gut microbiome Archives - Sarah-Jane Diamond

Depression is A Disease of Civilisation: Hunter-gatherers hold the Key to the Cure

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Depression is A Disease of Civilization: Hunter-Gatherers Hold the Key to the Cure

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Depression is a global epidemic. It is the main driver behind suicide, which now claims more than a million lives per year worldwide. One in four Americans will suffer from clinical depression within their lifetimes, and the rate is increasing with every generation.

It robs people of sleep, energy, focus, memory, sex drive and their basic ability to experience the pleasures of life, says author of The Depression Cure Stephen Ildari. It can destroy people’s desire to love, work, play and even their will to live. If left unchecked it can cause permanent brain damage.

Depression lights up the pain circuitry of the brain to such an extent that many of Ildari’s psychiatric patients have called it torment, agony and torture. “Many begin to look to death as a welcome means of escape,” he said in a Ted Talks presentation.

But depression is not a natural disease. It is not an inevitable part of being human. Ildari argues, like many diseases, depression is a disease of civilization. It’s a disease caused by a high-stress, industrialized, modern lifestyle that is incompatible with our genetic evolution.

Depression is the result of a prolonged stress-response, Ildari said. The brain’s “runaway stress response” – as he calls it – is similar to the fight or flight response, which evolved to help our ancestors when they faced predators or other physical dangers. The runaway stress response required intense physical activity for a few seconds, a few minutes, or – in extreme cases – a few hours.

“The problem is for many people throughout the Western world, the stress response goes on for weeks, months and even years at a time, and when it does that, it’s incredibly toxic,” Ildari said.

Living under continually stressful conditions – as many modern humans do – is disruptive to neuro-chemicals like dopamine and seratonin, which can lead to sleep disturbance, brain damage, immune dysregulation and inflammation, Ildari says.

Civilization is the disease

hadza-dance-tanzania_13187_990x742Epidemiologists have now identified a long list of other stress-related diseases as “diseases of civilization” – diabetes, atherosclerosis, asthma, allergies, obesity and cancer. These diseases are rampant throughout the developed world, but virtually non-existent among modern-day aboriginal peoples.

In a study of 2000 Kaluli aborigines from Papua New Guinea, only one marginal case of clinical depression was found. Why? Because the Kaluli lifestyle is very similar to our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ lifestyle that lasted for nearly 2 million years before agriculture, Ildari said.

“99.9 percent of the human experience was lived in a hunter-gatherer context,” he added. “Most of the selection pressures that have sculpted and shaped our genomes are really well adapted for that environment and that lifestyle.”

In view of nearly 3 million years of hominid existence, since homo habilis first began use of stone tools, our genus has undergone rapid environmental change since the advent of agriculture about 12,000 years ago. And in the last 200 years, since the industrial revolution, our species has had to cope with what Ildari calls “radical environmental mutation.”

While our environment has radically mutated, our human genome is essentially the same as it was 200 years ago, Ildari says. “That’s only eight generations. It’s not enough time [for significant genetic adaptations].”

“There’s a profound mismatch between the genes we carry, the bodies and brains that they are building, and the world that we find ourselves in,” he said. “We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, fast-food-laden, sleep-deprived frenzied pace of modern life.”

 

The Cure

Though he’s not entirely opposed to medication, Ildari says we can throw all the drugs in the world at the depression epidemic, and it won’t make a dent.

Anti depressant use has gone up 300 percent in the last 20 years, but the rate of depression has continued to increase. One in nine Americans over age 12 is currently taking an antidepressant, and one in five have been on them at some point.

The answer, Ildari says, is a change in lifestyle. He says the results of his six step program have exceeded his wildest dreams:

1. Exercise

2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

3. Sunlight

4. Healthy Sleep

5. Anti-ruminative activity

6. Social connection

In his presentation, he emphasized the importance of exercise and social connection, as they are two of the hardest parts of the program for modern Americans.

Exercise is ‘not natural’

Ildari says the results of exercise on depression are so powerful that if they could be reduced into a pill, it would be the most expensive pill on earth. The problem is 60 percent of American adults get no regular physical activity. Ildari says it’s not their fault. Between long days at work and household and family responsibilities to attend to, who has the time or energy to hit the gym?

The dirty little secret about exercise, Ildari says, is “it is not natural.” We are designed to be physically active “in the service of adapted goals,” not to exercise on a hamster wheel.

Hunter gatherers get four or more hours of vigorous physical activity every day, but if you ask them they will tell you they don’t exercise, Ildari says. “They don’t work out. Working out would be crazy to them. They live.”

“When you put a lab rat on a treadmill … it will squat down on it’s haunches, and the treadmill starts to rub the fur and the skin right off it’s back side,” he said. “When you stare at a piece of exercise equipment, there is a part of your brain that’s screaming out ‘Don’t do it! You’re not going anywhere!’”

