Why Some Raw Vegetables Cause Gas and How to Avoid It

Why Some Raw Vegetables Cause Gas and How to Avoid It

Raw food has so many benefits. It’s rich in enzymes, all the vitamins remain intact, and typically it’s easier on the digestive system than cooked food. Until the gut lining is not inflamed. You see there are just some vegetables that are difficult to digest raw. Particularly vegetables in the cruciferous family- cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower etc.

They can be very irritating for our gut.

The reason these vegetables are difficult to process and often cause gas is because they contain high levels of sulfur and fiber. This is part of the reason cruciferous vegetables are so nourishing. The sulfur fights back against harmful free radicals and they have a powerful detoxifying effect.

While the enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants in vegetables are extremely beneficial, they’re useless if your body can’t process them. In the beginning of your digestive journey, when you’re working on rebuilding your gut flora and strengthening the intestinal lining, raw vegetables aren’t the best thing.

Too often, your body ends up spending more energy digesting these foods than they receive from them. As you work on strengthening your digestive system, take it easy with raw veggies.

Here are a few ways you can get the benefits of cruciferous vegetables without the gas and bloating…

  • Ferment your veggies to unlock their nutrients, check out phickle for some great recipes
  • Juice them
  • Lightly steam, saute or roast your veggies and top with a bit of coconut oil or ghee for better nutrient absorption
  • Blend them into a smoothie
  • Chew your veggies thoroughly, at least 20 times before swallowing
  • Digestive enzymes help me when I eat foods that might cause gas or bloating

Over time as you build up your microbiome and repair the lining of the intestines it’ll be much easier to process raw vegetables. These things take time so be patient with yourself and don’t let the process stop you from enjoying these health promoting vegetables.

If you’re seriously interested in getting healthy, restoring your digestion and boosting your energy then check out my new comprehensive program Restore your Gut Health, details here www.drilona.com/guthealth In the program you get a ton of delicious satisfying recipes as well as strategies that will help rebuild your intestinal flora.

Or join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/healthandvitalitywithdrilona where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

To your wellness,

Dr. Ilona

Spring Cleansing Your Body

Spring Cleansing Your Body

Spring is finally here.  After long and cold winter, we can rejoice in warmer temperatures and brighter days.  This is the time for renewal, cleaning and new perspectives.  Are you ready to spring clean?  Beside your home, you can spring clean your body, diet, relationships, maybe your entire life!

Spring-cleanse Your Body: After a long winter, many of us gain a few extra pounds and harbor toxic build up.  You can take a short, three-day cleanse over the weekend, when you can rest and relax.

  • Start your day with warm lemon water first thing in the morning.
  • Your main focus will be on leafy green and organic vegetables. You can use them raw, sautéed, mildly roasted, steamed or in a form of juices.
  • Increase your liquid intake: filtered water, herbal teas and vegetable soups.
  • To make the most of your cleansing adventure, add exercise.
  • Avoid pro-inflammatory and processed foods; salty or sweetened foods; red meat; non- organic fruits and vegetables; caffeine; flour; table sugar; artificial sweeteners, etc.
  • Digestion requires a huge amount of energy; during detox, our body can use the energy for repair and rejuvenation.   Alkalinizing the body is beneficial to release toxins, especially the one deposited in cell membranes and fat tissue.  Your intestinal flora and leaky gut will be restored and with that your immunity.

Foods to Include:

  • Emphasize green leafy vegetables, especially bitter greens such as dandelion greens, endive, parsley, beet, kale, chard, mustard greens, spinach, endive, bok choy, arugula, and mixed salad greens.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: kale broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens.
  • Vegetables from the onion family: onions, shallots, garlic and leeks
  • Artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes;

Other vegetables: beet roots, celery, asparagus, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, string beans, beet greens, naturally fermented sauerkraut and sea vegetables.

Preparation: raw, juiced, or steamed, baked, lightly sautéed in small amount of olive oil are the healthy ways to prepare vegetables.

Vegetable Juices
Fresh juices with leafy green vegetables as a base are an ideal way to get a balance of cleansing and rebuilding.  Fresh vegetable juices are alkaline and rich in minerals and phytonutrient. When tissues hold waste material and toxins, or they are damaged through excess free radial activity, they become acidic. Fatty tissues hold fat- soluble chemicals, and toxins and heavy metals get stored in the lipid membranes of the cells (including the brain). Vegetable juices and broths alkalinize tissue pH allowing the tissue to get rid of metabolic waste and toxins.  Enzymes in the fresh vegetable juices also help to break down and remove toxins, and the high chlorophyll content of green leafy vegetables helps to cleanse and oxygenate the blood. Veggie juices should be taken 2-3 times per day if possible. Powdered juice concentrates are ideal for work or travel – just add water.

Fruits contain a high amount of natural sugars, and therefore should be used in moderation during a cleanse, as one of the goals of the cleanse is to rebalance blood glucose levels.  Apples, pears, peaches, blueberries and raspberries, and citrus (eaten separately), are all appropriate choices during a cleanse. Avoid concentrated fruit juices and all other fruits during this time.

Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are a wonderful way to help hydrate and cleanse the body. All caffeinated teas need to be avoided, as they interfere with the body’s cleansing and rebalancing processes. Herbal teas that support the various elimination processes are highly beneficial.  Just to name a few: dandelion root, burdock root, astragalus root, ginger root, licorice root, nettle, cleavers, mint, horsetail, oat straw, fennel, cardamom, rooibos, and red clover blossom.

