All Disease Begins in the Gut ~ Hippocrates
This statement was made over 2,000 years ago by the Father of Medicine and as we study the gut microbiota, we are finding that this is truer than ever.
So what does the gut have to do with disease and health? The short answer is ~ a lot. The long answer quite intricate, but it boils down to the fact that we have trillions of bacteria that reside in our bodies. In fact, there are 10 times more bacteria in our bodies than we have cells in our bodies. So the balance and types of bacteria we host in our bodies is extremely important.
When you look at the numbers, we have over 10 trillion cells in our bodies, so that means that we have over 100 trillion bacteria in our bodies. That’s astounding! What’s more astounding is the fact that the majority of them reside in our guts – so many that they actually contribute 3-5 pounds of our body weight. Think about that. That’s a lot of bacteria!
So what’s so significant about that? Scientists are finding out that bacteria can influence the ways our cells express themselves and how they communicate with each other. Different strains of bacteria in varying quantities affect your body differently. Bacteria are more intelligent that we realize. They have the ability to sense how many of their kind are around them and what other kinds of bacteria are present. Once they reach a “quorum” of their own kind, they can mount their own defenses against threats and function in specifics way that are in their innate programming. When you get a bacterial infection, you often feel very sick very quickly because once the bacteria have a certain quorum, they rapidly kick into action.
Then what does this have to do with health? And what are the implications of this? Again, the answer is ~ a lot. Since we are finding out that the bacteria in your gut have the ability to alter the way certain genes are expressed, we can alter that expression by altering the microbiota in the gut. What we once thought was a genetic roulette, may now be a factor we can change with the foods we eat, the supplements we take and the lifestyle choices we make. We can change the way our genes get activated. What was once thought to be risk factor may now be simply seen as genetic predispositions that we may be able to control. The rising field of epigenetics deals with these very issues.
This all makes sense. If we look back far enough (for some that may be one generation and others it may be many) to where our ancestors lived more simply and ate real food without sugar and with much less flour than we consume now, we find that the causes of death were much different. People weren’t dropping dead of the “diseases of modern civilization”, such as heart disease or cancer, especially in rural areas. They succumbed to old age, accidents or infections related to sanitation issues, such as lack of running water or sanitary toilets. Those who had easy access to processed foods had higher rates of the “diseases of modern civilization”. This may simply be access to sugar and refined flour.
Therefore, taking care of the gut is extremely important. Building up the good bacteria and limiting the bad bacteria is critical. There are several ways we can do this. First and foremost is to pay attention what we put in our mouths. Less refined foods, especially flours and sugars, and more good quality fats, proteins and vegetables promote health gut bacteria. Consuming fermented foods and beverages will also add to the health of the gut by increasing beneficial bacteria. Cutting out sugar, even natural sugars, also allows the good bacteria and yeasts to flourish which will naturally control the balance of your gut flora.
An overlooked aspect of gut health is stress ~ physical, emotional and mental. Therefore, slowing down and managing our stress, as well as minimizing physical stress through energizing activity and adequate restoration (rest and relaxation), maximizes our body’s balance.
Making the proper lifestyle choices can be challenging. It is easy to think that your actions won’t matter. Sometimes, we all need support in making positive changes, even when we know they are right.
In order to help you, I have a 14-Day Take OWNERSHIP Challenge, a REAL food and wellness coaching and cleanse program. It gently guides you back into balance with food, fermented beverages and lifestyle changes through intense email support and conference calls. I am offering complimentary coaching sessions to follow-up the program through the New Year......ALL the way through 2016. The next session begins on January 25 to help you lead off your New Year well after reassessing your resolutions. I plan to offer this every month and if you register in January, you will receive the year long coaching bonus also! I encourage you to join me in Taking OWNERSHIP of your health and your life. Find out more about the program HERE and if you’d prefer one-on-one work, consider my coaching or consulting services. Either way, make the right changes for yourself, get your gut into balance and live your life abundantly!
To Your Health and Wealth!
How is your New Year going? Have you made resolutions? Are you keeping them? How do you feel about them?
I hope that you are moving with grace and ease through the New Year. New beginnings are exciting, so look forward to this coming year. It is going to be awesome! I can't wait to see how it unfolds and all the wonderful things that are going to happen in my life and in yours.
Before walking through the New Year, it is a good idea to unpack the old year. Take a look back and examine how things went ~ did you have unmet expectations, did it wildly exceed your expectations, was it fine but nothing like your expectations? What were the highs? What were the lows? How did your most important relationships fare ~ especially those with yourself and with God? And did are you one of those people that pick a word for your year? If so, what was your word? How did your year live up to it? How did it fall short?
Load 2016 ~ Pick a Word
In years past, I've tried to pick a word of the year. It has always been very hard up to this point. Being chronically exposed to mold, and then acutely exposed to mold, has strained my physical resources and, therefore, hampered my inner life and my inner resources. Chronic sickness has a way of doing that. This year, though, over a year out from the major exposures and in a brand new apartment, my word came easily and extremely quickly. I sat down to be still and pray and the word just popped in my head.