If you can’t go out gathering your own nuts and berries or hunting your own meat, Ildari recommends brisk walking with a friend. Walking for 30 minutes, three times a week, has better effects on depression than Zoloft, he said.

Social Connection

Another huge factor in modern depression is the lack of social connection in our modern nuclear-family bubbles. “Face-time with our loved ones puts the breaks on our stress response,” Ildari says.

The problem is we’ve replaced face-time with screen-time. “Our hunter gatherer ancestors spent all day every day in the company of their loved ones.”

Unfortunately illness, including mental illness, triggers people to isolate themselves, which only makes depression worse.

“Resist the urge to withdraw,” Ildari says, “because when you’re ill, your body tells you to shut down and pull away. When you have the flu, that’s adaptive. When you have depression, it’s the worst thing in the world you could do.”

Rewilding and Tribal Living

What Ildari didn’t mention in his Ted Talk is how difficult his cure is for most modern humans to attain. Sure, we’d all like more fresh air, sunlight, exercise, a better diet, better sleep, less monotonous work, and more interaction with loved ones, but who has time for all that?

I’m stuck here staring at my screen typing about it in an effort to make a living for myself, and many of you don’t even have time to read this article because you have 50+ hours-a-week jobs of your own. Meanwhile, immediate-return hunter-gatherers work an average of 17 hours a week. In this world, we certainly can’t just quit our jobs to be less stressed, when the financial stress would create more stress.

In my opinion, the answer lies in baby steps. Baby steps away from dependence on civilization, and toward nature, earth skills, and self-sustaining communal living.

Its about remembering to come back to your heart, your true nature and loving where you are.

Getting back to your roots, following an ancestral diet, listening to your body, going with the flow of our natural cycles with nature, trusting your gut knowing are the keys to set you free.

You are not broken, there is nothing to fix, there is only a return to the present moment of loving what is.

Interested in getting to the root cause of your disease, suffering, anxiety and depression?

Book a complimentary CLARITY to healing through lifestyle medicine session now

Article credits: returntonow.net

What you don’t know about depression

By | access consciousness, big vision, blind spots, chronic disease, comfort zone, Conscious living, courage, depression, doubt and distraction, emotional abuse, fear, gut health, gut microbiome, peter levine, receiving, sarahjanediamond, self love, self-acceptance, sex and sensualness, somatic release, stress, true nature, Uncategorized | No Comments

What you don’t know about depression

On my own journey through life and mis diagnosis of bipolar disorder. functional autism, it makes my heart expand to know that finally the truth about depression, anxiety and chronic stress can no longer be muted by big pharma. When you ask questions and trust the inmate wisdom of your body mind, you can heal your body naturally using nature’s medicine chest and the ancient wisdom of our ancestors to write your own prescription for a healthy, fulfilled life on purpose. Over the past 15 years, I have had the honour of assisting women all over the world to heal themselves from the inside out, from their cells to their soul using simple strategies like eating clean, getting enough restorative sleep, rewiring their nervous system by getting to the root cause of their current health, relationship and money issues through my Mindfulness Change and early childhood experiences with unpredictable stressors i.e. epigenetic and then using an integrative healing approach unique to each individual to reboot their brain and support their body systems naturally and effectively so they thrive!

Who am I to show you how? Well, I have created the True nature Systems based on healing my own body mind, years of study, certification and clients results . When doctors told  me I would be on SSRI’s for the rest of my life if I wanted to stay alive and functioning, I chose to look at alternative medicine and nutrition as my pathway from pain to purpose. In 6 months, I tapered off the medication, cleared my brain fog and anxiety through the D.R.E.S.S code (diet, rest, exercise, sleep and supplementation) and regained “a mind of my own.”

It was not always easy or comfortable, there were times when I just wanted to curl in a ball and go to sleep forever, but my vision to heal myself and help other women was bigger than my fear.

I know I did not go through all of this to keep it to myself – this work matters and there has never been a better time to trust your YES!

You can read the long version of my story here

Knowledge is power and I am on a mission to “teach a wo/man to fish and feed him/her for life”.

If you’re diagnosed with depression, then chances are you can relate to any of the following: persistent distress, malaise, anxiety, inner agitation, fatigue, low libido, poor memory, irritability, insomnia, sense of hopelessness, and feeling overwhelmed and trapped but emotionally flat. You might wake up most mornings unmotivated and uninspired, and you drag yourself around all day waiting for it to end (or waiting for a drink). Maybe you feel a sense of dread or panic without knowing why. You can’t silence the negative thoughts, which puts you on edge. Sometimes it seems like you could let loose an endless stream of tears, or perhaps you can’t remember the last time you cared enough about something to cry. All of these descriptions are symptoms that typically fall under a diagnosis of clinical depression. And if you were to seek help through conventional medicine, even if you don’t consider yourself “depressed,” you’d likely be handed a prescription for an antidepressant, joining the more than 30 million users in America. You might already be part of this community and feel like your fate is now sealed.

