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Your Gut Health In/Out List For 2024

Written by: Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Chelsea Haines

New Year’s Resolutions have been exchanged by a new trend in 2024. If you’re on Instagram, you would have seen influencers creating their version of an In/Out list. This includes what they’d like to have more of as their “in” next to what they’d like to get rid of in 2024 as their “out” list. I personally see this as a positive step in ditching resolutions (which fails by the 1st of February more often than not for most people). Instead of being self-deprecating, I propose we blame the system rather than our “lack of willpower.” I created a Gut Health in/out list for you as my spin on this 2024 trend. Deciding what to allow more of and, more importantly, what to allow less of, is especially important for the high achievers that are as busy as the Brainz readers’ are.

Portrait of attractive cheerful brown-haired girl touching belly showing thumbup

In/Out lists are also a powerful journal exercise to break up into different categories in your life. Categories like work, health, social and family are ones that proved really helpful for me personally. This is also a great time to have a little fun with your visualizing for the year ahead.

Let go of the perfection that stipulates this must have been done by January 1st, 2024. Embrace that each month or even each day is a chance to set focus and redirect with clarity into the life you’d like to envision yourself having.

These lists don’t have to be only serious

This is a great list to create with your friend groups, book club, family, or kids. It can include the fun things you’d love to have more of in 2024, as well as some of the things you’d like to spend a little less time on in 2024. Another way to get really clear on what you spend your energy on would be to create specific headings for your in/out lists.

How a trend could be really powerful for professionals

As a professional aiming for success on multiple fronts, I've come to realize the paramount importance of establishing healthy boundaries across health, life, and business. It extends past time management; it's about cultivating a balance that nurtures both my professional growth and personal well-being. To navigate this journey, I've found it valuable to create personalized ins and outs lists. I start by identifying activities and commitments that contribute positively to my goals and overall well-being (ins), contrasting them with those that drain my energy or hinder progress (outs). For instance, an 'in' might involve dedicated time for skill development, while an 'out' could be limiting non-essential meetings. By providing concrete, typed-out examples tailored to my unique circumstances, this process has gifted me the clarity needed to put these boundaries in place, (hopefully) paving the way for a more sustainable and fulfilling professional 2024.

Creating your own ins/outs list for 2024

Creating your own ins/outs list can be a powerful tool for establishing healthy boundaries and building an intentional and fulfilling life. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Reflect on your goals and values

Begin by reflecting on your professional and personal goals, as well as your values. Consider what truly matters to you in both your career and personal life.

Identify positive contributors (Ins)

List activities, commitments, and habits that positively contribute to your goals and well-being. These things energize you, bring you joy, and align with your values. For example, dedicated time for skill development, strategic networking, or quality family time could be 'ins.'

Recognize energy drains and hindrances (Outs)

Identify activities, commitments, or habits that drain your energy or hinder your progress. These could be time-consuming tasks that don't align with your goals or activities that negatively impact your well-being. Examples might include excessive meetings, procrastination, or engaging in unproductive habits.

Consider personal and professional spheres

Ensure that your ins and outs list covers both your personal and professional life. Balancing these aspects is crucial for overall well-being.

Be specific and concrete

When listing items, be specific and concrete. Instead of a generic term like "meetings," specify the types of meetings that are beneficial and those that are not. This specificity will guide your actions more effectively.

Prioritize your list

Prioritize your ins and outs based on their impact and importance. This will help you focus on what truly matters and allocate your time and energy accordingly.

Create actionable steps

For each item on your list, create actionable steps or strategies to enhance the positives (ins) and mitigate the negatives (outs). This could involve setting aside dedicated time for 'ins' or creating boundaries to limit 'outs.'

Implement and adjust

Begin implementing your ins/outs list into your daily or weekly routine. Be flexible and open to adjusting your list as needed. Life is dynamic, and your priorities may evolve over time.

Regularly review and reflect

Schedule regular reviews to reflect on the effectiveness of your ins/outs list. Adjustments may be necessary as your goals and circumstances change.