RESTORATION. That was it. It just came. No prayers. No stillness. Just an open and receptive heart (though isn't that the essence of prayer and meditation?). In years past, I I've wanted a word that I would mold my life around rather than finding my word and letting it transform me. And this is my transformation year. So much has been lost and now it is time to regain. So, RESTORATION. That is my word for 2016. What's yours? Have you thought about it? Are you open to it? It's not too late to discover yours.
And with the New Year, as the topic of resolutions comes up, it is evident that there is a love-hate relationship with them. They are often made with great intentions and enthusiasm, but, more often than not, they somehow they leave us disheartened as we slowly slip back into old patterns of behavior.
Sometimes, we don't have the resources (not just financial, but physical, mental, emotional and social) to make the changes we need to make. Sometimes, we make the changes too big and monstrous and they overcome us. And sometimes, when we look at the big picture and want the end result, we neglect the other, smaller things that need to change first for the end result to be different.
Nonetheless, as we get farther and farther from the beginning of the New Year, we can see our enthusiasm wane as we slip into the routine of what has come to be the usual for us. And each year, that rut of usual gets dug deeper and deeper. And it gets harder and harder to steer out of it.
Well, this can be the year that doesn't have to be this way. Let this be the year of transformation for you. Let the process unfold gently and slowly. What one small thing can you change that can yield big results for you? Think of simple things. Those things can transform your life in ways you don't expect.
Do you want your health better? How much water do you drink? Do you drink soda? How much sleep do you get? What are you eating? How much are you eating? When are you eating?
Do you want more happiness and ease? Do you take a few minutes every day to plan and review your day? Do you do the hardest thing on your to do list first? Are you taking care of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of yourself?
Small changes can yield BIG results when you do them consistently. So, think small in what you need to do differently each day and you just may reap BIG on the results end. Make it your resolution to do one small change every day and watch how the benefits unfold during the year.
If you want to see the changes and need support, join my 14-Day Take OWNERSHIP Challenge (Real Food Coaching and Cleanse Program) in January. You have this week to register for a start date of January 25. There are also programs in February and March ~ and if you register by this Friday, you'll receive the same YEAR LONG BONUSES that the January participants are receiving. We can all use the extra support of a coach and to be a part of a vibrant, like-minded community is invaluable. You can also reap the YEAR LONG BONUSES if you decide to become a coaching client of mine. I offer many different ways to get services. Or take my post-holiday New Year 8~week coaching package. It is the best value and includes all the bonuses of the Take OWNERSHIP Challenge participants.
Join me now as I start to document my own healing journey from the chronic exposures and major life changes I am experiencing. I hope some of my own story may inspire you to believe you can make the changes you need to make so you can make your difference in the world that you are called to make.
So go and register for one of my programs and leave a comment below on your take on resolutions, your word for 2016 if you have one or what one small change you intend to make to reap big results.
Welcome to this space. A healing space. A space dedicated to health. For discovering what it is. For claiming it, reclaiming it or rejoicing in it.
A space where we can journey together……with each other.
On the road to true health.
You see, health is greater than the absence of identifiable dis~ease. It is more than just not feeling bad. It is more than just “not breaking down”.
It is living optimally…..to our highest God-given potential.
It is not just surviving…….it is thriving!
Many of us have been so disconnected with how we can really feel
that we no longer know what health is.
Or what it feels like.
Many of us have been so far removed from real food that our bodies crave the processed, food-like substances that are so prevalent at the supermarket.
Many of us are just happy to get through the day without any aches and pains. Or embarrassing gastrointestinal issues. Or embarrassing, inconvenient or dangerous forgetfulness. Or a host of other inconvenient and uncomfortable things that can happen to us or to our bodies.
Many of us just hit the pillow at night exhausted, not just tired. Only to have trouble falling asleep. Or to awaken in the middle of the night. Or to sleep fitfully. Or to awaken much too early.
Many of us are so busy that we can’t seem to take the time to figure out what is really wrong or how to change any of this.
So, we leave it up to the “professionals” to tell us what is wrong.
And what we should do about it.
Well, there aren’t any professionals that are experts on my life.
Other than me. Or you in your life.
We are the ones who should make the decisions about our own health and our own lives.
And take responsibility for those decisions, as well as their outcomes.
This life is a gift.
A beautiful gift.
Given to us to use wisely.
Not to suffer needlessly.
How will we ever live up to our mission in life if we are not living up to our full potential??
I hope you will take this journey with me. A journey to discovering what true health is.
What creates health…..
and what takes it away……
What it is for each of us.
And what it is for our families.
Because what ultimately creates optimal health for me
may be somewhat different
than what creates optimal health for you.
We are all born and gifted with inherent strengths and limitations.
Unique to only us.
Areas in our lives that only we can discover.
Join me on this journey and discover what influences YOUR inner landscape.