The Mama Natural

The Mama Natural – Genevieve Howland
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

With over 60 million views on her YouTube channel, Howland’s (a.k.a. Mama Natural) funny but informational videos have empowered millions of women to embrace natural pregnancy and parenting. Now Howland is turning to the page, offering up the first week-by-week pregnancy & childbirth book from a natural perspective.

For the last half-century, control over childbirth has been in favor of doctors. Many pregnancy guidebooks are conventional, fear-based, or written by male physicians deeply entrenched in the medical model of birth.

But change is underway. A groundswell of women are taking back their pregnancy and childbirth and embracing a natural way. Genevieve Howland, the woman behind the enormously popular Mama Natural blog and YouTube channel, has created an inspiring, fun, and informative guide that demystifies natural pregnancy and walks mom through the process one week at a time.

The Mama Natural’s Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth is the modern (and yet ancient) approach to pregnancy and childbirth. “Natural” recognizes that pregnancy and birth are normal, and that having a baby is a wondrous biological process and rite of passage–not a medical condition. This book draws upon the latest research showing how beneficial and life-changing natural birth is for both babies and moms.

Full of weekly advice and tips for a healthy pregnancy, Howland details vital nutrition to take, natural remedies for common and troublesome symptoms, as well as the appropriate (and inappropriate) use of interventions.

Peppered throughout are positive birth and pregnancy stories from women of all backgrounds (and all stages of their natural journey) along with advice and insights from a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) plus a Registered Nurse (RN), doula, and lactation consultant. Encouraging, well-researched, and fun, The Mama Natural’s Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth will be an essential companion for women everywhere to embrace natural pregnancy and reap all the benefits for both baby and mama.

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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Making Life Easy

Making Life Easy – Christiane Northrup MD
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

You know Dr. Christiane Northrup as the best-selling author of books such as Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause—a beloved and trusted expert on everything that can go right with the female body. Now she brings her wisdom and insight to illuminate the mind, soul, and spirit as well.

In this joyfully encouraging new book—as useful for men as it is for women—Dr. Northrup explores the essential truth that has guided her ever since medical school: our bodies, minds, and souls are profoundly intertwined. Making life flow with ease, and truly feeling your best, is about far more than physical health; it’s also about having a healthy emotional life and a robust spiritual life. When you view your physical well-being in isolation, life can become a constant battle to make your body “behave.” When you acknowledge the deep connection between your beliefs and your biology and start to tune in to the Divine part of yourself, it’s a whole new ballgame—and the first step in truly making your life easy.

Take charge of your well-being as you learn to:

  • Untie the knots of blame and guilt that harm your health
  • Use sexual energy consciously to increase vitality
  • Balance your microbiome through healthy eating
  • Cultivate a healthy ego that serves you (not vice versa)
  • Communicate directly with the Divine
  • And much more

 
Drawing on fields from epigenetics to past-life regression to standard Western medicine, Dr. Northrup distills a brilliant career’s worth of wisdom into one comprehensive user’s guide to a healthy, happy, radiant life.

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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The Complete Guide to Fasting

The Complete Guide to Fasting – Jason Fung MD, Jimmy Moore
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Thousands of books have been written about the latest and greatest diets that will help people lose weight and improve health. But a key element in any successful nutritional health program is a tried-and-true method that most people haven’t thought about—yet it could be revolutionary for taking health to the next level. This ancient secret is fasting.

Fasting is not about starving oneself. When done right, it’s an incredibly effective therapeutic approach that produces amazing results regardless of diet plan. In fact, Toronto-based nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung has used a variety of fasting protocols with more than 1,000 patients, with fantastic success. In The Complete Guide to Fasting, he has teamed up with international bestselling author and veteran health podcaster Jimmy Moore to explain what fasting is really about, why it’s so important, and how to fast in a way that improves health. Together, they make fasting as a therapeutic approach both practical and easy to understand.

The Complete Guide to Fasting explains:

• why fasting is actually good for health
• who can benefit from fasting (and who won’t)
• the history of fasting
• the various ways to fast: intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting
• what to expect when starting to fast
• how to track progress while fasting
• the weight loss effects of fasting
• how to ward off potential negative effects from fasting

The book also provides tools to help readers get started and get through their fasts, including a 7-Day Kick-Start Fasting Plan and healing liquid recipes.

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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WGP 048: Obesity – It’s Your Hormones, Not the Calories

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Obesity:

  • I’ll explain why obesity is a disease and also a major hidden cause of other diseases
  • I’ll talk about the difference between being obese and being overweight
  • I’ll explain how obesity is caused by hormonal imbalances and not by eating too many calories
  • Finally, I’ll give you a few holistic lifestyle strategies to reduce obesity, regain health, and feel awesome in your own skin


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FAT BURNING FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

It’s no secret. The world today has a lot more fat and sick people than there were 150 years ago. Seeing an obese person way back in the day meant having to visit a carnival or circus that’s how rare obesity was. Unfortunately today you just got to walk outside or turn on the tele and you’ll see excessively large people everywhere.

Since the 1980s obesity rates have doubled. Hmm, I wonder what happened in the 80s? Ah that’s right the low fat recommendation from the American health authorities. Good one guys. Today this misguided unscientific nonsensical low-fat strategy has lead to about 13% of the world’s adult population being categorised as obese and about 50 million kids worldwide under the age of 5 being defined as obese. That’s what gets me the most, seeing overweight and obese infants and children.

Now the World Health Organization has a list of the top 10 leading causes of death and smoking tobacco isn’t even on the list, but we all know that smoking causes many chronic diseases that eventually will lead to death. This is what the World Health Organisation says about smoking:

“Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.”

Interesting right? In fact the World Health Organization label smoking as the number one killer, but they still don’t put it on the list. Instead you’ll see diseases relating to the heart, brain, lungs, and infections.

This is where obesity comes in. Even though it’s not listed, just like smoking as a leading cause of death, obesity is a major hidden cause of many of those on the list. The top 3 by the way are heart disease, stroke, and lung related diseases all of which are due to the obstruction in blood and oxygen flow to the heart, brain, and lungs.

The thing about obesity is that most people think it’s just a weight issue and obese people are eating too much and not exercising enough. While I agree that some of the health problems associated with obesity is due to the large amount of weight on the body causing physical dysfunction, obesity causes more harm through physiological and biochemical damage because of its ability to disrupt the function of other systems in your body.

You see your body isn’t stupid. It has specific feedback loops and safety mechanisms to prevent the excessive loss or accumulation of fat and it has to control the amount of fat on your body because your fat cells are actually another organ. So when your fat levels get out of balance the key functions that they perform will be disrupted.

One of the functions of fat is fat acts as a warehouse for toxins. When your body is unable to fully metabolise, process, and eliminate toxins it stores the toxins in fat cells. Fat also sends signals and hormones that can have a positive or negative effect on your immune system and your metabolism. Your fat cells send out immune signals controlling inflammation and stress in your body. Your fat cells also send out hormones telling you that you’re full and will increase fat metabolism, i.e. fat-burning.

But when you have too much fat this will increase the amount of pro-inflammatory signals called cytokines increasing the amount of inflammation and stress in your body putting it in a catabolic state or a state of breaking down. Too much fat will also cause your satiety hormone leptin to be produced in excessively large amounts and your brain will become leptin resistant because there’s too much to take in. Meaning you will still feel hungry even though your body may already be carrying a lot of fat. Plus leptin resistance reduces fat metabolism and the amount of fat you burn causing you to hold onto more fat.

So just as there is heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, kidney stones, thyroiditis, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions and many other illnesses centred around particular organs and systems there is an illness, a disease of your fat cells and that my friend is called obesity and obesity is a disease that can cause further health issues in the future.

Now I don’t like to use the conventional classification system for defining whether someone is overweight or obese. Currently this is defined by your body mass index or BMI. BMI is supposed to calculate body fat based on your weight and height, but the calculation has a massive flaw. It doesn’t take into account lean muscle mass and bone mass and water weight. So you could have a fit athlete with 10% body fat, but a high BMI and have a very sick person with 30% body fat, but a medium BMI and the athlete would be categorised as obese and the sick person overweight, and this is not a good indicator of a healthy body.

So I define being overweight as holding on to a few extra kilos of fat and looking a bit soft and fluffy and chubby in the mirror, but still having normal healthy metabolic, hormonal, and immune function. This is very different to being obese, which is a person who is also carrying extra fat weight and has a broken metabolism and a weak immune system because their hormones are out of balance.

Okay so what causes obesity?

“Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories.”

Yes you heard right. Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories. It is true that you can become overweight by eating a huge amount of calories even those calories come from whole real food sources, but you would never become obese. Your hormonal system regulating hunger and appetite would kick in and prevent you from eating more then you need. Once you do become obese this is when you will be unable to control the amount of calories you take in and will begin to eat well beyond your body’s requirements.

What pushes you over the edge from being overweight to becoming obese isn’t the calories. It is an underlying hidden malfunction in your body’s hormonal system. When your sex hormones, growth hormones, hormones regulating metabolism and stress, when these are no longer playing the same song and in sync with each other a lot of things go wrong in your body including broken detox pathways, lowered immunity, decrease in muscle mass, increase in fat mass, and an increase in appetite for nutrient-poor foods.

So in this respect obesity turns out to be a symptom of other health issues that are already going on in your body.

The leading cause for your hormones going out of balance and for obesity in my book is eating a nutrient deficient diet. Your body is not a finite object, but an infinite process in constant flux and change. It’s constantly breaking itself down and building itself up. If you don’t consume enough nutrient dense foods then your body is left hanging without the right building blocks to build hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, organs, blood, etc. Also after a meal your body will search for the nutrients it needs in that meal and if it doesn’t find it guess what happens? You get hungry again a lot sooner than you should and you eat more food. And while your body is craving nutrition you begin to crave less nutritious food.

So if all you eat is junk nutrient deficient fake pretend food-like products like commercial bread, biscuits, corn chips, French fries, candy, vegetable oils, soy milk, etc then you are setting your body up for hormonal havoc and mayhem and chronic hunger as it won’t have the necessary parts to make hormones and this will increase your chances of becoming obese. As you can see here it’s not how much you eat, but what you eat that matters most.

“You can be overfed, but so undernourished”

Which is the sad state for a third of westernised populations today.

Another cause for hormonal dysfunction deals with insulin sensitivity. When your cells are insulin sensitive nutrients are taken out of your bloodstream and absorbed. However, just as you can become leptin resistant due to excessive leptin production, excessive insulin production will cause your cells to become insulin resistant. This means that when there are nutrients in your blood, like glucose it will not be absorbed by your cells and this will cause damage to your tissues. So in order to prevent further damage from happening sugar in your blood will be turned into fat and stored away in your fat cells. Eating too many carbohydrates especially processed and refined sugar and fructose and not getting enough quality restorative sleep will cause high insulin production and insulin resistance.

