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 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.

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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 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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A Mind of Your Own

A Mind of Your Own – Kelly Brogan, MD
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

New York Times bestseller

Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 by MindBodyGreen

Depression is not a disease. It is a symptom.

Recent years have seen a shocking increase in antidepressant use the world over, with 1 in 4 women starting their day with medication. These drugs have steadily become the panacea for everything from grief, irritability, panic attacks, to insomnia, PMS, and stress.  But the truth is, what women really need can’t be found at a pharmacy.

According to Dr. Kelly Brogan, antidepressants not only overpromise and underdeliver, but their use may permanently disable the body’s self-healing potential. We need a new paradigm: The best way to heal the mind is to heal the whole body.

In this groundbreaking, science-based and holistic approach, Dr. Brogan shatters the mythology conventional medicine has built around the causes and treatment of depression. Based on her expert interpretation of published medical findings, combined with years of experience from her clinical practice, Dr. Brogan illuminates the true cause of depression: it is not simply a chemical imbalance, but a lifestyle crisis that demands a reset. It is a signal that the interconnected systems in the body are out of balance – from blood sugar, to gut health, to thyroid function– and inflammation is at the root.

A Mind of Your Own offers an achievable, step-by-step 30-day action plan—including powerful dietary interventions, targeted nutrient support, detoxification, sleep, and stress reframing techniques—women can use to heal their bodies, alleviate inflammation, and feel like themselves again without a single prescription.

Bold, brave, and revolutionary, A Mind of Your Own takes readers on a journey of self-empowerment for radical transformation that goes far beyond symptom relief.

 

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 035: The Dark Side to Plant Nutrition – Anti-nutrients

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Food Anti-Nutrients:

  • I’ll explain what anti-nutrients are
  • I’ll talk about how anti-nutrients affect your body and how they affect the absorption of other nutrients
  • I’ll list foods that are thought to be extremely nutritious, but really are extremely anti-nutritious
  • Finally, I’ll share how to best prepare foods to lower their anti-nutrient content


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

Everyone knows what a nutrient is – a substance that nourishes the mind, body, and soul. But have you heard of anti-nutrients? Anti-nutrients are plant compounds that prevent you, the plant predator, from stealing or absorbing nutrients from the plant.

Believe it or not plants and other living creatures were not put on this planet for the sole purpose of feeding the human race. Plants are sentient life forms, like you and me. They have their own life purpose with the dream of the continuation of their own species and since they don’t have legs to run away or claws to fight off predators they use chemicals to protect themselves. By using biological phytochemical warfare in the form of these anti-nutrients plants increase the chances of their own survival and the survival of their offspring. While at the same time causing a lot of health issues for their predators. So anti-nutrients are a plants innate defence mechanism. These anti-nutrients can negatively affect your health.

Examples of anti-nutrients used by plants include:

  • Lectins
  • Saponins
  • Gluten
  • Phytic acid or phytates and
  • Enzyme inhibitors


Lectins have been shown to bind to insulin receptors on the walls of your cells.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for putting nutrients into your cells and if you’ve had a carb rich meal high in lectins then all that sugar that’s now flowing in your bloodstream cannot be absorbed into your cells because lectin is blocking insulin from attaching to the cell. When sugar is blocked from getting into your cells it’s left to roam in your bloodstream and when it lingers there for far too long this causes damage and inflammation to your cells. Think of your arteries, think of your brain neurons, think of any part of your body where sugar attaches itself to the cells, it becomes glycated, glued to the cell and it causes malfunction and damage. We’ve all heard of diabetes and this is what happens when sugar is left to linger in your bloodstream.

Gluten, saponins and lectins can also cause irritation to your gut, to your intestines. Remember your gut is where most of your nutrient absorption takes place, but if your gut is stressed, inflamed, or compromised then you don’t absorb as much nutrition as you should. Your gut wall is like a net, like a mosquito net where it keeps the pesky bugs out, while letting the proper nutrients in. The problem is lectins, saponins and gluten they’re like mosquitos with little katana blades that cut through the net creating tiny little holes that allow them and other molecules such as undigested food particles and disease causing microorganisms, pathogens, to get into your body.

When you get undigested and unprocessed food particles, pathogens, and other foreign materials in your bloodstream your body mounts an immune response and this leads to inflammation and stress. Now if this stress is chronic and goes on for a long time, if your body has to fight off these pathogens and foreign material that shouldn’t be there day after day because your gut has become leaky this is how you get really sick and get diagnosed with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s, psoriasis, diabetes, and coeliac disease, just to name a few.

When it comes to phytic acid this will bind to minerals meaning that if a food is high in say zinc like pumpkin seeds, but that food is also high in phytic acid then when you eat pumpkin seeds for example you only absorb a small amount of zinc or a small amount of that mineral. This is due to most of the mineral being bound to the phytic acid creating a phytate molecule. So it doesn’t matter the nutrient content of a food if it has high phytic acid content, because that high phytic acid will reduce the amount of minerals you actually get to absorb.

Enzyme inhibitors are substances that stop digestive enzymes from doing their job of breaking down the food you eat. In the case of a trypsin inhibitor it is a protease inhibitor meaning it prevents the breakdown of protein. So if you were to eat a nice chicken salad with green leafy vegetables and pumpkin seeds you may be thinking you’re getting a lot of protein from the chicken and vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. But the trypsin inhibitors and phytates that come from the plant foods will actually bind up a lot of those minerals and they will prevent you from fully digesting and breaking down that protein. Plus the saponins, lectins, and gluten, if it had croutons in the salad, will be tearing up your gut making even less nutrition available for absorption while allowing bad stuff to get directly into your bloodstream. You are getting less nutrition than you think because of these anti-nutrients.

