Go with Your Gut!

Go with Your Gut!



At Shayna’s Kitchen, we believe that food is medicine and a better life begins with a healthy gut. Our gut is our balance: it’s what breaks down the foods we eat and helps us absorb the nutrients that support all the functions of our bodies, from our immune systems to our brains. When our gut microbiome is thriving, we naturally clear the toxins in our bodies; when it’s not, those toxins stick around and cause digestion issues, chronic illnesses and fatigue, and inflammation throughout our bodies and brains. Lots of factors contribute to poor gut health, from lack of sleep and stress to antibiotics and overuse of antiacids, but one of the biggest culprits is what we eat. You shouldn’t feel bloated after every meal, but every food is inflammatory when there’s an imbalance and the body can’t absorb the nutrients it needs. It’s a downward spiral. The good news is: this is something we can fix ourselves!


As a chef, I choose ingredients that support good gut health because nourishment is empowerment. This has truly been an ever-evolving journey for me, discovering the nutrient-rich gut-health foods that have helped my own holistic process, healing my body. I’m not a doctor, but as someone who’s spent decades learning how to heal my body, I’m excited to share what’s worked for me, in the hope it helps you heal your body, too.



Growing up, my family ate a lot of processed foods, microwave dinners, and instant ramen. I snacked on flaming hot cheese puffs every day (and had the acne to prove it). Healthy eating — and the effects of not eating healthy — weren’t really on my parents’ radar back then (so it’s no wonder I’ve got an insane corn allergy now).


Eating this way caught up with me in my twenties, when I developed all kinds of digestion issues. I had constipation, gas, and abdominal pain, yeast overgrowth, dermatitis, stomach strep, brain fog, and leaky gut. I felt bloated and miserable all the time, but I wasn’t alone. So many of us eating a typical American diet have had these symptoms. I didn’t know then that my problems were gut-health related, but as I got older and got into fitness, health, and caring about my body, I discovered that my diet was stressing my body’s natural systems. Through GI mapping and testing, I found that heavy metals were seeping out through my skin and the foods I’d been eating were causing inflammation (and some — like those heavy metals — were literally poisoning me). Over the years, I’ve seen many doctors who’ve prescribed everything from antibiotics to probiotics, gut-health supplements to alternative therapies, but it wasn’t until I started to really educate myself about gut health that I began to recover and truly heal. After years of unhealthy eating, what my body needed was a gut-health detox.

I started by cutting out inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, sugar, and nightshades like eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and most beans. For six months, I stuck to a strict and intensive gut-health detox regimen, drinking aloe vera and colloidal silver to begin to heal. Through small, incremental changes, I’ve developed consistency in my health that’s transformed my gut biome for the better.


Do I enjoy sweets, packaged foods, and the occasional hot cheese puff from time to time? Of course I do! But I’m much more in tune with my body’s needs now, with practical ways to turn the tide when my habits and gut health are disrupted.


For me, that means starting the day with celery juice and a shot of my certified organic Olive Oil on an empty stomach, helping to kill off bad bacteria and mineralize my gut for more regular bowel movements and better nutrient absorption throughout the day. (You’d be surprised what a difference regular BMs make! TMI… or real talk?) Drinking homemade bone broth gives my gut the collagen it craves for better digestion. The L-theanine in my Morning Ritual Matcha boosts my energy and focus. Feeding my body these nutrient-rich gut health foods has made such a difference in how I feel every day and in my overall health and wellness. My skin is clearer. My hair is healthier. My mood is brighter. My brain fog is gone. And my digestion issues aren’t issues anymore. My gut is working the way Mother Nature intends it to. Feeling this good means I get to live the life I want to live.

Through spiritual practices, I’ve become more intuitive about how stress affects my body — and know that making healthier choices works for me. Choosing farm-to-table food (not fast food), focusing on high-quality, locally sourced organic and biodynamic ingredients, cooking fresh, and eating healthy foods consistently for maintenance: all of these choices have led to long-term balance in my gut and gratitude for my body’s strength and ability to heal itself.


I knew I was on the right track when I went back to America after a year of living in Italy. Falling back into old habits, my acne, bloating, and dermatitis all came back with a vengeance. I’d forgotten what it was like to be afraid of food. But now I realize I don’t have to be. I have all the tools I need to course correct. And when I return to healthy habits, my body responds quickly. It feels amazing to give myself the gift of good health.


Not everyone starts off with poor gut health or experiences the extremes I have. But we can all benefit from making small, incremental changes and developing healthy habits that support our gut health for a better quality of life.

How will you heal your gut today?

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