44: The Missing Link Between Plant Foods & Gut Health with Jackie Bowker

I'm Jackie!

As an expert in gut and hormone health, and a specialist in reprogramming the subconscious mind, I believe you need to tackle both to be a truly happy, healthy human!!


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Welcome to Feel Better Now!

How many plant foods do you eat a day? A 2018 study proved that eating 30 plant foods a day has an enormous positive impact on the gut microbiome.

And while 30 plant foods a day might sound overwhelming at first, it’s actually much easier than you might think! In this episode, Jackie will give you easy tips to incorporate this nutritional change into your daily life.

She’ll explain the importance of eating real, quality foods and the benefits you’ll reap. It turns out that food is medicine for your body and you become what you eat.

Eating 30 plant foods a day won’t only increase your energy, but it’ll also boost your creativity so you can make more money and make a larger impact on the world. So get out there and supercharge yourself with the foods you are eating!

Key Topics and Takeaways:

  • Jackie goes over the 2018 study.
  • The connection between the gut and brain.
  • Why you shouldn’t eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast.
  • The importance of a strong gut.
  • Tips to incorporate real food into your diet.
  • The reason quality food matters.
  • The benefits of eating real plant foods. 

Memorable Quotes:

“Knowledge is power and is even more powerful when you take action towards it.” (2:28, Jackie)

“So by feeding our gut with really healthy plant foods and a diverse amount of those, we are gonna be much more resilient. We are gonna be much more creative.” (3:09, Jackie)

“The food that you eat is medicine for the body. You literally become the food that you eat.” (4:00, Jackie)

“It is really critical what you put in your body.” (13:58, Jackie)

“Knowledge is power, but enjoy the journey. Take responsibility for where you are now and set the intention for your transformation.” (20:04, Jackie)

Connect with Jackie Bowker:


44: The Missing Link Between Plant Foods & Gut Health with Jackie Bowker

I challenge you. Step number one, count the number of fun foods you are having in a day right now. And no judgement, write that down on a paper, and then put a line down the middle of paper and put your goal there of your 30 plant foods, and then write down the next day what you’re eating that day. So you can add up and how can you supercharge those meals. So I could have easily made that smoothie today with berries and spinach, and coconut milk and collagen. That’s kind of a really nice little recipe. But instead, I added another 10 plant foods to that. So just just keep adding, just keep adding, and you’ll see the difference, you’ll see the difference in your energy, you’ll see the difference in your creativity. And if you bless that food going in, if you actually take the time to set the intention that this food is going to boost my creativity, this food is medicine for my body. I care about myself, I value myself so much that I am giving myself 30 plant foods in the day, and I can’t wait to make more money. I can’t wait to leave my team better. I can’t wait to role model. Hi there. Welcome to the feel better now podcast. I’m your host Jackie Bowker. And if you’ve arrived here, no, there is something in here to spark yourself to create a better future, in your health, in your career in your relationships for both yourself. And for those around you just one small action step at a time. With so much love and gratitude to be your guide. Let’s get started. Jackie, back up. Why should I eat 30 plants every day. Hello, hello. So excited. For today’s episode, we are talking real food, we’re talking personalized nutrition supercharging your gut to become a superhuman with real food. And I am really excited to talk about this because there was a study a few years ago. And what you should know about scientific research is that it’s about 1717 1820 years before when the research is done before when that becomes mainstream. So it’s always really great for you to be listening to this podcast and other podcasts like this, to be educating yourself and empowering yourself with knowledge. Knowledge is power. And it’s even more powerful when you take action towards it. People like us in the functional medicine space and people interested in holistic health are talking about research before it becomes mainstream. So this particular study was done in about 2018 on the gut, and it showed that if you eat 30 plant foods a day compared to if you eat 10 plant foods a day, that really has a huge massive impact a positive impact on your gut microbiome. What’s cool about that is that if we make those connections, what sits in the gut is about 60 70% of our immune system. So by feeding our gut with really healthy plant foods and a diverse amount of those, we are going to be much more resilient, we are going to be much more creative because the gut and the brain were one organ, one grew up and one group down. So what is happening in the gut is what is happening in the brain. I love helping people use nutrition and the foods that they eat to perform better at work at home. So if you’re an entrepreneur, this might mean making more money, increasing your conversions, attracting your ideal client. When I work with people in the corporate space. This means having more courageous conversations coaching your team better, being more confident. This is because what you eat with the food that you eat is medicine for the body you literally become the food that you eat. So what are you eating? I was inspired to do this episode because of a box of cereal that I saw at the supermarket. It’s called cocoa bombs. It’s actually in the health aisle is gluten free cocoa bombs. It’s a bit of a take on cocoa pop. So if you know that cereal, it’s an it’s a chocolatey cereal that some people love to have for breakfast because it basically is a bowl of sugar. So in this box of gluten free cocoa bombs, which is basically made up of nearly 100% 86 87% carbohydrates the present sugar, ingredients are made up of rice flour, sugar, sugars, the second ingredient, glucose and other form of sugar glucose from maize, which is corn or corn often. Soy corn one of the most allergenic foods that we have in society often has a lot it’s a very moldy Food Code Coke, powder, salt and a whole lot of flavors and other chemicals. So, you know, this breaks my heart to know that we are feeding our children or we’re sitting down having cereal, we’re still at a place in society where we’re having a bowl of some of us, I should say, some of us are having a bowl of cereal for breakfast. And what that’s doing is creating massive blood sugar dysregulation. What goes up must come down. So you eat this bowl of cereal, it puts a whole lot of sugar in your bloodstream, that sugar is seen as an emergency for your body, because it’s not normal to have that sort of a spike in blood sugar. And then what goes up must come down. So that drops all of a sudden, an hour later, you’re starving, you’re irritable, you’re hangry, hangry being hungry, across between hungry and angry, and you’re waiting for your next meal. And so where are the 30 plant foods in that meal, they don’t exist. That’s what I call a pseudo food like a fake food, it’s not even a real food, those ingredients have been altered and processed in a way that the body no longer recognizes them. And they become more like a toxin, so the body sees them. And it’s like, I don’t know what to do with this, I’m gonna put it in a fat cell and store it away from your organs to keep you safe. I implore you to stay away from these fake pseudo foods and have the courage because it is a societal being like, you know, when you put your hand up and you say I don’t want to eat that I prefer to eat something else, you can be condemned. And and so when there’s an adverse reaction like that, it is hard. It is hard to speak your soul to speak up and say what you really want to do. But the body doesn’t want that. Food is literally medicine for your body, what you eat you become. So how do we get these 30 plant foods in I was thinking about that as I was eating today through the course of my day. And so one of the things I like to do is buy citrus and when I buy it, it means I’m going to use it. That’s my tip number one is I buy grapefruits and lemons and limes. And it’s just great, because once they’re there, you have to use them. So I had a few lines that are needed to be used. So actually just two lines, and I had them as a as a little elixir as a shot. And what that does, even though they’re sick, they’re citrus and they’re acidic, they turn alkaline in the body. So they’re really the body really, really likes being in this alkaline state. It helps it a lot in terms of being in anti disease state if you like. So then I made a smoothie. And in this movie, I did this experiment where I said to everyone that