Another cause for obesity is an underactive or hypoactive thyroid gland. Your thyroid produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism and temperature and if your thyroid is hypoactive your metabolism slows right down making it very difficult for your body to burn stored fat as fuel. Here’s a list of things that can disrupt thyroid function:

  • Gluten
  • Stress
  • Too much exercise
  • Chemicals in tap water
  • Chemical compounds found in plastics and
  • Certain medications


Another underlying cause for hormonal mayhem and obesity is stress.
Whether it be physical, emotional, or mental any perceived stress if left to linger long enough becoming chronic will cause chronic inflammation upsetting your normal hormonal rhythm moving you from an anabolic and growing state to a catabolic and breakdown state and unfortunately in this catabolic state the one thing that does keep growing are your fat cells.

The health of your gut and gut microbiota will also determine the health of your hormonal system and your fat levels. If your gut is leaky, meaning it’s damaged, and if you have dysbiosis, meaning you have more harmful pathogens than beneficial probiotics living in your gut this will cause a rise in inflammatory signals, stress hormones and depending on your genetics and epigenetic expression this may lead to obesity. Plus a damaged gut will mean you won’t be digesting and absorbing the full amount of nutrients from your foods leaving your body in a nutrient deficient state, which I talked about earlier.

Probably the least known root cause for obesity are obesogens. Which is ironic because these obesogens are Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs and they are actually out in the open in plain sight for all to see. Obesogens are chemical compounds found in the environment that act as endocrine disrupters, meaning they screw up your hormonal system. They hijack it and create chemical chaos throughout your entire body. This hormonal havoc causes a whole wealth of health issues from cancer to autoimmune conditions and it also increases fat cell number and fat cell size. Obesogens can be found in:

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Flame retardant materials (such as in clothing and furniture)
  • Treated wood and textiles (such as in building materials)
  • Additives used in paints
  • Non-stick cookware and even in certain
  • Pharmaceutical drugs

 
Let me put all these obesogens together into a pretty terrifying yet common scenario we see today. Let’s say you have a new born baby. You bring him home to your brand new house with building materials, furniture, paint, and new carpets all chemically treated, some of them containing flame retardant chemicals and all of this is off-gassing or releasing chemicals into the air, also known as that beautiful new house smell. You dress your beautiful boy in flame retardant pyjamas. You use a plastic bottle to feed him non-organic formula, which contains sprayed ingredients. And finally you put him to bed in a brand new non-organic chemically treated cot. This is just a chemical toxic soup that this poor kid is living in and he doesn’t stand a chance against growing up without becoming obese or at least experiencing other health issues.

Now along with obesogens I have to mention environmental toxins and toxic chemicals. Remember fat cells are used by your body as a storage unit for toxins. So if you’re chronically exposed to heavy metals, air pollution, and eating a lot of pesticide and herbicide sprayed foods and eating meat from sick toxic animals your liver, kidneys, your entire detoxification system will become overloaded and will be unable to process, breakdown, and eliminate the excessive amount of toxins. As a last resort, so your body doesn’t shut down and die due to toxic poisoning, all those toxins that are not eliminated will be shoved into your fat cells.

“Fat cells don’t just store energy they also store poison.”

This is also why a rapid and dramatic reduction in fat isn’t a good idea without proper supervision and guidance. A lot of obese people their health actually gets worse when burning a lot fat too quickly. Just keep in mind the saying slow and steady wins the race. If you lose fat too fast those toxins are going to be flooding your system and you do not want that.

So those are a few examples and there are more of how a person can become obese without eating a lot of calories. Obesity like every other disease is not caused by one thing, but many things related to your environment, your food, and how you perceive life.

It isn’t just a physical weight problem, but more a physiological, biochemical, and really a hormonal problem. Obesity is a symptom of an underlying hormonal issue in your body and is not caused by eating too many calories, but it will cause you to overeat.

Obesity is also a disease that gives rise to the top leading causes of death.

Alright let’s get into how to heal from and prevent obesity and how to get your hormones humming to a happy and healthy tune.

First up, watch what you eat. Watch it. Get off the inflammatory foods, the chemically sprayed foods, and the highly refined and processed junk fake pretend food-like products. No gluten, no sugars, no pasteurised dairy, no industrial seed oils, no junk. Watch out for the carbs especially as eating too many carbs will cause a lot of insulin to be produced and you want insulin and blood sugar to be in the Goldilocks zone, just right. Real food from Mother Nature communicates with your hormones on an informational level where they speak the same language. By just eating real food you’ll keep your hormones in balance and in harmony and this hormonal bliss will keep your body composition balanced and in check.

Next up, reduce your perceived stress. Practise relaxation techniques. Get a massage, meditate, breathe mindfully, and watch the amount of physical stress you’re under. If you don’t have a formal exercise routine get moving and start working out. If you do exercise regularly and religiously maybe you’re overdoing it and need to do less working out and more working in. If you’re obese then your body is already under enough physical stress as it is, so working out would just add to that stress so look at working in. Working in is where instead of expending energy with a workout you’re cultivating energy, building up your energy stores. Movement practises like:

  • Tai-chi
  • Qi-gong
  • Restorative yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Iyengar yoga

 
Are the perfect work in exercises.

Biggest thing you can do to prevent and heal from obesity is to clean up your environment. Remove the obesogens and toxic chemicals and clean up your habitat. Use glass and stainless steel drink bottles instead of plastic. Wear organic chemical-free clothing and buy organic chemical-free furniture and use chemical-free building materials. Cook with ceramic and stainless steel cookware. Actually there’s a lot more to this topic and you can find an entire podcast I did on this quite a while back about how to purify and clean up your environment and support your detoxification system. Look for episode 12.

Along with clean eating, clean thinking, and clean living there are other holistic lifestyle principles to consider in order to fully heal and to keep your bodymind in a happy and healthy state. Listen to episode 30 about the 7 Holistic Lifestyle Principles you can follow in order to live happy, healthy, whole, and complete.

An awesome book that covers everything from diet and exercise to cleaning up your environment and your thinking is How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by holistic health practitioner Paul Chek. This book is my bible and really is a one-stop shop for holistic living.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

“Obesity isn’t about energy in and energy out.”

It’s about so much more.

If you’re fat or overweight, sure you may be eating more than you should.

But if you’re obese then it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat and the environment you’re eating in. If you’re obese you are probably eating nutrient-poor and sugar-rich foods and you’re living in a very stressful and very toxic environment.

Remember your health is 100% your responsibility so make the choice to own your lifestyle and eat, drink, move, breathe, live, sleep better, and think and feel like you deserve a happy and healthy life. The only person who can save you is you. So don’t play the victim. Be the hero. Because you are awesome and very much worth it.

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WGP 047: Epigenetics – How Your Environment and Beliefs Control Your Genes

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Epigenetics:

  • I’ll explain the difference between genetics and epigenetics
  • I’ll talk about how your environment impacts the activation and expression of your genes
  • Finally, I’ll give a few holistic tips on how to activate and express health-boosting and life-affirming genes


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST HEALING FOODS FOR YOUR GUT

The study of how genes control life is called genetics. Genetic looks at genetic differences, mutations, heredity, and of course of lot of today’s genetic research looks into genetic diseases. Genetics and the study of genes is a very important and valid science, but the belief behind genetics is outdated old-school thinking and that belief is that genes control life.

This belief came from the hypothesis that there is a gene for every protein. The more complex an organism, the more cells and proteins there are, the more genes there would be. That was the idea. This idea turns out to be incorrect.

The Human Genome Project, which started back in the late 1980s, was setup to uncover the entire sequence of genetic information found in human DNA with the side benefit of discovering the genetics of every disease and how to prevent and cure them. The human body has about 100,000 protein molecules, so science expected to find about 100,000 genes. Fast forward 15 years and guess how many genes they found at the end of the project in 2001 – only 35,000. Fast forward another 15 years to today and after further study and research that initial number has shrunk to about 20,000 genes.

There was a lot of hype in the science community about the Human Genome Project, but funnily enough when the scientist’s expectations proved to be wrong, very wrong, there was no big deal made about the unexpected results. This massively incorrect assumption about a gene coding for a protein fell off the radar. Science tends to work this way unfortunately where the good news is reported and the bad news is swept under the rug.

So now we know that there are only 20,000 genes in the human genome and these 20,000 genes code for over 100,000 proteins and alongside this fact is the news that the largest number of genes found in a single animal is 31,000 genes and that animal is the near-microscopic water flea Daphnia. Imagine that, a near-microscopic simple organism with hardly any cells and proteins compared to the 35 trillion cells and 100,000 proteins in your human body and yet this tiny little life form has 11,000 more genes than humans do.

What this shows you is that genes do not control life. No matter the complexity of an organism the number of genes present will vary a lot. It’s not the genes that say how life will be from birth to death. It’s the life that is lived that will determine which genes get expressed or activated or switched on and which genes don’t. Say goodbye to the old belief that your genes control your life and hello to the new way of thinking – that your life controls your genes.

This new way of thinking is actually 50 years old and is called the science of epigenetics, which looks at how environmental signals affect gene expression.

Epigenetics means above the genes and studies how your environment affects the biochemical and physiological processes that are happening outside of your genetic code, but have a direct effect on which sequence of your genetic code to read and which genes to express or not.

Remember the old way of thinking says that genes are in control like a foreman of a construction site. Genes dictate what gets built and so decide the health or disease of your cells.

The new way of thinking, epigenetics, says genes are actually just simple blueprints. They don’t do anything at all. It’s all the proteins and enzymes and cellular signals and every other process that’s going on in and outside of your cell that dictate which blueprints to read (gene expression), which parts of those blueprints to create proteins from (gene variation), and whether or not those blueprints need updating (gene mutation).

What this means is that epigenetics has actually shown that some genes will lay dormant and may never get expressed while other genes will be switched on and switched off and that other genes may undergo spontaneous mutation and transform into a brand new gene all based on your environment, on your surroundings.

So how does your environment impact your genetic expression? How does the environment influence your biochemistry and physiology and determine which genes to read or not, which parts of that gene to express and make proteins from, and which genes to mutate or leave unchanged?

Let me give a little background information first. Your genetic code is one long sequence of molecules like the alphabet is a sequence of letters. Your genes are subsets or small groupings of these molecules like words are groupings of the alphabet. This long sequence of your genetic code is called DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. Your DNA is covered in a protein sheath. Altogether the proteins surrounding your DNA and the genes contained in your DNA this is called a chromosome. You have 23 pairs or 46 strands of chromosomes in your body. Chromosomes are found inside the nucleus of your cells.