But can you blame plants for these anti-nutrients? If I was a plant I’d make sure predators suffered the consequences too.

I’ll list the main types of foods that are full of nutrients so are thought to be very nutritious and good for you, but actually are also jammed packed and full of anti-nutrients and so turn out to be not that healthy at all. This includes:

  • Grains (both gluten-free like rice and corn and gluten containing grains)
  • Legumes (beans including soy and peanuts)
  • Nuts and
  • Seeds

 
What do all of these have in common, these 4 food groups? Technically these are all seeds of plants. They are the next generation and they will not go down without a fight hence the high anti-nutrient content of these foods. Yes you can still find anti-nutrients in whole vegetables and fruits, but seeds have the highest amounts.

It is true that seeds are full of nutrients and they need to be because within this one seed is an entire plant, but these nutrients are not highly available or absorbable, another way to say it is bioavailable due to the high anti-nutrient content. Remember theses seeds need a way to protect themselves. So even though for 100 g of pumpkin seeds you will see 7.5 mg of zinc in the nutrition profile, you may only get 50% or even less of that zinc because it’s bound to the phytic acid in the pumpkin seed. Same with whole grains and legumes which are full of vitamins and minerals. But they’re also full of gluten, saponins, and lectins and a lot of sugar and starch and excessive intake of all of these will cause gut irritation leading to low vitamin and mineral uptake.

So these nutritious seeds turn out to be more unhealthy than healthy and not just because you absorb less, but also because they cause gut inflammation and stress throughout your entire body.

So how do you make the nutrients in these seeds more bioavailable and also reduce the anti-nutrients and the stress and the inflammation they cause? By using ancestral traditional food preparation methods, that’s how. Yes you have to go back in time in order to improve your future.

Our human ancestors through trial and error figured out that by soaking and sprouting and fermenting grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds they could reduce the anti-nutrient content while at the same time increase the bioavailability of other nutrients. Not only that, but soaking and sprouting and fermenting seeds reduces gut stress by making them a lot more digestible and easier on your stomach.

General soaking and fermenting guidelines are to use filtered water with some natural salt or whey depending on what you’re soaking and letting grains and legumes soak or ferment for 12 to 24 hours and nuts and seeds to soak from 4-144 hours. After soaking you can then dehydrate, lightly roast dry, or cook the seeds. Seeds left to soak for a long time will eventually begin to sprout releasing all that stored up nutrition to feed the growing embryo. Each seed (grains, legumes, nuts) has a different preparation method, so I’m not going to explain every single method in this podcast, but I will put a bunch of links to more information on how to soak and sprout seeds and ferment seeds in the blog post for this episode.

A very awesome book about real food nutrition and traditional cooking methods is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Here’s a passage from that book:

“Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and, in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important predigestion process in our own kitchen.”

So you can buy sprouted and fermented breads in the store by looking for sprouted or sourdough breads. Nuts and seeds that have been soaked or sprouted are also called activated nuts and seeds, because this process activates the germination process for growth so look for soaked, sprouted, or activated nuts and seeds on labels. Of course the best grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are raw seeds that you’ve activated at home yourself.

Yes anti-nutrients have their bad side, but they do have a few benefits as well. So the goal isn’t to eat an anti-nutrient ever. The goal is to eat more nutrients compared to anti-nutrients and you do this by properly preparing seeds before you eat them.

Here’s to seed activation.

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WGP 016: Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity – to Be or Not to Be Gluten-Free

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity or NCGS and living Free of Gluten:

  • I’ll explain what gluten is and how it can negatively impact your health
  • I’ll talk about the differences between coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity
  • I’ll also talk about the single biggest mistake people make when shifting to a gluten-free diet
  • Finally I’ll share some simple and effective tips on how to make gluten-free a part of your lifestyle


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

So what exactly is gluten?

Gluten is a complex protein found in some grains. This includes all wheat varieties such as:

  • Spelt
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Durum and
  • Khorasan aka Kamut

 
And also includes the grains barley and rye.

Oats don’t have the same gluten proteins, but the way that most of the oats are processed and stored today means that they do contain high amounts of gluten simply by being exposed to the same facilities and transport vehicles that are used for gluten-containing grains. So there’s a lot of cross-contamination that occurs with oats.

Gluten is made up of two different proteins gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin gives gluten its gluey stickiness and glutenin gives gluten its flexibility and stretchiness. This is why gluten-containing grains are perfect for baking and for manufacturing pretend fake food-like products. This viscosity and elasticity provides you the consumer with a delectable and delightful eating experience.

The problem with gluten today though is that it isn’t the same gluten our agricultural ancestors ate. The wheat you’re eating today is nowhere near the same wheat that is associated with biblical times commonly referred to as the staff of life.

In the past 60 years man has taken it upon himself to modify wheat into a more versatile and robust crop. Why would we do this? World hunger. There was a time in the mid 20th century where the main focus of society was on starving populations.

How times have changed eh. Today the main focus is on the war on terror or as I call it the submission to fear, but anyhoo… back to gluten.

In order to feed the world scientists and farmers hybridised different wheat varieties resulting in a wheat crop that was more resistant to temperature changes and drought and that would also grow more grains in less time. Specific wheat varieties were also chosen for their increased gluten content making for a better cooking ingredient.

And thus today we have modern wheat which is the third highest produced crop in the world behind corn and rice.

This wheat not only has higher amounts of proteins including gluten, but also has higher amounts of starch and sugar compared to ancient grains. Sure modern wheat has awesome baking characteristics and tastes nice and sweet, but unfortunately more gluten and more sugar make for more fat, more inflammation, more obesity, more diabetes, more heart disease, more cancer… and you get the idea.