It doesn’t have to be.

Over the past twenty-five years, ever since the FDA approval of Prozac-type medications, we’ve been taught that drugs can improve the symptoms of or even cure mental illness, particularly depression and anxiety disorders. Today they are among the most prescribed, best-selling drugs. This has led to one of the most silent and underestimated tragedies in the history of modern health care.

As a practicing psychiatrist with a degree in cognitive neuroscience from MIT, an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College, and clinical training from NYU School of Medicine, I care deeply for women struggling with their well-being. I’m compelled to share what I’ve learned about the corruption of modern psychiatry and its sordid history while investigating holistic methods that focus on nutrition, meditation, and physical activity—what some practitioners are calling lifestyle medicine because the approach involves changes in everyday lifestyle habits, rather than the use of pharmaceuticals. While such drug-free methods are rooted in supportive science, they are virtually unknown in this age of the quick fix.

Let’s get a few facts straight from the get-go. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m not even that politically minded, but I do like to think for myself. I’m a natural skeptic and pragmatist. These days, there are a couple of issues in my line of work that are making my blood boil, and I’m working to connect the dots between them to help establish a framework for a truth in science “sniff-test.” For one, symptoms of mental illness are not entirely a psychological problem, nor are they purely a neurochemical issue (and, as we’ll see shortly, not a single study has proven that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain). Depression is merely a symptom, a sign that something is off balance or ill in the body that needs to be remedied.

And two, depression is a grossly misdiagnosed and mistreated condition today, especially among women—one in seven of whom is being medicated (one in four of reproductive age). Although I was trained to think that antidepressants are to the depressed (and to the anxious, panicked, OCD, IBS, PTSD, bulimic, anorexic, and so on) what eyeglasses are to the poor-sighted, I no longer buy into this rhetoric.

We owe most of our mental illnesses—including their kissing cousins such as chronic worry, fogginess, and crankiness—to lifestyle factors and undiagnosed physiological conditions that develop in places far from the brain, such as the gut and thyroid. That’s right: you might owe your gloominess and unremitting unease to an imbalance that is only indirectly related to your brain’s internal chemistry. Indeed, what you eat for breakfast (think whole wheat toast, fresh OJ, milk, and multigrain cereal) and how you deal with that high cholesterol and afternoon headache (think Lipitor and Tylenol) could have everything to do with the causes and symptoms of your depression. And if you think a chemical pill can save, cure, or “correct” you, you’re dead wrong. That is about as misguided as taking aspirin for a nail stuck in your foot.

I do not deny that I have developed a bit of an acrimonious relationship with much of conventional medicine over the past several years. After having witnessed the devastation this paradigm has wrought upon the lives of hundreds of my patients, I’m convinced that the pharmaceutical industry and its bedfellows, concealed behind official titles such as certain medical societies and associations, have created an illusion of science where none exists, in the service of profit over professional responsibility. I can myth bust just about everything you think you know about the role of drugs in the treatment of depression and anxiety. It’s time to turn the lights on in this dark room. Let’s open up this conversation and embrace a perspective on depression that radically challenges mainstream assumptions and theories.

The time has come for you to have a mind of your own.

Adapted from A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan, MD

Kelly Brogan, MD, is a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is a mother of two.

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How to reset your Nervous system in 60 seconds

By | access consciousness, access your true nature, bodytalk, chinese medicine, chronic disease, communication, Conscious living, courage, creativity, depression, doubt and distraction, emotional abuse, fear, gut health, gut microbiome, inspiration, nervous system overwhelm, sarahjanediamond, stress, true nature, Uncategorized | No Comments

How to reset your Nervous system in 60 seconds

In todays’ post I want to introduce you to the ACE score and show you how you can use it to rescue your abandoned childs part and integrate the core woundings, really get to the root cause of your

trauma so that you can transform anxiety and depression and heal your body mind naturally and live your healthy, fulfilled life. Read on and learn how to reset your nervous system in 60 seconds.

Are you dealing with acute or chronic illness?

Do you have trouble sleeping well, or feel stressed, moody and on edge?

Do you find yourself unable to get better, despite visiting different doctors and trying different food, exercise, prescription and supplement routines?

In my work with root cause resolution, I want to know where in your early childhood experiences these

early life stressors epigenetically have reset the gluticocorticoid receptors, resulting in a lowered threshold required for a stress response. So, early life stress causes chronic release of stress hormones and inflammatory cytokines. Genes that shut off the stress response are silenced.

