A Digestion Experiment and My Top 5 Secrets for a Happy Tummy

Get ready friends, I’ve got lots to say today!

Recently I’ve been doing a little experiment. As you may remember from the post about my spinach sensitivity and why it’s important to rotate your greens, I’ve been on a LOT of naturopath-prescribed supplements over the past month. In addition, we’ve also been working on finding an iron supplement that my body responds well to. This has led to the addition of even more supplements to combat the issues that some of them were causing. (If you’ve ever been on iron of any kind, you’re probably very familiar with slow digestion – not fun!)

green juice

Reality Check

Last weekend I went to a long-awaited appointment with my family doctor so that I could get her take on my predicament. I packed up everything I’d been taking and made a list of my daily supplement intake – brands, quantities, number of capsules, and timing. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the waiting room with my bag of bottles that I realized I was 1) toting around a small pharmacy, and 2) probably taking more capsules each morning than most senior citizens. How did this happen?

The buzzer I was given from the receptionist started vibrating and I was assigned to a room. The doctor walked in and I almost felt embarrassed handing over the list. As it turns out she wasn’t interested and didn’t read it anyway. She didn’t even ask me what medications or supplements I was taking, which seemed a little odd. (My thoughts about this appointment could be a rant post on their own, but we won’t go there today.)


I didn’t need my doctor to tell me this, but I had become a supplement junkie. Were they even doing anything? It sure didn’t feel like it. Even though I’d replaced spinach with other greens and cut gluten-containing products out entirely, a happy tummy day could easily be followed by a crappy tummy day, leaving me feeling bloated, heavy, and sluggish. Yuck.

The digestive troubles, the attitude and advice of my doctor on the topics we discussed (which left me feeling rather insulted and belittled), and a few other frustrations all culminated into what seemed like a tornado in my head on the drive home. Content about health and nutrition makes up a very large chunk of my reading on a daily basis and although I’m certainly not a doctor, I like to think I’ve got a pretty good handle on my own health. All of these things however, had me feeling like I didn’t know which way was up any more.

So what was my experiment?

It”s simple really. Since last Sunday….

  • I’ve been taking only 3 of the 8 different supplements that were recommended to me. These are my liquid iron formula, omega 3 capsules, and a daily probiotic.
  • I’ve continued to avoid the foods that I was told I’m sensitive to – spinach, wheat, gluten, and crab. The only one that has been a big adjustment is spinach – the others I can happily live without.
  • I’ve had no protein powders, protein bars, or supplements other than the 3 listed aboveat all. As someone who drinks smoothies daily, this seemed a little weird at first. Instead, I’ve been enjoying a lot of omelettes made with just as many veggies as I’d put in a smoothie. And no bars – yes, that means Quest bars. I honestly don”t know how I”ve managed because they are so freaking good. Out of sight, out of mind I suppose.
  • I’ve continued to eat whole foods. This isn’t a big departure from my usual, so I guess it’s like a constant in the experiment (if we’re going to get all science-y). Heaps of fruits and veggies (many of the veggies have been cooked, which helps with digestion), a little bit of gluten-free whole grains here and there, healthy fats (salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil), and lean protein – a mix of animal and plant-based. As for condiments, I don’t think I’ve had any other than tamari, rice vinegar, miso, and balsamic vinegar.

Sesame Citrus Tempeh Dragon Bowl

 The Result

The short answer: I was blown away. I haven’t felt this good in over 2 months! I’m suspecting that the key variable was ditching the tablet and capsule supplements I’d been prescribed, which seemed to just be combating against each other and doing me no good. As far as Quest bars and my preferred protein powders go, I plan to experiment with them over the coming weeks (and maybe months) to see if I notice any differences.

fruit bowl

In addition to the changes already listed, I’ve also added/changed a couple of things that I believe have really helped. Cutting the supplements aside, these are my 5 secrets for a happy tummy:

1. Slippery elm powder.

It’s about as gross as it sounds. Slippery elm comes from the inner bark of a tree, and has a range of medicinal uses including soothing sore  throats, constipation, bladder infections, GI inflammation, and in my case, healing a leaky gut. It works its magic by encouraging mucous secretion, which helps to cure problems in the stomach and intestines.

slippery elm

I did a bunch of reading about slippery elm before I went to get some from one of my local health food stores. Before breakfast and dinner, I mix together 1 tsp of the powder with a bit of water. After letting it sit for about a minute, it turns to goo. Then I knock it back like a shot while plugging my nose so I don’t notice the taste (because it tastes like a tree), and chase it with a glass of water or a bite of fruit. After 2-3 doses, I’d already started to notice a big difference.

You can read more about slippery elm here, and remember, this is not meant to be interpreted as medical advice – always check with a medical professional first. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take slippery elm.

2. Drink less with meals.

In the past, most of my daily water consumption has happened at meals. It’s not unusual for me to be able to drink up to a liter of water with my dinner, especially if it’s something spicy like curry or a stir fry. I read a while ago that drinking too much with meals clears your stomach of the acids it produces that aid in digestion, and although I knew about this, I never actually tested it out for myself. Lately I’ve been having 1 glass of water (about 12 oz, or 1.5 cups) with dinner, and waiting about 30 minutes after to drink more. In order to ensure I don’t fall short on my daily water intake, I’ve made an effort to drink more throughout the day.

3. Eat lots of fermented foods, as well as foods that are known to help aid digestion.

And there are SO many! Kombucha, tempeh and miso are my fermented faves, and I’ve eaten at least one of these things each day since last Sunday. Fermented foods contain probiotic strains, enzymes, various B vitamins, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. As much as I love our Canadian kombucha brands Rise and Tonica, my most frequent picks are Synergy Trilogy and Raw Gingerade Kombucha (both made by GT’s Kombucha) because they have the lowest sugar content of the bunch.


Other digestion-helping foods I’ve been eating heaps of include apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint. Fennel tea is another item I purchased for this experiment, and although I still can’t say I love it, I’ve been drinking a cup after lunch on most days at work. If you don’t like liquorice, you likely won’t enjoy fennel tea, but it does have lots of digestive health benefits. It’s made from fennel seeds and helps ease bloating, IBS, and other GI issues. Chewing fennel seeds after a meal works as a natural breath freshener, but I don’t quite love them enough to do that. Ginger tea on the other hand, is something I love. To make it, all you need to do is put a couple of fresh peeled ginger slices in hot water, with a little squeeze of lemon if you want to make it even better (and detoxifying).

fresh ginger

4. Reduce gum chewing.

Many months ago I published a post about how I’m done with artificial sweeteners. I had been addicted to Crystal Light and chewed a TON of gum, and my stomach suffered a lot from both. If you’ve ever had an overload of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose etc, you’ll know how uncomfortable it feels. While I still do my very best to avoid all artificial sweeteners, I’ll admit that I’m human and sometimes feel the need for a piece of gum to freshen my breath, or to help me concentrate while doing work. Over the past few months I’ve gone through way more gum than usual (a sign of stress perhaps?!) but have made an effort to cut back and my belly feels so much better.

5. Eat slowly, chew more.

As I’m sure you know, our digestive systems don’t work well when we’re stressed. It’s amazing how much of a difference not being in a rush and actually making an effort to chew each bite more can make.

So what’s next?

My doctor ordered a few tests for me which I’ll be doing tomorrow. These should shed some light on what sort of state my guts are really in, but tests aside, I’m confident that things are healing because of the way I’ve felt over the past week. This whole experience has taught me to be very careful about the supplements I choose to take, and my motto now is that fewer is better!

Alright, that’s more than enough chatting on my part. I”d love to hear from you! Tell me…

  • Do you have any tricks or tips for better digestion?
  • Do you take a lot of supplements, or have you done so in the past and realized the need to scale back?