Remember your genes don’t do anything; literally they don’t perform any physical action or function. Everything that happens with genes happens to the gene and is entirely dependent and reliant on signals that come from outside the chromosomes. So your genes are merely blueprints and blueprints don’t build structures.

The life your parents and grandparents lived designed and created your blueprints, your DNA, your genes. You had little say in the matter, but the expression or activation of your genes is all on you.

How epigenetics work can get pretty complex and I’m just going to give a summary here, but I will put a link to a video in the blog post for this episode which will give you more detail and a visual on what I’m talking about.

Your genes get read, expressed or activated, and mutated via signalling, that is the transmission and reception of information that come from your environment and go right down into your cells and ultimately reaching your genes. These environmental signals include everything that your six senses can perceive. Examples of these signals include your thoughts and feelings like fear or love, a physical threat or loving embrace, or digested nutrients from food. These environmental signals are the primary signal the first signal you receive.

Your brain, your heart, and your gut all have nerve centres and communicate with each other and they can be thought of as the primary organs that make up your conscious and subconscious mind. They receive this primary signal from your environment and then based on your beliefs and perceptions about life they interpret and translate this primary signal into a secondary signal, and it’s this secondary signal that is sent to other organs and cells in the form of hormones and neurotransmitters.

When this secondary signal is delivered to your cells it is picked up by a protein receptor in the cell membrane. Once this secondary signal is received this sets of a chain of events where a number of proteins and enzymes in the cell membrane and within the cell itself they bind to each other performing specific functions until eventually they either create a tertiary signal within the cell or they allow a tertiary signal to enter the cell through the cell membrane. This tertiary signal is the last signal that will bind to other proteins within the cell to perform a specific function.

Alright so you get a primary signal from the environment. Your conscious and subconscious mind changes that primary signal into a secondary signal. Your cells take the secondary signal in and they transform that into a tertiary signal and then there’s a function that is performed in the cell.

Now if that tertiary signal is unable to perform its function because the specific protein its wanting to bind to is missing, the signal molecule will enter the nucleus of the cell where your chromosomes are. It will bind to a specific regulatory protein on one of your chromosomes and when it does this that regulatory protein releases itself from the chromosome uncovering a specific sequence of your DNA of your genetic code. This exposes the gene that codes for the missing protein. The gene is then transcribed and copied and finally converted into that missing protein. The regulatory protein returns and covers up the DNA, and the tertiary signal can now bind to this newly created protein to perform its original function. This transcription, copying, and conversion process is called gene expression, gene activation, or a gene being switched on.

Here’s where it gets very interesting. If the tertiary signal is unable to perform its function due to a missing protein and it cannot locate the specific gene for that protein in your DNA, guess what happens next? The tertiary signal will activate a specific genetic engineering gene, which in turn will rewrite another gene in a different part of your DNA. Meaning the signal is now causing a genetic mutation. With the newly mutated gene now in place this tertiary signal can now activate the new gene, creating the missing protein and the signal will bind itself to the new protein and finally perform its function.

There’s nothing random about these mutations at all. It’s the environmental signal creating specific mutations to perform a specific function.

That may have been a lot to take in, so please watch the video for a visual detailed representation of what I just discussed.

Let me give you a real world example of how this works.

Let’s say you’re scared of spiders and you see a spider. Or let’s say you’re prone to road rage and you get cut off in traffic. Or let’s say your body is sensitive to dairy, but you don’t know it and you’ve been drinking dairy for a long time, for years and you’ve just had another glass of milk. Seeing the spider, getting cut off in traffic and drinking the milk are examples of a primary signal from your environment.

Since you have a belief that spiders are scary, and that bad drivers are a valid reason to get mad, and your body perceives dairy as indigestible and a possible toxin you transform the primary signal to an emotion of fear, an emotion of anger, and your body’s immune system gets activated yet again – this is the secondary signal. These secondary signals, which are now a bunch of hormones and neurotransmitters like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, are sent to your cells.

When your cells receive these secondary signals they activate proteins and enzymes that allow negative tertiary signals to enter the cell activating genes that stop growth, repair, reproduction, digestion and elimination; that cause muscle breakdown and fat storage, and your immune system to go crazy. These negative tertiary signals can also cause gene mutations and enhance cancerous cell growth.

Alright time to flip this around. We’re going to change your beliefs and your perceptions. The primary signals don’t change. You still see a spider, you still get cut off in traffic, and you still drink a glass of milk. But this time you love spiders, you are a calm and relaxed driver, and your body is not sensitive to dairy and can digest it without any issues.

So again the primary signals don’t change, however, because you’re now smiling at the spider, giving gratitude for not getting into an accident, and your body is nourished from the milk you get secondary signals like oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, feel good hormones are now being received by your cells.

When your cells receive these secondary signals they activate proteins and enzymes that allow positive tertiary signals to enter the cell and activate genes that promote growth, repair, reproduction, digestion and elimination; they promote muscle-building and fat-burning, and regulate your immune system. These positive tertiary signals can also activate genes that suppress cancer growth and cause cancer cells to die.

So what is this showing you? What this is showing you is that it’s not the primary signal from your environment that affects your genes. It is the secondary signal that comes from your conscious and subconscious mind that affects the tertiary signal and your genes. Whatever situation or event happens in the real world, in reality, it is you, your beliefs and your perception of that situation, of that event, that has the final say on which genes to activate and which genes to leave switched off.

It is your thoughts, your feelings, what you eat and drink, how you move, how you breathe, the toxicity of your environment, the quality of your sleep, the quality of your relationships, all of these control your genes.

Your mood, your health, your life these are the stimulus to your genes and your genes simply respond to that stimulus. If you have a sucky mood and are depressed about life then your genes will simply reflect this fact. So if you want to feel awesome and love the life you have it all begins by changing your beliefs about your life, positively changing your perceptions about life itself, which will change your behaviour and change your genes, eventually making the inside of your bodymind reflect the outside world that you positively perceive.

Now I’m not saying the goal is to think positive and live a naturally holistic healthy lifestyle 100% of the time. That’s impossible. What I’m saying is when you are aware, when you are conscious of your surroundings and of what’s going on around you, know that you have a choice in that moment to choose either a positive or a negative experience. I suggest you make the kind choose for yourself.

Here are three kind choices you can make to positively impact your health and to express health-boosting and life-affirming genes.

First, get rid of your ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts. Do this through critical thinking and questioning yourself, your beliefs, and asking yourself are your thoughts and beliefs true? For example is it true that you’re worthless, or that you’re not smart enough, or that no one will ever love you, or that you’ll get cancer because of your genes? Really, is that true? I highly recommend doing The Work by Byron Katie. She takes you through a powerful process of inquiry that’ll show you whether or not your current way of thinking is actually worth paying attention to.

Secondly, practise some form of daily meditation. Mindfulness meditation, movement mediation like Qi-gong or even walking meditation, any task that has you focused on one thing is a form of meditation. Meditation has been shown to boost your immune function, reduce stress levels and inflammation, reduce depression, and improve your mood and your outlook on life.

Third kind choice is to choose to live a holistic healthy lifestyle and you can do this by following the 7 Holistic Health Principles as I outlined in episode 30.

  1. Eat real food
  2. Drink natural water
  3. Move often
  4. Breathe properly
  5. Purify your environment
  6. Get quality restorative sleep and
  7. Form positive relationships with nature, with yourself, and with others

 
These 7 principles bring your bodymind back into sync with the rhythm and flow of Mother Nature and these principles give happy and healing epigenetic signals to your genes.

Okay I’m going to give a quick recap on epigenetics because I really want you to get that your genes are not your destiny.

“Genes DO NOT control your biology! Your beliefs about your life control your biology.”

It’s your habitat and environment, your habits and behaviour, your feelings and emotions, your thoughts and beliefs that influence your genes.

It is your beliefs that change the biochemistry of your blood and your blood carries the signals sent to your cells, and ultimately these signals determine the expression of your genes.

Perceive love and you get feel good hormones in your blood, sending positive signals to your cells where they read and express healthy genes.

Perceive fear and you get stress hormones in your blood, sending negative signals to your cells where they ignore healthy genes and may read and express disease-promoting genes.

Dr Joseph Mercola creator of the number one natural health website mercola.com says:

“Epigenetics shatters the idea that you are a victim of your genes, and shows that you have tremendous power to shape and direct your physical health.”

Meaning the power to live an awesome happy and healthy life lies within you. Take ownership and responsibility for your thoughts and your beliefs about life and you will no longer be the victim, but the victor in the beautiful story that is your wonderful life.

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WGP 046: What is Leaky Gut Syndrome and How to Heal It

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • I’ll explain how a leaky gut can lead to chronic disease
  • I’ll talk about what causes a leaky gut
  • Finally, I’ll give you 5 steps to healing and sealing a leaky gut


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST HEALING FOODS FOR YOUR GUT

Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician and considered the father of western medicine, although I’m sure he’d be quite upset at the current health-care system and medical model we use today, which is really a disease-care model, but anyways… Hippocrates said:

“All disease begins in the gut.”

And he is absolutely 100% correct and let me explain how. And by the way when I say gut I’m talking about the small and large intestines in your body.

Your entire alimentary canal, your entire digestive system is one long tube that begins in your mouth hole and ends in your south hole so anything you put in your mouth and swallow is still technically outside of your body. If it gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream then it’s inside your body, but if what you swallow gets eliminated then it technically was never in your body. That’s not to say it won’t affect your body only that the effect will be minimal compared to if what you ate did get into your bloodstream.

Now your gut performs many functions in your body besides digestion and elimination and its primary role is to act as a barrier controlling what’s allowed in and what stays out of your body. Nutrients are allowed into your body and unwanted unknown foreign materials are kept outside of your body. So it’s similar to a mosquito net. It allows oxygen in while keeping mosquitoes out. When this barrier becomes compromised and unregulated or when this mosquito net gets punctured and has tears in it this is called leaky gut syndrome.

When you have a leaky gut unwanted unknown foreign materials get into your bloodstream and then all hell begins to break loose in other parts of your body. When undigested food particles, pathogens, toxins, and other irritants that usually get eliminated find their way into your body, into your bloodstream your immune system gets activated and this causes an inflammatory and stress response at whatever site the foreign material settles in. The longer this inflammation and stress goes on the higher your chance of getting a chronic disease.

