Gut Health & Morning Routines with Courtney Breiman

Today I’m sharing an interview I did recently with my friend Courtney Breiman. She’s talking all about gut health, colon hydrotherapy and her morning routine. This is going to be a long post, so let’s get right into it. 


photo by Zac Wolf

1. Hey Court! Introduce yourself to the Simply Nicole readers. 

Hello, Simply Nicole readers! I’m honored to be featured in a blog post and hope that you find my information helpful. My name is Courtney Breiman. I hold a B.S. in Holistic Nutrition and I am a Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner, Licensed and Internationally Certified Colon Hydrotherapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher and I am currently working towards my masters. I was born into a family of healers and have been living a holistic and natural life since I was born. Choosing this is my career path has allowed me to take this lifestyle to the next level and really delve into healing myself as well as assisting others on their healing journey.

I have an amazing husband, and a 9 month old baby boy, Link, whom I birthed at home. I spent 2 years studying home birth and will eventually go back to finishing up my degree in midwifery, but for now I have plenty to do! My husband and I are both vegan and we love being active – crossfit and biking for him, yoga, barre, pilates, and anything nature oriented for me!

2. What is a healthy gut, and why is it so important?

A healthy gut has a lot of moving parts! It includes the proper functioning of each anatomical part of the digestive system {stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, small intestine, and large intestine}, as well as the symbiotic relationship between the trillions of bacteria that actually make up our microbiome. The micro biome refers to the gut, which houses the micro organisms, or flora, that make up our inner world. The proper functioning of the digestive system is important because it breaks down our food and utilizes it as nutrients that keeps us alive! When this system does not function optimally, so many things can go wrong and it may make it impossible to achieve true health.

gut health

3. How do you know if you have or don’t have a healthy gut? 

Many issues can indicate an unhealthy gut, such as, getting sick often {weakened immune system}, headaches, fatigue, general inflammation {joint pain, swollen lymph nodes}, skin break outs, excess mucus, excess gas or no gas, stinky gas, allergies, reproductive issues, hormonal imbalances, and poor digestion {acid reflux or bouts of constipation and diarrhea}. Healing the gut may alleviate these symptoms, but it is important to remember that the gut is only one part of the body. The body is like a machine. If one part is malfunctioning it doesn’t allow other parts to work either and other issues may need to be addressed. It is hard to generalize because each persons health must be dealt with on an individual basis.

4. How can someone get a more healthy gut?

A great place to start healing the gut is to create a symbiotic environment in your digestive track. This means that the bacteria in the lining of the gut has a healthy relationship. You always want the good bacteria to be more plentiful than the bad bacteria. Taking probiotics, eating cultured foods and drinking coconut kefir is a great way to get good bacteria into the gut.

The next step would be to feed the good bacteria. Prebiotics feed good bacteria to keep them alive and well. Raw fruits and vegetables naturally contain prebiotics. Processed foods and sugars are what feed the bad bacteria, so eating bad foods will keep the bad bacteria flourishing and will keep your body craving more unhealthy foods. If you are taking probiotics, eating cultured veggies, and drinking kefir, but your issues aren’t resolving, you may need MORE. It is very hard to get too much good bacteria and sometimes the body needs more help than you would have thought. There could also be something else going on within the body that needs to be investigated further. More times than not, whatever the issue, it can be resolved with strict diet change and implementation of herbal and/or supplemental support. 

gut health

5. I hate taking traditional medicine if I can afford it. What are some ways to beat a stomachache without popping Tums?

Combating a stomachache is a very popular question from clients. It is often easily fixed when changes are put into place. I have been very successful with getting clients off of the habit of using antacids. First, it is important to be aware of the dangers of antacids. Although they are providing a temporary fix by giving your stomach the enzymes it needs to break down the food, they are synthetic enzymes and anything synthetic is toxic to the body. Antacids cause damage to the walls of the digestive tract, and possibly severe long term consequences. They make it even more of a challenge for the body to produce enough enzymes on its own, and therefore, continue to make Tums the answer to your problem.