So how does gluten contribute to making you fat, sick, and nearly dead? In more ways than one unfortunately.

First gluten damages your gut. You have this protective barrier lining your gut like a giant fortress wall and along the wall every now and then there are little gateways that open and close allowing certain nutrients in. Gluten actually causes these gateways to open allowing anything and everything to slip through into your body. This is known as intestinal hyperpermeability or leaky gut syndrome. When your gut becomes leaky you can get a whole cascade of health problems manifest as a result because now your immune system needs to go on high alert and has to battle all these foreign materials that should not be in your bloodstream. This heightened immune response creates stress and inflammation and chronic stress and chronic inflammation together are the main causes for all chronic degenerative diseases today.

Not only that, but any undigested food particles that leak through into your bloodstream will be targeted by your immune system and then out of nowhere you become sensitive to certain foods, foods that you’ve eaten your whole entire life and eat on a regular basis you will no longer be able to handle. So if a big piece of beef or broccoli or egg gets through a leaky gut the immune system will tag it for elimination and new immune cells are created specifically to get rid of that food molecule.

So let’s say a piece of undigested chicken got through your leaky gut wall. Your immune system sees it in the body and creates an antibody for it. An antibody is like an assassin that shoots to kill only specific targets, and you have many different antibodies each created for different kinds of threats. For example if you’ve ever had measles or chickenpox or had a vaccination for a specific disease your immune system would have created specific antibodies for them. So if you were to ever get measles or chickenpox those antibodies can quickly get to work and kill off the disease.

Coming back to the undigested chicken particles now that your immune system has seen it and created specific antibodies for it, anytime you eat chicken the immune cells, the chicken antibodies, the chicken assassin that has just been hanging around waiting for an excuse to fire off its weapon starts firing away causing inflammation. Your genetic weak link will determine where most of that inflammation and damage will occur so it could be in your skin, your brain, your heart, your muscles, your bones, your joints or even your gut it all depends.

So gluten activates the genes for intestinal hyperpermeability aka leaky gut and a leaky gut causes immune activation, inflammation, and food sensitivities all of which open the door for the development of autoimmune diseases.

Humans cannot fully digest gluten and because of this gluten alone can excite your immune system creating inflammation. Protein molecules like gluten are made up of polypeptides or long chains of amino acids. So as an analogy think of a protein molecule as a pearl necklace and an amino acid as an individual pearl. Through the process of digestion in your mouth, your stomach, and small intestines these pearl necklaces are broken down into single pearls allowing them to be absorbed and assimilated through your protective gut wall.

However, the human digestive system cannot digest and break down gluten into individual pearls. Gluten has a very unique and strange sequence of pearls, of amino acids that your gut enzymes do not recognise. So while your body will break up the long gluten necklace into smaller peptides or into smaller groups of pearls it will never be able to turn gluten into easily digestible single pearls. So just as I said before when you have a leaky gut and these larger chunks of gluten get into your bloodstream they will create havoc and mayhem and inflammation as your immune system becomes activated and goes about its business of wiping them out.

What makes matters worse is that the order of the pearls in the gluten necklaces, the sequence of amino acids that make up these undigested gluten molecules they look very similar to the amino acid sequence of organs and tissues in your body. This is known as molecular mimicry where foreign protein molecules are similar in structure to human tissue. So now your immune system which has created antibodies to these invading gluten proteins gets confused and instead of just taking out the gluten your antibodies, your assassins they begin attacking your gut leading to coeliac or Crohn’s or inflammatory bowel disease preventing you from fully digesting and absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat. Your immune cells will attack your thyroid causing hypothyroidism slowing down your metabolism making you feel slow and tired. Your skin is your largest organ and this can get attacked as well causing a whole range of skin disorders and even your brain tissue gets damaged by your own immune system leading to ataxia, multiple sclerosis, autism, depression, headaches, and giving you a foggy mind. Talk about a case of mistaken identity.

When your immune system reacts to your own body this is called an autoimmune disease.

Gluten can also disrupt the microbiota in your gut causing a reduction in probiotics the good population of microorganisms and an increase in pathogens the bad population. This imbalance is known as dysbiosis. This is due to the toxic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used in the production of gluten-containing grains. These foreign compounds kill off the probiotics and allow the pathogens to thrive. The more bad guys you have in your gut the more immune system activation you will have and the more inflammation your body will experience and the more stress you will have in your life.

One final and fascinating part (well I think its fascinating) to how gluten negatively impacts your health is how it affects your brain.

When your body attempts to break down gluten new pearl necklaces are created, new proteins and one of these new protein molecules is called gluteomorphin. Gluteomorphins activate opioid receptors in your body meaning your brain thinks it’s getting a dose of opium. Usually your body’s own endorphin chemicals stimulate your opioid receptors making you feel good and also reduce your perception to pain. But gluten as well as dairy (in the case of dairy these opioid and morphine-like proteins are called casomorphins) so gluten and dairy stimulate your opioid receptors giving you a bit of a high making you feel super awesome. Any wonder now why people fight tooth and nail when trying to give up bread and milk? It is rare, but some people actually do suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when coming off gluten due to the opioid drug-like effect that these gluteomorphins have on the nervous system.

Okay so if gluten contributes to gut damage, inflammation, and affects your neurology why is it that not everyone is keeling over in abdominal pain or experiencing depression right after eating gluten?

Three reasons: first one is genetics and epigenetics. Maybe you don’t have the genes that make you more easily affected by gluten. Awesome, good for you. That would put you in the estimated 50% of people who have been clinically shown to not be affected by gluten even though it does cause a few gaps in your gut wall.