For example, if you have had leaky gut for a while and unwanted material settles in your joints you may get rheumatoid arthritis. If they settle in your arteries your chance of having a heart attack or stroke skyrockets. If this foreign matter settles in your thyroid you may experience hyper or hypothyroid issues. If they settle under your skin you may get rashes, eczema, or acne. If they settle in your brain your ability to focus and think clearly may reduce dramatically giving you brain fog. If this foreign material stays in your gut you may experience digestive issues like bloating and foul-smelling gas that can eventually lead to Crohn’s or coeliac disease. And if these non-nutrient substances don’t settle anywhere in particular this chronic low-level inflammatory and stress response will cause your hormones and your neurotransmitters to get out of balance with either too much or not enough being produced causing body composition problems (fat gain or muscle loss), reproductive issues (infertility), energy imbalances (feeling tired or fatigued), and mood disorders (depression).

Not only does bad stuff get into your bloodstream with a leaky gut, but because your gut wall is damaged you’re no longer able to absorb the full amount of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from the food that you’re eating and this leads to nutrient deficiencies. This malabsorption of nutrients causes your body to start cannibalising itself in order to meet its own nutrient requirements. So if you’re not absorbing enough calcium your bones will begin to breakdown. If you’re not absorbing enough protein your body will get this protein from your muscles. Not absorbing enough natural fats? Say goodbye to proper brain function. And if you’re not absorbing enough vitamin A your cells will no longer form and grow properly causing dysfunction of many of your bodily systems.

So having a leaky gut is a serious problem with serious health consequences and it’s not limited to your gut. Your entire body is fair game.

“If you’re experiencing health symptoms of any kind there’s a 99.9999% chance that your gut is leaky.”

Your skin is a dozen cell layers thick and you can see the layers of your skin when you get a cut or you scrape yourself. The mucous lining of your gut, also known as your gut wall, is only one cell thick or should I say one cell thin. The cells that make up your gut wall are called enterocytes. This single layer of enterocytes makes it easy to absorb and transport nutrients into your bloodstream, but this also makes your gut very easy to damage.

Your gut wall isn’t smooth, but is made up of very tiny finger-like projections called villi that stick out increasing the surface area of your digestive system and this makes it easier to break down food and absorb more nutrients. Villi are connected to each other at their base by tight junctions and these tight junctions can open slightly to let certain nutrients in, but they remain closed when there’s foreign material around like undigested food particles, toxins, and pathogens.

There are certain substances, however, that can cause these tight junctions to open even in the presence of foreign material. There are even more substances that can cause direct physical damage to your single-celled gut wall. The term leaky gut syndrome comes from the fact that these tight junctions are opened and your gut wall is damaged. The technical term for this is intestinal hyperpermeability.

The unwarranted opening of these junctions and damage to your gut wall is caused by many many things and a variety of factors including:

  • Anti-nutrients like gluten, lectins, saponins, and phytates
  • Industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils
  • Grains
  • Instant coffee
  • Pasteurised dairy
  • Processed and refined sugar
  • Foods your body is intolerant and sensitive to
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Inorganic foods raised with inorganic fertilisers and pesticides
  • Tap water and water that is deficient in minerals
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Artificial colourings, preservatives, additives, thickeners, emulsifiers, bulking agents, flavourings, and texturants
  • Synthetic vitamins
  • Parasitic infections
  • Dysbiosis, which is not an infection, but simply having more pathogens than probiotics in your gut
  • Environmental toxins including personal and homecare products
  • Lack of exposure to the sun, to bare skin on the Earth, and to time in nature
  • Pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, acid-blockers, and pain-killers
  • Caesarean birth or being born via C-section
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of quality restorative sleep
  • Chronic stress and
  • Chronic inflammation

 
So how do you seal and heal your leaky gut? How do you prevent those tight junctions between your villi from opening when they shouldn’t and how do you repair the damage to the enterocytes the cells of your gut wall?

Here are five steps to healing a leaky gut.

First things first – Redefine your dream for healing.

Without a big enough why, a big enough reason to keep you moving forward you will end up stressed out about the whole healing process. If you stress about how difficult it’s going to be for example to stop eating bread or cheese or having to buy plant-based organic deodorant and homecare products then forget about moving onto the next steps. This stress about changing and healing is just as bad as continuing to eat gluten or drink alcohol. You need to create a dream that matters, a dream that will inspire you to make change happen, to make change stick, and to make healing feel less of a burden and more of a passion, more of a right like you deserve this. Checkout episode 14 for more details about how to build your dream.

Second step – Remove all possible gut irritants.

This includes everything in the list I gave you earlier. Well as much of it as you can handle without stressing out about it. Hopefully your dream keeps your stress levels or your perception of stress in check. Even if you do find yourself feeling a bit stressed about this step you can always practise meditation and movement practises like Qi-gong to help reduce the amount of perceived stress you’re experiencing.

Step three – Refeed your body with holistic nutrition.

This isn’t just about eating real food. This also includes drinking natural water, moving often, breathing correctly, getting quality restorative sleep, and engaging in loving relationships. When it comes to food to heal your gut though you can’t go past:

  • Bone broth
  • Fermented foods like raw milk kefir and sauerkraut
  • Fatty fish like salmon and sardines, and
  • Eating more natural animal and fruit fats

 
Fourth step – Repair your gut with smart supplementation.

You could heal your gut naturally without the use of supplements, but strategic use of supplements will help support and boost your body’s own innate healing abilities increasing your chances for success. The enterocytes that make up your gut wall, these guys love to feed on an amino acid glutamine and you can get glutamine in real foods like bone broth, but you can also find it as a supplement powder called l-glutamine. Digestive enzymes are a fantastic way to supplement your body’s digestive system and will ensure the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Aloe vera juice and deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL are two very potent plant-based gut-healers. High quality fish and krill oil with their anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids will also help your gut heal. Lastly, a probiotic supplement preferably containing soil-based microorganisms will help bring your gut microbiome back into balance.

Fifth and final step – Remember to laugh.

There’s an age-old saying:

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

A real hard laugh boosts your immune system and lowers your levels of the stress hormone cortisol for at least a day so be sure to watch something funny, go to a comedy show, or do some laughing yoga. Yeah, you heard right, laughing yoga. I’ll put a link in the blog post for this episode to a video showing what laughing yoga is all about. It’s actually quite funny, obviously. Also I’ll put a link to the Chewbacca Mom viral video. It’s a video I’ve come across recently and it made me laugh pretty hard the first time I saw it.

Here are a couple of books to help you on your gut healing journey. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by Paul Chek covers how to heal holistically. Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride gives you the GAPs Protocol and this goes deeper into gut healing and is a great option for those with severely damaged guts.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Life is short. Don’t live life so seriously. The time it’s going to take to heal your gut will be long though. So take the time now to heal your gut so you can enjoy yourself later and have more fun before your time is up.

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WGP 045: How it Feels to be Depressed and Suicidal and What to do About it

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Depression and Suicidal Tendencies:

  • I’ll explain what depression is and what suicidal tendencies are including their symptoms
  • I’ll talk about from my experience what it feels like to be depressed and to have thoughts of suicide
  • I’ll talk about contributing factors that can cause depression and suicidal tendencies
  • Finally, I’ll give a few tips on how you can work your way out of a depressive and suicidal black hole


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU IN BALANCE

Depression is a mood disorder in which you feel extreme sadness and grief, you’re uninterested about life, and you suffer chronic mental, emotional, and physical pain. Depression affects 350 million people worldwide and that’s only an estimate. Because depression is such a difficult thing to admit to having with for fear of ridicule and looking weak or looking like a lesser person in other people’s eyes I’d say that between half a billion to a billion people suffer from some form of depression.

There are different types of depression including major, melancholic, manic, and a few others all of these have similar symptoms including:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness and grief
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, pessimistic and/or guilty
  • Feeling irritable and anxious
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Low self-esteem
  • Indecisiveness
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Eating or sleeping too little or too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Thoughts or attempts of self-harm
  • Thoughts or attempt of suicide
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment


Suicidal tendencies are thoughts that you have about death and killing yourself due to not being able to cope with chronic pain and the suffering you’re currently experiencing in your life. Being suicidal is another mood disorder and an advancement from self-harm where you cut or hurt yourself in order to cope with pain. Thoughts of suicide affect an unknown number of people, but over 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide every year with someone dying from suicide every 40 seconds. A lot more people attempt suicide, which makes thinking about suicide a major health issue.

Here are some symptoms and danger signs for suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or killing yourself
  • Researching and planning suicide
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Eating or sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Always thinking about death
  • Suddenly happier and at peace with things
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Making arrangements and setting your affairs in order
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions

 
What I’m going to do now is to do my best to describe what it feels like to be in a state of depression and thinking about suicide. Now I lived with depression for two decades and had suicidal tendencies for a decade and a half, but even that doesn’t qualify me enough to say that this is exactly what the experience of depression and thinking about suicide feels like for everybody. Even after having talked with and researched other people who have dealt with these disorders all I can give you is a description of my own personal experience.

Describing a feeling or sensation is extremely difficult though. So what I’m going to do is use two analogies to give you a sense of what depression and suicidal tendencies feel like or felt like for me. If you’ve never had to deal with these disorders I hope this gives you a better picture of what it’s like to live with these two very disempowering ways of being. And if you have people in your life that you think may be dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide, but you’re finding it difficult to relate to them I’m hoping that this gives you a sense of what they’re struggling with and how you may be able to help and support them.

If you had or are currently dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide please let me know if what I describe here resonates with you and makes some sense. If you’re finding it difficult to reach out to people who may not understand what you’re going through, you can always contact me and use me as your first step toward getting a better understanding of what’s happening with you. I’d love to hear your story and share mine with you and support you on your health and happiness journey.

Alrighty first analogy. Think of negative emotions as having weight and feeling like a burden on your back, or on your shoulders, making you feel heavy, making you feel uncomfortable and in pain. The more upsetting and painful the emotion the more weight it has. Positive emotions would be weightless and make you feel as light as a feather. Now imagine an acute short-term pain like stubbing your toe. This feels like a couple of bowling balls on your back. Imagine now that you get angry for accidentally hitting your toe. Now you have a few more bowling balls pile up. Imagine getting in an argument or feeling upset over an expectation not being met. This would feel like a car or a bus on your shoulders. Breaking up with your lover or being disconnected from family and friends. This would feel like a whole city block was weighing you down. Experiencing the death of a loved one, someone you deeply cared about, this is huge and feels like the weight of the world, the entire planet is on your shoulders.

Now imagine this sadness and grief grows where another planet jumps on your back followed by another and then another, and then the sun followed by more stars, and different star systems until eventually you feel like the weight of the entire galaxy is on your back. If deep sadness and unbearable grief were the weight of planet Earth, depression feels like the weight of an entire galaxy of stars and planets.

