Your gastrointestinal tract is lined with microbes collectively called the microbiome, which includes bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. Though it sounds gross and even unhealthy, gut bacteria perform many important functions in the body, including aiding the immune system, producing the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, making energy available to the body from the food we eat, and disposing of foreign substances and toxins. Unfortunately, though we always have a mixture of good and bad bacteria, sometimes the bad guys get the upper hand, causing dysbiosis, or an imbalance in gut bacteria, which can play a role in a number of health conditions.

These clear signs point to an imbalance that has the potential to make you sick. Here are few:

1. Your Stomach Doesn’t Feel Right

Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, and heartburn are classic symptoms of problems in the gut. Gastrointestinal discomfort—especially after eating carbohydrate-rich meals—can be the result of poor digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel disease, and colitis have all been linked to an imbalance in the micro biome.

2. Craving Certain Foods

Craving foods, especially sweets and sugar, can mean you have an imbalance of gut bacteria. If there’s an overgrowth of yeast in the system, which might happen after a course or two of antibiotics where you wipe out all the good bacteria, then that overgrowth of yeast can actually cause you to crave more sugar.

3. You’re Anxious or Feeling Blue

Roughly 80 to 90 percent of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, social behavior, sleep, appetite, memory, and even libido, is produced in the gut. When less serotonin is produced, it can negatively impact mood. Gut imbalances of the microbiome can trigger depressive symptoms.

4. You Aren’t Sleeping Well

Not having enough serotonin can lead to bouts of insomnia or difficulty getting to sleep, chronic fatigue and symptoms of fibromyalgia can be tied into gut bacteria imbalances as well.

5. Your Skin is Acting Up

Skin rashes and eczema, a chronic condition characterized by inflamed and itchy red blotches on the skin, can develop when there is an imbalance in gut bacteria.

6. You have an autoimmune condition

Imbalance in the microbiome plays a role in more than just GI symptoms.  diseases affecting the immune system, known as autoimmune diseases, can also indicate an imbalance…for example, Rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis are tied in with imbalances in the gut bacteria.



A healthy gut microbiome is essential not only to properly break down the foods you’re eating, but also for nutrient absorption and toxin elimination—meaning that when your gut flora is out of whack, serious problems can arise. Among those problems are bloating, inflammation, various skin issues like acne—even diabetes, poor sleep, lower levels of happiness, and obesity are tied to the health state of your gut. In fact, 80% of our immune system is housed in our gut. So if you are someone who tends to get sick often, it’s most likely stemming from poor gut health.

So what’s the key to help ensure you have a healthy gut? Focus on a diet rich in foods that promote the proliferation of good bacteria. Bonus! All the foods that promote a healthy gut are also waist-friendly.

Eating right is the first step in improving your microbiome. In fact, the types of foods we eat can change our gut bacteria in as little as 24 hours.



There’s good reason that apple cider vinegar is considered a wellness jack-of-all trades. It helps your body create HCL (hydrochloric acid), which is a beneficial belly acid that helps digest fats, carbohydrates, and protein. This aids in weight loss and it also helps to relieve acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome because of all the beneficial probiotics and amino acids.

This is our favorite Organic, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar


Kombucha gained notoriety when Whole Foods pulled it from its shelves due to its naturally occurring alcohol content, but don’t dismiss it! Not only is kombucha the most natural way to get a buzz, it’s probiotic-packed—meaning it’s good for your gut—since it’s made from the fermentation of sugar in tea by bacteria yeasts. And if you are looking to improve your diet and shed a little bit of weight, our advice is to take it slow so you actually keep it off.

Try our favorite brand here


Many dairy-free yogurts made from almond, soy, or rice milk are much easier for people to digest that their dairy counterparts. There are so many new ones available on the market and they contain gut loving live active cultures. That’s right, going dairy-free doesn’t mean you have to go without the live active cultures found in yogurt. A note of caution: it’s important to read nutrition labels carefully as many brands have added obscene amounts of sugar to their yogurts. Also many dairy-free yogurts are lower in protein so you may want to add nuts and seeds to boost your protein intake which, along with fiber, is essential for keeping your tummy satisfied and full for a longer period of time.

A household favorite to add in shakes at our house is this brand


Sauerkraut is a naturally fermented food that has the microorganisms Lactobacillus bacteria, which crowds out bad bacteria in the gut and allows the beneficial gut flora to flourish. This helps to lower irritable bowel syndrome symptoms like gas, bloating, and indigestion. Also the sour taste in fermented foods are organic acids that help probiotics to really work their magic.


Mangos have been shown to help keep the good bacteria in your gut alive. According to a recent study by Oklahoma State University, incorporating a mango a day into your diet could improve your gut health, while helping reduce body fat and controlling blood sugar. Better yet because the fruit has such a fantastic nutritional profile according to lead researcher, Edralin Lucas, mangos contain many nutrients and other bioactive compounds that can provide various health benefits aside from what was investigated. So think about adding some mango into your next Shakeology.


Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid that is a antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal. It has lauric and caprylic acids, which are fatty acids that are remarkable at killing off harmful yeast and bacteria while restoring your stomach’s acidity levels.

Our favorite coconut oil to use while cooking is this one


For the most benefits the salmon you’re consuming must be wild, which means it is caught with a fishing pole in its natural environment and not farmed. Wild salmon has an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is critical for healing an inflamed gut and preventing future episodes. Remember to look for wild Salmon rather than farm raised.


Miso is typically high in sodium so you’ll want to consume it in moderation. However studies have shown that it doesn’t affect our cardiovascular system in the same way that most other high-sodium foods do. Aside from being a good source of protein and fiber, it’s rich in probiotics meaning it can help treat intestinal disorders. Think about adding some miso paste to your next soup or stew.

Here’s our favorite


Collagen is one of the largest proteins in our body—in fact, it’s what holds our body together. Due to a standard American diet, as we age many people start to see their collagen production sharply decline (this is also what makes skin start to sag!). Getting collagen on a daily basis is essential for not only healing an inflamed gut, but it also slows down the aging process both inside our body and out. Boost your collagen intake by adding some collagen protein to your morning coffee, soups, and/or smoothies. I personally add collagen to my Shakeology every day.

This one is my favorite collagen because it’s tasteless

Many of our clients have enjoyed this flavored Collagen Creamer in their morning coffee


Bone broth is a stock made from the bones and marrow of a chicken or cow and it’s slow cooked for 24-72 hours. What happens is all the minerals and amino acids from the bones populate the broth making it one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. These nutrients like L-glutamine help heal and seal the gut lining of the small and large intestine. As a result, this food is responsible for healing irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut food intolerances, and so much more.

Our favorite Bone Broth is this one by Kettle and Fire


Ashwaganda is an herb. The tuberous ashwagandha root is most often used orally to help improve brain function and alertness, relieve stress and anxiety, and reduce pain and swelling. Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen, a substance that enhances the body’s adaptive response to stress and balances normal body functions. It has been proven to heal leaky gut and maintain overall gut health. For those of you who drink Shakeology, you are getting yours every day!

Not drinking Shakeology yet? Order a sampler pack here

Women come to me on a daily basis asking for help losing weight, but the reality here is we need to focus on HEALING our bodies. Once our bodies are healed, the weight loss follows. Download our Fat Burning Guide HERE for even more strategies to keep you healthy from the inside out.

If you know you’re ready to take the leap into a healthier lifestyle with a community that supports you, Burn Fat and Feast is ready to help you finally meet your big goals! CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up!

We want to hear from you in the comments! What are your favorite gut healthy foods?