A Gut Feeling
A Gut Feeling
A Gut Feeling

A Gut Feeling

Pain in our gut isn’t something we like to talk about, but ignoring what our body is telling us won’t make the pain go away.

Last Updated: June 22, 2022
Contributor: Meghann Shantz

Explored in this episode

  • What ulcerative colitis feels like
  • The definition of functional medicine
  • How a functional medicine approach differs from an allopathic (Western) medicine approach
  • The importance of the gut microbiome, and how much more there is to learn about it
  • How important acceptance can be to our recovery and our wellness

Voices in the conversation


Kiara LeBlanc

Chief of Innovation and Brand, Saje Natural Wellness

Kiara LeBlanc

It's a huge shift to go from 'my body, your problem' to 'my body, my issue, I'm in control and I can get the help that I need'.

Involved in the Saje Natural Wellness business since childhood, Kiara LeBlanc has inspired and assisted in the design, development and production of most Saje products that are on the shelves today. Leading the product development team, Kiara heads the innovation, supplier relations and design departments within the Saje Creative Office in Vancouver. Kiara has also suffered from ulcerative colitis for many years, and only recently has she started sharing her story of gut pain, pain management and her changing relationship with food.

Both experiences have made her turn to alternative medicine traditions from around the world, and she found her way back to wellness by utilizing the power of self-care beyond sick care. She is now a passionate advocate for the importance of water and hydration, alternative ingredients, and the power of our own bodies on the path to wellness. Today, she is a well-being strategist, product developer and an ambassador for startup ventures in plant medicine.


Dr. Ashley Riskin

Doctor of Functional Medicine

Dr. Ashley Riskin

What the microbiome is doing is helping us break down food.

Dr. Riskin is the co-founder/director of Connect Health Care Centre in Vancouver, BC. He completed his Bachelor of Sciences, Medical Doctorate and Family Medicine Residency at UBC as well as a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine from the University of Arizona. He is also certified by the Institute for Functional Medicine and holds a strong focus on gut health in his every day practice. Dr. Riskin treats patients for ulcerative colitis using a functional medicine approach, including Kiara. He shares his expertise on the gut microbiome: something we are learning more about, and plays a big role in the way our bodies interact with the food we eat.

Meghann Shantz, The Host of Well Now
Meghann Shantz
The Host of Well Now

Managing Editor at Saje Natural Wellness, Meghann Shantz brings her personal story of healing and a love of storytelling to Well Now – a podcast born out of a desire to help us all discover the hidden side of health and how to achieve wellness. She draws from her experiences navigating western and alternative medicine to heal her anxiety and physical injury to connect with guests about their own stories of overcoming physical and emotional challenges.

Naturally curious and on a quest for meaning, Meghann holds space for the raw expression and authentic stories of her podcast guests, believing that our world would be better if we chose to honour other people’s journeys and processes without judgement – and believing in the power of telling your story.