The longer you have this galaxy on your back weighing you down the more painful your life becomes and the more difficult it is for you to move around. Without realising it another galaxy gets plonked on your back followed by another and another until0020like the theory of the Big Bang where everything rapidly expanded into existence, you have the size of the entire universe weighing you down. You feel like you’re about to lose it and be crushed by this massive burden. This huge infinite mass of the universe causes unimaginable pain and stops you in your tracks causing you to give up all hope of living because all you want is for this heaviness, this non-stop chronic persistent pain to just go away. All you want is to be free, free of this burden, free of this pain, free of this suffering. This is when you begin thinking that ending your life is the only viable option you have left.

That’s how my experience of depression and contemplating suicide was for me in terms of pain. I felt so small and so insignificant compared to the burden that I thought I was carrying. I felt absolutely weighed down by my thoughts and by my feelings and because of them I experienced unimaginable pain and suffering.

In this second analogy imagine standing on the edge of a cliff looking into a deep dark chasm, an abyss with no end in sight. A normal experience of sadness and grief is like tripping and falling into this abyss and feeling scared and alone in the darkness and reaching out for something to grab and hold onto to break your fall, but there’s nothing around that can save you and you’re just falling for what seems like an eternity until out of nowhere a safety net breaks your fall and you’re able to climb to the top of the cliff and find yourself back on solid ground relieved from your grief.

Depression feels like tripping and falling into this abyss and feeling scared and alone and trying as you might you cannot find anything to grab onto and you’re falling and falling in this absolutely pitch-black hole with no end in sight screaming out in fear of dying, in fear of being alone forever, in fear of never being saved. The thing with depression is the fall never ends and you lose track of time and space and of who you were and you begin to fear the dark, and you’re afraid of the unknown, afraid of being alone, afraid of never experiencing love again, and you fall and fall and fall forever. You become desperate and pretend that everything is okay. You put masks on to cover up your fears. You become religious. You become an atheist. You become a team player. You become a loner. You become frustrated. You become apathetic. You become an addict. You become whatever it is you think you need to be to survive the fall, but no matter what masks you put on you are still falling and the fall never ends. You’re afraid of hitting rock bottom, but have no idea how to stop from falling.

Having suicidal tendencies feels like tripping and falling into this abyss and just like depression this fall never ends and you live in constant fear until eventually you give in to the fear and give up all hope of being saved or of saving yourself and you stop reaching out and you stop pretending everything is okay, and you stop looking for ways to put on a brave face. You turn your body and you look straight down into the darkness waiting for the inevitable, expecting it, wanting the fall to end, wanting to hit rock bottom, wanting this fear of the dark, of feeling alone, of never feeling love to end. You’re still afraid of hitting rock bottom, but rock bottom is the only way you see this fall ending.

That’s how depression and suicidal thoughts felt for me in terms of fear. I felt absolutely out of control. I felt uncertain about myself, my life, other people, the whole world. I felt completely utterly hopeless and helpless and saw other people as my enemies and saw the world as a very dark, scary, and lonely place.

This is just my personal experience and everyone has their own perspective and I hope it gives you some insight and understanding about what it feels like to live with these disorders.

Let’s move onto the contributing factors that can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies. What causes these mood disorders?

Conventional medical thinking would tell you that an imbalance either too much or not enough of feel good neurotransmitters like serotonin are the cause of mood disorders. But what causes these hormones, these neurotransmitters in your brain to get out of balance?

As a holistic and functional practitioner I always want to get to the underlying root cause. Depression and thoughts of suicide are symptoms of a bigger problem. Yes these mood disorders are very destructive, but they are not the problem. They are the result of the problem. They are actually signs signalling to you that something in your life is out of balance.

The real problem for this imbalance and the root cause to 99.99% of disease, sickness, symptoms of ill health, and dysfunction in your body, in your mind, in your bodymind they are both one and the same, the root cause is chronic stress perceived or real, physical or metaphysical. This chronic stress then leads to chronic inflammation and this chronic inflammation causes your immune system to run out-of-control.

You have to realise that your bodymind is always in flux, in flow, and shifting between anabolism, which is growth, and catabolism, which is breaking down. When you sleep you’re predominantly anabolic and when you’re awake you’re mostly catabolic. When your bodymind lives in what I call a catabolic soup, which is when the big three persistent stress and inflammation and an unregulated immune system come together, your bodymind will shift into a catabolic state and stay there for a long time and anabolic processes will no longer be deemed necessary.

Meaning your bodymind will begin to break down more a lot more than it grows and it does this because it’s now in survival mode and not your normal thriving mode. Your bodymind will turn off non-vital processes such as growth, repair, reproduction, digestion, elimination, and shut down the production of mood-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters leading to mood disorders.

In this catabolic state your bodymind will also cannibalise itself and strip nutrients from bone to ensure the proper functioning of other vital organs (osteoporosis anyone?) and will become confused and attack your own organs such as your thyroid and joints and your gut and this creates autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Coeliac Disease all because of chronic stress, inflammation, and an unruly immune system.

So if this catabolic soup made up of stress and inflammation and your out-of-control immune system contributes to the cause of depression and suicidal tendencies what creates this catabolic soup? Why are you in chronic stress? Why is there chronic inflammation? Why is your immune system attacking your own body?

“Living a lifestyle out of balance with the seasons and the rhythms of Mother Nature.”

This is the ultimate cause to all diseases physical, sexual, emotional, and mental. Not living in accordance with the laws of nature. To reduce the symptoms and eventually remove your depressed state and suicidal tendencies you need to reconnect to the natural order of life.

Your bodymind was designed to be barefoot on the land, with skin exposed to the sun, connected and working intimately together with your tribe with a sole purpose, to sleep when the sun sets and to wake the sun rises, to live in a toxin-free environment, to breathe clean air, to move often throughout the day, to drink natural pure structured water, and to eat real food from Mother Nature.

This is called living a holistic lifestyle and connecting back to your roots, to your ancestry, to who you really truly are in this Universe. A holistic lifestyle will reduce your stress, the inflammation in your bodymind, and help calm and regulate your immune system.

I have already done many podcasts on how to live a holistic lifestyle and a good starting place would be to look up the episode I did on the 7 Holistic Health Principles to give you the good life. That is episode 30.

Looking back at my life I can definitely see how out of sync my lifestyle was compared to what my bodymind needed and was expecting. I ate a lot of highly inflammatory foods like sugars and grains and pasteurised dairy, and I drank a lot of tap water, and I didn’t move my body enough, and hardly ever did I ground my body to the earth, and I’d always cover myself when I went outside for fear of being burnt from the sun and getting skin cancer.

In terms of my mindset there was one thing that I wish someone had told me when I was a teenager and it’s a piece of advice I’d like to share with anyone out there feeling depressed and suicidal and that is:

“Don’t believe everything you think, everything you feel, everything you say, or do.”

And the same goes for believing other people. I was so much in my head as a teenager, as a child really, and I believed right up to my 30s that what I thought was absolutely real, it was 100% fact, and that the situation I was in was set in stone and there was no way of changing it. In hindsight I can see how wrong I was.

One way I let go of my depression and suicidal tendencies was to start questioning everything. I mean ever since I was young I have always been very curious about life and how things worked, but when my bodymind became stressed and inflamed my curiosity started to decrease until it faded away entirely. Then I like a sponge I soaked up everything around me the good, the bad, and the ugly and believed it to be the absolute truth.

So I shifted my mindset from being an adult that accepted everything to be more childlike and to be more curious.

If you’re feeling crushed under the weight of the universe and feel like you’re falling with no help in sight or if you have beliefs that are not serving you ask yourself this one question – is  it true?

Are your thoughts and feelings and sensations actually giving you the correct data or are they being twisted somehow? Really dig deep and investigate your human experience. I say human experience because my curiosity took me down a deep rabbit hole just like Alice in Alice in Wonderland I found myself in a different world that amazed and surprised me and in this world I discovered something.

I learnt that I am not only human, a creature of habit, but I am also a creature of choice. A creature who can choose is really a creator. I realised that I am the creator of all my human experiences. Actually a co-creator with other creatures.

I realised and I discovered:

“I am a spiritual being having a human experience.”

Once I began to live a holistic lifestyle and nourish my human experience I connected to my higher self, my spiritual self. All through curiosity. But of course that’s just my experience.

So be curious my friend. Question your perceived reality.

Martial artist and philosopher Bruce Lee said:

“Be water my friend.”

This means you need to adapt to the situation that you’re in. Easier said than done I know, but after making changes to your lifestyle and becoming more curious you will find adapting to your environment becomes a lot easier. So if you find yourself in a tight spot, loosen up. If you find yourself heating up, cool down. If you find yourself saying yes to everything, say no. If you find yourself feeling heavy, lighten up. If you find yourself alone, reach out. If you find yourself in a dark place, brighten up. And the major situation and change that I personally had to go through – if you find yourself stuck, move right along because spiritually and metaphysically and scientifically and quantum mechanically there’s really nothing to see here.

By living a holistic lifestyle and being curious you will clear your bodymind of stress and inflammation giving you more clarity about the present and what’s really happening right in front of you. And by being water you will be able to adapt and change and evolve and grow and flow with ease into the next moment. Hopefully feeling lighter and on solid ground.

For more information about how to heal from depression holistically and naturally read Dr Kelly Brogan’s awesome book A Mind of Your Own. Dr Kelly is a holistic psychiatrist who practices what she preaches and although it has women in the subtitle it is very much applicable to men and everyone else as well.

If you have suicidal tendencies please reach out to someone. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but I ain’t talking about the light that takes you to the other side. If you have no one to talk to call your local suicide hotline. The people at the other end they’re not there to judge you, they are trained to understand what’s going on with your specific situation and they will give you unconditional support and guidance and it’s anonymous. I’ll put a link to a website showing all international suicide hotline numbers. Give them a call and you don’t even have to tell them that it’s for you. You can always say you’re calling on behalf of a friend.

One last thing. As I talked about in the previous podcast about selfless-connection remember you are never alone. There are millions of people out there dealing with the same stuff and they’re also struggling to find other people to share their experiences with.

Wherever you think you maybe and whatever you think is going to happen in the future remember that right now, you are here and you are now. You are always here and you are always now. Right here and now you can choose to keep moving forward, to let go of fate, and to create a new destiny and a new you.

Links and Resources

 
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WGP 041: Juicing vs Blending – Which is Best for Healing?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Juicing and Blending:

  • I’ll explain why consuming juices and smoothies are important for happiness and health
  • I’ll talk about the differences and the pros and cons between juicing and blending vegetables and fruits
  • Finally, I’ll share tips on how to turn your juices and smoothies into a healing elixir


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Everyone knows that vegetables and fruits are packed-full of phytonutrients, plant chemicals that have powerful medicinal and healing effects in your body. Plant power fuels and nourishes animal life on this planet. Without the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting benefits you get from consuming plant matter it becomes very difficult, but not impossible, just hard to give your body the nutritional, energetical, and informational support it needs to thrive.

