“Watch out! The stove is hot!” my Mom said. I touched it anyways. Burnt my fingers…
Actually it happened a few times.
Am I insane? Am I dumb? Am I a rule-breaking mischief maker?
No. It turns out I just don’t learn well from other people’s mistakes. I don’t know why, but I have to try it for myself. I need to understand it experientially.
I REALLY want to believe you. I REALLY want to take your advice and save myself pain. But it’s not likely to happen. I know I’m not alone either. I have this deep desire to figure it out for myself.
Do We Really Learn From Other People’s Mistakes?
Pause, for a minute, and think about your past. Are you the type of person who can really learn from other people’s mistakes and advice? Or do you end up touching the stove and proving their ideas for yourself?
If you’re like me, you might realize that all those times you’ve hurt yourself, experimented on yourself, and went against the best advice, because deep down you had to… was just natural.
In other words, you being you!
Not wrong, but definitely different. This matters, because I’m about to tell you about a bunch of common mistakes I see people making. Heck, I made most of them.
Some of you will instantly make some changes. And others will resist, thinking you know better. I get it.
What I’d like you to do is just think of these as tests to do in the next few months. Prove me wrong. Prove me right. Either way, if you are experiencing any digestive problems or pains, just don’t NOT try them.
Mistake #1 – Not Thinking Like a Baby
What do babies think? Who knows, but I bet you won’t forget this idea. Many people start the SCD, Paleo or FODMAPs diets without first remembering that their gut is really a lot like a baby’s.
And babies need simple, nutritious, cooked and pureed foods. But over time, they easily begin to handle more and more foods. Babies don’t drink coffee or eat cayenne pepper and if you feed a baby an egg and it has gas and cries a lot, you don’t feed it eggs again for awhile.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
Following the SCD intro diet, avoiding the 4 horsemen and even nightshades for the first month are really good ideas. In fact, it’s a best practice. A best practice means if you want the fastest — best results, you’ll do it.
When a baby’s gut is developing, the bacteria species are not very diverse yet and it’s immune system is on high alert. And when we are in a state of digestive pains, our guts are working the same way. Typically in IBD, IBS and Celiac Disease, the gut microbiome diversity is less than in normal people, the immune system is either turned on too much (overactive) or it’s turned completely off and underactive.
The small intestine is likely partially damaged and the large intestine is likely to be inflamed, meaning breaking down and absorbing foods is not going to be easy or ideal.
This is why thoroughly cooking and chewing foods is so important, especially in the beginning. You are giving your gut a chance to heal up and your immune system a chance to regulate.
In closing, treat your gut like a baby’s. Do the intro SCD diet for at least 3 days, then switch to well-cooked, well-chewed simple foods. After 30 days, try adding in the four horseman, coffee, alcohol and nightshades you cut out. That’s how to get results and really heal your gut fast.
Mistake #2 – Diet Doesn’t Fix Everything (not even close)
If you follow the plan above… sadly you’re not likely to fix all your digestive issues.
So, why do it? Well, if you don’t switch your diet you will stay in pain and sick. It is the prerequisite to getting healthy. But after switching your diet… you need to be aware that there’s lots of damage and dysregulation in your body that needs to be healed.
It’s like college, a real food diet is your freshman 101 level classes. You still have 3 more years of college, and in healing you have several advanced levels to ascend.
Typically, after that your life will get better and better, but now it’s time to remember that lifestyle matters. Focus on things like sleeping for 7-9 hours, reducing and removing stressors, moving daily and getting lots of social support – this is your 301 work.
To really graduate with your degree in gut healing, the final classes for most of us are the functional medicine kind. In this 401 area, you’ll be getting specific, powerful interventions, tests and protocols to repair the deep roots of your health problems.
Look, food is incredibly powerful but it’s by no means the only answer. Most people need a cocktail of help. Don’t give up until you’ve graduated and integrated all the methods of healing.
Mistake #3 – Focusing on the Minutia
I remember when Jordan and I were first starting our journeys. We were about a year into them, still struggling with weekly intermittent digestive pain, low energy, bad skin and brain fog.
