top of page

Episode 107: Gut Health and its Relationship to Emotional Well-being with Carley Smith

Brief summary of show:

Discover the secret to optimal health as we explore the world of gut health with Carley Smith.

In this episode, Carley shares her personal journey with gut health and how it led her to become a passionate advocate for improving the digestive system. Learn how Carley overcame her gut issues and developed a supportive health team, and discover techniques to help you become more vulnerable. Plus, find out how to incorporate bone broth and other gut-healing techniques into your daily routine and get tips for maintaining a healthy gut even with a busy lifestyle.

Carley Smith, AKA Fairy Gutmother®, is a Nutritional Therapist, Certified GAPS Practitioner, and Registered Yoga Teacher. Carley became interested in health and nutrition after being diagnosed with Lyme disease and using food as medicine emphasizing gut health to help heal. She became so empowered in the progress in her healing just based on diet and lifestyle changes emphasizing gut health that she started her business, Fairy Gutmother®, so she could help spread awareness around nutrition and help others. Carley is adamant about promoting the gut health lifestyle as it is more than a diet, rather, a combination of food and environment that play a role in the health of the microbiome.

Carley has been a featured guest on The Dr. Oz Show and is a frequent guest for Colorado’s Own Channel 2 News. She has also been featured on Arizona Family TV, Better Connecticut, NBC Miami, and the popular iHeart Radio show Modern Eater. Her articles have been published in major worldwide publications including Newsmax, MindBodyGreen, Yoga + Life Magazine, and Paleo Magazine to name a few. She also leads numerous workshops, public speaking events, and cooking demonstrations centered around the gut health lifestyle.

Are you ready to unlock the key to vibrant health? Join us on this enlightening journey.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:40] Gut health as the foundation of our health

  • [4:20] About Carley's diagnosis and how it played into her nutrition journey

  • [8:05] How Carley helps other people with their gut health too

  • [10:25] Techniques to help you become more vulnerable

  • [15:55] How healing her gut helped her develop a health team

  • [22:00] How to incorporate bone broth and other gut healing techniques

  • [24:30] Is your gut compromised?

  • [25:55] Tips for those who lead a busy lifestyle

Notes from Natalie:

Connect with Carley

Connect with Me

View Transcript for this Episode

Natalie: Gut health and emotional health, how they work together to make you feel your best. An expert guide today on the podcast.

Natalie: Hi everyone. It's Natalie. So glad to have you here today. Hope you're having a super day. I'm so grateful to have you listening each week and emailing me, joining me on social media. It just means the world to me that you follow along and that you enjoy what's happening today. I have a very special podcast for you.

I talk a lot about emotional. But I also talk about physical health as well, and Carly Smith is a nutritional therapy practitioner. She is known as the fairy gut mother. She's a personal friend, and she has helped me so much in my own health journey and. Every time I talk to her and interview her, I learn a lot.

So let me tell you a little bit more about her. She's a nutritional therapy practitioner, a certified gaps practitioner, with a powerful story on resilience, transformation, and triumph. Carly has battled Lyme disease for years. You're gonna hear more about that today on the podcast and her story. Is so inspiring.

After struggling with symptoms, despite taking multiple medications and antibiotics, she decided to look for an alternative solution that would actually work. So listen today because we're gonna chat. About her journey with Lyme disease, her gut health and your gut health, and how you can improve your gut health, and also how we can make sustainable changes in our lives, which will include your emotional health.

Healing is not linear. We need to remember that. So take a moment, subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening, and get ready to learn today with one of my favorite guests, Carly Smith, the fairy gut. Carly, I think it's been about a year since you've been on the podcast and, I learned so much my listeners and viewers learned so much from you. But I love the topic we're gonna go with today because traditionally you talk about gut health, but in your own life and in many of your clients' lives, you've realized how

emotional health ties to gut health and physical.

Carley: Absolutely. Yes. It's so important. It's really, you know, as I always talk about gut health is, is the foundation for our health. This is where our immune system is located. but healing is, is in layers. So it's always important to be kind of, You peeling back, you know, peel back the layers and then what's next?

And um, you know, what's the next best thing for me to address? And you know, really at the foundation of everything you've done, diet and, you know, exercise and stress and all that, but emotional health, it can all be tied back to certain emotions being stuck or trapped in the body. And that can cause different health complications down the line.

So it's really important to be addressing.

Natalie: You know, we can eat well every day, we can exercise. But when you're struggling with something, that's deep and I know. Share kinda your experience and how you ended up in this profession. When

you're struggling like that, it's hard to heal physically.

Carley: it really is. And that's why, you know, you have to just allow yourself, give yourself time. Um, that's one of the main things. You know, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Just, you know, peel, like I said, peel back the layers. Um, I think that when we look at healing and it's, it's kind of like, okay, once I get this done, I'm gonna be great and we're gonna go from there.

And, and you kind of have to look at it like a journey that you're always unraveling different parts. Um, the layers and always exploring yourself in a little bit more, uh, detail. And as you do that, you know, be cur, approach it and be curious about it, versus kind of shaming that, you know, you're, you're learning a lot about yourself and especially when you start digging into the emotions, you know, not to like take off too.

Take on too much at once, just like little bits at a time. and that's really helpful.

Natalie: So you started your nutritional, journey in your profession, because of an illness

that you had that you, you really haven't talked about that much. Can you tell us about it?

Carley: You bet. So I started Fairy Gut Mother from my own gut healing journey. Uh, I actually had Lyme disease and, uh, most people don't really think about Lyme disease as it relates to the gut. Uh, for those of you that don't know, it's the, um, tickborne illness that usually comes from a tick bite, um, and then can affect you in all different sorts of ways.