Now even if you do have the gluten causing inflammatory genes remember epigenetics which is about how your environment and lifestyle determine which genes get switched on and expressed and which genes remain in the off position. So you have the genes, but your environment is helping to keep those genes switched off.

Second reason that people aren’t experiencing obvious gluten reactions is symptomatology. Diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s can take many years to manifest and express as a symptom. You could be experiencing hidden chronic stress and hidden chronic inflammation due to the consumption of gluten right now without even knowing it. Of all the people diagnosed with full-blown coeliac disease only around 15% of them express gastrointestinal symptoms, gut symptoms. The rest of people with coeliac express extraintestinal symptoms meaning they have issues in their skin, brain, joints, muscles, bones, anywhere but the gut. So just because you don’t feel the fire due to gluten doesn’t mean it’s not affecting you.

Last reason deals with time and immune tolerance. Some people suffer from an illness right out of the womb at childbirth; whereas it can take 60 years before somebody else will experience that same disease. This is due to your immune system’s ability to respond when needed and when your immune system becomes unresponsive this is known as a loss of immune tolerance. For example it has been shown that some people can go their entire life eating gluten without problem, but once they reached their 70s they developed coeliac disease because their immune system lost the ability to respond to gluten. So while you may not have coeliac disease or sensitivity to gluten now if you have the genes and you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle it is only a matter of time before that small amount of gluten in that delicious caramel slice acts like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back leaving you with an upset gut, crappy skin, and bad moods.

Okay so what exactly is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where your immune system reacts to gluten attacking your own body causing inflammation and damage to your gut and other tissues in your body. As previously mentioned this can include gut symptoms in about 15% of coeliac patients such as:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Cramping and
  • Vomiting

 
Most other people with coeliac disease, however, express extraintestinal symptoms such as:

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis and other skin issues
  • Iron-deficient anaemia
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological and psychiatric disorders
  • Infertility issues

 
It’s estimated that about 3% of the population have coeliac disease. If you have a family member diagnosed with coeliac disease than your chance of having coeliac disease jumps to 20%.

Now why do the rest of us have to worry about gluten? Well the fact that no human can fully digest gluten and realising that nothing in life is neither black nor white, but different shades of grey should make you think that even though you may not be on the extreme end of coeliac perhaps you’re somewhere in the middle of that spectrum or if you’re lucky may be you’re on the other extreme end where you tolerate gluten pretty well.

This is where the condition known as Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity or NCGS comes in. NCGS like coeliac disease is where your immune system reacts to gluten causing inflammation and damage to your gut and other tissues in your body. But NCGS is not an autoimmune condition so your immune system isn’t attacking your body, but can become overactive leading to the development of an autoimmune disease later in life. People with NCGS experience the same symptoms as people with coeliac disease plus the following:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Obesity
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ataxia
  • Depression
  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Asperger’s
  • Autism
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Diabetes and
  • Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism

 
It’s estimated that about 10% of the population has NCGS, but due to the fact that testing for NCGS is still a new field of study with technology just catching up this number isn’t reliable. It has been shown in clinical practice where doctors work with patients that about 30-60% of sick people who change to a gluten-free lifestyle no longer show any signs and symptoms of disease. So it could be said that 1 in 2 people are sensitive to gluten.

Now there are many lab tests that you can pay for and take to find out if you have coeliac disease and if you’re experiencing any of the previously mentioned symptoms this would be a good idea. There are also other lab tests you can take to find out if you have NCGS, but as I said this form of testing is new and cannot be relied on 100%.

The best test for NCGS to find out if you’re sensitive to gluten is one you can do at home. It’s a gluten elimination and challenge test that involves the removal of gluten from your diet for 91 days, that’s 3 months followed by a gluten challenge. If you experience any symptoms after the challenge you’re most likely sensitive to gluten.

Okay so let’s say you do a lab test or the gluten elimination and challenge test and find out you’re gluten sensitive whether it be full-blown coeliac disease or NCGS well now what do you do?

Well whatever you do, DON’T DO THIS! The single biggest mistake that most people make when first switching to a gluten-free diet is to swap out all gluten-containing foods with processed and packaged gluten-free foods thinking they’re living healthier than before.

Processed and packaged foods whether they are gluten-free or not are still fake pretend food-like products lacking nutrition as well as having no energy and screwed up information. Swapping out gluten-containing pasta, cookies, rice crackers, for gluten-free versions does not eliminate the rancid oxidised and damaged industrial seed oils aka vegetables oils and does not eliminate processed and refined sugars and also does not eliminate the chemical additives and preservatives like colourings, thickeners, and MSG. Gluten-free junk food is still junk food. You eat junk, you feel like junk, and you produce junk in your life.

Now the other issue with processed and packaged foods labelled gluten-free is that labelling standards state that any manufactured food with a gluten content of up to 20 parts per million can be legally labelled as gluten-free. Why this number? Because gluten containing foods that are 20 ppm or less have been shown to not cause further gut damage when talking about coeliac disease, but what about damage to your skin, your bones, your heart, and your brain? If you end up eating a lot of these gluten-free foods even in the parts per million you’re still getting a few milligrams of gluten and Dr Aristo Vojdani a world renowned Immunologist says that only 1/1000th of a gram which is 1 milligram is enough to activate your immune system and produce anti-gliadin antibodies or gluten assassins.

So the bottom line is it only takes a little bit of gluten about the size of a kernel of wheat for it to activate your genes for leaky gut, for it to excite your immune system, and for it to produce antibodies that will start killing off both gluten proteins as well as your own body tissue and this goes on for a minimum of 3 months and up to around 6 months.

