GUTSy Performance Nutrition Gift Guide

Over the years, I’ve learned that the foundation of good health is proper digestion and mindfulness (being in the present, in a calm state of mind). Not gimmicky supplements and trendy superfoods. With that in mind, if you still have some stocking stuffers or gifts to choose, or plan to give yourself the foundation of good health this coming year, below are a few of my favorite essentials.

Diaspora Co. Spices: Partnering directly with their hand-picked farmers in India, this company is committed to especially high quality and fair prices. The cost to you is worth it, and you’ll taste the quality in your cooking. My favorites are the high curcumin Lakadong turmeric, rose petals, coriander (incredible aroma and flavor), ginger, and fennel seeds. Cooking with spices is one of the keys to unlocking proper digestion – plus flavorful meals!


Burlap & Barrel Hing: An essential cooking spice for those having trouble digesting beans, legumes, garlic, onions, and many other foods. Just a sprinkle goes a long way! Pick up their vanilla extract kit while you’re there!



Farm True Ghee : The only ghee I use and recommend. Using milk from 100% grass-fed and humane-treated cows (they are only collecting milk during the time of year when cows are on grass), Farm True also partners with its Amish farmers in Pennsylvania who are committed to their high standards of care and milk production. I feel comfortable using and recommending this ghee to all those who are sensitive to dairy protein, as the protein has been removed from the milk fat. Ghee is also rich in butyrate, which is an incredibly helpful compound for maintaining and getting back to balanced gut health. 


CCF Tea : Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel Seed tea. This is an essential go-to for good digestion and can be quite helpful to sip on this time of year. Available through my custom dispensary at Wellevate, along with a few other wellness mainstays.


Mountain Rose Herbal Tea : Lots of selection of herbal blends for your needs. They are all high quality!

Oregon Hazelnuts: The Willamette Valley in Oregon is home to 99% of the US Hazelnut production. I toured and participated in a farm dinner at My Brothers’ Farm this last fall – local hazelnuts are highly recommended! Use them in homemade snack bars, as a topping to soups, salads, and grain bowls, or use a food processor and turn them into rich, delicious hazelnut butter. 


Dried Tart Cherries: Tart cherries might have a little of an endurance athlete health halo around them (which is perhaps not justified in the amount any person would / could regularly consume), but they are sweet pops of flavor that add so much to all sorts of foods (drop cookies, Wonder Woman snack bars, salads, elevated grain dishes), and just one or two with a square of dark chocolate also makes for a delicious and satisfying dessert.

Honey Stinger Caffeinated Energy Gels: Sting or Bee Stung, as the Honey Stinger Hive says. These are my go-to race day fuel.


Nutrition Consultation Gift Card: Give the ultimate gift of good digestion, good health and properly fueled performance – working with a qualified nutrition professional. (Reach out to me to inquire and we’ll get a gift card in the amount you choose sorted.)

A Good Dutch Oven – A good cast iron dutch oven in the size that works for you will be an investment for a lifetime. My 2-quart dutch oven is the go-to pot for cooking stovetop grains like quinoa and rice. They come out perfect every time.


Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: My go-to cookbook this year! Gill Meller has a talent for turning minimal  ingredient lists into delicious elevated meals that highlight seasonal vegetables and fruit. The photos and writing are worth the book alone! Check out some of my other favorite cookbooks and nutrition / food / herbal books for more ideas.


Rifle Journal Spiral Notebook: A spiral journal for writing notes and thoughts. 


Tongue Scraper: Won’t go a day without it! A tongue scraper, used first thing every morning, removes all the bacteria and film from your tongue that makes its way up from your digestive tract at night. This is a must for healthy digestion!

Beeswax Candle: A good candle is so helpful for getting into a calm, present state of mind. And beeswax burns clean, so you’re not releasing toxic compounds into your air. 

Want to Know More?

Within my nutrition practice, I specialize in endurance athletes and digestive imbalances, from an Ayurvedic and Functional Nutrition foundation. I encourage you to reach out to me for more personalized support or sign up for my monthly newsletter.

