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Healing The Gut Using The 5R Approach

Updated: Sep 13, 2022


Hi everyone,

My name is Jayde MacLean and I am a Certified Nutritional Practitioner specializing in gut health. I help women who are struggling with chronic digestive issues to heal naturally.

Healing your gut.

Years ago, healing my digestive system had a massive ripple effect on my whole body. I was able to heal from chronic migraines, IBS, mood swings, poor complexion, sugar cravings, low immunity, PMS, and fatigue.

Of course, it wasn’t an overnight transformation. It started with multiple doctor visits, fear-based media and marketing that manipulated my food choices, and fad diets with a nauseating amount of conflicting advice.

What I needed more than anything at the time was someone to shoot it to me straight, someone to help! And so instead of looking for her, I became her.

I’ve been a Certified Nutritional Practitioner for 5 years, with formal training from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I’ve seen firsthand that many people have a compromised digestive tract with no idea that this is the root source of their frustrating symptoms being experienced throughout their body.

In this blog takeover, I will be sharing the 5R gut healing approach I use with my clients to address and heal their chronic gut issues.

First off, why is it so important that our gut is functioning properly? The gut is responsible for digesting and breaking down food into smaller portions. This process helps the nutrients to be easily absorbed by the intestines. The nutrients are then taken up by the intestines and are delivered to the rest of the body to be used as energy, nutrition and for other important cellular functions. The gut also is a part of the detoxification process which involves the liver and the gastrointestinal tract. Next is the elimination phase. The gastrointestinal tract will then eliminate the wastes which can also be known as a bowel movement.

The goal of healing the gut using the 5R approach is to map out health events, nutrition and lifestyle factors that could have led to chronic digestive issues and other health struggles. Once identified, the goal is to regulate digestion and for the gut to properly absorb and assimilate the nutrients. We also focus on creating harmony within the gut by creating a healthy balance of gut bacteria and push out any unwanted bad bacteria and pathogens. This will leave the individual with a healthy gut so that they can have improved overall health.

What is the 5R Gut Healing Approach?

This approach is a step-by-step process to gradually address the root cause of the individual's gut issues.

Step One: Remove

Remove the things that are negatively impacting your gut health. These could be things like inflammatory foods, refined sugar, alcohol, stress, food triggers, parasites and Candida. Stool testing can be helpful to determine the state of the gut microbiome. Once the test results are received, I begin working on a unique plan for each client which could include a custom meal plan, antifungals, anti-parasitic herbs and various supplements to create a clean environment to begin healing the gut.

Step Two: Replace

Replace the highly processed foods with nutrient-rich whole foods. In this step, an individual may need to address low stomach acid, digestive enzymes, fibre intake, minerals and nutrient deficiencies. These can all become suppressed and compromised due to ageing, poor diet, stress, trauma, lack of sleep, environmental factors, certain medications and diseases.

As I believe in a holistic approach to healing, it is also important to replace any negative emotions, stress and trauma. This step is not always easy and can take some time for an individual to heal.

I always say to my clients that you can eat all the kale, drink the bone broth and pop a probiotic, but if you don't address the chronic stress, fear, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness then you are going to have a hard time healing your gut.

Instead of "what if"...change your focus to…

What if you DID succeed?

What if you felt confident in your body?

What if you were able to let go of the past hurt?

What if you felt energized, fulfilled and present with your family?

What if you were able to eat out at a restaurant with family or friends?

What if you shifted your focus from all the negative hypothetical things you don’t want to the positive goals you do want.

This is a huge step in the healing process that I feel needs quite a bit of attention and can’t be overlooked.

Step Three: Reinoculate:

When our gut health is compromised, our gut bacteria take a hit too. It’s important to restore the beneficial bacteria to keep your gut in check. A probiotic supplement may be necessary at this stage of the healing process. Eating prebiotic foods can also help feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Here is a breakdown of some examples of prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods:

Prebiotic foods:

Raw chicory root


Jerusalem artichoke


Dandelion greens






Under-ripe bananas

Yacon syrup

Probiotic foods:

Kefir (organic dairy, coconut or water kefir)

Fermented pickles


Beet Kvass

Organic yogurt




* Keep in mind these are general lists as each person has unique nutritional needs.

Step Four: Repair:

Begin repairing the gut lining/leaky gut with food and targeted supplements. In this stage, we focus on adding specific nutrients to the gut to help soothe and heal the gut lining. Each person is unique so it is important to work with a Nutritional Practitioner to find the best options for your specific needs.

Step Five: Reintroduce:

Once your gut has had the opportunity to heal, certain foods may be able to be reintroduced gradually back into your diet.

The process can take some time, but with a good support system, healing is possible!

I hope this breakdown of the 5R gut healing process has helped to give you clarity and confidence when healing the gut. Although I am just about to head into a mini maternity leave, I will be taking on clients again for the fall/winter of 2021. If you are wanting to finally tackle your chronic digestive issues, join my waitlist to be the first to know when doors open again for 1:1 nutrition consulting.

In the meantime, feel free to follow along on Instagram @reclaimedhealthjayde and try out some of my recipes over on my blog at



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