are my top picks to kick start a gut health library:

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Often referred to as “the yellow book”, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book on the GAPS Diet is incredibly detailed and science-based. She was inspired to write her book after successfully treating her own son’s Autism with a modified version of the SCD (Simple Carbohydrate) Diet. In this book, she covers a vast number of gut health-related topics including elimination diets for little ones, for pregnancy or breastfeeding, and for your average Joe. The importance of being aware of environmental chemicals is a topic covered thoroughly in this GAPS book. Dr. Natasha recommends a number of ways to detox, from supplements to baths, and even just enjoying some sunshine. She talks about staying away from pesticides and herbicides and she even discusses how to go about a safer vaccination protocol. There are a number of simple recipes to experiment with. They are written in such a way that the ingredients can easily be adjusted based on one’s food sensitivities as well as what you happen to have in your pantry. I really love her bread recipe! It’s great with some bananas added!

The Heal Your Gut Cookbook

This is a wonderful cookbook to have on hand as you go through the GAPS Diet. The recipes are categorized by each stage of the elimination diet, and there are lots of notes for substitutions or alterations depending on dietary restrictions or what phase of the diet you are working on. To start, there are lots of yummy soup and broth recipes, gradually building toward steaks, burgers and even a few sweet treats in later sections.

Eat Dirt

I have been a massive fan of Dr. Axe since the beginning of my gut healing journey. He has incredible articles on his website. I highly recommend you use the search box on his website as though it were Google. Search anything holistic health related! You can also find very high-quality supplements and essential oils. This book is an extension of all of that that I like to have on hand to refer to quickly. When reading this book for the first time, what really struck me was the list of illnesses and diseases that likely have leaky gut as the main cause. It was the first time I had seen such a long list of diagnoses that were linked to poor gut health. It made me think of many friends and family members that were diagnosed with one thing or another. All of those were on this list, and it made me so sad that this was such a foreign concept to so many people.

The Primal Kitchen Cookbook

This book doesn’t give much information on gut health, but it is full of amazing Paleo recipes. It would also be very easy to use for GAPS and Keto diets too. The Primal Kitchen brand is full of many yummy Paleo condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressings.

Practical Paleo

The first half of this book is organized by food groups explaining the benefits of eating Paleo. When I first read it I was blown away by how easily the food pyramid that we are taught throughout school could be debunked. This was my first proper explanation of the nutritional science behind a “gut supporting” diet and I was in awe. Diane makes Paleo practices so easy to understand. To make life easier, included in the book are shopping guides… finding the best quality meats, understanding what the little stickers on fruits and vegetables mean, and which flours and oils to keep on hand. There are also 30-day meal plans for specific health concerns such as diabetes, IBS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc. I believe the new version of the book has added a section for Autism. The back half of the book is full of delicious Paleo and AIP (Auto-Immune Paleo) recipes with plenty of notes to make the necessary modifications.

There are soooo many great books about gut health. These are five that I have really enjoyed, but I have so many more on my gut health shelves and  “to read” list. What books would you recommend to someone just getting into gut health?  


Lessons I learned from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Lessons I learned from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

In September I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. I really enjoyed my year there and feel that I learned a lot! Since I didn’t go to college right after high-school, IIN was a great way to dip my toes back into a form of education. It was all online, so I was able to create my own schedule.

Other than the variety of health-related topics we were taught, we also learned many “real world” lessons. These are the life lessons that stuck with me after graduating from nutrition school.

1. My idea of healthy living isn’t always ideal for everyone else.

Because of my long history with digestive issues I’ve read a lot of gut healing books, websites, and articles. Nearly all of them recommend a Paleo style diet. That, for a long time, caused me to think grains, for example, were very bad for everyone.
At IIN we are taught many different dietary theories, as well as pros and cons of the different diets. The theory of bio-individuality, or “one person’s food could be another person’s poison” is something that was also instilled in us on many occasions.
I now feel much more open, mentally to different ways to achieve wellness.

2. The importance of listening to my body, and some tricks to understanding it.

My long stint of chronic illness has taught me how to listen to my body to know when not to push it. IIN has taught me more ways to understand clues my body could be giving.
For example, craving sweets could be a sign that you are actually craving positive emotional connection with someone.

3. How to be my own health advocate.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned to stand up for my health and what I need, but many of the IIN lectures have given me more confidence to do so for my myself as well as others.

4. Being confident in what I know.

I have spent a number of years researching holistic health for my own needs. I’ve learned a lot on my own but was not always taken seriously, because I didn’t have a degree. IIN has taught me a lot, given me even more resources to continue learning on my own, as well as provided me with a snazzy piece of paper that says I know things.

5. The desire to learn more.

At IIN we learn about a vast number of subjects, but do not go into great detail about all of them. With each lecture, they provide a few resources to help dive deeper into subjects that really interest us. There are also continuing education programs at IIN to learn more about digestive health, hormone health, business, writing, etc.

6. How to really listen to people.

The key to health coaching is to really listen. Not only to what clients say but also to what they aren’t saying. There are plenty of lectures that give tips on deep listening. The sample coaching sessions were also very helpful to observe correct ways to key in on what people do and don’t say.

7. It’s okay to not know all of the answers.

Not knowing everything is okay. Being honest about what you know and what you need to look up is better for everyone all around. It is also an opportunity to do some research and learn something new to share with your clients.

Enrolling at IIN last year was a decision I am really glad I made and I highly recommend enrollment for any of my fellow health nuts!

What are your favorite health-related topics to read about? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments.


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