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This Is What a Gastroenterologist’s Gut-Healthy Morning Routine Looks Like – EatingWell

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With the slew of gut-healthy breakfasts and beverages flooding your social feeds, you may be wondering: What does an actual gut-health expert do in their own morning routine? We asked gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., for the breakdown of his day in an exclusive interview.

First, Bulsiewicz wants to make it clear that there’s no one secret to improve your gut health, and that healthy habits over time are key.

“It’s not about the one magical thing that has some profound effect on your microbiome,” he shares with EatingWell. “The things that we do consistently are the things that will be the most powerful for our microbiome.”

Here’s a rundown of the doctor’s morning—plus how he includes his kids in each step.

A Gastroenterologist’s Gut-Healthy Morning Routine

First, let Bulsiewicz be the one to tell you that he’s a “normal person,” aka a full-time husband and dad of four.

“An important part of how I structure my day is fulfilling my duties as a dad,” he explains. “But at the same time, I try to piggyback things and look for opportunities to get in my routine while I’m still doing what I need to do as a dad.”

So let’s officially take a look at his routine, shall we? It probably starts off very similar to your own.

“First of all, I drink coffee every morning,” Bulsiewicz says. “There is clear evidence that coffee is beneficial to our gut microbes. I’m not here to claim that coffee is for everyone, like for example, if you feel unwell when you drink coffee. But there is benefit to drinking coffee in terms of our gut health and the consistency of that is an important part of that story.”

Bulsiewicz doesn’t just drink his coffee black each day. In fact, he quite literally “spices it up.”

“I will add cinnamon, nutmeg or I have this trio of spices that I love with coffee which are ginger, turmeric and cinnamon,” he shares. “Just a little bit, not much. I don’t measure it. I just sprinkle it in and add a little bit of soy milk. And then with the sweetener of your choice, to me that’s a win.”

Bulsiewicz explains that beyond the flavor, the spices include phytochemicals that can positively impact the microbiome. Of course, his morning consists of more than a warm mug.

“Beyond coffee, I like to take a morning walk,” he shares. “If it’s this time of year, I’ll bundle up my daughter and we’ll go outside. I have these glasses that I wear for work and they have a little bit of blue-light blocking, but I intentionally take them off. I don’t want any blue-light blocking because I actually want to absorb the sun. Now I’m not going to stare straight into the sun—that’s not good for you—but I am going to look to the sky.

“As I’m walking our daughter, I will look to the sky and make sure that I’m absorbing that light and I feel a little bit like WALL-E in that moment,” Bulsiewicz further explains, referencing the Pixar movie character. “WALL-E gets powered up by the sun, and that’s the way that we are, too. Our body needs to know when the day starts and when the day ends, and when you teach the body when the day starts, then it will start to figure out when the day ends.” 

Bulsiewicz notes that incorporating more sunlight into his morning routine helps him in his night routine as well.

“The days where I do this, I get much more restful sleep,” he confirms. “That’s my body responding to me locking in my circadian rhythm.”

The most “dad” part about his routine? To him, it’s his walking attire.

“I have this weighted vest that I wear,” the gastroenterologist admits. “So when I take this walk, in a way I’m multitasking because, yes, I am getting my morning sunlight and, yes, I may have a cup of coffee in my hand. But also I’m carrying this extra 20 pounds with the weighted vest, which actually gives me a good workout. It gets my heart rate up and makes me sweat a little bit, so that sort of form of exercise is beneficial to the microbes as well.”

Promoting regular exercise in your daily routine will keep both your body and your bowels moving. Not to mention, walking can help reduce uncomfortable bloating.

The Bottom Line

All in all, the doctor’s routine is as follows: coffee with spices, walking with a weighted vest and getting sunlight exposure. These habits are great for your gut and the added family time supports a healthy lifestyle. Bulsiewicz confirms that he still swears by a gut-healthy smoothie for his typical breakfast, and it’s packed with fiber-rich ingredients. 

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