It is also important to look at why the stomachache, or acid reflux, is happening. When someone experiences acid reflux it most likely because the stomach is not producing enough acid to break down food. To fix this problem we want to stop the habit of taking synthetic enzymes, and assist the body in once again producing these enzymes on its own. One way to fix this is by drinking celery juice {ONLY celery} on an empty stomach in the morning. This will begin to heal the parietal cells that actually create hydrochloric acid {the enzyme in your stomach that breaks down your food}. With the right tools, the body will heal itself just like its made to do.

Probiotics are another way to help a stomachache. I find a lot of success with improved digestion and less stomach aches when adding cultured veggies to your meal. Another great assistant is drinking raw coconut kefir after meals {stay away from dairy based and sugar-filled kefir}. It is also very important to always have something raw if you are having something cooked. For example, if you are having pasta, also make sure to have a leafy green salad filled with lots of raw veggies. I recommend gluten-free brown rice or quinoa pasta. 

green smoothie recipe

6. What are some natural ways to beat stomach bloating?

Bloating is an interesting topic because most people have it, and it’s something very fixable. Side note: Fixing any issue takes willingness to change habits. I like to say it takes the “3D”, discipline, determination, and dedication. There is a large amount of information when it comes to bloating. There are many natural remedies, and these are the ones I highly recommend: Yogi stomach ease teaDigize essential oil, proper food combining, and castor packs {I like to do this 20 minutes before bed}. Quality SBO probiotics, mono meals, and islands are high up on this list and I will be talking more about them in my ebook “Be Vegan and Prosper”, coming out in a few weeks. 

Not all bloating is bad, because sometimes it is a natural part of the healing process. There is an entire world of bacteria inside of your body. These bacteria move, eat, poop, die, and all of these activities let off gasses. As you begin to heal and bad bacteria die off, you may experience a temporary influx of bloating that will eventually go away.

7. What is colon hydrotherapy, and what does it help? 

Colon hydrotherapy is the introduction of warm water into the colon in a gentle manner. It is often used for gentle detoxification and hydration. Colon hydrotherapy, along with lifestyle change, can produce miraculous healing results and recoveries.  A colonic should be administered by a trained and licensed professional. During the session, there should be open communication about when the water is entering and leaving the body. It should not hurt and should be very gentle. I recommend a closed system for optimal results. There is a lot of false information online and if anyone is interested in finding out more about colon hydrotherapy and how it can help you, I’d be happy to have that conversation! Check out my website for more info. 

green smoothie recipe

8. What does your morning routine look like?

My morning routine consists of a small amounts of liquid supplementation, along with 32 oz. of room temperature water with half of a lemon squeezed in it. I follow this about 20 minutes later with celery juice or another green juice. A while after, I have breakfast which is always a smoothie!

9. What is your favorite breakfast recipe?

One of my favorite morning smoothies consists of frozen bananas, wild blueberries, dates, spirulina, and barley grass juice powder.

10. If someone wanted to make one positive change in their routine, what would you recommend? 

Start with 32 oz. of lemon water on an empty stomach. If you really want to focus on healing the gut, drink the juice of 1 head of organic celery.

// To learn more about Courtney, check out her website and follow her on Instagram.



  1. August 15, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Love your court. I’ve been doing the lemon water and I definitely see results!:)

    • August 15, 2016 / 12:47 pm

      lemon water is the BEST. This interview was a great reminder that i need to start drinking it every morning!

  2. August 15, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    This is very valuable information and I’m very proud of you my dear Courtney

    • August 16, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Thanks for reading, Cathy!

  3. Trish
    August 15, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    Is the lemon a must in the am with the 32 oz. of water? I’m worried about tooth enamel.

  4. August 18, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    Awesome interview and so much good info! Can’t wait for the ebook! I love having these resources to share with my clients. Thank you!

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