The body is flooded with inflammation at the slightest provocation, and researchers have confirmed that crucial set of breaks are off, and the body is marinading in inflammatory chemicals.

A study by Dr Joan Kaufman and colleagues also looked at epigenetic differences in children with ACEs and found gene expression changes across the entire genome, including genes implicated in cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and cancer.

We live in a world of constant stressors and they are not going to go away. So getting to the root cause of yours health challenges now could literally save your life later on in life.

dreams

We have learnt to avoid our body’s million signals to slow down. rest, eat and push through the daily grind as our “normal.” Bad things happen like home invasions, car crashes and we never fully process the stress response all the way through the 5 stages of euro modulation. WE keep going, we think we are coping, that we are functioning and twenty, thirty years later we have a body crisis like cancer or an auto immune disease or heart attack that literally stops us on our path of self destruction and forces us to slow down and heal from the root cause of experiences and adversity we may not even remember.
Worse still that a traumatic event like rape or some other unspeakable shock and trauma that has a beginning and an end is the prolonged daily stressors of every day living in a modern, fast paced world. When we don’t take stock and practice radical self care, when we ignore our tension instead of addressing it, our bodies experience a buildup of cortisol, the flight-or-fight hormone. Over time, an abundance of cortisol can have disastrous consequences. Brain fog, lowered immunity, heart problems, elevated blood sugar, eating issues, diabetes, and hormonal and sleep disturbances are just a few common ramifications of persistent stress.The good news is, there are simple daily rituals you can use that don’t cost anything and that you can use straight away.What if you could use some simple practices when you feel your fight/flight/freeze response kicking in to move through your triggers without causing damage to your body or brain?We can rebuild our resilience, health, and peace of mind through the 5 keys to transform chronic stress, anxiety and depression naturally. When you learn how to heal your body, manage your stress response and DRESS ( diet, rest, exercise. sleep and supplementation) for success you will reclaim your meaningful, healthy life!Today, I want to invite you to listen to part 1 of a 2 part masterclass on “Abandonment and healing your childhood wounds that are holding you back from living in your fullest expression of health, wealth and happiness.You can listen in here:What is the Ace test?

Rescuing your child for a fulfilled life now

 

Your homework for today is to:

  1. Take your ace score here at http://www.acestudy.org/
  2. Take the enneagram quiz here at http://www.janspiller.com
  3. Practice mindfulness by using the following 5 steps to Stress Less living below
  4. Use the Peace process which I guide a client through here:

Mindfulness peels away layers of rushing, negative self-talk, and anxiety. It encourages us to honor ourselves as living, breathing, deserving humans. Mindfulness softens life’s challenges and makes us aware of the larger picture, in a kind and gentle way, by valuing and tuning in to the present moment.

Time is not a renewable resource, and it can’t be saved for later, either. The only moments we can treasure and appreciate, truly, are the ones we are living through right now. That alone is reason enough to be mindful—but we can also gain a physical health benefit: Mindfulness diminishes harmful cortisol build-up.

We have a lot to gain by learning to practice mindfulness.

 

mindshift

  1. Name your feeling.

When you notice stress, take one minute (or hopefully more) to quietly discern what you’re feeling and where you perceive sensation in your body. Go ahead and actually name it out loud, such as, “I’m feeling anger, and my pulse is pounding” or “Fear is giving me a knot in my stomach.” In a hurry? Then walk while you think, but do it slowly so you can focus.

  1. Observe the situation—without self-judgment.

That’s really what you’re doing by naming your feelings. You’ve taken a step back to observe, completely without judgment, the way a camera lens would do. This allows you to detach from the drama itself and just consider how it affects you. What do you see?

By the way, if you feel resistance to naming the emotion, or if your thoughts are racing, or you just want to hurry through or dismiss the feelings, that’s normal. This kind of focused attention isn’t our usual status quo. Focusing on yourself takes practice!

  1. Just breathe.

Take 3 to 5 deep, measured breaths. You can even close your eyes. This focused, purposeful deep breathing is the opposite of the shallow, rapid breathing that accompanies stress. The dramatic shift from that anxious pant to a slow, refreshing breath resets, calms, and informs your system immediately. When I’m tense, I feel a difference every time after I slow my breathing. It’s like magic.

  1. Make friends with what you’re feeling.

Rather than engaging in the default habit of self-criticism or judgment—for example, “Why should I be angry about that? I’m so stupid”— cultivate a new awareness and curiosity about the emotion or reaction. Pay close attention to what’s really in front of you, not an automatic interpretation of it. Usually, our versions of present events come from our past and prevent us from truly seeing what’s happening in reality. Question whether your story is really true—or does it just seem that way?