55 thoughts on “A Digestion Experiment and My Top 5 Secrets for a Happy Tummy

    1. Hi Rebecca! I got it from my health food store, which stocks a wide range of high-quality natural herbs. The staff there are very knowledgeable about herbal medicine so I had a good chat with them while I was there. They had both powdered and dried versions of the herb (I believe the dried bits are used for making tea, but I figured the faster I can dissolve it and get it down my throat, the better!) I’m not sure if slippery elm is commonly found in all health food stores, but I’m sure you could get it online if you can’t find it locally. I’ve taken it for about 2 weeks and am going to stop now since I’m feeling so much better. Hope that helps!

  1. Great post Angela. I suffer from many of the same digestive issues as well so you are not alone. I have found a lot of your tips do work, since I have tested them out too. For example, less gum chewing and I also do not drink a lot of water with meals anymore. I haven’t tried slippery elm and plan to check into that one. I’m so sorry your doctor visit was not a help to you. I have had a similar negative experience with my GI doctor too. One thing I do know is that stress and nerves play a huge part in digestive issues. Still not sure on the secret to combat those two though. Have a great Monday 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing Desiree – it sounds like you know exactly what I’m going through! Definitely hear you on the stress factor – I’ve found that being stressed about my stomach issues doesn’t help at all, which is why I decided to make one of my goals this month to meditate, do yoga, and relax more. It’s so amazing how these things are all connected, isn’t it? Let me know if you try slippery elm. I’ve taken it for 2 weeks and plan to lay off it now since I’m feeling better, but will keep a little supply in my cupboard just in case things start to go nasty again. Here’s to a great (and low-stress) week! 🙂

  2. Since I am a “Gutsy” girl, I get all of this. It makes perfect sense to me why all of your changes are helping you. For the record, doctors simply don’t know very much when it comes to healing the gut with food. Period.

  3. I’m glad to hear you are feeling better!
    I cannot even count the times I have left a Dr’s office feeling insulted, belittled, or not heard. So that’s obnoxious and I am sorry to hear it is not just me.
    I take acidophilus every day and love me some ginger. I too have noticed that if I drink less with meals my stomach feels better.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Lauren. From what I’ve heard from you and others, it sounds like we’ve all had some rather disappointing visits to the doctor. It’s so hard to even get an appointment in the first place that I tend to opt not to go unless I’m desperate. I’m glad you’ve been feeling better with the probiotic and ginger too! 🙂

  4. Ahhh, the doctor’s visit. Unless it’s for something specific or a test I want to have done, I never go. They just don’t want to hear it, or have the time to listen. I remember finding out about my extremely low B12, but the doctor never explained the different types I could take. My low B12 didn’t get solved until I visited a naturopath I really liked who explained my options. I think that’s part of it too… finding a naturopath that doesn’t dive right into supplementing too much. Glad to hear you got it all figured out!

    1. Maybe we have the same doctor?! 🙂 I had a similar experience when I found out my iron was low. I had to ask to have the blood work done and call to ask for the result. They told me to just start taking a supplement, that they were ‘all the same’ and that I should just take “the recommended dose on the bottle.” It wasn’t until I started actually reading about all the different types, and talking to my naturopath (who spent a solid 30-40 mins with me, rather than 2-3 at the doctor’s office!) that I realized what my options were. I’m glad you’ve got your B12 all figured out! 🙂

  5. Angela,
    I enjoy your blog! Thanks for all the work you do. I’m not usually one to comment but today I decided to step out of my shell and try something new!!
    I have found the Slippery Elm to be a good choice for me. I have suffered with this issue myself. Also, I have used essential oils since 2001 to help with all kind of health issues. I would read and study and find out what oil was best for each issue. I recently discovered another great choice for me which is an essential oil blend called DigestZen. It contains Ginger, Peppermint, Tarragon, Fennel, Caraway, Coriander, and Anise. All great for the digestive process from start to finish. I love it! One little drop on my tongue before a meal has helped solve the problem of not being able to drink the fennel tea, and my digestion is now basically normal!! Happy day for me!!!
    Thanks Again for your posts!