Unless you live in the North and South poles where you’re exposed to cold with its own unique healing powers and are consuming a lot of nutritionally dense rich blubberous animal fats and their offal then plant foods are going to be a necessity in your diet.

Juicing and blending your vegetables and fruits into juices and smoothies are an excellent and simple way to get more plant medicine into your diet.

When you juice you’re making juices and when you blend you’re making smoothies. Juicing is very different to blending, which makes juices very different to smoothies.

Plants are made up of mostly water much like your own body and also a carbohydrate known as fibre. Fibre is indigestible by your body’s digestive system. This fibre though it is the perfect food for the trillions of microorganisms that live in your gut, in your digestive tract and your gut microbiome plays a huge role in your digestion and in keeping your immune system running optimally.

Fibre is the difference between juicing vegetables and fruits into juices verses blending them into smoothies. When you juice, using a juicer obviously, what you’re doing is separating the fibrous plant material from the water and this water contains a majority of the phytonutrients. This leaves you with a very watery drink and a lot of fibre leftover. When you blend, using a blender obviously, what you’re doing here is pulverising, chopping, mashing 100% of the plant material fibre and all leaving you with a thick drink.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both juicing and blending.

The primary benefit to having juices and smoothies is that they are a very simple, nutritious and delicious way to increase your consumption of vegetables. Not everyone can manage to eat 3 to 9 cups of vegetables a day, but you can easily get 3 cups of a variety of vegetables in one juice or smoothie.

For example in my green smoothie that I have for dinner most nights I put in a quarter cup of parsley. You have probably seen a tiny pinch of parsley used mainly as a garnish and sure that tiny amount tastes okay, but can you imagine eating 4 tablespoons worth of chopped parsley? Maybe spread out evenly over a day, but for me I like getting my parsley dose in one hit and it’s so much easier and tastier mixed into a smoothie.

Now the main benefit to juicing and drinking juices is that they are an easily digested and quickly absorbed source of nutrition and energy. For people with digestive issues, energy issues, and for those who are severely malnourished drinking green juices will be easier on your body allowing your body to absorb more of the nutrients in that juice. It takes about 20 minutes for a juice to be fully digested and absorbed compared to a few hours for a full-blown meal.

Also because your body doesn’t need to spend a lot of energy digesting your juice it will have more energy that can be used elsewhere such as for repairing damaged tissues, increasing detoxification processes, and producing more neurotransmitters and sex hormones.

The thing is the main benefit to juicing, easy digestion and quick absorption, is also one of its drawbacks. But this all depends on what you’re actually juicing. Fruit juices are not healing drinks like green juices are. This is because of the high amount of fruit sugars present in fruits. Remember juicing extracts the water and the nutrients and separates them from the fibre and fibre helps slow down the release of sugar from your gut into your bloodstream. Without the fibre in the juice that sugar is going to hit your system very quick and very hard causing a massive insulin response which is something you don’t want to happen on a regular basis. Listen to the previous podcast I did on the blood sugar rollercoaster for more info on that.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, but it’s natural sugar from real food. Whether sugar is found naturally in real food or refined and added by the spoonful once sugar hits your digestive tract your body doesn’t know the difference. Sugar is sugar. Except if there’s fibre present then your body and your gut microorganisms will deal with that sugar differently. Not just fibre, but fats and acids help with this as well, but I’ll talk more about those later. This is why eating fruits in their whole intact form is a lot better for you than fruit juices and it doesn’t matter if the juices are bought from the shop or made fresh at home. Sugar without fibre is processed sugar to your body.

The other downside to drinking juices is that you cannot extract all the water and nutrients bound to the fibre. Even with the slowest spinning masticating juicers you will always be missing out on nutrients when you juice.

Final drawback to juicing I’ll mention is when you’re using a centrifugal juicer, one that spins at high-speed in the thousands of RPMs or revolutions per minute, a centrifugal juicer will suck in more oxygen which creates more oxidation or damage to the nutrients. Not only do high-speed juicers cause damage, but they also do not extract as much juice as slow masticating juicers do. Even if you do use a masticating juicer that can spin as low as 65 RPMs, as I talked about before you will not be able to extract all the water and nutrients from the fibre.

Moving onto smoothies.

The good thing about smoothies, besides being a simple way to increase your vegetable consumption, is that you are eating the whole food, the entire vegetable and fruit meaning you get the fibre, the nutrients, the water, the whole deal. You are not missing out on anything that may be lost when you juice. This means that even if you do add some fruit to your blended smoothies the release of sugar into your bloodstream will be a lot slower than fruit that’s been juiced.

There is a similar drawback to blending just as there is in juicing if your smoothie is made up mostly or 100% of fruit. For people with metabolic disorders meaning they are unable to digest and metabolise sugar properly due to hormonal imbalances, a fruit smoothie will be doing more harm than healing and can be just as bad as a fruit juice.

Last downside to blending again similar to juicing is that these blenders spin at super high speeds that will cause damage both physically by the blades and oxidatively by sucking in more oxygen.

Alright so how do you make healing juices and smoothies?

First things first – you got to reduce the sugar hit. When designing a juice or smoothie for healing, obviously you don’t want to add any additional sweeteners artificial or natural including maple syrup and honey due to sugars ability to upset your hormonal rhythms and to suppress your immune system.

When it comes to juices you want to be drinking healing green juices with little to no fruit added. I like using kale, cucumber, celery, and some ginger as a base for all my green juices. From here you can add whatever else you like. I recommend adding in some herbs as pound for pound herbs are more nutritionally dense than their larger plant cousins.

The only fruits I recommend for juicing are lemons, limes, kiwifruit, and a green apple. The acidity in lemon and lime help with your digestion and blood sugar balance. The gelatinous nature and compounds in kiwi also help with digestion and green apples are a bit of a compromise when it comes to taste. If you find green juices too bitter then adding one green apple including the apple seeds, especially the apple seeds, can help make the juice sweeter without being too heavy in fruit sugars, with the added bonus of having the low dose of cyanide that come from the apple seeds. No this cyanide isn’t going to kill you, but it’s a great cancer regulator. By that I mean cancer cells love sugar. So when you eat your juice (yes I said eat, not drink) a lot of the sugars will be picked up by cancer cells. The cyanide will piggyback on this metabolism and will also be taken up by those cancerous cells causing them to do what mainstream medicine fails to do – the cyanide causes cancerous cells to die.

Okay other vegetables to improve on taste while at the same time improve healing are carrots, beetroot, and orange kumara or orange sweet potato. The cool thing about the sweet potato is not only does it give you a bunch of beta-carotene and a touch of sweetness, but it also gives the juice a creamy texture. If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, then a bit of lemon juice and sweet potato helps the green juice go down, no doubt about it.

To help lower the glycaemic response, the rate at which sugar gets released into your bloodstream, you can mix in some raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother. This means apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been pasteurised and that looks murky. The bottle should not be clear looking. You should see the mother, which is a collection of friendly bacteria and other beneficial compounds, you should see the mother at the bottom of the bottle so be sure to shake it up before mixing into your juice.

Another thing you want to do when consuming green juices is to eat some fat with your juice. I recommend eating a spoonful of coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil right before or right after your juice. There are a lot of fat-soluble micronutrients in vegetables and they need fat to be absorbed during digestion. So by eating some fat with your juice you can increase the amount of nutrients your body absorbs and assimilates.

Final tip for designing a very healing juice is that you must use a slow masticating horizontal juicer. A high-speed juicer is destroying a majority of the nutrients wasting a lot of that precious plant medicine. A vertical masticating juicer is much better and does more than just juice. It can make nut milks and sorbets as well. The difference between a vertical and horizontal juicer is that while the vertical is better for getting more juice out of fruits it doesn’t do a good job of extracting water and nutrients from non-starchy vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. Now a horizontal masticating juicer can also make nut milks and sorbets like the vertical one and it is the best juicer for healing as it gets more medicine out of vegetables. If you have the cash go for a juicer with twin juicing abilities to get more out of your vegetables. Or you can simply put the fibre or leftover pulp back into your juicer a second time to get even more medicine out of the plants.

I do have a tip relating to juicing, but not to do with the juice itself. The pulp, the fibre that’s leftover, don’t toss this in the trash. Use it in your compost for your garden or dehydrate the fibre to make healthy crackers.

Remember the base of the green juice I mentioned earlier and play around and make your own recipes from there.

When it comes to healing green smoothies similar guidelines apply.

I use as a liquid base for all my green smoothies one cup of water, a pinch of sea salt, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, and a tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil. You can use any healthful animal or fruit fat you like and any liquid you like so long as there’s no added sweeteners and chemicals.

Coconut milk and unsweetened almond milk are okay substitutes for water, but even better than water (yes better than water if you can tolerate dairy that is) is raw yoghurt, specifically raw milk kefir. This gives your body more beneficial microorganisms or probiotics. But wait there’s more and something even better than water and kefir for healing (if you tolerate monosodium glutamate or MSG that is) and that’s bone broth made from bones from happy and healthy animals free to roam outdoors and eating their natural species appropriate diet.

“A good broth can raise the dead”

Is a South American proverb and by using bone broth in your healing green smoothie you will increase your body’s innate ability to heal exponentially. If you don’t have any bone broth handy you can always add a tablespoon or two of gelatine or collagen which have similar health benefits to bone broth including repairing your gut and improving joint and skin health.

You can add whatever non-starchy green-leafy cruciferous coloured sulphurous vegetables you want to your smoothie, but when it comes to fruit I would stick to berries and the juice of lemons or limes to keep your smoothie a healing drink. Celery I include as a base in all of my green smoothies. Celery helps normalise blood pressure and aids with digestion. Adding in herbs and spices is a must for the best tasting and healing green smoothie. Parsley and cinnamon are my go to herb and spice. Parsley is a great blood purifier and it reduces body odour and cinnamon will improve overall flavour and help stabilise blood sugar levels.

Oh and when I say green here, in terms of green juice or green smoothie, I don’t just mean literally green, I also mean a high vegetable low fruit drink. So even if your juice or smoothie isn’t the colour green it’s green in my book if there’s not high amounts of fruit and sugar in it.

A couple of taste and healing combinations I’ve found too good to be true when it comes to smoothies are avocado, a tiny amount of red onion, and coriander aka cilantro aka Chinese parsley. Think a guacamole drink. Also raw cacao powder with mint leaves. Yep a mint chocolate drink and when you add in an avocado to your mint chocolate you get a mint chocolate mousse. Mmm hmm, tasty!

