Tag Archives: MD

Happy Gut Holiday: Cure Stomach Virus Symptoms + Tips for Gut Health

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With another holiday weekend upon us, how can you be prepared in advance to heal stomach virus problems which may arise?

There can be many causes for holiday and travel gut health compromise and distress, from new unfamiliar foods; food safety issues such as food sitting out in the hot sun; swimming and ingesting unfamiliar waters of a lake, or a highly contagious viral infection.

If you have ever been through a bout of food poisoning or a stomach “bug” and you’ve wondered why it takes awhile before you can eat a normal diet, it’s important to know the facts of what you’ve just been through and how to heal any future bouts.  While the worst symptoms, vomiting and/or diarrhea may thankfully be over, your stomach may still feel gurgly and upset.

As you recover from your illness, it is important to consider whether your food poisoning was caused by either a virus, a parasite, or an imbalance of your gut bacteria. One potential culprit could be the notorious Norovirus, which is a highly contagious and easily contracted from an infected person, food, water, or a contaminated surface.  This is often the cause of a cruise ship stomach bug epidemic that we hear about from time to time. If you have a sensitive stomach, your condition may lead to a condition known as “Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

A viral “food poisoning” most often has a rapid, violent onset, reaching a peak of vomiting and diarrhea and resolves within 24 to 48 hours. Viral food poisoning can leave you feeling nauseous and unable to tolerate your normal diet.

A parasite should be suspected if the food poisoning happened during or after travel, especially to foreign countries. However, you don’t have to go far to acquire a parasite. The most common parasite in the U.S. is giardia and can be contracted by inadvertently ingesting water when swimming in a lake, river or stream, or drinking water from an untreated non-municipal supply, such as a country well.

A bacterial food poisoning may set in within 6 to 12 hours after exposure to contaminated food. If it sets in earlier, such as after eating potato salad or rice that has been sitting warm for several hours, it is more likely an exposure to a bacterial toxin. This type of infection leads to violent vomiting that resolves quickly.

Diarrhea, abdominal pain and also possibly vomiting and nausea usually characterize bacterial food poisonings. Bacterial food poisoning usually lasts 3 to 4 days and may require antibiotics.

If left untreated, bacterial and parasitic infections may persist for weeks. As discussed in my book, Happy Gut, stool studies notoriously miss parasitic infections and may even miss a bacterial infection. If your symptoms persist, you should consult with your doctor for testing and treatment.  And, of course, test out my 28-day gut reboot program in Happy Gut.  Happy-Gut-Paperback_Final

Regardless of the cause, food poisoning leads to a leaky gut and reduces your ability to digest and absorb nutrients. I recommend taking a supplement that helps heal the intestinal mucosal barrier.  A complete list of my recommendations is in the resources section of Happy Gut.

  • Saccharomyces boulardii (5 million cfu’s – measurement of viable bacteria) contains friendly yeast that binds toxins and helps line and protect the intestines and restore the normal functioning of the cells, thus reducing diarrhea and improving digestion. It is available OTC as Florastor®. Take 2 to 3 capsules up to three times a day, tapering off as symptoms improve.

Next you need to repopulate your gut with friendly bacteria using Probiotics. These little bacterial helpers are just as necessary for a healthy intestinal tract as your own cells. Choose a high count, lactose-free probiotic with at least 50 billion cfu’s per capsule when recovering from a stomach bug. Take 1 capsule twice a day before meals.  Specific brand recommendations are found in Happy Gut.

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While recovering, eat a dairy-free, gluten-free diet. As your symptoms improve, you may want to incorporate a small amount of cultured foods. A basic Congee Rice Soup with immune-boosting shiitake, maitake or Reishi mushrooms and anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger will also help settle your unruly stomach and improve digestion.

Herbal teas that can soothe the stomach and reduce nausea include chamomile, ginger and fennel tea. I also recommend Stomach Ease and Ginger teas by Yogi Tea.  Sip the tea plain or add a little honey and a sprig of mint.

We hope these suggestions help you to prepare better for stomach upsets.  Here’s to a healthy, happy holiday or vacation!

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The Cure is in The Kitchen! (Where The Chef and the Doctor Meet!)

Dr. Pedre-David-Bouley

Question: What defines the meeting place between your plate and your health?  Where do the chef and the doctor meet on common ground?

Answer: Bouley Botanical.