Dr Rodney Ford a paediatrician, gastroenterologist, and allergist with over 30 years experience uses the term Gluten-Zero which I like. Zero means just that. No gluten whatsoever. Just as you cannot be a little bit pregnant you cannot have just a little bit of gluten. You’re either on the spectrum of gluten sensitivity or not.

Right about now you’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘That sounds like too much work, that’s too hard, how exactly do I go gluten-free?’ and the first and best tip I can give you is to find a why. Find a big enough reason that’s going to surpass any challenges and obstacles that will most definitely come your way. What is your dream when it comes to living a gluten-free lifestyle? By having a dream you will make your health and being gluten-free the priority.

As part of the dream building process you can reframe how you see this new way of being.

Now it probably looks like a lot of work and a big hassle and stress that you just don’t have the time to deal with right now. Perhaps you can change your perspective to one of appreciation. How?

Appreciate the fact that you are like a canary in the coal mine and that you have heightened senses about what makes you feel bad. You are the lucky one. You have an obvious symptom teaching you to change so you won’t get a debilitating disease in the future.

Around 50% of the rest of population will continue to eat gluten without any obvious symptoms or are not mindful and aware enough of their own body language to know it’s talking to them daily and so these asymptomatic folk will eventually present with an illness and a disease later on in their life. The people that don’t know that they are sensitive to gluten will have an increased risk of death and will get colon cancer and Alzheimer’s and skin issues as well as gluten ataxia, congestive heart failure etc. Count yourself lucky that you do know that you’re sensitive to gluten and now that you know better you can do better!

Also please do not label yourself as the disease or condition. You are not a coeliac. You are not sensitive to gluten. Your body has a disease called coeliac disease. Your body has a condition called NCGS. You are not your body just as you are not your big toe, your hair, or your love handles. You have all these things, but are not these things.

As part of the dream building process communicate to all the people in your life who may be affected by and may also affect you in your gluten-free lifestyle. This can include family, friends, workmates, teammates, waiters and managers in restaurants anyone who will have a direct influence on your ability to live gluten-free. Communicate to them let them know what your dream is and what it is you need and how they can support you.

Go back and listen to the podcast I did on dream building to find out how you can better set yourself up for success when switching to a gluten-free way of living.

Next tip is to do the research and become an expert in gluten. Learn what foods contain gluten. Learn how gluten directly affects you and do not trust food labels. Research suspect food products by calling up the manufacturer. Get the word from the horses mouth.

Now is the time to clear out your house of all gluten-containing products. Could be food, personal care products, home care products anything that has gluten in it. You will replace all of these with gluten-free and non-toxic alternatives.

With regards to food you can replace tasteless and nutritionless pasta with delicious nutritious zucchini or courgette or butternut squash or spaghetti squash pasta. Actually any vegetable you can spiralise and peel will do the pasta trick.

For salad dressings make your own with extra-virgin olive oil mixed with some acid like fresh lemon or lime juice or apple cider vinegar.

Instead of wheat-based soy sauces use gluten-free tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos as alternatives.

Want to do some gluten-free baking? Swap out the grain flours for coconut flour, almond flour, linseed or flaxseed meal, and for something a bit more sugary and sweet use a mixture of white rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch.

People always complain about not knowing what to have for breakfast when going gluten-free. Try a bowl of chia seeds soaked in a liquid with some nuts to act as a cereal replacement. Why not have the classic free range bacon and eggs or leftovers from dinner? In reality there is no such thing as a breakfast, lunch or dinner food. Real food is nutritious, energising and informative no matter when you eat it. As always though listen to your body and learn what portion sizes and times of the day your body prefers meals.

Want a snack? How about a piece of fruit with some raw nuts or some vegetables dipped in nut butters. You can always have a tin of salmon or sardines, a couple hardboiled eggs or some real beef jerky and biltong.

Still wanting some bread eh? Try some plantains and eggs mixed and fried in butter or ghee or how about frying up some sliced round flat pieces of a root vegetable like potatoes, these can replace burger buns.

There’s always real food pancakes as well made with banana, eggs, coconut flour and some cinnamon.

Trust me you’ll find that there’s even more flavour, taste, and deliciousness and definitely nutrition when you live gluten-free.

Finally, you’ll want to start living not just gluten-free, but living holistically as well. Gluten is just one part of a bigger picture when determining how happy and healthy you feel.

  • Manage yourself when it comes to stress
  • Get quality restorative sleep
  • Breathe deep belly breaths
  • Eat real food and drink real water
  • Move often
  • Give gratitude
  • Connect with nature and with other people and
  • Lower your environmental toxin exposure.

 
Now above all else KEEP CALM.

It’s not the end of the world. The sky is not falling just because you can no longer have your toast, croissant, bagel or cereal for breakfast. Take a deep breath and remember to take this journey one step at a time. Patience and cool headedness are your allies on your path to health and happiness.

And if you’re really struggling hire a Holistic Lifestyle Coach. Professional sports teams, top CEOs these guys have sport coaches, business coaches. You want the best health for yourself? Hire a health coach.

Aim to live gluten-zero and you’ll at least get to living gluten-free where you’ll be exposed to gluten every now and then. It’s impossible to be 100% perfect in any way of being, but by shooting for the stars you’ll at least hit the moon.

Remember all we can ever do is take each day as it comes.

As Lao Tzu reminds us in the classic Chinese text called the Tao Te Ching:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Alright here are a few resources you can use to learn more about gluten and living gluten-free. I will put links for these in the show notes for this episode.

Check out the books Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis and Grain Brain by Dr David Perlmutter to find out more about the perils of gluten, wheat, grains, and sugar. Also download and watch the awesome online seminar series The Gluten Summit created by gluten expert Dr Tom O’Bryan to learn more about gluten, wheat, and how to live a gluten-free lifestyle.