was making a berry smoothie, and then I made the smoothie and we all had a guessing game of what was in this movie. So it just tasted like a yummy, very creamy smoothie. What was actually in the smoothie, I counted with 13 plant foods. So with my lime juice, I’d had 14 All of us had had 14 plant foods, because when you look at 30 It might seem quite daunting, like how am I ever going to eat 30 plant foods in one day. But in this smoothie, there was lemon strawberries, raspberries, coriander or cilantro, zucchini, spinach, coconut milk, chia seeds, and then on the top, I actually put some toppings on to make it nice and crunchy. And it just looks so pretty as well we eat without eyes. It’s really important aesthetically that you like the look of what you’re about to eat and put in your mouth. It helps with the digestive process. It helps me in everything. So I coated the smoothie with toppings, crunchy toppings as well, when you’re having a smoothie, it is all pre digested. And the crunchiness is really good because chewing your food, the act of chewing your foods also gets our digestive juices going. So on the top, I put coconut flakes hemp seeds, cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, so so many plant foods in this one smoothie. And it tasted delicious. And it was so much variety, all of the micronutrients and macronutrients and phytonutrients, or all of these things that are there have been discovered. And we’re learning more and more each day about how important these foods with color with pigment all the way through are important. These foods are the polyphenols to creating a healthy state as state in the body. What they do is a feed the gut microbes. So they create an environment where the gut microbes are growing big and strong. And what happens then. So what we’re doing is we’re actually training our immune cells, we’re building more strengthen our immune system, where which means we are increasing our resilience to infection, we are strengthening our gut barrier. And what happens when we have a stronger gut is that we have a stronger connection with our brain. For every message that the brain sends to the gut nine messages are sent from the gut to the brain. So it’s just a huge Information Superhighway between the gut and the brain. That’s how we make all our hormones. That’s basically how the gut is telling the brain what to do really good. All these plant foods. What they do is they help us with our balancing our Blood Sugar one of the biggest problems we have today in today’s world is dysregulated blood sugar. So all of this beautiful fiber is helping to balance our blood sugar, lower our blood fats and help fight against so many diseases. I love the concept of the of the fiber acting like a broom and sweeping out just toxins and chemicals and waste out of the body. So then I’ve had my 14 plant foods so far. Then I went on to make butter chicken for dinner with a slaw. So if I go through the ingredients of that, there was broccoli carrot, onion beats in this law beats cabbage meant so herbs and spices really important. The reason I’m telling you this is to see the use of my spices and herbs. Apple was in the slaughter as well. And then the butter chicken had spices like cumin and coriander and garlic. So all of those herbs and spices are really really important to feed the microbes to feed the diversity. So the diversity here is really really important. And you can see I’m explaining the diversity of the foods that I’ve eaten. So and then through the day, I love to snack on raw food. I love to snack on carrot and apple berries and nuts like almonds and Brazil nuts. So throughout the day, I counted up the day that I had today and I had exactly I had exactly 30 plant foods so I thought that was pretty cool. But other ideas for you. You know we’re looking at veggie lots and lots of veggies like mushrooms like cauliflower, spinach, potato, a lot of different types of potato like we buy purple potato, Eva orange, sweet potato. We buy the Hawaiian sweet potato, you’ve got the peas, you’ve got carrots. So carrot things like carrots and beets and red onion have got the pigment all the way through there True, true superhuman disease fighting vegetables that are just so so amazing for our body. We’ve got fruits like grapes and apricot strawberries watermelon pulpal Popo has an amazing digestive enzyme in a corporate pain it helps you break down your proteins blueberries raspberries Apple banana orange kiwi fruit kiwi fruit is an amazing amazing fruit amazing source of vitamin C I ate it with the skin on people think I’m a bit you know local, but it is just an amazing fruit and so much of the goodness is in the skin on the outside. So, choose carefully. Quality Matters. There has been a fantastic study, I talked about this with one of my mentors Dr. Tom O’Brien and we talk about this study a lot where they compared organic fresh produce with non organic fresh produce and are actually compare it was a fertility study, a very sophisticated fertility study with very sophisticated biomarkers. And there was a huge difference in the fertility success of the group that were eating the organic fruit and veggies compared to the group eating the commercially bought so buying from the supermarket fruits and vegetables. And I’m talking quite significant numbers 18% of couples more likely to succeed in the fertility journey, and then those that were successful, more likely to go on and have a live birth compared to a stillbirth or a miscarriage. So a really big difference. It’s no longer just the fruits and vegetables. It is the quality of the fruits and vegetables. So we’re seeing a lot of great farmers that are no longer spraying their vegetables. If they can’t afford the certification, which costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time. They are labeled as spray free. We choose our farmers very carefully we ask where things have come from. We choose different farmers for different things. And we buy a lot from organic markets and we buy some from our favorite spray free schools as well. It is really critical what you put in your body. Then we look at personalized nutrition because of all of these foods, you need to work out what’s working for you. So for example what we know about we know that there are fruits and vegetables that are really high quality but for people with say autoimmune, we may need to reduce some of the lectins in the foods so we may need to pull back on things like tomato or a plan and that’s especially important for people with histamine so histamine, histamine clients, I ask everybody to do three weeks without the nightshade vegetables. So these are vegetables that are grown in the shade. So tomato, eggplant, white potato, goji berries and capsicum or peppers. We remove them from the body we’re removing we’re giving the body a chance to heal whilst we remove foods that may be inflammatory. So