Nothing brings me more joy than when people find a health and fitness routine that ACTUALLY works for them – and is sustainable so that it becomes a lifestyle and not a fad.

Our team recently started a brand new nutrition program that focuses on your gut health – because, gut health is KEY to your body functioning as it was designed to. Over 70% of Americans have digestive issues and sensitivities and just accept it as normal. What’s more – our gut is closely linked to our brain, and research has proven that mental health conditions like anxiety and depression are linked to the food that we eat.

A fantastic book that explores this topic is This Is Your Brain on Food by Dr. Uma Naidoo. She shares on page 24 that “In psychiatry, we are finally beginning to talk about the power of food as medicine for mental health. The body of research on the microbiome and how food impacts mental health is growing.”

If you suffer from sugar cravings, need caffeine to get through the day, wake up tired and groggy after 8 hours of sleep, are moody and irritable, and do not see results even though you’re doing “all the right things” – then a focus on improving your gut health could really help you.

Our teammate Julie and her husband recently completed our Gut Health Program, and her story is AMAZING! Read about her experience, and if you’d like to join us for our next challenge where we guide you through the program, add your name to the VIP waitlist here.

How did you feel before Gut Health Protocol? What was the motivation for you and your husband to do this program together?

We both needed more energy to sustain us throughout the entire day working full time and keeping up with our 3 young daughters and life, to not be completely worn out at the end of a day and then wake up and do it again the next day. I have been doing Beachbody since July 2021 and my husband has been watching me. When I asked him if he wanted to do the Gut Protocol with me, he said “I think I need to” so that was it! My husband would start the day with an unbalanced breakfast and coffee, then switch to full sugary soda (no diet stuff for him) and then back to coffee, going from one to the next when the effects wore off from the last. It was a vicious cycle to get through a day with energy and be completely worn out when he gets home. In his previous job working at the railroad, he would work all hours of the night, and a quick stop at a gas station for dinner and back to work is what kept him awake, and those habits carried over to his life now. (He could drink a soda right before bed and it wouldn’t affect him; however, sleep was crappy too). For me, I wanted less anxiety, less heaviness in my chest, less overall inflammation (sore joints), more energy and patience with my kids, fewer mood swings. I knew it could be related to the food I was putting in my body, but I thought I was already eating “healthy.”

What did you learn during the 4 weeks? What was easy, what was hard?

We learned we could eat so much better than we were. It was, to our surprise, easy to cut out the categories Autumn suggests in the 4WGP, plus I cut out the optional eggs too. There are a ton of foods you can eat and when you explore new foods, we found some that we love (tempeh and coconut aminos, my long-lost loves how did I not know about you!). There was a learning curve with meal planning, prepping, and containers but after a week and a half we had found what worked for us and I continue to plan and prep. It took some learning, patience, and planning and we persevered!

What were your results?

My husband lost 18 pounds and has quit Mountain Dew cold turkey and is not going back! Reducing added sugars was essential for him. (However, he did start stealing my Energize but I’ve ordered double this next time so we’re good, lol). He now has a natural energy and when he gets home from work has the energy to play with the kids and hang out and do more of what he wants to do!

I have lost 10 pounds and I have so much more energy and joy. Fueling my body with what it needs to function at its best is incredible and I can satisfy my sugar craving with a date and peanut butter, or a superfood shake with a little coconut whip on top! So good. Most people have no idea how good they can feel, and I want everyone to know they do not have to stay stuck. There is joy and energy waiting for you. Believe in yourself and never stop trying. I wrote the principles of the program time and time again and put them on post-it notes to get them ingrained in my head and now they are becoming second nature. I have also determined I am sensitive to eggs. When I didn’t have them the anxiety in my chest lessened. When I brought them back (unknowingly in gluten-free bread) my stomach rumbled nonstop, and I felt the heaviness in my chest again to go look at the bread and see it contained eggs! I’ll keep them out for now and maybe try some egg whites soon to see if those have the same effect. It’s so cool when you know what you are putting in your body you can determine what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s just four weeks and as Autumn says it’s not about the weight you lose but the life you gain. And I am here for that and it’s here for you too!!

How will you carry this into your everyday life after the program? We plan to keep most of the 4-week gut protocol principles going forward and I will mold it back into 2B mindset! I will continue to plan and prep so that it’s convenient to grab healthy foods throughout the week. I also reorganized our pantry so that healthy foods are at eye level and junk food is either nonexistent or out of sight. We look forward to continuing fueling our bodies with the nutrients it needs to feel their best, cutting out the junk. This has changed our lives and we are so grateful for it!!

Congrats, Julie and Matt! So proud of you!