This 30 Day Challenge was by far one of the greatest challenges I have ever set for myself. Not only did this challenge help me take over my acid reflux, but it also helped me physically and emotionally. Cleansing my body from coffee, alcohol, and fatty foods kick started me into getting into better shape. I found myself having natural energy and feeling less bloated (which was awesome because my stomach also looked and felt smaller). Emotionally, it forced me to meditate and relax. People who experience acid reflux don’t always realize how often it is that stress is actually the main culprit for prolonging the discomfort.
Now I can share some of the things that worked for me, based off my first post. Let start of with week 1 and 2:
WEEK 1 & 2: THE DETOX
During the first week, I did a colon cleanse tea from Temi Blends and already I was feeling some relief from my stomach discomfort. My acid reflux was still there, but I was feeling much better by all accounts. I also started to drink my ginger and chamomile teas from Traditional Medicinals. You can find these teas at any Whole Foods in the tea aisle. The ginger component of the tea helps to relieve pain and discomfort from heartburn by settling stomach acid. The chamomile ingredient helps to promote a normal digestive system by relieving the inflammation that is caused by the acid reflux. This was something I consumed three times per, day after each meal and right before I went to bed. The first week was the most challenging because my body was starting to detox from my morning coffee, so my energy was very low, but my stomach and LES (lower esophagus) was actually feeling much better!
The second week of my detox, I felt my normal relief from my acid reflux, but just like if you were to take a prescription medicine, you would have to allow up to two weeks for the effect effect to take place – so in my case, I would need a couple of weeks in order for the acid to be completely under control. At this point, I was sleeping at a slight angle, I had my ginger tea in the morning, noon, and night, and I was not drinking coffee nor sipping on wine. I also was drinking lots of water, more than 8 glasses per day, which was great for flushing the acid out of my stomach. I also switched up my work outs by doing the bicycle for cardio and ab work outs that required me to sit up and tigthen my LES. My energy and mood mirrored how great my body felt!
WEEK 3: THE REAL CHALLENGE
Now that two weeks had gone by, I felt that my acid reflux had subsided. However, week 3 was the real challenge. In order for me to gain control and to rid myself of this acid reflux for good, I needed to do a test and eat some food that I know trigger the symptoms – so I started off with pizza. I ate a slice or two and waited for my stomach to react to it, and surprisingly, it didn’t! I realized why my acid was not being triggered by the rich tomato sauce and cheese was because:
- I took my time eating it. The main reason for indigestion is because you eat your food to fast and not allowing your body to fully digest each portion size you are consuming.
- I chewed a piece of gum right after. Sugar Free bubble gum (no menthol, mint, or spearmint flavors) actually helps to build your saliva which helps to break down the acid quicker. I’m not a gum person, but chewing it 30 minutes after a meal really does help.
During this week I wanted to try something different to drink in the mornings. Referred by my manager, I started to drink Lavender tea (pure leaf extracts). I had no idea that lavender actually works to relieve acid reflux and other side effects, such as a sore throat (which I did get during this process). A nice shop called Sat & Olive has some great Lavender tea and mixed with just honey (pure honey is preferred) is really yummy.
WEEK 4: Thanksgiving O_O!
It the last week of my challenge and I’m feeling really good about my progress so far, but now Thanksgiving is coming and all the yummy acidic foods that comes along with it. Luckily my family and I eat pretty healthy so we all make sure the prepping process is as healthy as possible. I at mac & cheese, fried chicken, BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet potato yams, steak, and yummy string beans (lots of string beans). By my surprise no indigestion or acid reflux. I thought I was cleared free, until I had eggnog french toast one day for breakfast. Indulging in the yumminess, of the french toast, I ended up experiencing really bad indigestion. The cinnamon was to much and I ate it to fast. Naturally I wanted to run and grab the nearest prescription medicine, but instead I made some ginger and chamomile tea and drunk two 8ozs of it, and then BOOM! my indigestion was clearing up (I also took 2 teaspoons of Gaviscon to help push the process faster). After a few hours I was okay and I was back to eating thanksgiving food again.
After 4 weeks of not drinking coffee and alcohol, and not eating fatty food, avoiding citrus fruits and acidic veggies, chocolate, salt, and not stressing. I felt beyond better then I did when I was taking medicine for my acid reflux. I learned that apples helps to break down the acid in your stomach, it a great source of fiber (if your dieting), and it is good for your heart. I also learned vegetables that are green is also good for you acid reflux and even bananas; but watch out with those bananas, because it has been founded that a small percentage of acid is in bananas. Try eating a small amount to see if your body can tolerate it.
On December 1st I decided to have my first cup of coffee and I did okay. No tightness in the throat area, so it is safe to say I can start drinking it again. However, I’ve became fond of the herbal and natural tea world, because it did so much more for my body then coffee. I think I will stick to my teas and have a coffee no more then twice a week. I have not had a glass of wine yet. I think I will slowly ease myself back into a glass here and there. Overall I think my 30 day challenge really worked for me, and moving forward I can make sure I don’t have to ever feel the enduring pain of acid reflux. Now I can challenge myself to see how long I can go without having this problem and not depend on medicine to do the healing, but my body and natural remedies to do it for me.