    1. Hi Nancy!
      Aw thank you so so much for commenting! I’m glad you’ve had positive results with slippery elm as well. The oils sound really interesting, and I’d like to investigate those. I’m a fan of using citrus-scented oils for boosting alertness but I haven’t explored them much further. DigestZen sounds like an ideal formula for tummy troubles. Thank you for the recommendation!

    1. Thanks so much Brittany! I’m with you on the apple cider vinegar, although sometimes I just can’t get a shot of it down. Having said that, now that I’m pretty good at knocking back the slippery elm stuff, ACV doesn’t seem as bad at all. So glad it’s been working well for ya!

  6. Good for you for realizing you are actually taking a boat load of (likely) unnecessary supplements. Don you find it odd how those who eat the healthiest plant-based diets feel the need to take even MORE supplements?

    Anyways, since I am a physician and lover of healty foods, I see it both ways. Evidence-based practice is the ideal, but if you want to experiment on yourself to see what works, that’s good, too. How did the naturopath determine you should not eat crab of all foods? Or spinach, or whatever…

    Btw, I am guilty of taking protein powders and I totally think natural protein would be better. Everyone raves about Vega, but I find it overly processed and it bothers my digestion. Actually, I find stevia to be a huge culprit, too, prominent in so many flavoured protein powders.

    Good luck with your tests and your own trials with your diet

    1. Great to hear from you, Janet! And thanks so much for sharing your perspective. I like what you said about people on healthier plant-based (or primarily plant based with some animal products) diets feeling the need to take more supplements. I think that’s one thing that we need to be careful about when going to a naturopath. I consider myself a very clean eater but judging by the number of capsules I was told to take, you’d think I had some severe illnesses!

      Regarding the allergy test that indicated I’m sensitive to crab and spinach, it was an IGg test that she did (a quick pin prick, dabbing the blood on a card, then sending it away for analysis). From what I understand, they’re not actual allergies, but sensitivities that can be reversed or lessened over time. Spinach and crab were my *** sensitivities (ie most severe), and there were a number of foods that showed **, including wheat, gluten, yeast, asparagus (?!!?) and a couple of others. There are 98 (I think) foods on the list, but the majority came back as non-reactive. (I don’t know what I would have done if she said I had to eliminate carrots… I’d probably die.) 😉

      FODMAPS – yes, I am very familiar with it. I’ve tried adopting some of the principles and suggestions, but I also find that some of the foods that the diet says to avoid seem to sit totally fine in my stomach. If anything, this whole experience has taught me to be much more in tune with what makes me feel good (and not so good), and that I prefer to first treat digestive problems by tweaking my diet, as opposed to using supplements. Plus, real food is a lot tastier anyway! 🙂

      1. IgG allergy tests sound scientific and credible. Have you looked into its evidence? How much did it cost you (or your health care insurance?)


        Makes you wonder if you can’t find any scientific literature. Who knows, maybe you had the YorkTest, which has a study! Wait – it did not show any improvement!

        Anyways, does your family physician have time to discuss this with you in 20 minutes? When you may not be prepared to hear about it? You came with a different agenda.

        Also, for FODMAPS, I believe they recommend removing all potential culprits and then reintroducing them to see which are ok, and in what amount, so you don’t need to live a life deprived of so many foods.

        After you peruse the literature, I’d love to see how you form your own opinions on all this. 🙂

        1. Hi Janet,

          Thanks so much for those links. I actually read the first article shortly after having had the test done by my naturopath, (which I paid about $100 for) and am aware that the method lacks credibility. However, at that point I hadn’t tried any sort of elimination of foods and figured that I might as well give it a shot. A lot has been happening since then (going on the supplements, then realizing they weren’t making me feel much better, then ditching them), and I don’t know if eliminating those couple of foods has had a positive impact or not. I know I’m likely not forever-allergic to spinach and instead might just be intolerant to it, and was told I’d be able to reintroduce it in a couple of months. This is my plan, but not in the same massive quantities that I consumed earlier. Regardless of whether or not it really is causing me problems, being told made me realize how much spinach I really was eating – a LOT.

