As mentioned in a previous post about the why? and the what?, the digestive tract is the source of our immune system, mental health (in most cases), and entire nourishment for every cell in your body! And, remarkably, the gut can HEAL! New digestive tract cells can replace themselves every 3 days! Regardless of the damage done, the body is brilliantly working to find the nutrients it needs from what you are sending it! With these nutrients, the gut can truly be rejuvenated!
So, the question is HOW do we heal the gut, the microbial imbalances, the “Leaky Gut” situation, the damaged villi and microvilli (think nutrient straws between the digestive tract and the rest of your body)?
This requirement for health certainly deserves our focused attention. The answers come as we re-learn what is necessary to strengthen our core. One of the best places to start is with an aspect of health that is almost non-existent in the American diet… WE NEED MICROBES! WE NEED HEAPING AMOUNTS OF “GOOD BACTERIA” TO PARTNER WITH US! And while more media is focusing on daily probiotic (“good bacteria”) supplements, the body is actually most receptive to receiving these bacteria through our foods.
Which leads us to the center stage of your wellness… the source of good bacteria… numbering units of microbes in the billions… the attention must go to the star… CULTURED FOODS!
These cannot be underestimated! In our American culture, we simply do not include these foods as they should be… DAILY! Wonderful helps can be found on-line for the making of kombucha, kefir, sour-dough breads, sauerkraut and hundreds of other veggie combinations, kvass, yogurt, and more.
As we rethink WELLNESS, my hope is that you will wildly embrace these remarkable foods, preferring to make them at home so you reap excellent probiotic and enzymatic benefits without additives so often found in store bought varieties.
Just a few things to mention here about kefir, which is a delicious healing elixir made from culturing milk (and most folks who are milk sensitive do remarkably well with it!). It has a taste like yogurt, but as you will see, it is considerably more powerful and healing. Most store-bought yogurt is cultured with 2,3, up to 6 or 7 strains of bacteria. That is what makes yogurt… well, yogurt. KEFIR, on the other hand, is cultured with 8 – 12 strains of bacteria — if purchased in the store. BUT, HOMEMADE KEFIR can include anywhere from 30 to 50+ strains plus beneficial yeasts! That is wild!
Kefir can be made in only 3 to 4 four minutes each day, and it is one of the easiest processes! Many how-to videos and articles can be found on-line. One of my very favorite things to do is to share with others how to make these powerful cultured goodies… the huge health benefits are marvelous! A very sure way to strengthen the source of your health… that amazing gut!
It might go without saying that beyond cultured (or “fermented”) foods, there are more ways to reap huge benefits for the blessing of your gut! And the choice is yours! Literally, the daily choices you make can have huge effects on the healing of the gut… the healing of your immune system… the balancing of your mind… and all the building blocks of a well you!
For example, contrary to popular and tightly held dietary beliefs, holistic nutritionists are agreeing that there is no way to health without good fats! AND, brace yourself… you need PLENTY of them! Again, this fact is not something being passed around today. Much information is out there to steer us in a multitude of directions. Sometimes, you just need to try something new to get something better. In this case with fats, this is actually old school. Very old. And very effective! Butter, butter, organic butter! Powerful food for healing the gut… loaded with the trinity of vitamins A,D, and K2. But there are many wonderful fats to add back to that low-fat idea that hasn’t treated us well. Spend some time looking into fats… you will find many, many that are delicious for cooking and enjoying. Coconut oil! Olive oil! When you try an approach, and you are encouraged with results, it becomes easy to continue further down that path. (Be sure to check out the RETHINK LIBRARY for suggested reading on fats!)
This blogger is rethinking WELLNESS and drawing much insight from the work of the most brilliant nutritionist, way before his time… Dr. Weston Price, a dentist. He traveled the globe in the early 1900s studying native cultures looking for clues into the phenomenon of absolute wellness in isolated cultures. He documented volumes, and his research is life changing! Many things can be gleaned.. some of the big ideas are captured in the two lists below, but other experts have also made significant contributions in our understanding of the most optimal foods for health (i.e. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Sally Fallon, Kate Rheaume-Bleue, N.D.).
We do have the privilege of looking backwards over years of history and cultures to find effective healthful practices. So much information today is biased toward the promotion of mega corporations. Consider the wisdom… “If the food you are eating didn’t exist 100 years ago, then question if it is something you really want to eat.” Even without all the scientific and chemical understandings of the innate structures of foods, millions of folks lived heartily, happily, and healthfully on diets that sustained them for many centuries — almost disease and cavity free! We now are beginning to learn the science behind why these cultures experienced such healthful existences, and this science seems to be something we all need to know today in order to rethink W E L L N E S S. With so much clever and cute marketing all around, it is hard to let go of our notions… even though we are getting sicker as a society instead of going the opposite direction. Let’s turn this around! Let’s RETHINK some of the most basic and important aspects of being alive! Our daily fuel sources — our daily food choices!
ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY adding to your day!
REJECT RUN REMOVE– get these out of your way!
Now, inhale deeply and don’t close down because the lists above seem unrealistic to your day to day routines or unrealistic to your taste buds. Nobody needs to feel pressured to implement all the suggestions on day 1! We are taking a walk. One step at a time. Focus on restoring your digestive tract to a place of complete balance… You soon will be headed where you want to be! And be mindful of the time it takes to heal. Your system wants to heal; it is designed to move toward optimization and balance. You are wonderfully made! Your job, if you choose, is to support it appropriately… and it will begin to respond. Be patient. Wait for the results. Be consistent.
Please be encouraged to choose the walk toward wellness! Baby steps! No need for panic or discouragement… your body will reward you as you mindfully choose your personal wellness journey! Start with the gut and find yourself again!
YOU ARE INVITED NOW TO SPEND THE NEXT 5 MINUTES ON AN AWESOME VIDEO CLIP PRODUCED BY NPR SUMMARIZING WHAT THIS SERIES ON GUT HEALTH IS ALL ABOUT! So well done. So cute! Click here to view this little cartoon! I do believe that “understanding” is the best wellness supplement of all!
And please continue this series on the BLESSING the GUT –#3. It is always my hope that you find some encouragement for the daily steps!