Optimal Detoxication + Supporting Athletic Goals with Nutrition

All too often, we have wonderful athletic aspirations, and then life—or lifestyle—gets in the way. We aspire to train for a distance, run a course that calls to us, or set a new PR or place. We sign up, put the date in the calendar and start training strategically to reach the goal. As we get deeper into the training cycle and the mileage and workouts begin to add up, the body starts to tell us it’s a little (or a lot) achy, the muscles and joints aren’t recovering as well from day to day, and we’re very fatigued and probably more than a little short-tempered with those that know us best. We don’t quite have injuries, or maybe we do, and we might even shrug the aches and pains off as ‘goes with the training.’

One of the many ways we can support our training is through improved metabolic detoxification.

Detox? You mean like a juice cleanse? Or an eat only salad spree?

Anyone that’s ever rolled their eyes at the idea of a juice cleanse or other “detox diet” knows that our body naturally processes and makes exotoxins—from chemicals, compounds, hormones, poor quality air from all the summer wildfires, and the like—and endotoxins—from junky, damaged cellular debris and bacteria—less harmful, and then eliminates them. Through a series of multiple steps, the harmful waste products are metabolized in the liver and then transferred to the intestines, kidneys, lymphatic system and sweat glands to be excreted.

However, even when we spend a big chunk of our mileage outside or a natural landscape, we now live in a society where our systems are bombarded with a vast amount of pervasive toxins, so much so that our metabolic pathways are often unable to break them down effectively and carry them out of our system. If you live in the Pacific Northwest like me, or generally in the Western US, there’s a good chance your system has been inundated with toxic compounds in the last decade from long stretches of smoky, toxic air — at the very least.

The first glimpse of semi-normal sunshine after weeks of being forced inside, away from falling ash and toxic air pollution in the 2020 Labor Day Fires in Oregon.

When we can’t effectively break down and get rid of toxic compounds, they begin to recirculate into the body and build up in fat tissues, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, generalized aches or soreness, irritability, headaches, and perhaps decreased athletic performance, among others. There are many ways we can combat these symptoms to improve workout recovery and run with less aches, more energy, and a better attitude.

The process of metabolic detoxification is highly individual in that we each have different toxin exposures due to the environment we live in, everyday living products used, stress, and training load. Next there are individual genetics, which can make this natural process less efficient than ideal, and finally, there’s proper nutrition, consuming and absorbing the nutrients that make detoxification occur more proficiently. This third area is where I’ll focus.


The liver is where the bulk of detoxification occurs. There are three main phases of liver detoxification, happening all the time in your body. The best way to support the phases of liver detoxification nutritionally is in reverse order, meaning we start with making sure phase three is occurring before we focus on phase two, followed by phase one.

But first let’s just overview those phases.

The Detoxification Pathways in a Healthy Liver

Baseline: Toxins are fat soluble. And they are stored in the body in adipose (fat) tissue.

This is the exact same reason fish that are “high on the food chain” have warnings about consuming too much of them. They are large, fatty fish, and they’ve accumulated all the toxins from all the organisms below them in their fat tissues.

As humans, we also are “high on the food chain” and we can consider ourselves good storage vessels for environmental and internally created toxins, just like tuna and swordfish.

Toxins consumed through food are transported from the intestine to the liver. Environmental toxins that we breath in, or that are absorbed through our highly permeable skin, or endotoxins from normal cellular turnover, as well as those that turn over more rapidly from those high mileage or hard training weeks, also end up in the liver (our body’s big filter).

Phase One: In the liver, most toxins are neutralized from fat-soluble to less harmful substances using several nutrients and through a few complex metabolic reactions.

This process produces free radicals which are quenched by antioxidants—in an ideal scenario anyway!

Phase Two: The remainder of the un-neutralized toxins move into phase two of detoxification, which transforms them into water-soluble compounds.

This is also occurring in the liver.

Phase Three: Waste products that are now water soluble are transported to various organs to be excreted in the urine, feces, or sweat.

If we’re not consistently having complete bowel movements, sweating multiple times per week, and urinating, all those ready to be excreted toxins will be circulated back into the body.

Coming Up Next

Nutrition (and your ability to digest your food and actually absorb those nutrients), plays an incredibly essential role in detoxification. In my next article, I’ll share about the nutrients needed in each phase of metabolic detoxification.

If you’re fatigued, achy, have joint pain, or frequent injuries, headaches, etc., your body is very likely not detoxifying well. If you’d like to learn more and get assistance from a professional, I’d love to speak with you in a quick phone consultation!