A few awesome grain-free and gluten-free cookbooks I recommend are:

 
I own all of these books. I use them all the time. These will help anyone from the experienced chef to the kitchen newbie.

Links and Resources

 
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WGP 013: Inflammation – Can You Feel the Heat?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Inflammation:

  • I’ll explain how inflammation can be both beneficial and harmful to your health and wellbeing
  • I’ll talk about some of the different causes of chronic low-level inflammation
  • Finally, I’ll review the best ways to reduce inflammation in your body


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

Inflammation is your immune system in action and what a beautiful natural act of Mother Nature it is. Your body has the innate intelligence to heal itself and works best when you feed it real food, water, sleep, movement, breath, and healthy relationships.

You have seen inflammation in action when you’ve had a cut or a bruise or had an infection. That part of your body gets red, it swells up, heats up, and sometimes there’s pain. If you can support your body’s innate healing process with natural healing therapies and then get out of its way and not interfere too much then overtime the injured area gets better and heals.

Inflammation is key to healing. Without it your immune system would never be called into action and you would never heal. However, there is a dark side to inflammation.

Acute inflammation is obvious to spot and simple to manage. With acute inflammation the inflammatory reaction is massive like a Hollywood movie explosion. Chronic ongoing inflammation on the other hand is hidden and difficult to deal with. With chronic inflammation the inflammatory response is more like a small match lighting up. No big ‘hey look at me!’ as with acute inflammation, but still a calling card for your immune system to wake up and to get into action. So your immune system reacts the exact same way whether you have acute or chronic inflammation.

Now there’s nothing wrong with your immune system doing it’s job, but there is an issue with the amount of work your immune system has to do. Acute inflammation comes and goes — job done. Chronic inflammation comes over like an unwanted family member who overstays their welcome and your immune system does everything it can to heal and so reduce and remove the inflammation, but that stubborn chronic guy just won’t leave. The more your immune system is active the more energy and nutrition it will use leaving you tired and without the proper building blocks to support other areas of your body.

Now as a result of your immune system being overworked and frustrated another more serious problem arises. The quality of the work that your immune system does starts to go down. Meaning your immune system that includes white blood cells, T cells, and B cells starts to confuse your own body tissue with foreign and infectious objects. So now your immune system begins to attack you causing damage to whatever part of the body is being mistakenly attacked. This is what an autoimmune disease is. The body reacting to and attacking itself. Examples of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Vasculitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Coeliac disease

By the way if you are dealing with an autoimmune condition I highly recommend the book The Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls. Dr Wahls has MS multiple sclerosis, but by following an ancestral evolutionary diet and lifestyle was able to get herself out of a wheelchair and onto a bicycle. A truly inspiring story and individual.

Anyhoo… Not only does chronic inflammation send inflammatory signals throughout your body causing the breakdown of bone, nervous tissue, and organs, but it also sends out fat-storing signals and interferes with normal hormone communication.

It is this chronic low-level inflammation that is barely detectable by you and your health practitioner that is at the root of almost every single disease not just autoimmunity.

Another thing with chronic inflammation is because it acts on such a low level throughout your entire body and remember that inflammation causes redness, swelling, hotness, and pain so if you are dealing with skin issues, are holding onto extra weight that just won’t leave, have areas of your body that are hotter than they should be or you’re dealing with pain realise that all of these are huge symptoms of being inflamed.

Okay so what causes chronic inflammation?

Well a pro-inflammatory diet made up of fake pretend food-like products would be number one on the list. Remember 80% of your immune system lives in your gut because it has to deal to all the foreign stuff that comes through your gastrointestinal tract. So if you’re eating highly inflammatory foods your immune system will go into overdrive. Hello inflammation and hello disease.

The biggest fake food culprit of them all is industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils. These oils are full of trans fats as well as oxidised rancid damaged fats. When your fat-burning enzymes attach to a trans fat to metabolise it they can’t. It’s not a real fat. But now they’re stuck to this trans fat molecule stopping them from burning other fats. This can lead to an increase in your waistline.

Your cell membranes are made up of fat. If these trans fats get integrated into your cell walls then their integrity and stability begins to weaken leading to a damaged dysfunctional cell. Also, the cell receptors on the surface of the cell will be morphed into unnatural shapes preventing them from receiving nutrition and eliminating waste in and out of the cell. Trans fats are deadly to the cell and deadly to your body.

These seed oils are mostly made up of fragile omega-6 fats that get easily damaged when exposed to heat, light, and will go rancid after very short periods of time. When eaten these fats create damaging free radicals in your body and without enough antioxidants these free radicals will cause a whole host of diseases.

Second biggest baddie when it comes to chronic inflammation and food is processed and refined sugar and grains like flour and products made with them. When you eat any processed grain like bread, doughnuts, cooked corn even these metabolise in the body and turn in an instant into sugar. So there’s literally no difference between eating a piece of wholemeal bread or a cookie and eating a few teaspoons of sugar. Same goes with fizzy drinks and fruit juices. These are all sugar when they hit your mouth, your gut, and your liver.

A diet high in sugar leads to too much sugar being left in the blood causing the sugar molecules to stick to cells in the bloodstream. This process is called glycation and the new molecule that forms is called an Advanced Glycation Endproduct or AGE. AGEs block immune cells from getting into damaged tissues in need of repair stopping the reduction of inflammation.

Excess sugar consumption also raises insulin levels. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone and when this is high fat-burning is switched off. Insulin also triggers the release of interleukin-6 or IL-6 which is an inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecule, but tends to create more inflammation in your body.