  1. Finally, make room for self-acceptance.

Have some compassion for your imperfectly perfect humanness. The overachievers among us tend to think “I’m never good enough” thoughts. Others of us may judge ourselves undeserving or feel selfish for shining a light on ourselves. Meet those doubts with softness, kindness, and an understanding that you are a loving, valuable presence in the world.

Let this 5-step technique become your best new rituality. It takes practice, but with time, you can achieve an effective stress reversal in 30 seconds!

Perhaps along the way you’ll also find yourself becoming more aware and appreciative of the world around you.

Right here and now is what we have in front of us, and it’s a friendly, important place that we don’t want to miss. Looking at what we’re presented with more closely, even in its difficult moments, just might be the answer.

I choose health, peace, and freedom over stress, worry, and mindless activity. How about you?

Want to learn more about how I can support you in healing your core woundings and childhood trauma through my practice of integrated functional medicine and the mindfulness process of changing your story?

Book your complimentary CLARITY to healing breakthrough session here:

Yes, I want to know I can be my own medicine!

Reference to long term stress and how it damages the brain

 

Weight loss and a healthy gut

By | access consciousness, access your true nature, big vision, blind spots, bodytalk, chinese medicine, chronic disease, communication, confidence, Conscious living, depression, doubt and distraction, eastern philosophy, emotional abuse, fear, fermenting, gut health, gut microbiome, sarahjanediamond, self love, self-acceptance, sex and sensualness, somatic release, spiritual growth, stress, true nature, Uncategorized | No Comments

This weekend I was privileged to teach what I know about depression, chronic stress and the link to an unhealthy gut. 12 Gutsy explorers ranging from nutritionists wanting to add to their private practice to Mom’s wanting to improve the quality of care for their children on the ADD and autism spectrum joined me to learn the ancient art of fermentation and how to easily restore a healthy immune system and aid metabolism through good digestive support.

You can listen to a soundbite from Gutsy Living ferment to fabulous weight loss, digestion, and immune support where I gave some foundational “Be-ology” and physiology of good digestion and immune support, that we covered before we got into the hands on “alchemy” part of making ferments in the master class

 

If you are interested to take the next “Gutsy Living – The Art of Fermenting to lose weight and restore your digestive system” you can Find out about the 1 day Fermenting for health workshop or book now

If you are interested in hosting a talk or workshop in your area, please contact me here sj@sarahjanediamond.com to find out how to do that. 

Dr. Mark Hyman author of  the new book “Eat fat, get thin” speaks in the same scientific facts as our own Dr. Tim Noakes ( cured his type 2 diabetes with this protocol) of the Food Revolution and Banting Diet that has taken South African’s back to re evaluation the quality of foods they are choosing in their diets and losing weight.

“It is true that what you eat can affect your gut bacteria, for better and for worse, and changes in your gut bacteria or microbiome cause weight gain.  Indeed, some studies demonstrate that high-fat diets can adversely affect your gut flora and promote inflammation and weight gain. However, it’s important to note that the type of fat you eat matters!  Most of these studies are focused on diets that incorporate high levels of inflammatory, refined omega 6 vegetable oils like soybean oil. 

Refined omega-6 rich vegetable oils fall into the “bad fats” category and should be avoided. While most of us have been convinced, by the food industry and our government, that vegetable oils are safe and a heart-healthy alternative to saturated fats, we now know differently.

Polyunsaturated fats from soybean, canola, and other seed oils are inflammatory. Avoid them if you want to be healthier. Even if you consume some omega 3 fats while consuming these inflammatory oils, you won’t reap the healthy fat benefits.

For most of human history, we consumed a much higher ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats. Wild foods like grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish provide a great source of omega 3s, but these foods are not a big part of our modern diet. Unfortunately, the factory-farmed animals that do make up much of our modern diet have almost zero omega 3 fats.

The vast quantities of omega 6 fats in our diet contribute to heart disease, diabesity, and cancerStudies also link high omega 6 fat consumption to depression, suicide, and other major health problems due to increased inflammation.

To reverse these and other problems and create optimal health, replace these damaging omega 6 fats with healthy ones – like coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter, fish rich in omega 3s, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Interestingly, when we look at studies that use the healthy, anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats, we see just the opposite effect. These healthy fats promote healthier gut bugs, lower inflammation levels, and increased weight loss.

I said it before and I’ll say it again:  the types of fat we eat matters. The wrong fats increase inflammation, promote the growth of bad bugs, and create resistance to weight loss. The right fats decrease inflammation and help with weight loss.”

Why Is Gut Health So Important?

Optimal gut health has become a prominent focus in 21st century health. Having too many bad critters hanging out in the gut has been linked to numerous problems – including autism, obesity, diabetes, allergies, autoimmunity, depression, cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia, eczema, and asthma. The links between chronic illness and an imbalanced microbiome (or gut bacteria) keep growing every day.

