Increase Your Health In Your Mind And Gut

 

We face different challenges throughout the day that are going to play havoc with our desire to accomplish a “clean and healthy diet.”   One day you might need that third cup of coffee to help you make it through the day, you might say yes to that little brownie winking at you at the coffee shop, or you might have to fulfill your human duty of drinking that second glass of wine the evening your boss made you feel as though you didn’t know what you were doing.

The problem seems to unfold when one day becomes a week, a week a month… a month a year…you get the idea. The foundation of developing healthy eating habits lies in recognizing when we are falling off the wagon and actively choosing to feed our body with the best possible foods out there. You might feel that this option seems so difficult to make, it is almost as though your body knows what to do but can’t make it happen.

Well, you might not be wrong about that. Let me explain.

Our human body hosts about 100 trillion bacteria. Roughly about 4 ½ pounds or 2 kilos of our weight is bacteria.  The scientific community has recently called our microbiome, the bacteria living in our gut, our second brain. A decade ago this would have been a laughable idea, however, researchers are pointing to this conclusion as the tip of the iceberg. There is undoubtedly a connection between our gut and our brain that seems to be more powerful than we originally thought. 

As a second brain with nerve ends as complex as our brain, the gut and its inhabitants play an important role in the way our digestive system operates but has been recently studied, it might also play a very important role in how we behave and the foods we prefer.  Besides successful techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, breathing techniques and journaling, we also need to pay close attention to this crucial relationship between our gut and brain when looking for ways to achieve a state of wellness.

Beneficial bacteria feed mostly on insoluble fiber, which reaches the large intestine near the end of the digestive process.

Bacteria as you might guess already is found in great quantities in this area.  One of the problems we have as a society is that our diets are becoming more and poorer in insoluble fiber. Not only this but also, the increased use of antibiotics and our highly stressful lifestyle have affected our capacity to develop and maintain a healthy gut flora. 

Stress can literally kill your beneficial bacteria as your body shuts down the digestive system when it senses that the brain needs extra energy to stay alert during a potentially “dangerous period.”  But what we consider “dangerous” nowadays is quite different from what “dangerous” meant before: a Mammoth or a scary prehistoric tiger trying to eat you!


“Taking care of our beneficial bacteria has never been
more important.”

How can we help our gut microbiome from a mind cleanse perspective so we encourage a better relationship between our brain and gut?  The answer is to avoid stressors that affect the mind and as you discovered, the gut as well.  At the same time, incorporate techniques that allow us to cope better with stress as we cannot eliminate it from our lives completely. 

I know you have heard this one a million times, but try to give it a shot, it is really, really good. Guessed which one? Yup.  Meditation.  Try the app headspace. They have free trials but you can also pay for different meditation set-ups. 

Deep breathing through the day.  Fit bit watches have this tool built into their options. You could also set reminders on your phone.

Infrared saunas or steam rooms.  We discharge toxins through sweat. 
Dry brush. Stimulates our lymphatic system, which is aiding our immune system. Remember to always brush toward your heart. 
Take a social media break. 
Eat your meals in a stress-free zone.
Exercise. Goes without saying…I know is a hard one.
Foods: Incorporate fermented foods such as Tempeh, Kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir. 

Supplements: Probiotics. Make sure you consult a healthcare practitioner to see if this is a good option for you. There are so many options out there, from vegan probiotics to dairy free. The sky is the limit.

Remember we are going for consistency, not perfection. And I am 100% sure you can do it!!!

 

MEET LAURA

"I am a Nutritional Consultant with a background in Literature.  Let me explain. In my early twenties, my love for books and stories led me to study literature in my home country of Chile. After finishing those enriched years at University, I decided to move to Canada. After living in Whistler, BC for over ten years, it was time to move once again.  My husband and I decided to change gears and move to beautiful Vernon, BC. This obviously meant yet another modification to my life-plan.  I attended the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition because of my love of healthy food. I learned so much more than just healthy eating. Our body is a miracle, literally. The food, the thoughts and the things we do and say have an effect on our health. Our body is more than just the sum of its parts. We are a harmonious union between body, mind and spirit."