For me, it was a little bit different, uh, affected more of my hormones. I was menstrual bleeding. Four months straight, they couldn't figure out what was wrong. Um, and then from there I just went down kind of a, a downward spiral. They put me on all these different kinds of medications, um, to try to regulate my cycle, and that was really where the focus was.

And it wasn't until I developed a bacterial infection from. Uh, bleeding so much that they put me on this really heavy dose of antibiotics and that made me super sick. And, uh, they, the doctor sought, it was just an allergic reaction to, uh, an antibiotic. But, um, when, you know, a friend of mine had mentioned that sounded like a herx or a die off from a Lyme disease.

When you take antibiotics for Lyme, it can cause flu-like symptoms or, or die off basically. So I went and I got tested and I found out that I had. And that actually was kind of a relief for me because at that time I was like, I, you know, you have no idea what's wrong. And my health just kept getting worse.

I was, you know, confined to my apartment. Um, I couldn't get out of bed. My memory, I've started to lose my memory. Uh, I forgot where I lived driving home from work. So I was actually a little relieved to find out, okay, there, there is actually is something and, and now I can, address this. And when I went on the antibiotics route, which is kind of most common for Lyme, I felt like they ended up doing more harm on my body than good.

So I started developing all these other issues and was prescribed all a lot of other medications for, you know, what the side effects of the antibiotics were. I took, went off all my medication and I just started researching. And that's when I started learning about the immune system being in the gut.

And I thought, well, if I heal my gut and boost my immune system, maybe I can suppress the disease. And that's exactly what happened. So, I was just so, you know, empowered with the progress with my health that I thought, you know, this needs to get out and, and more people need to hear about it. So, which is why I went back to school studying nutrition and started Fairy Gut Mother.

Um, but in this journey, you know, I, I talked a little bit before, but it really is layers. Um, the diet and the nutrition was just one part. And even now, you know, six, seven years later, I'm still kind of peeling back layers and, and being more curious about my health and ways that I might be able to still improve.

And really tapping into the emotional side of health has been really important for me. Um, and it was like, okay, you know, now I got the diet down and now. Um, the lifestyle side, and now it's, it's looking a little bit deeper at things. And as I reflect on my experience with Lyme disease, I really learned a lot about how emotional health is really like at the root of, of everything and even, you know, from, from Lyme and even healing from Lyme.

And that's really what I wanna share with people, um, because it's, it's such an important part of our health and I don't think we talk about it.

Natalie: Yeah, I mean, we hear people talk about, um, struggling emotionally or getting mental health, but we don't always. Correlate that with something else we're struggling with

physically. So when did you realize that, and what are you doing now? How are you helping people, um, as, as you do so well, uh, with n with nutrition and gut health?

How are you incorporating that and how do you advise people with


Carley: So first, you know, definitely work on one gut health and the fundamentals of gut health, which is just, you know, nutrition and, and diet and supplements, uh, and. Stress levels, uh, making sure that you're taking time for yourself. Um, and then, you know, from there, again, like you, you just kind of slowly work your way into it.

I, I don't ever really work with clients right off the bat with, on emotional health. Um, I think that you don't wanna overwhelm yourself, so it's just kind of like noticing that that might be there. Um, but when you feel whole and ready and stable, then you can kind of begin to, to tap into that. Um, My clients are ready to, to look a little bit more into that.

There's a lot of different resources out there and tools for supporting your emotional health. Um, but first I feel like we need to normalize. Getting help for our emotional health. I think there's almost like a stigma attached to it that there's something wrong with us. And as I even reflect on, on my journey with Lyme, I know that's a lot of the reason why I didn't share personally so much about my story.

Um, cuz there was so much. Shame that there, you know, was something wrong with me, that I felt like my body had failed me. Um, so I, I kept a lot of it quiet and I didn't even tell, you know, part of my family about the disease. And now looking back, um, you know, sharing and being vulnerable with others is, is part of the healing process and allowing people to help you.

So, um, what I work with my clients on is like, think about, you know, assembling that, that team of people that are going to support you in the best ways. And that's, you know, family and friends, but also looking at different practitioners, uh, you know, so you have someone to help with your, your gut health.

You have someone, you know, maybe it's a trainer or, or a yoga instructor, you know, for the physical side. Um, but emotional health is just as important. So, you know, having, bringing people in that can help you, support you on that level, whether it's therapy, um, breath work, you know, there's all sorts of things and tools that are out there to really help us, uh, dig into those emotions and, and work to release them.

Natalie: Yeah. What are some of those techniques that, that you have found helpful in your journey and now being vulnerable about this for the first time? I mean, we've known each other for years. you had told me little bits and pieces, but to really open up about it and to now use that as part of your overall, way to help other

people is, is awesome.

So tell me more about some of those things you're


Carley: So the first thing that I started with

was acupuncture. Uh, I, I always tie in acupuncture to my protocols, and whether you know it or you don't, I mean, it, it is still, it is working. Uh, on those emotions within the body when we store different emotions and different parts. Uh, there was a yoga instructor that told me once during in class that we store our issues and our tissues, and that always just stuck with me.

And as you, you know, work with acupuncture and manipulating certain parts on the body, uh, those emotions can get stuck in, in different areas. Um, liver, kidneys, you know, different things like that. So if you look into Chinese medicine that there's a lot. Research about, um, feelings and emotions that are trapped in certain areas.

So as you work, uh, you know, and working into the liver or different parts of, of the body, that's going to also help to kind of. Send some of that energy in other places, which can help with some of the emotional side of things. Um, so that's a great place to start. Um, and then again, as you work deeper, I think breath work is another really great tool that we have.

Um, it's amazing what we can do with just our breath. So there are different types of, uh, you know, breath work workshops that you can go to. I mean, obviously meditation is huge. Um, so incorporating, finding ways to kind of incorporate that. Those are really great things to j