I would browse and read every day for hours about what else I could do to heal myself.
I got lost in rabbit holes of thinking for weeks at a time, where I would be convinced I had figured it out. It was obviously high oxalates… then GMOs… then juicing was the answer and then… and then…
I was lost in the minutia. I forgot about the big picture because these specific things were easier to understand and concentrate on, when the reality was some of them helped maybe 1-5%, if I was lucky.Who knows other than it was always way smaller than I thought it would be.
The core, unsexy, sometimes confusing and kind of boring thing to do is…
Focus on a custom diet, proper supplements, lifestyle changes, mental help and functional medicine. And forget about expensive juicing, being 100% GMO-free and all the other minutia till you get these core issues handled.
Mistake #4 – Forgetting to Get Clear
Lack of clarity is a major issue in the health world. That’s why we spend several chapters talking about getting clear in our ebook.
Getting clear about your WHY and your GOALS can and will change how you see your healing journey.
- Why are you doing this?
- Who is impacted by your health?
- How will you act differently as you get more energy and less pain?
- Who will benefit from this?
- What do your health dreams look and feel like?
When you realize it’s not just about you, but it’s also about everyone in your life, dramatic things begin to change. The truth is they want you healthy, they need you healthy and you are an inspiration for them to do the hard things.
Your why matters. And so do your goals.
- Do you just want the pain to go away?
- Do you want to really solve the story problem on why you got sick?
- Do you want to be stuck on pharmaceuticals?
- Do you want to live to be 100?
- Do you want to use your hero’s journey to inspire the world?
These goals matter. Unfortunately, without goals and a well-defined plan, it’s easy to get lazy, lose focus, fall into self-defeating patterns and self-pity.
It’s easy to just give up. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve had to face the naysayer voice in my mind who said it wasn’t worth it… it wasn’t possible… that it’s not fair… that I might as well just do what feels good.
The why and the goals are what helped me shut that voice up forever. Turn to them when it gets dark and rough.
Mistake #5 – Thinking This Isn’t Also Psychological
There’s a lot of presumptuous and ignorant doctors who may have told you that your issues are all in your head. Sadly, they obviously aren’t keeping up on their profession and doing a lot of harm to many people.
But they’re also not completely wrong.
Isn’t it fascinating that you can find testimonials for every type of treatment out there. Even the seemingly wackiest, not-based-on-any-kind-of-science ideas have devotees whose lives have been touched, changed and improved.
For a long time, I struggled to understand how this could be true. What is the lesson here I used to ask?
I believe the answer is our psychology and our mindset matters just as much as the physical ideas I shared above. Upgrading the body, the hormones, and the gut bacteria will make us better until we hit a mental roadblock… like thoughts that we aren’t good enough, or don’t deserve it, or that the world is a scary place.
There are 1000s of belief systems, mental patterns and mindset issues that can and will destroy your health again, even if you do all the physical things right.
I want you to know that one of the reasons I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my whole life is because I’ve invested serious effort and time in upgrading my mind, beliefs and thoughts.
Getting psychological help should be on everyone’s list who’s ever been chronically ill. It will help, it’s a lot like before you started a new diet. It didn’t seem like it made much sense, but then again it didn’t seem like it could hurt and with all these testimonials why not try. I invite you to realize that psychological help is the same thing.
These Mistakes Are Normal and to Be Expected
Seriously, if you’ve made any of them, or all of them, join me and the rest of the group. It’s to be expected. We are born into a society, into a world that doesn’t teach us any of this.
Mistakes are a way we learn. They aren’t bad. Sure they hurt, but that’s just a signal to do it differently next time.
Maybe you’re not like me, and you can read this list, you can take action on these ideas and heal in half or a quarter of the time it took me. Learn from my mistakes and those I’ve watched 1000s of people repeat.
And if you are like me, cool. Keep this article around and just commit to me that you’ll test my ideas. Remember, when things get dark and the naysayer voice gets loud telling you negative ideas, I want you to find the courage to risk burning your hand one more time.
Keep fighting, keep working, it is worth it.