Office Hour: Gut Health with Dr. Tiffany Lester

Published on ‎06-26-2021 09:21 AM by Guide | Updated on ‎06-30-2021 12:16 PM

Join AthletaWell Guide Dr. Tiffany Lester in an hour-long virtual Q & A addressing your most pressing concerns on all things gut health. If you've ever struggled with bloating, diarrhea, or constipation,  or you're curious about the gut microbiome, you've come to the right place. Here's your chance to pose your personal questions directly to a functional medicine doctor in a supportive space.


Please drop all of your questions on the post HERE and I'll be back on 7/9 at 9am pst to answer all of your questions. 

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Fri, Jul 9, 2021 09:00 AM PDT
Fri, Jul 9, 2021 10:00 AM PDT
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Community Manager

Hi there @Tiffany_L! I'm curious what should good gut health look like? Because it is not often talked about, it is hard to know what normal is. Also, when gut health may not be in good shape, what should we do? I know some people detox or take certain medicines, but what is the best way to remedy a "bad gut"?

Hi Vanessa! It is SO hard to tell what is normal. Great question. Normal may vary a bit from person to person as we are all individual gems.


Your digestion should be smooth!

  • Bowel movements at least once a day but up to 3 is normal. Should be brown, banana-shaped stool that easily comes out. The Bristol stool chart is a wonderful resource for this to gauge your own status. Also ideal is if you eliminate first thing in the morning after drinking a full 8 oz. glass of water!
  • No bloating, belching, stomach gurgling or excessive gas should occur after eating. If so, you may have issues with low stomach acid or beneficial bacteria in your large intestine. A trial of probiotics and/or digestive bitters may help. If not, please consult with your doctor.

There are many GI "detoxes" on the market that can be super tempting to use. Most of these are unnecessary and can be too intense for our systems especially without the guidance of a health professional. Our gut lining actually repairs itself every 3-5 days. If we just leave it alone, our bodies have the remarkable ability to heal itself. If you feel like your digestion is a bit off, you may try to do a 3 day reset of avoiding inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar. And focus on consuming nourishing gut foods like bone broth, soups, lean protein, ginger team, and steamed veggies.


Hope that helps!

Community Manager

Thank you so much @Tiffany_L ! This is so helpful, I will be paying a lot more attention to how my body reacts to different foods. And that is good to know that our stomach can repair itself. Its easy to want to take medicine or detox when our stomach is upset, but our body is really powerful! I may take a few days and avoid those inflammatory foods you listed and see how my body reacts. I appreciate this so much!!!!

Community Manager

Hi Dr. L! I'd love to hear your recs re: supplements. Do I really need to take supplements, or can I source everything I need from a well balanced whole foods approach to eating? Looking forward to it!

Hi Marisa! Love your name as it is the same as my sister. 🙂


I tend to take a more minimalistic approach to supplements. I believe our bodies don't know what to do on 20 different supplements or medications. That said they can be very beneficial when our bodies are not in homeostasis. Ideally this should be for a limited period of time and reassessed with your doctor every 3-6 months. 


Yes we should absolutely get what we need from a nutrient-dense, plant-focused diet! However, given the farming practices in the US, use of pesticides like glyphosate, and lack of access to organic food for the masses - it is not possible to get all the micro- and macronutrients we need for a healthy body. I am a big believer in getting your nutrient levels checked to see exactly what YOUR body needs. These can all be ordered through your regular insurance if you have it and should include - Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and B6, RBC magnesium, selenium, and iron/ferritin. They are more extensive nutrient profiles available through specialty functional medicine labs if you are interested as well. I find that most people don't actually need a multivitamin which has low levels of all nutrients. Typically people need higher doses of what micronutrients they are deficient in.


Happy supplementing!


Hi Dr. L,

I had VSG surgery a little over a year ago and I'm wondering how I can focus on gut health when I'm focused on protein first? 


Hi Lanae! Thank you so much for the question and I hope you are doing well after the surgery and fully recovered. 


My understanding if the VSG surgery is that it only affects the size of your stomach. Focusing on eating a diverse array of plant based foods will help support a healthy microbiome which you should be doing anyway!

Thank you so much! I think I just need to hang out in the vegan a little research there. ❤️


How do I get into the live event?

Hi Debbie!


You can ask your gut health question right here!


Oh, okay.  I thought this was going to be a live, interactive talk.


Hello ,

I would like to eat more veggies and eventually convert to vegetation lifestyle , but I don't like vegetables unless they are in a smoothie or hidden in meals. 

Any suggestions. Or is this impossible . Thanks !

You might visiting different vegan/vegetarian restaurants in your local area. This can be a way to expand your exposure around all the possibilities of how veggies can be prepared and you might start to like them more!