          Regarding a 20 minute chat with my family physician, I’d be over the moon if I could get 10 minutes! This whole experience has made me question both traditional and alternative medicine a lot, and has unfortunately made me a bit skeptical about both sides. For now, I’ve made the decision to go with my gut (pardon the pun) and being very mindful of what seems to sit well and what doesn’t. The difference has been like night and day since last Sunday, so I’m pretty sure I’m finally doing something right.

  7. NO QUEST BARS?!?! Hahaha kidding. I feel like I need a break from them once I blow through the last of the eight boxes I brought home from AZ. I don’t want to depend on protein bars and powders as much anymore if I don’t have to! All I take is half a scoop of Vega Sport in my morning oats but then I eat 2-3 Quest bars a day… I know. It’s horrible!! And I have a feeling the animal protein doesn’t agree with me.

    I am so happy you are starting to figure this all out. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be. So excited to learn more from you this weekend!

    1. For real… if you want you can taste some this weekend. 😉 (Don’t worry I’d never make you do that!) And yes, no Quest bars! I know, at first I didn’t know if it would be possible, and I still have about 10 in my cupboard that I haven’t touched. But I think I was developing way too much of a sweet tooth, which isn’t typical for me, and I have a whole post coming up about that in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait for our great big chats this weekend… I’ve been menu planning! 🙂 T minus 5 sleeps!!!!

  8. Great post! I have some digestion issues and for the last year have been eating a plant based diet. In the last few months I have added in slippery elm powder and it has helped me more than anything! I love it.

    In the last few weeks I have started experimenting with L-glutamine powder. Through my research I have found that this can help with a whole host digestion issues. So far I have noticed a slight difference, but I am not sure if it is from the L-glutamine…time will tell. I’ve been wanting to try kombucha!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Luke!

      Thanks so much for commenting! L-glutamine is one of the supplements that was recommended to me when I started having these problems. I took it for about a month and a half, but am not sure that it has actually done a ton for my gut health. It is also beneficial for helping to speed muscle recovery, so if you’re also very active, you might find it helpful in this regard too. Let me know what you think of kombucha if you try it! It was a bit of an acquired taste for me, but I absolutely love it now. (It’s a bit of an expensive habit, so ideally I’d like to start making my own… it’s on the bucket list!) I’m glad to hear that slippery elm worked for you as well, and good luck with figuring out what works for you. As I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s definitely an ongoing process! 🙂

  9. This stuff is fascinating to me – I’m really interested to follow your journey. I am starting to try to identfy food that may bloat or give me digestive issues, and hope to do some sensitivity testing soon. I do know that I feel best with I eat unprocessed foods, have my morning ACV, and a nightly kombucha.

    1. Hi Jocelyn!
      I also read some people’s reports of getting kidney stones and it scared me, but so far that hasn’t been an issue – thank goodness! I’m glad you figured out what was causing them – from what I’ve heard, they’re super painful! Glad the rest of the tips helped you out, and thanks for commenting!

  10. Hi Angela,

    What a tough time you’ve been having; I hope you’re now feeling a bit better:) The journey you’ve been on seems to have highlighted several things including critical review and analysis of your experiences with both your MD and naturopath. These are all good things!

    As an MD myself, and someone who also deals with terrible gut issues; especially before an especially difficult on-call weekend – stress, specifically, I feel the mind-gut connection seems very real. The gut has even been called the second brain!

    Thank you for this discussion as I’ve learned a lot from it. Yes, it’s true medical school does not spend too much time on lifestyle management in general as time is spent on lifesaving topics. However continuing education in topics like these are critical.