Many scientists have begun to refer to the gut as our second brain, an idea that is reflected in amazing books like The Good GutBrainmakerThe Microbiome Solution, and The Gut Balance Revolution.

Having a healthy gut should mean more to you than being annoyed by a little bloating or heartburn. It becomes central to your entire health and connected to everything that happens in your body. That’s why I almost always start treating my patients’ chronic health problems by fixing their guts first.

You can begin to understand the importance of gut health when you consider there are 500 species and three pounds of bacteria in your gut. There are trillions of bacteria in your gut, and they collectively contain at least 100 times as many genes as you do. The bacterial DNA in your gut outnumbers your own DNA by 100 times. You have about 20,000 genes, but there are 2,000,000 (or more) bacterial genes!

Altogether, your gut is a huge chemical factory that helps to digest food, produce vitamins, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, produce healing compounds and keep your gut healthy. 

Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. But that is a big job that depends on many other factors. For example, the bugs in your gut are like a rain forest – a diverse and interdependent ecosystem. They must be in balance for you to be healthy.

Too many of the wrong ones (like parasites, yeasts or bad bacteria) or not enough of the good ones (like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria), can lead to serious damage to your health.

Optimal gut balance begins with your diet, which directly affects that balance. You want to eat a diet with lots of fiber, healthy protein, and healthy fats.

Good fats, including omega 3 fats and monounsaturated fats – such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocados or almonds – improve healthy gut flora, while inflammatory fats, like omega 6 vegetable oils, promote growth of bad bugs that cause weight gain and disease.

Even obesity has been linked to changes in our gut ecosystem, resulting from an intake of inflammatory omega 6s and not enough anti-inflammatory omega 3s. Bad bugs produce toxins called lipopolysacchardies (LPS)  that trigger inflammation, insulin resistance or pre-diabetes and therefore, promote weight gain.

Lack of sleep and chronic stress also contribute to gut imbalance, In fact, your gut flora listens to and becomes influenced by your thoughts and feelings.  So be sure to get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep and remember to practice your favorite stress reduction activities daily. 

9 Ways to Optimize Gut Flora

The best way to grow a healthy inner garden and make your gut bugs happy begins with your diet. Here are 9 ways to build healthy gut flora starting with your next forkful:

  1. Eat whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods. One of the best ways to maintain gut health involves cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and jacking up gut-supporting fiber.
  2. Make 75 percent of your plate be vegetables and plant-based foods. Your gut bugs really love these high-fiber plant foods.
  3. Eat good fats and get an oil change. The good fats we mentioned earlier (like omega 3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil) will help with decreasing inflammation, giving healthy gut bugs a chance to flourish.
  4. Supplement smartly. Beyond the numerous benefits (including reducing inflammation), studies find omega 3 fatty acids can support healthy gut flora You should definitely supplement with an essential fatty acids formula, if you’re not regularly eating wild-caught fatty fish.  You can find professional-quality formulas in my store. Take a good probiotic supplement. This helps reduce gut inflammation while cultivating health and the growth of good bacteria.
  5. Add more coconut. Studies demonstrate anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits from adding Medium Chain Triglyceride or MCT oils. One of my favorite fats, coconut oil and coconut butter, contains these fabulous fat-burning MCTs.
  6. Remove inflammatory fats. Cut out bad, inflammatory omega 6 rich fats like vegetable oils. Replace these with healthier oils like extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
  7. Add fiber-rich foods. Nuts, seeds, and a special fiber called glucomannan provide prebiotics and feed our healthy bacteria.
  8. Add fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contain good amounts of probiotics so your healthy gut bugs can be fruitful and multiply.

The above recommendations are not miracle cures.  They are the actions that lead to normalized gut function and flora through improved diet, increased fiber intake, daily probiotic supplementation, the use of nutrients that repair the gut lining, and the reduction of bad bugs in the gut with herbs or medication.

Yes, inflammatory fats will definitely damage your gut bacteria. But the right fats, including omega 3s and extra-virgin olive oil combined with a whole, real food diet can actually repair your gut and even increase good bacteria.

Dr. Mark Hyman’s new book, Eat Fat, Get Thinchallenges conventional wisdom about what constitutes healthy oils and documents the research that debunks our old ideas about fat.

