On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Jacqui Bryan, a functional nutritionist, health coach, and whole health educator. Jacqui had worked in healthcare for years as a nurse and consultant, but after going through treatment for breast cancer, she decided she needed to educate herself and found others wanted to learn what she was learning.
We dive into the microbiome, the trillions of bacteria on and in your body. If you’ve been hearing about gut health, that’s part of your microbiome. And these tiny living things affect how our body works. They affect our weight. They affect our immune systems. We’re still learning more about the microbiome all the time, and Jacqui has a lot to say about this topic.
One of the best things we can do to nurture our microbiome is eat clean. That means lots of real, whole food, like nine to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables daily—one apple, a cup of leafy vegetables … Getting all these servings in and variety does so much to keep you healthy.
We talk about:
- The effect stress has on the gut and why it is so important to reduce stress
- How everything is connected in our bodies and health
- The problem of not unplugging and the stress that puts on us
- Eating clean as a stress reducer, especially when it comes to sugar
- Building a health care team and recognizing that you are the expert on your own health
- Treating root causes instead of using a Bandaid approach to health issues
Jacqui Bryan has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. She earned a Master’s of Science in Health Communication from Tufts University School of Medicine. Jacqui’s personal experience with a devastating breast cancer diagnosis in 2003 spurred her to create educational programs on the connection between disease and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Jacqui is also a professional speaker and regular consultant on healthy lifestyle modification. As a health coach and educator, Jacqui combines years of medical experience with behavioral strategies to help her clients replace risky behaviors with ones that support a healthier life.
Doable Changes from this episode:
- EAT A VARIETY OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES. If 9–13 servings of fruits and vegetables daily sounds daunting, start where you are and just upgrade that. Add one fruit or vegetable to every meal. Pick one you don’t usually eat or round out your rainbow. Make a game of getting a variety of colors each day.
- UNPLUG. Jacqui talks about the stress we have because we are never unplugged. Create an unplugged zone in your life. Maybe it’s the dinner table and all electronics are off. Silence them too, because even if you don’t check your phone, the little ping that a message came in keeps you from the unplugged space.
- BE AWARE OF SUGAR. Sugar is huge when it comes to microbiome health, and part of the problem is that people aren’t even aware how much sugar they consume. This week, notice where sugar is in your diet and how much. Think about drinks (including coffee drinks, soda, alcohol …), salad dressing and other condiments, and breads and cereals in addition to foods you think of as having a lot of sugar.