    As for your MD experience; I’m sorry to read it was such a negative one. I guess I would just say that who you see is an important factor and not just lumping all of into one stew! That goes for any professional we see.

    Definitely need more education on these topics in med school though but with a healthy dose of EMB (evidence based medicine) on the side!

    All the best,

    1. Sonja, it’s SO great to hear from you!! Thanks so much for your comment. I know everyone has different experiences with their family docs and mine was definitely one of the more negative ones. If you practiced here or if I lived nearer to you, I’d be on your waiting list for sure! 🙂 I can’t imagine having to be on call while dealing with bad gut issues. At my worst it can be hard to even stand up straight but to be expected to work as well sounds incredibly uncomfortable. I agree with you – the mind-gut connection is so real and it seems I’m learning that more now than ever! Thanks again for sharing your insight. I always really appreciate hearing a professional’s opinion on things like this and I too have learned a lot through this experience (and through the comments on this post!) PS. Email coming your way soon – it’s been far too long since we’ve caught up! 🙂

  11. Great post! I’m sorry your doctor left you feeling like that. They really do have a knack for doing that! I’m with you on being skeptical of both sides…at the end of the day, both natural health and general health practitioners have to make a living doing what they do, and sometimes it’s hard to know whether or not they have our best interests at hand.

    I experience mild digestive issues, some more noticeable from things like an excessive amount of dairy or wheat, and others more subtle from things I haven’t pinpointed yet. I chug quite a lot of water throughout the day, including during meal times, so I’m going to try to cut that out and see how it goes! Thanks for the tips, I hope you continue to feel better and better 🙂

    1. Hi Ariana,
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I like to think both practitioners have been trying to help, but I’ve certainly learned that it pays to be an informed patient and research things prior to going into appointments. I’d be interested to hear if the reduced water intake around meal times helps you out. It took me a little getting used to since it meant I needed to make a bigger effort to drink water at other times of day, but it can be done! 🙂

  12. The digestive enzyme, probiotics and more fermented foods were HUGE for me…and of course if I can avoid all eggs and dairy i feel pretty much amazing. Unfortunately I usually give in to a piece of pizza every week, I need to stop that so I can get back to 100% but still life is soooo much better than a few years ago!

    1. Hehe we’ve all got to have our vices, right!? 😉 That’s so great that you’re feeling better, and it’s pretty obvious given all the amazing racing and training you’ve been doing lately. I was loving all your photos from Hawaii and the NYC marathon!!

  13. Glad you’re figuring this all out, Angela! I take probiotics and flax seed oil supplements and they seem to do me some good. I never consume protein powder though. Not sure I need any extra protein anyway! My friend Lindsey is a nutrition counselor. You might like her blog, http://www.eatthinknourish.com.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Kate! I’ll definitely check out your friend Lindsey’s blog – I’m a huge nerd and could read about this stuff for hours! One thing I love about your blog (well there are many actually, including your gorgeous photos!) is that it is 100% whole food based. I think you and I share the whole foods first philosophy, and now that I’ve experienced these issues, I’m even more of a believer that it works. 🙂

  14. I’m so glad this is working for you, Angela! I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t research enough how my various supplements interact with each other, and I like experimenting with different supplements to test out the effects, so I really should. I also chew gum more than I wish I did – I just mentioned this on my blog and a reader suggested an app called “Lift” to help break the habit. I haven’t explored it yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so! The good news is that I love a lot of the “good” foods you list here – fermented foods, cinnamon, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and peppermint! Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Megan!
      That app sounds interesting, and I think I’ll look into it tonight. I’ve found that a great trick is to just brush your teeth if possible. Not sure about you, but after I brush my teeth, I don’t want to eat or drink anything at all because it ruins the nice fresh taste! Like you, I’ve admittedly done a poor job in researching my supplements extensively before taking them. I sort of assumed that since they were being prescribed to me that they would be fine (and ideally help do their job in healing my gut!) but I’ll definitely be taking a more proactive approach in the future. Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. Hi, Angela! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    I am now going through this too, i mean digestive problems, and i even tried many feeding systems (vegetarian, gluten-free etc). Now i’m trying to stay gluten-free to see how the things go. It happens that i can eat very “correct” food and feel myself horrible that day and the other day i can cheat and feel so much better. So it’s really difficult for me to figure out what the problem is. All i know is that in our organism everything is so connected that every factor can affect our digestion, even the weather.