Another of my favourite ways I spoke of in the Gutsy Living master class to support great elimination of the detox pathways, increase your metabolism, lose weight and feel great is to drink this secret Apple cider elixir on rising every morning and or taking a shot of Liver lovers Swedish Bitters ( you will learn my favourite recipe in the Gutsy Living workshop) three times a day at least 20 minutes before meals for at least 2 weeks and then cutting back to just before breakfast or lunch as part of your daily self care rituality ( your body mind will thank you):

How trusting your gut and why morning rituals fail

By | access consciousness, access your true nature, blind spots, chinese medicine, chronic disease, communication, connection, Conscious living, consciousness, creativity, depression, doubt and distraction, eastern philosophy, emotional abuse, fear, fermenting, gut health, gut microbiome, inspiration, mantras, nervous system overwhelm, peter levine, Prosperity abundance, rituals, sarahjanediamond, self love, self-acceptance, sex and sensualness, somatic release, spiritual growth, stress, true nature | No Comments

I started writing this blog on Monday and here we are at Friday and I am still going at it! I was in the zone, writing away and bham, power trips thanks to the electrician just trying to do his job and I lost the whole blog, the lead page linking to my new Gutsy Life fermenting workshop and the autoresponder sequence to go with it on mail chimp.

Can you relate to having contractors in your space banging and drilling away and constant interruptions on top of your regular schedule that make sticking to your flow of daily rituals and routines, well rather tricky?

As an intuitive functional medicine and wellness practitioner specialising in Traditional Chinese medicine, assisting sensitive women move beyond stress, anxiety and depression naturally, its all about following the flow or feeding cycle of the chines clock and the 5 elements cycle.

You can take the 5 elements personality profile quiz here:

Five element personality questionnaire

Knowing what your primary and secondary element are will give you more understanding about how you tick , what triggers you and how to move through them with more ease, grace and a sense of humour.

When you muddle through your days letting everything upset your stomach, which rules conscious and sub conscious thought, you physically stew in your own digestive juices, start doubting yourself and worry about worrying –  it ends up being one of those “no guts, no glory”moments and you pump out a toxic cocktail of cortisol and inflammation that leaves your body screaming and you brain fried. not good for you, not good for your body mind and definitely not good for anyone around you! Trust me, the demon bitch from hell raised her voice a few times this week until I got a sense of lucidity and used some mindfulness and movement to discharge the frustration in a far healthier way than doing a bottle of wine!

I love this post Why morning routines fail and what to do by Jeffery Davis about “rituality” and how to tune in to the body mind’s innate wisdom to create ease and flow.

It fits so well with my own manifesto “Be your own medicine” and how to write your own prescription for living your best life healthy, happy and on purpose.

The curiosity of the question “who am I being today?” is one I love to give the mind/ego a job in supporting the creative mind to do just that create from a space of possibility and wonder.

Clearing space the night before by intentionally envisioning the state of flow I am aiming for the next day is one of the easiest and nourishing ways to feed the mind and invite in regenerative deep sleep.

So many of my clients come to me troubled with inflamed guts which have the up ruminating from a space of should haves and could haves and if only which leave them burnt out, depleted and uninspired in the morning.

What if you begin with the process of mindfulness ( the question at the golden hours of metal -3-5am lung/large intestines 5-7am time in TCM), flow to Earth Stomach/ nurturing from the inside out, ( feeding the gut to brain connection a healthy high octane meal between 7-9am when the stomach brain is at its peak) ensures you can “trust your gut intuitive knowing and follow the body mind’s natural rhythms 9-11am spleen time for conscious thought and high productivity. By fire time your day is moving into joy of the heart and we remember what stirs the fire in our belly of what we are here to give to the world as only we can being human kindness.

The mastery of human kindness and how to give more in our True nature.

soulful women retreat

If you are feeling like you are spinning your wheels and need some laser sharp CLARITY in how to gain MOMENTUM in living your legacy this year,in the name of LOVE then why not book a CLARITY breakthrough to health, wealth and happiness session today?

What have you got to lose except excess weight, sleepless nights and stress?

I have opened bookings for February but hurry these complimentary deep dives go fast.

Book your complimentary CLARITY breakthrough to success and happiness session here.

 

And if you are in the Gauteng area and are interested in coming to the Gutsy Life 1 day fermenting to fabulous workshops, doors open 20th February.

Bookings are coming in fast so if you want to Be your own medicine and learn the alchemy of satisfying fermenting, sign up now!!

Only 6 spaces left.

If you have never made the link between your stress,depression, brain fog or weight gain and allergies its time to listen to your gut – its never wrong!

These are intimate gatherings of 12, where you get hands on with natures medicine chest and make your first batch of living goodness to take home, so secure your space now.

 

fat inplace

Listen to your gut – it’s never wrong. Ferment to fabulous natural health and happiness now

 

As we officially begin the Year of the Monkey and 2016.

Monkeys are clever, devious, and very intelligent so after the Wood Sheep year of 2015, this year may bring more action, I hope so.

Did the sheep year show you where you follow instead of leading, where you give away your power, and where you do not set strong intentions and routines?