Alkalizing broth
Simmer the following vegetables for 45 minutes: celery, green beans, zucchini, parsley and spinach. Strain and drink the broth throughout the day.  The broth can be refrigerated for up to three days. You can also puree the vegetables after cooking and eat as a soup.

Herbs and spices
Ginger, cayenne, licorice root, burdock root, milk thistle seed, dandelion leaf and root, curry, turmeric, nutmeg, and cinnamon may be added to your dishes for variety and for their positive effects on digestion and detoxification.

During your cleanse I advise using a plant-based protein (rice, pea) powder several times per day as a way to help keep you blood sugar levels as stable as possible. Sprouted seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flax) and sprouted beans, (especially mung beans), can be used also.

Drink a minimum of eight, eight-ounce glasses of filtered water per day. Water in plastic bottles should be avoided as it often contains unsafe levels of toxins that have leeched into the water from the packaging.  Add lemon to your filtered water for an extra detoxification effect.

Make sure you are moving your bowls every single day.  This is important for elimination of toxic build up.  The high fiber content of an increased vegetable intake may be adequate.  If not, add a good fiber: fresh ground flax seed, rice bran, or psyllium.  Mild herbal laxative tea can be helpful as well.

Supplements to Include: High quality prebiotics and probiotics are highly recommended. Increasing beneficial bacteria in the GI tract significantly helps to reduce the presence of harmful ones and improve the overall environment in your gut.  It will help with healing of leaky gut syndrome.  Multivitamins, chelating minerals, liver supportive supplements and herbs (milk thistle, dandelion, cilantro, parsley, bitter greens), will aid the process.

On the side note, don’t forget to add seven to eight hours of restful sleep, meditation and relaxation. Make a commitment; you deserve a quality time for yourself.

Golden Nuggets
Mediterranean-style Diet: Study has shown that Mediterranean style diet reduced 10%-18% risk of total and ischemic stroke (significant reduction).  The finding emphasizes diet as very important modifiable risk factor. The diet works equally well in both genders. The Mediterranean diet is plant based, rich in unrefined cereals, fruits, vegetables and monounsaturated fats (olive oil), with very low consumption of sugar, sweeteners and saturated fat.

Side effects of kindness: according to Dr. David R. Hamilton, kindness has five side effects on health:

  • Kindness Makes us Happier; Due to elevated levels of endogenous opioids, which cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high.
  • Kindness Gives us Healthier Hearts; Acts of kindness are accompanied by emotional warmth, which produces the hormone, oxytocin.  Oxytocin causes the release of nitric oxide, which dilates (expands) the blood vessels.  This reduces blood pressure.
  • Kindness Slows Aging: Oxytocin reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system and so slows aging; another reason why kindness is good for the heart.
  • Kindness Makes for Better Relationships; We all like people who are kind to us.
  • Kindness Is Contagious: When we are kind, we inspire others to be kind.

To learn more about my personalized program, please contact me at 724-994-9572 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation

Benefits of Fasting

Benefits of Fasting

“Fasting is the greatest remedy –the physician within.”


For a decade or more, fasting, cleanses, and detox diets were all the rage.  Nutritionists and medical professionals downplayed the benefits, but today research shows that periodic fasting can be useful for a wide range of issues from weight loss to mitigating the effects of chemotherapy.  Recent studies suggest that a three day fast may even regenerate the entire immune system.  Not only is fasting good for the body, it can have profound effects in many areas of our lives.

Fasting for the body

The human body is capable of miraculous feats of healing and regeneration.  Fasting jump-starts the body’s healing capabilities, and though there is no one-size-fits-all prescription, nearly any ailment may show improvement after a fast.  Fasting appears to be particularly beneficial for asthma, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, skin conditions, digestive disorders, and even cardiovascular disease.  Modern eating habits keep our bodies in a constant state of overload, and fasting allows the body to catch up and begin to clear out built-up toxins.

Fasting, particularly intermittent fasting, may promote weight loss; but more than that it creates a break in eating patterns, allowing us to take a step back and take a clear look at our relationship with food.  Clarifying why we eat what we do, and when, can help create new and healthy patterns.

Fasting for the mind

Fasting promotes focus and clarity of mind.  On a more physical level, there is even evidence that it may protect against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression, and against age-related degenerative brain diseases.

Fasting can also help improve concentration, reduce anxiety levels, and promote better sleep.  One of the perils of modern life is feeling the need to rush through everything; fasting allows us to slow down, focus inward, examine our motivations and responses and recalibrate our minds along with our bodies.  Old patterns or blockages may be more easily released or reshaped.

Fasting for the spirit

Nearly every spiritual practice advocates some form of fasting.  Because it teaches us to focus inward, it demands that we become quiet and listen.  Fasting is akin to a physical form of meditation.  When we become still and listen, when we quiet the chatter of the body and the mind, we are able to subtly separate ourselves from mundane reality, and become attuned to higher realms.  Meditation or prayer become easier, messages or guidance received clearer.  Balance becomes attainable.

Fasting can be a tool for transformation, both physical and psychological.  For body, mind, and spirit, it may truly be the simplest and the greatest remedy.

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