    My tips are:
    -consume 1 tsp of good quality honey and then drink 2 glasses of water immediately after waking up (i believe that honey heals my stomach)
    -then i do a yoga excercise named Uddiyana Bandha http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/1707 – it reaaaally helps! It fastens the digestion, massages the internal organs etc.
    -try to drink about 5-6 glasses of pure water a day (1 hour after a meal or 30 min before)
    -not to drink a coffee and tea too often – it slows my digestion and makes me feel thirsty, and also upset my stomach, instead i prefer herbal tea (mint, camomile, balm)
    -try not to combinate too many different types of food in a meal and combine them right
    -try not to stress myself out a lot, it’s the most difficult thing though:)

    I’m trying out many supplements as well and sometimes i think that it’s even not enough and i want more and more:))) But now i only consume omega-3 (fish oil), probiotics and enzhymes, though it can be even more than i need. What i know for sure is that we should consume different kinds of food and try not to eat the same products every day ’cause it could lead to having lack of some essentials.

    I’m Irina by the way, nice to read you:)

  16. Forgot to say that i had some really bad issues with my digestion (bloating, gas) when i consumed whey protein powder. Probably it depends on a brand but i tried several of them and when i stopped to drink protein shakes, the things became much better. Now i only drink plant-based protein shakes from time to time.

  17. This is really interesting! i’ve been having very similar issues and was just about to right a digestion post on my blog too…. work in progress at the moment. I bought some slippery elm a couple of weeks ago but haven’t yet used it as i hoped to add into some kind of palatable recipe. hmmmm….might just have to hold my nose and go for it! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Jo! Regarding the slippery elm, I think you’re probably best to just knock it back with your nose plugged. I’ve read that it should be taken before meals, so I’m assuming that perhaps consuming it on an empty stomach is part of what makes it work. (I could be totally wrong here, but have found that it works best when I take it before breakfast and dinner. Let me know how you get on with it!

  18. I’m a naturopathic doctor so hearing your supplement story makes me sad. Be assured that we are not all supplement pushers (I would argue that the majority do not; 8+ supplements sounds quite extreme). Just like there are iffy medical doctors (sounds like yours isn’t great…) there are hit-or-miss naturopathic doctors. I hope your experience with this ND hasn’t forever tainted your image of our profession.

    Be well!

    1. Rebecca, thank you so much for your comment. I’ve been talking to a number of friends who also go to NDs, some of which sound amazing and haven’t prescribed anything at all. I’m thinking that I just had a bit of a bad experience. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up hope completely!

  19. Hi,

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I do have a few suggestions after reading your article. I don’t know if you realize it but too much vitamin c can cause diarrhea and terrible upset for days. It’s recommended that you don’t get more than 1000mg per day from food and supplements. Also, onion and garlic are culprits for most people with digestive issues, even in salad dressings and prepared foods. Unfortunately, they are in a lot of things.

    Also, Quest has a line of bars now made without artificial sweeteners. You have to read each bars ingredients. They are using stevia and erithrytol, which is supposely one of the best sugar alcohols for those with stomach issues. I am embarassed to say I ate 4 1/2 yesterday without any issues.

    And, did you know magnesium helps with slow digestion?
    Lastly, if you haven’t already, I’d get a new doctor!


  20. You have so so so many rules! Everything from drinking water with your meal to simply eating a piece of gum! You sound like a miserable person!!!!! Live a little!

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