This new moon is significant too, as it involves all of the planets, including Chiron, the wounded healer.

Do you think a few individual and collective wounds may be rising to the surface? Look for more secrets and the collective momentum to build for truth, transparency,

and transformation in everything.

 

This month extends the energy we had in January, moving us further into 5D duality, which is becoming multi-dimensional and healing the whole of humanity through benevolent capitalism.

This is new territory for us, we are going ‘where no man has gone before !

 

This new moon is significant too, as it involves all of the planets, including Chiron, the wounded healer.

Do you think a few individual and collective wounds may be rising to the surface? Look for more secrets and the collective momentum to build for truth, transparency, and transformation in everything.

The US CIA just released thousands of documents about the alien presence in the 1950s and 1960s.

They just may own up to the full extent of that presence now.

This month extends the energy we had in January, moving us farther into 5D duality, which is becoming multi-dimensional.

This is new territory for us, we are going ‘where no man or woman has gone before.

If you are feeling like you are spinning your wheels and need some laser sharp CLARITY in how to gain MOMENTUM in living your legacy this year,

in the name of self LOVE then why not book a CLARITY breakthrough to health, wealth and happiness session today?

Book your complimentary CLARITY breakthrough to success and happiness session here.

best free

 

What have you got to lose except excess weight, sleepless nights and stress?

I have opened bookings for February but hurry these complimentary deep dives go fast because we look at where you are, what is stopping you and you leave with

an easy to implement tailor made plan to fast track you to where you are going.

 

And if you are in the Gauteng area and are interested in coming to the Gutsy Life 1 day fermenting to fabulous workshops, doors open 20th February.

Click here to get the scoop on your poop, yes we all do it and register to secure your space.

If you have never made the link between your stress,depression, brain fog or weight gain and allergies its time to listen to your gut – its never wrong!

HEALTHY MICROFLORA ABUNDANCE = HEALTHY IMMUME SYSTEM 

BALANCED ECOSYSTEM = HEALTHY LIVER AND HORMONAL BALANCE 

Some of the benefits are living ferments far outweigh what you can swallow in a tablet form and its kinder on your pocket too!

Cultured vegetables, are naturally fermented probiotic vegetables that contain beneficial bacteria for the colon along with essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals. A healthy colon is vital for detoxifying the body and absorbing nutrients from your food. It’s our first line of defense.

Providing the body with healthy microflora from live foods and naturally fermented probiotics not only replenishes the beneficial bacteria for the colon. The culturing process also enhances the nutrition in the food and pre digests it, which provides super available nutrition. This is especially important for those with digestion or nutrient absorption problems. Probiotic rich foods also satisfy carbohydrate cravings. The action of the culture organisms makes the minerals in these foods more readily available to the body. The good bacteria also produce B vitamins, providing a significant increase to the level of these vitamins found in many fermented foods.

Cultured foods naturally contribute to efficient digestion in three ways: by breaking down foods to make digestion and assimilation easier, by providing enzymes to aid digestion, and by supplying and nourishing the correct intestinal bacteria.

For more details on the Gutsy Life 1 day fermenting to fabulous workshop – 4 things to put on your fork to reclaim a healthy gut right away 

Just click on this link to secure your spot  and I will send you all the details.

healthy-poop

 

These foods are very rich in enzymes produced by the culture organisms and the processes of fermentation.

This means that eating probiotic foods assists in the digestion of other foods by building up the enzyme supply. Daily intake of cultured foods and fermented probiotic liquids is a natural way to create good health.

Your average bottle of good probiotics costs about SAR350/$30 for a month’s supply. Store bought sauerkraut starts at SAR50/ $4 for a 250ml bottle.

Your average batch of homemade sauerkraut contains a small organic cabbage, which costs about SAR6/$6, plus some sea salt, which might run at SAR20/$2 for a huge box.

That batch of kraut, about 750ml  will probably cost SAR26/ $6.17. And it will be waaaay more tasty and powerful, probiotically speaking.

Dr. Mercola did a test where he had his homemade sauerkraut tested for its probiotic content. He found that 16 oz. of his kraut had the equivalent of 8 bottles of probiotics tablets!

What an incredible testament to the power of live foods.

At 8x the potency, that means that SAR26/ $6.12 worth of kraut can save you SAR2400/ $240.00 in a good quality probiotic tablet.

And be a more effective way to get probiotics in your body—fast.

Doing what they do to keep you healthy.

It’s alchemy and so relaxing to make too.

Ready to be your own medicine and grow a healthy immune system and a happy body mind, why not join me and other amazing people.

I would love to share what I know with you about the power of live food and fabulous gutsy ferments.

What an act of self love to give yourself for Valentine’s day.

Book your spot here for this life changing, gut inspiring live workshop on Saturday 20th February