David-Bouley-Dr. Pedre-Happy-Gut

On a Spring evening, April 19th, Dr. Pedre was invited to present at a special Happy Gut dinner at master chef David Bouley‘s Bouley Botanical restaurant space in Tribeca, New York City.

The event was part of Bouley Botanical’s Doctor and the Chef Series.  The evening featured a multi-course tasting menu, along with talks by Dr. Pedre and Chef David Bouley on healing through food.  The evening was a memorable, extraordinary culinary journey through multiple Happy-Gut-Approved dishes which we’ll recap here!

First, the space….

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Elegant and open…filled with the scent of the live herbs growing happily!  Chef Bouley explained the special fans and environment cultivated for the health of these herbs.  Sixty diners came to the event.

The venue is filled with life, here is the stairwell column, which is covered in black felt pocket “homes” for each herb!

Bouley-Botanical-staris-Dr. Pedre

The juxtaposition of herbs and urban shows us we can find balance in the worlds which stimulate us and create health.

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Below, is the “herb wall” separating the dining space from the kitchen.

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The room filled with guests and Chef Bouley spoke about his background working with the freshest produce and re-visiting heritage methods to create purees and oils of garlic.

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Chef Bouley calls these “basic tools” to have on hand as “building blocks’ in your kitchen that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.

garlic puree

Chef Bouley next introduced Dr. Pedre, who spoke about the pillars of his Happy Gut Program.  Dr. Pedre aptly explained his analogy of a garden wall to illustrate what makes a healthy gut, as he explained on his Good Morning America segment, here.

Dr. Pedre-GMA

Our gut lining is one cell thick with cells tightly compacted like the stones of a wall.  Many factors change the permability and thus the immunity defenses of our gut lining which in turn compromise our health.  These include pesticides; GMO foods, which now range from potatoes to fish; stress; gluten; acid and sugar imbalances…such a long list!

Thankfully, a happy gut is obtainable as outlined in Dr. Pedre’s book HAPPY GUT, The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain, and his cleanse program.

After Dr. Pedre’s talk, the most amazing appetizers began to appear.

Happy-Gut-appetizer-Dr. Pedre

This delicate crisp is made of kuzu, a low-glycemic, high-fiber Japanese root vegetable which will not bump your blood sugar.  Topped with black truffle.

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Caviar was also served like this!

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To cleanse the palate, a carrot and tumeric soup with prebiotic sunchokes was next served.  Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that has far-reaching benefits, including reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract as well as the brain, making it a potent superfood for preventing Alzheimer’s.  Then another prebiotic-rich vegetable, a delicate salad of fresh baby greens with asparagus appeared to continue to feed the friendly bacteria in the gut!

Asparagus-Dr. Pedre-Happy-Gut

This was a concert of French Provence White, Jumbo Green and Pencil Asparagus swimming in Bouley Botanical Chlorophyll Blast and Fresh Passion Fruit.

Wild-Salmon-Dr. Pedre

As a first course, this moon-shaped dish appeared next with the first of the season, Wild Salmon with Organic Quinoa, Celery Root, Porcini Mushrooms and Ginger Yuzu Botanical Herbs Dashi.

Chicken-Dr. Pedre

The second main course was organic chicken, here opened so you can see all the delicious ingredients.  This was Pennsylvania Chicken with Wild New England Ramps, Wild French Blue Foot Mushrooms and Colorado Morels!

Dessert-Dr. Pedre

Dessert was another trip to a culinary flavor explosion, without the guilt of a high-sugar treat.  This sculptured beauty arrived.  Hibiscus Granite, when opened…

Dessert-Happy-Gut-Dr. Pedre

…revealed natural New York State Cascade Grape Sorbet, with Tahitian Vanilla ice.

So much inspiration, information and delicious tastes all evening, showing that eating for a happy gut is far from bland.  It is rich in colors, flavors, and textures. We thank Bouley Botanical, all the guests, and all our readers for their enthusiasm.  This kind of collaborative evening happily moves the realms of health and food closer.  We see that tending to our health (and our desire for delicious food!) can contribute to the health of the planet and even our LOCAL environment as seen by Chef Bouley’s example of housing a botanical within the confines of concrete Manhattan.  Ultimately, the doctor of the future will bring out a recipe pad, instead of the prescription pad, directing their patients to join them in the kitchen to cook up healing recipes.

The cure is in the kitchen!

Stay tuned for future events with Chef David Bouley.  Dr. Pedre’s Happy Gut Dinner was so popular, he has already been asked to return for a Fall event at the Botanical.

Best regards,

The Happy Gut Team