Another taste enhancer, well really a texture enhancer is to add cacao nibs or coconut flakes to your smoothie near the end of blending to give it some crunch or sprinkle some crushed nuts or seeds on top of your drink after blending. And by the way peanuts are legumes, not nuts.

One final blending tip is to add a quarter to half a teaspoon of powdered vitamin C to your smoothie. This acts as an antioxidant and protects against oxidative damage that happens when you blend at high-speeds. Also it gives a little bit of tang to your smoothie.

If you really cannot do without fruits or starchy vegetables in your green drinks then you can still make these healing drinks by consuming them post workout. Your muscle cells are more sensitive to insulin after intense exercise so by timing the intake of your sweet green drink after a workout you reduce the impact the sugar will have on your body.

Final overall tip and this is an absolute requirement when it comes to turning a typical green drink into a healing elixir and I mentioned this earlier and that is you must eat your juice or smoothie, not drink it. Meaning you must chew the watery or thick liquid in your mouth for a few seconds, get your digestive enzyme containing saliva all up in that drink before you swallow. Chewing is one of the early stages of digestion, which I talked about back in episode 9, and without this crucial step you’re literally wasting most of the beneficial plant medicine in your drink as your body will quickly eliminate whatever isn’t covered in your digestive enzymes when it hits your digestive tract. Chewing your green drink will turn it into a more potent healing elixir. So no straws please. Drink it straight from the mug or cup.

I’ll put a couple of links to a juicer and blender I recommend in the blog post for this episode.

Look there’s no limits to how you make your juice or smoothie really. It’s up to you. Whatever floats your boat and makes your taste buds sing. However, there are limits to making your green drink a healing drink.

So remember keep the sugar low, add in some animal or fruit fats, move before you eat, and above all else listen to your body.

“If your green drink makes you feel stink or look green or pink, it’s time to rethink your green drink.”

Okay so which is better for healing? Juicing or blending? Well it depends on what you put in your drink, and also how and when you eat it.

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WGP 040: Riding the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster to Hormone Hell

In this podcast I’ll be exploring how Blood Sugar Affects Your Hormones:

  • I’ll explain how hormones control your health
  • I’ll talk about how blood sugar levels affect your health and control your hormones
  • Finally, I’ll share a few holistic lifestyle tips on how to control your blood sugar levels and hormones naturally


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

There is so much information old and new about health and wellness that it can be extremely frustrating sorting through what he said and what she said and what science says just to find yourself back where you began – confused. If you ever find your head spinning and your ears smoking and your brain melting and your bodymind just about to explode because of all the contradictory information out there I suggest you keep it simple by focusing on one thing and this one thing to focus on would be your hormones.

Now do you know how to make a hormone? Okay that’s a setup for a bad joke so I won’t go there, but do you know what a hormone is?

Hormones are signalling molecules that traverse and tell different areas of your bodymind what’s happening in your environment both internal and external and how to respond and behave to environmental changes. Your hormones are affected by your lifestyle, by what and how you think, feel, do, sleep, breathe, move, drink and eat. All these things affect your hormones and your hormones affect all these things. I’ve spoken about hormones before and how they affect your health back in episode 23.

I’ll focus on three major hormones in this episode with regards to the effects of blood glucose levels. Insulin, cortisol, and melatonin.

Insulin is a very critical and important hormone needed for growth and repair as its job is to help get nutrients out of your bloodstream and into your cells. Keep in mind that when insulin is high your body’s ability to mobilise and burn fat for fuel comes to a standstill. Insulin does not have a circadian or daily rhythm like cortisol and melatonin do. Insulin’s release is determined by what, when, and how you eat. The insulin receptor sites on your cells, which is the place where insulin docks when it connects to your cells, these insulin receptors do have a circadian rhythm of their own where in the morning these sites are insulin-sensitive, screaming out to insulin to come and give some nutrients. Whereas in the evening these receptor sites are insulin-resistant where they play it cool and ignore insulin most of the time even when insulin is trying to dock on and deliver nutrients.

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and when you perceive stress or when your body is physically under stress this is when cortisol gets released and is free to roam around your bloodstream where it will suppress your immune system, digestion, and your ability to burn fat, because if you’re stressed the last thing your body is worried about is healing and breaking down your last meal as it wants to move as fast as it can to get away from the stressor. In order to do this cortisol increases blood glucose levels and metabolism to provide more energy to your muscles. Cortisol has a circadian rhythm where it rises sharply in the morning to get you up and moving and then its levels begin to fall throughout the day where in the evening there’s only a tiny amount of cortisol in your bloodstream allowing you to relax and to get to sleep.

Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone, but it’s also a potent powerful antioxidant and it plays a major role in reducing cancer risk. Melatonin has a circadian rhythm, but opposite to cortisol where it’s low in the morning and then rises in the evening making you want to go to sleep as it helps in the repair process of your bodymind while you sleep.

Everything in life ebbs and flows goes up and down in rhythms and waves and this constant flow back and forth keeps everything in harmony and balance. However, when this flow is blocked, disrupted, disturbed, destroyed, taken to extremes even, if this flow is out of time and beat with its usual rhythm then you get disharmony and life that is out of balance.

When these 3 hormones and remember you do have many many more, when these 3 hormones alone get out of rhythm, out of balance, out of their hormonal bliss point or range of proper function this causes illness, sickness, disease, chronic symptoms, and I swear I must say this almost every episode about malfunction and being out of balance, but when these hormones are out of rhythm it can lead to the full-blown expression of cancer.

Now there are many lifestyle factors that can cause your hormones to go haywire, but I’m going to stick to talking about blood sugar levels in this episode.

There is about 4-5 grams or about a teaspoon of glucose, a sugar molecule, running through your entire bloodstream at any one time. This amount of glucose is the optimum amount required to keep your bodymind moving. If your blood glucose level gets too low you become hypoglycaemic causing dizziness, light-headedness, confusion, hunger, anger, sleep issues, and the shakes. If your blood glucose level gets too high you become hyperglycaemic causing headaches, blurry vision, frequent urination, a jumpy mind where you can’t focus, and making you wired, but tired.

Chronically low blood glucose levels can lead to seizures and nervous system damage. Chronically high blood glucose levels have far worse damaging effects. Remember sugar can be very sticky and when you have too much glucose in your blood for too long this causes those glucose molecules to start sticking to cells that they come into contact with. This process is called glycation and these newly created molecules are called Advanced Glycated End products or AGEs and the name is so appropriate because when these AGEs build up your cells are no longer able to function and do their jobs so your bodymind begins to breakdown from the inside out causing you to age rapidly. Depending on your genetics and environmental factors that affect your epigenetics these AGEs may cause excessive damage to your skin, to your nervous system, your gut, your brain, your sight, your heart, your joints, to any organ in your body.

This is why it’s very important that your insulin hormone is working in sync with other hormones and is functioning as it should. Remember insulin takes the glucose out of your bloodstream to the insulin receptor sites on your cells.

Okay so how does blood glucose levels affect insulin, cortisol, and melatonin?

Insulin and cortisol maintain proper levels of glucose in your blood. After you’ve eaten a well balanced meal insulin levels will rise slowly and eventually it will move that small amount of sugar into your cells. Many hours after the meal your blood glucose levels should still be steady and if they do become low a little bit of cortisol will be released to help raise your blood glucose back to where it should be. Not too bad a situation.

Imagine the ocean with a massive big wave coming in and after that initial big wave it’s all smaller waves from thereon out and you’ll have a good idea on what this looks like and how it affects your body. The initial big rush and then a nice calming effect hours after.

Now let’s say you eat an unbalanced meal high in sugar and carbohydrates, and maybe even high in protein as well, with varying amounts of fat. This meal would cause a massive rise, a sudden surge in insulin as there is now excessive amounts of glucose running around in your bloodstream. This huge spike in insulin will rapidly remove the glucose from your bloodstream and move it to your cells. Now this sudden shunt of glucose into your cells will cause a huge rebound effect where now you don’t have enough glucose in your blood. In fact it’s far too low because you had a lot of insulin doing what was supposed to do.

So with this low blood sugar you begin to feel hungry and angry also known as hangry and you have to eat, but what do you eat? More sugars in the form of snack foods, maybe crackers, chips, dried fruit, chocolate, cookies, but this just causes another huge rise in blood glucose levels causing another spike in insulin and here you are riding the blood sugar roller coaster up and down throughout the day.

Using the ocean analogy again imagine massive waves crashing into the shore followed by the sea being sucked out just like you get when a tsunami’s about to hit. And then what do you know another big wave comes crashing in again and then the sea gets sucked out again. And those crashes are causing damage to your bodymind.

Now even if you didn’t eat and managed to stop yourself from reaching for food your bodymind would then turn to cortisol and release cortisol to help get more glucose in your blood. This spike in cortisol causes too much glucose to circulate so guess what happens next? Insulin has to come out to play and get that blood glucose level down again. So you’ve just bought without even realising it another ticket on the BS roller coaster – the blood sugar roller coaster that is.

With regards to melatonin this hormone is affected by cortisol and cortisol is affected by both blood sugar levels and perceived stress.  If cortisol is chronically high due to constant low blood glucose levels and persistent perceived stress then this will disrupt the circadian rhythms of both cortisol and melatonin, meaning you won’t get enough cortisol to get you out of bed in the morning. You feel sluggish and tired causing you to reach for a sugary carb-loaded breakfast like cereal, bagels, muffins, toast, fruit juice, or even coffee. And guess where this high carb meal is going to take you. Back on the BS roller coaster.

Cortisol which should be low in the evening will now rise slightly in the evening making it very difficult for you to relax, to calm down and to fall asleep. Now that melatonin’s circadian rhythm has been disrupted by the disrupted circadian rhythm of cortisol you won’t get that rise in the evening and this will lead to poor quality sleep, less repair and growth while you sleep, and above all else this gives you an increased risk of expressing cancer as there won’t be enough melatonin released at night to suppress the growth of tumours and to cause cancerous cells to self-destruct.

As you can see blood glucose levels have a major impact on your hormones and I’ve only talked about 3 of your hormones. There are other hormones that your blood glucose levels can affect. Hormones that control your immune system, your inflammatory response, your growth and repair, your sexual and reproductive functions, and even your appetite.

So how do you control your blood glucose, your blood sugar level to remain steady and stable and to not spike too high or to drop too low? How do you get off the BS roller coaster?

Well the first thing you gotta’ do is to stop eating processed and refined carbohydrates. Insulin release is mostly determined by glucose levels in the blood, sugar levels, carbohydrate levels. Now it’s not about eating less carbs, it’s about eating the right kinds of carbs more of the fibrous carbs like non-starchy vegetables and less of the starchy refined foods like chips, milk chocolate, candy, pastries, and for some people even mashed potatoes and starchy vegetables can be an issue, but the worst refined food, fake pretend food-like product is carbonated sugar water also known as fizzy and soda drinks.