Celebrate successes

Celebrate your successes along the way. Recognize the positive impact of your ins/outs list on your overall well-being and professional achievements.

Remember, creating and implementing your ins/outs list is a personalized process. Tailor it to your unique goals, values, and circumstances for the most impactful results.

My team and I decided that what we could all use a little more of in 2024 is gut health. A gut health in/out list is a simple and actionable starting point for 2024.

Here's an example of a nutrition-specific in/out list that I found helpful to show you just how specific it can be for the different areas of your life.

Nutrition ins

  • Celebrating the power of parsley, fennel, sage, rosemary, and thyme (and all herbs!)

  • High-quality olive oil

  • Prioritizing quality protein (especially post-workout)

  • Ferments, ferments, ferments (making/growing my own instead of store-bought)

  • Different types of Fiber thru the week

  • Reading every label

  • Date paste, bananas & home made apple sauce as sweeteners

  • Eating when hungry well before the “hangry” sets in

  • Sprouting legumes

  • Enough healthy fats

  • Farm fresh produce and meat and dairy when possible

Nutrition outs

  • Fearing salt

  • Not fueling before training that lasts more than 90 minutes

  • Avoiding grains

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils

  • High fructose corn syrup

  • Alcohol close to bedtime or too close to meals or everyday as a “come down”

  • Overloading/binging as a result of restriction

  • Not prioritizing meal planning (planning is different than prepping and oh so easy!)

  • Fearing bread (when I can just make my own!)

  • Distracted eating or snacking on the go

Gut health outs for 2024

Because we KNOW that gut health impacts our mental health, and because our mental health impacts our productivity and thus our career goals, these ins/outs are non-negotiable for 2024!

  1. Quick-fix fad diets

  2. Relying solely on probiotic supplements

  3. Ignoring the connection between gut health and mental wellbeing

  4. Overconsumption of highly processed plant-based alternatives

  5. Ignorance about the impact of environmental factors on the gut microbiome

  6. Strict dietary dogmas that don't consider individual needs

  7. Dismissing the importance of fermented foods

  8. Neglecting the gut-brain axis in overall health strategies

  9. Excessive antibiotic use without consideration for gut health

  10. Lack of awareness about the connection between gut health and skin conditions.

Gut health ins for 2024

  1. Personalized nutrition tailored to individual microbiomes

  2. Embracing a diverse range of plant-based whole foods

  3. Prioritizing prebiotics and a variety of fiber sources

  4. Understanding the connection between gut health and immunity

  5. Incorporating fermented foods into daily diets

  6. Holistic approach considering mental health and the gut-brain axis

  7. Sustainable and environmentally conscious food choices

  8. Mindful eating practices and chewing food thoroughly

  9. Regular physical activity to support gut motility

  10. A balanced and varied approach to nourishing gut microbiota.

The most important things I'd like on your in/out list in 2024

Perfection is the most important thing I’d love to see on everyone’s out list. These lists are not supposed to be strict all-or-nothing approaches. But rather a gentler nudge towards what you'd like to fill your life with. Versus what you might want just a little less of this year. One of my favorite pieces of content to create last year was the very first piece of 2023 on finding your North Star, and man is it still relevant this year I hope you enjoy it. I can't wait for another year of getting to create with and for you in our shared goal of happy gut health in 2024.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info

Chelsea Haines Brainz Magazine

Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Recently featured "The Gut Health Coach" by Yahoo!, Chelsea Haines has a unique way of helping high-performers heal. She doesn't claim to know best. Her mission: to remind you that YOU are the expert on your body, only you know precisely what you need, and you are not "crazy" for feeling how you feel. Her expertise stems from personally healing autoimmune disease paired with formal degrees in psychology, gut health, and mindfulness. She’s the Founder of The Gut Health Agency, where a team of health coaches & Registered Dietitians merge health coaching with clinical testing for increased patient compliance and lasting habit change ‒ a needle-moving combination not otherwise seen in the gut health space.



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