Wheat, pasteurised milk, table salt, instant coffee and any other processed and packaged industrialised fake food-like product are pro-inflammatory to your body. So if you love fast food, cheap food, and don’t know the difference between a spinach leaf and a cabbage leaf you my friend are probably full of inflammation.

Another cause of chronic inflammation is having the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio of fats in your diet out of balance. These two fats are essential to health and essential here literally means your body cannot make these fats therefore you must eat them. Now omega-6 is a pro-inflammatory fat, whereas omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. Our ancestors had the perfect 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in their diet. Today western societies have been estimated to be eating a ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s of 20:1 or more!

Going back to the seed oils and grains these are mostly omega-6 fats. Any wonder now why we live in an inflammation nation!

Stress of all types physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual cause the release of stress hormones in the body that can have an anti-inflammatory effect by suppressing your immune system. However, chronic stress with stress hormones left to linger in the body for long periods of time makes for a weakened immune system and creates more inflammation. Stress can cause damage to the mucosal barriers in your body making them more permeable and porous than they should be. So stress can cause your skin as well as your gut to become leaky leading to skin and gut inflammation and disease.

Sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a diabetic. Insulin resistance means your cells no longer pay attention to insulin leaving a lot of insulin and sugar in your bloodstream. So with insulin resistance comes more inflammation due to high levels of insulin and sugar.

Being overweight and obese is also inflammatory. Fat isn’t just a grouping of cells sitting around waiting for you to burn it as energy. Fat is actually an endocrine organ meaning it produces hormones. Adiponectin is a fat hormone used to control the metabolism of fats and sugars. It also makes you more insulin sensitive.

Another hormone that fat produces is called leptin. Leptin has been called the master hormone because not only does it tell you when you’re full it also looks controls other glands and hormones in your body. Problem with leptin is if you have too much leptin you will have a lot of inflammation to go with it. This is because leptin is also an inflammatory signalling molecule. So the more fat you are holding onto the more leptin you will have and the more inflammation you will get.

One last thing about food. Even if you’re eating organic and naturally raised real food you still may be causing yourself more harm than good if you’re eating foods you are allergic or have a sensitivity to. A food allergy is an immediate reaction to a food that you’ve eaten. A food sensitivity or intolerance could take hours, days or even up to a week before you get a reaction from that particular food. Food allergies and sensitivities are serious business when it comes to causing stress and inflammation in your body. These foods can cause inflammation in the gut making it leaky. If these foods were to get into your bloodstream further inflammation would go on in your body.

Being exposed to toxins industrial or natural makes for more inflammation in your body in more ways than one. The toxins alone cause inflammation and an immune response. Along with this though any toxins that are not metabolised properly by your liver get stored in your fat cells. The more toxins your body cannot eliminate the fatter you get (it’s not just about the calories people, in fact it hardly ever is). Anyhoo, remember with more fat there’s more leptin and more inflammation.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) cause a buildup of positive electrons in your body that act as free radicals damaging you from the inside out creating more inflammation.

All this fake food, stress, and toxin exposure also creates an imbalance of the microorganisms in your gut. A healthy gut will have a ratio of 85% probiotics (the good guys) to 15% pathogens (the bad guys). People with unhealthy diets and lifestyles have been shown to have a ratio of 15% good to 85% bad microorganisms. This imbalance is called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis causes many issues in your gut including malnutrition, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammation. Pathogens create endotoxins in your gut that will create inflammation and if these endotoxins get through a leaky gut into your bloodstream then inflammation will occur in other areas of your body.

Alrighty then let’s get into how you can reduce the heat in your life and be more cool like a cucumber, i.e. reduce your inflammation.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

As an old English proverb says:

“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.”

By eating foods that are less pro and more anti-inflammatory you will dramatically reduce the immune response in your system. Stick to real foods organically and naturally raised that give more life force than they take. My free e-book describing the top superfoods in the world is a good guide for this. You can get it for free simply by signing up to the Whole Guidance newsletter at wholeguidance.com.

If you have some excess weight you’d like to let go of maybe a lower carbohydrate diet would be a path you can try walking down just for a month or two. By reducing your sugar intake not only will you reduce the inflammation and your risk of disease by reducing your insulin production, you may just find your body composition begin to normalise back into a healthy range reducing your leptin production.

Eat for a better omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. A healthy ratio of these essential fats would be 4:1 omega-6s to omega-3s with 1:1 being the ideal. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean get more omega-3 and drop the omega-6 because you don’t want to go to the opposite extreme as well. Take a good hard look at your diet and try and calculate how much more omega-6 fat foods are you eating compared to omega-3 fat foods. Are you eating a lot of seed oils or foods made and cooked with them?Are you eating too many baked food products made with flours? Cut back on these high omega-6 pro-inflammatory foods. Instead focus on omega-3 sources of food the best being cold water oily fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Even chia seeds and flax seeds can provide a little omega-3 nutrition and by little I do mean very little, but I tells ya’ I love me some chia cacao vanilla cinnamon pudding way better compared to a gooey glop of porridge.

Eat for gut health. So don’t just eat for you, but also eat for your gut microbiome. Your probiotics need to eat just as much as you do and they love soluble fibre and resistant starch. So basically eat plenty of fibrous vegetables. Grains have too high of a fibre to nutrition ratio so even if you did go with some whole grains you’d want to limit them. If you’re wondering about fruit sure eat plenty of fruit as long as you don’t have any weight and metabolic issues such as diabetes or heart disease.

Taking a probiotic with many different strains of bacteria and with high potency meaning it has a high number of them per serving is also a great way to support your gut health.

Obviously the best way to support your gut health is by eating fermented foods. Sauerkraut and kefir are my favourite. You can learn more about fermented foods in my free e-book.