you need to work out what’s going to work for you and likes and dislikes also become a part of it. blood sugar is especially important if you know that you’ve got dysregulated blood sugar. I recommend that you stay away from the high sugar fruits like grapes for example until you have taken action to balance your blood sugar and then you can bring them back into your diet. Other people may need to couple fruit with a say healthy fat like eat berries with a few nuts to really buffer the effect of the blood sugar on the diet. So it’s taking food and working out what works for you. So the first thing is I challenge you eat see how you go with we are you now how many plant foods are you eating right now and there’s no judgment here. If you’re having 0125 That’s your journey enjoy the journey. The exciting part is the challenge is for you to get from where you are to your transformation and the transformation. The goal of that is 30 or more if you were an overachiever of plant foods because remember the study study compared 30 to 10. So these are the people of the group they were already eating 10 Nuts and seeds and herbs and spices all count so beautiful herbs like coriander cilantro, basil, mint seeds like linseed or ground flax hemp, cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, chia seeds per Peters, meat, nuts, hazelnuts, barman’s Brazil, nuts, walnuts, so there’s a plethora of plant foods you can really have a play around with one of our favorite snacks is beautiful celery, when it’s in season, organic celery, when it’s in season is sensational. That’s the only time of the year that we buy it though, because we will not buy non organic celery it’s part of the Dirty Dozen. So it’s one of the most chemically laden foods if it’s not organic, and you can really tell the difference. It’s bland, and it just has no flavor. And beautiful organic celery is so beautiful, you can see it’s green, it’s juicy, you can actually spot I don’t know if it’s just me, or if I’m so particular and so fussy and such a connoisseur, but I can spot really good fruits and fresh produce when I see if you can just see you can see it’s almost like you can see through into the quality. Of course I love fruits like coconut. So there’s coconut yogurt, great alternative to dairy, if you can manage it. If you can tolerate the fats, it is a fatty food. So we need to make sure again that your liver gallbladder, especially your gallbladder, which squeezes out the perfect amount of bile to digest that, that’s when I die when I look at the dead when I dissect when I look at the DNA. So I’ve so many of my clients, I’m seeing a lot of fat in the stool. So I can’t give that person even healthy fats, I can’t give that go and tell that person to eat a lot of fat and less, we’re using something to really break down the fat in their store. And you might see that is a lot of greasy, oily stools and grease and sort of sounds gross, but skewed marks on the bottom of the bowl, or floaties. So stools, like little sausages that are floating to the top. That’s because they’re carrying fat in the store. And that’s the fat that should be absorbed, but it’s passing straight through the digestive system. So we don’t want that. So, you know, we have to make sure that we are not just cutting back on the fat because fat is so important that makes up the cell wall of every cell in the body, we need to make those healthy cells, healthy brain cells, healthy lung cells, healthy heart cells, healthy muscle cells, that’s really, really important. But to do that, we need to be one eating healthy fats. And the variety of them there’s so much good variety in plant foods, like your I love Omega three sources, especially like your walnuts and your flax seeds. And then you need to be digesting the fat. So your gallbladder needs to be near having a really good time squeezing out the right amount of bile for that. So where do we go from here? I challenge you. Step number one, count the number of plant foods you are having in a day right now. And no judgment, write that down on a paper and then put a line down the middle of paper and put your goal there of your 30 plant foods and then write down the next day what you’re eating that day. So you can add up and how can you supercharge those meals. So I could have easily made that smoothie today with berries and spinach and coconut milk and collagen. That’s kind of a really nice little recipe. But instead I added another 1010 or so plant foods to that. So just just keep adding, just keep adding and you’ll see the difference. You’ll see the difference in your energy. You’ll see the difference in your creativity. And if you bless that food going in if you actually take the time to set the intention that this food is going to boost my creativity this food is medicine for my body. I care about myself, I value myself so much that I am giving myself 30 plant foods in the day and I can’t wait to make more money. I can’t wait to leave my team better. I can’t wait to role model this so I just it’s just so exciting I’m getting I’m getting too excited. So knowledge is power but enjoy the journey. Take responsibility for where you are now and set the intention for your transformation. What is it that you want to achieve and take tiny action steps, tiny action steps of radical action towards your goal. I would love to say knowledge is power and is powerful when you take action towards it. So go forth and supercharge yourself with personalized nutrition. really supercharge the foods that you’re eating, I can’t wait to see what how you pile in more and more diversity, more and more plant foods and the impact that the hat that has on yourself and those around you and trust me, you watch it will people will start commenting, you look fresher today, and you’ll start feeling lighter and leaner. You’ll start having more a spring in your step because it feels good to feel good. It feels good to do something really good for your body. I hope you enjoy personalizing your nutrition and supercharging your gut and your brain and yourself and I’ll see you next week. Bye bye. If you made it to the end of this episode, celebrate yourself because it means you are truly dedicated to feeling better in your health, in your career in your relationships. And I am so proud of you. And if you want more of the feel better now so tune in every Monday for new episodes and join our community on Instagram at Jackie Belka for all the behind the scenes action and more. Hey, why don’t you sign up for a chance to have your question answered at feel better institute.com/sign up that feel better institute.com/sign up but most of all, please keep reaching to feel better because the world needs you to feel good so you can share that very special gift that only you have. So with that said, See you soon. Here’s to feeling better now. Bye bye Jackie

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