“Lower your intake of carbs and you’ll lower your insulin levels and the subsequent cortisol release as well.”

Thing is when you do lower one fuel source you need to replace this with another. The other fuel source being fats. So as you reduce your carb intake look to increase your animal and fruit fat consumption by pouring more fats on your salads and vegetables. Remember vegetables are the perfect vehicles to eat more fat. Stay away from the industrial seed oils. No canola, corn, soya, any of those vegetable fats, they are even worse than soda.

Another way to control blood glucose levels is to move your body. Insulin receptor sites on your cells are more ready to receive insulin in the morning than in the evening, but when you move your body (doesn’t matter if it’s high or low intensity, even a good 30 minute walk will achieve this), by moving your body you increase the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on your muscle cells, but not your fat cells. Meaning movement will allow your muscles to take in more glucose than usual out of your blood. This of course means you have to move your body before you eat. However, walking after eating will also increase the uptake of glucose by your cells reducing blood glucose levels post-meal. So take a nice easy stroll not a jog or a sprint, just a nice walk after you’ve eaten.

Final tip is to manage how you perceive stress in your life. Cortisol should only be used in case of emergency as in when your life is on the line. Not just because your spouse put your cup in the wrong cupboard or because someone called you a poopy-head. Meditate, breathe, go outside for a walk anytime you feel anxious or tense. Remember cortisol is there to get you moving. If you’re sitting down being stressed out at work, or at home, or in the car your blood glucose levels are going to spike and you won’t be moving your body to deal with it. So learn what makes you feel relaxed. Listen to episode 3 for more details about how to manage yourself when it comes to perceiving stress.

Some additional resources. I recommend reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living this is by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney and also Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. These two books delve more deeply into hormones, sugars, and how fats are your new friend in getting off the BS roller coaster.

Look I get it. Sugar is sweet and sugary foods taste oh so good, but these foods are not doing your bodymind, your hormones, and your health any favours.

“If you really feel the need to eat more sugar just stop for a second and remember that you are already sweet enough as it is.”

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WGP 037: Are Your Health Issues Caused by Food Sensitivities?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Food Sensitivities:

  • I’ll explain the difference between food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities
  • I’ll talk about the many many health issues associated with food sensitivities
  • Finally, I’ll share 5 ways you can identify foods your body is most sensitive to


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Most people have heard about food allergies, like a peanut allergy and food intolerances, like lactose intolerance. But not many people know about food sensitivities.

Let me explain the difference between the three of these.

Now a food allergy is a dramatic and immediate reaction by your body’s immune system to a particular food that you’ve eaten. Allergic reactions include immediate swelling and itchiness and also anaphylactic shock which can be fatal. The top eight allergenic foods are:

  1. Peanuts
  2. Tree nuts
  3. Wheat
  4. Shellfish
  5. Soy
  6. Milk
  7. Eggs and
  8. Fish

 

Food intolerance on the other hand is a more subtle, minor delayed reaction. We’re talking a few minutes to a few hours here before you experience symptoms. Food intolerances do not involve your immune system and are actually caused by your body not having the right enzymes or not having enough enzyme activity to breakdown the compounds that are in real food or in the chemicals added to fake pretend food-like products. Common food substances that people are intolerant to and do not have the enzymes to fully breakdown include:

  • Gluten in grains
  • Lactose in dairy
  • Biogenic amines like histamine, tyramine, and arginine
  • Preservatives and
  • Additives

 
Alright food sensitivities. Now food sensitivities are similar to intolerances in that they provoke a small delayed reaction in your body. When I say delayed I mean delayed. Reaction times to a food your body is sensitive to can vary from hours to weeks.  Food sensitivities are similar to allergies in that your immune system is the cause for the reaction, but a different branch of your immune system, which is why instead of an immediate allergic reaction you get a delayed smaller reaction. So a food sensitivity is your body’s immune system having a reaction to the food you eat or the compounds added to or found on the food you eat and these immune reactions are small and can take a while to show up as a visible and noticeable symptom.

Common foods and substances found in food that people are most sensitive to include what I mentioned earlier for allergies and intolerances, but also the following:

  • Sugar and sugar alcohols
  • Industrial seed oils more commonly known as vegetable oils
  • Corn
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Grains whether they contain gluten or not
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cacao
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Agricultural chemical sprays
  • Genetically modified organisms and
  • Mould toxins like aflatoxin and ochratoxin most commonly found in peanuts and instant coffee

 
As you can see when you add up all three food categories together that makes quite the list of food and food compounds that can cause food sensitivities. Keep in mind that these foods and compounds are the most common sensitivities found in people who are experiencing health issues, but you can actually be sensitive to any food. No food is off-limits when it comes to causing negative reactions in your body. Whether it’s seaweed, beef, pork, broccoli, or even beautifully roasted sweet potatoes, food sensitivities can occur with any food.

Let me list (yes another list) the many health issues and symptoms that a food sensitivity can cause:

  • Brain fog
  • Inability to focus
  • Food cravings
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Need to clear your throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Water retention
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Skin issues like rash, itchiness, and acne
  • Many autoimmune diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions

 
The list just goes on to be honest.

Isn’t it fascinating how all of these health issues and symptoms could be caused just by you eating a single food that your body doesn’t agree with?

Well I think it’s fascinating anyway, because for me I found that the chronic health issues that I had growing up including depression, skin issues, digestive upset, headaches, poor memory, mood swings, a majority of these were caused solely by sensitivities my body had to the foods that I was eating. While the rest of my health problems were a mix of food sensitivities and unhealthy lifestyle factors like the use of toxic personal care products and being in toxic relationships and I figured this out by what I’m about to share with you now.

Here are 5 ways you can identify the foods that your body’s immune system is reacting to.

First method of investigation is by lab testing. In the functional medical health space there are many lab tests you can run, based on blood samples that you give, that will give you a list of foods that your body’s immune system is having a severe, moderate, low or no reaction to. Examples of labs you can use for food sensitivity testing include:

  • Cyrex Laboratories Array 3, Array 4, and Array 10
  • Oxford Biomedical Technologies MRT or Mediator Release blood test
  • Great Plains Laboratory IgG Food Test + Candida and the
  • Antigen Leukocyte Antibody Test or ALCAT food test


There are pros and cons to lab testing food sensitivities. The con is they are not 100% accurate
, meaning you could be eliminating a food from your diet for no reason at all and you could still be eating a food that your body is having a reaction to based on these tests. The pro is these labs provide a stepping stone in the right direction to eliminating foods that your body is reacting to and it can give certain stubborn individuals who are resistant to change the black and white evidence that they need to take some action even if that evidence isn’t 100% correct. So while these lab tests will not give you all the answers you were hoping for they can give you the motivation you need to change.

Second method to find your food sensitivities is to use your heart rate. When your body has a reaction to something you eat your heart rate will increase. Fifteen minutes before you eat a particular food measure your heart rate for 60 seconds and use this as your baseline. Fifteen minutes after eating measure your heart rate again. If you see a rise of 5 beats or more your body is reacting to that food and that food should be eliminated.

The third method is pretty simple, but you are not going to like what it means. It involves keeping a food log for 7-14 days where you write down everything you eat and also write down any food cravings you have and give into. After a week or two go back over your logs. Look for the most common foods you eat at every meal or every day. For example if you had an entry that read cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner then that day was full of wheat, grain and glutenous foods. If a week reads bacon and eggs for breakfast for 7 days then that week was full of egg, pork, and preservative foods. Also note down your cravings and which cravings you could not resist.

Why is all this important?

Well because:

“the foods you eat the most and the foods you crave and give into the most are almost always the foods your body is sensitive to the most.”

So if you just cannot do without your bread, your cheese or ice cream, your morning cup of coffee, or chocolate then your body’s immune system is most likely reacting to the wheat or gluten in bread, to the casein or lactose in dairy, to the caffeine or mould toxins in coffee, and to the arginine or phenethylamine in cacao. I told you you wouldn’t like this method. It may be simple to follow, but can be extremely difficult to execute on because it means removing your most favourite foods.

Muscle testing is another thing you can try to find out which foods your body doesn’t agree with. I talked about this already in podcast 28 – One Diet To Rule Them All. Muscle testing is also known as applied kinesiology and is a form of energy testing where you’re testing the alignment or harmony between your body’s energy signature and that of the food you’re testing. If you find that your muscles become weaker when holding a particular food then your body is sensitive to that food and that food must be eliminated.

The fifth, final, and by far the gold standard for working out your food sensitivities is an elimination diet. Also known as an elimination provocation or elimination challenge diet. This method may be the best most accurate way to find your food sensitivities, but it’s also the most hardest to stick to. It’s the most difficult to implement and follow through on purely because it takes time, patience, and a very acute awareness of your body language.

With an elimination diet you start in the elimination phase where you remove the most highly allergenic, intolerant and sensitive foods from your diet for a period ranging from one month to 12 months depending on how sick you really are. After the elimination phase comes the provocation or challenge phase where one by one you introduce a new food into your diet over a period of 3-4 days and log any reactions your body has after eating that food. If you do notice a reaction you leave that food out of your diet for another 3 months before reintroducing it again. If no reaction you can keep that food in your diet and move onto the next new food to test.

Yes this means it’ll take some time and a lot of patience using an elimination diet to find your food sensitivities, but think of the lessons you will learn about how your body works and think of how much better you will feel and even look.

As an African proverb says:

“Wisdom does not come overnight.”

Your health issues may have taken years before fully developing so it’s going to take at least months before those health issues will minimise and hopefully disappear entirely.

When undergoing an elimination diet it helps to work with a health practitioner for support and guidance and if you need me you know where to find me. But I do have a couple of elimination diets that have their own support networks that I highly recommend.

One is the Whole30 program which uses a paleo template as a guide to help you kick health issues as well as bad food habits by eating real food for 30 days and then introducing suspect foods afterwards. Another is The 21 Day Sugar Detox with the goal of breaking free of sugar and carb cravings. Both of these programs have proven track records and have helped thousands of people get over chronic health conditions with some receiving the added side-effect of reducing their waistline.

I also recommend reading The Elimination Diet by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segersten for more detailed information on how to heal using an elimination diet.

So are your health issues caused by food sensitivities? You won’t know the answer to this until you begin to eliminate foods from your diet for a certain amount of time and then seeing how you feel. By using 1 or all 5 of these food sensitivity testing methods you will find the answer you’re looking for and I suggest you get ready to feel awesome!

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