Drink quality natural spring and artesian water or water that has been filtered. The best solution for pollution is dilution and seeing as inflammation is your body on fire some nice cooling water will be exactly what the holistic doctor ordered.

Get quality restorative sleep. Your body runs on a circadian cycle that follows the cycles of the sun and the moon. As a general guideline you want to be in bed by 10p and up around 6a. Listen to episode 5 on sleep for more info.

Manage your ability to handle stress. There are many different ways to improve your stress resiliency including meditation and mindfulness practises. I explained how I personally reduce my perception of stress back in episode 3 so you might want to listen to that.

Finally, reduce your toxic and EMF exposure. You will never ever be able to live a toxic and EMF free life, but you can dramatically reduce how much exposure you get to these pro-inflammatory materials everyday. Check out the previous Whole Guidance podcast episode I did on how to detox your life for more information.

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WGP 009: Digestion – How to Eat Real Food

In this podcast I’ll be exploring a topic I’m very familiar with Digestion:

  • I’ll explain how proper digestion works and its many different stages
  • I’ll talk about poor digestion and how it can affect your health
  • Finally, I’ll give some digestion rituals that you can practise to increase the absorption and usage of the nutrition and energy and information you get from eating real food


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

Digestion can be broken up into two main phases. First is the psychic phase. Second is the physical phase.

The first phase deals with your mind, with your emotional and mental state and the choices you make when it comes to eating. So what you choose to eat, when you choose to eat, how you choose to eat, and the whys behind each choice are the beginning of your digestive process.

I will focus on the second phase of digestion in this episode the physical phase and there are many different stages.

Remember from a previous episode that your enteron, your alimentary canal, your entire digestive tubing from your mouth hole to your south hole is technically outside your body. It is your body’s first line of defence against anything you put into your mouth. It is in your gut where the stuff you eat finally gets absorbed into your body.

The first stage of physical digestion begins in the mouth when you eat and chew your food. Mastication, that is the mechanical physical act of chewing, breaks up the food into smaller pieces making it easier to swallow and mixes it with the digestive enzymes in your saliva. These enzymes begin to break down the macronutrients in the food, specifically carbohydrates into smaller starch molecules. So properly chewing your food makes it easier for later stages of your digestive process to function.

The second stage of physical digestion happens in your stomach. The acidity of your stomach is very high. It can burn skin and dissolve metal and if it wasn’t for the thick mucous membrane that lines your stomach it would eat itself. One reason for the high acidity in your stomach is to further digest and breakdown food molecules, specifically proteins from long chains of amino acids (polypeptides) to smaller ones. Another big reason for a very low pH (meaning a very high acid level) in your stomach is to ensure that any bacteria, fungi, or parasites that have stowed away in the food and come along for the ride are killed and destroyed. You do not want these bad bugs to go any further than your stomach.

The next stage of physical digestion is in your small intestine. Now your small intestine has a very different pH level compared to your stomach meaning it is more alkaline and not acidic at all — in fact its neutral. This is because your pancreas, an organ that secretes digestive enzymes and hormones, also releases bicarbonate into your small intestine to neutralise the acidic foods coming from the stomach.

The digestive enzymes secreted by your pancreas further breakdown the carbohydrates into saccharides (smaller sugar molecules) like glucose and fructose, the proteins get broken down into individual and very small chains of amino acids, and fats are also broken down into individual fatty acids. As the food travels further into your small intestine the digested macronutrients and micronutrients (remember micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and plant nutrients) so the macros and micros begin to get absorbed through the gut wall of your small intestine. Once absorbed saccharides and amino acids travel to your liver to be processed and detoxified before they enter your bloodstream. Fats take a different route to your bloodstream by hitching a ride through your lymphatic system, your waste management system.

Once in your bloodstream the absorbed macros and micros get transported to where they are needed most and assimilated by your cells and metabolised, used for cellular function. The waste products of metabolism are then taken back to the liver for processing and elimination through the skin by sweating, lungs by breathing, kidneys by urination, and the large intestine  your colon by defecation, that is pooping.

Now going back to the small intestine any undigested food particles, macros, micros, and fibre that are not absorbed through the gut wall of your small intestine will move on to your colon for the final stage of digestion.

The colon is where your gut microbiota lives and has a lower pH and higher acidity level than your small intestine, but still nowhere near as acidic as your stomach. You will have a diverse population of microorganisms here and what you really want is a well-balanced ratio of good bugs (probiotics) to bad bugs (pathogens). That ideal ratio is about 85% probiotics to 15% pathogens. The more probiotics in your gut the more lactic acid they produce. The more lactic acid produced the higher the acidity of the colon. The higher the acidity of the colon the lower the number of pathogens as the bad bugs cannot thrive in an acidic environment.

Your gut microbiota take up any undigested food particles, macros, micros as well as prebiotic soluble fibre and use these as their food. As a result of your gut microbiotas digestion more nutrients and waste are created.

Nutrients such as vitamin K, some B vitamins, and short chain fatty acids are produced by the probiotics. The pathogens on the other hand produce toxic waste products. These additional nutrients produced by the probiotics as well as water in the colon will be absorbed into your body. At the same time any leftover foods, macros, micros, and fibre that are not digested by your gut microbiota along with any waste products made by the pathogens and also any dead cells of your gut microbiota these will all form into faeces, into poo for final elimination.

So to summarise the many different stages of digestion in a sentence: digestion begins in the mouth and ends in the south and involves mastication, digestion, absorption, detoxification, transportation, assimilation, metabolisation, and elimination.

If there is a problem in any one of these stages you will encounter many symptoms of poor digestion including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Stomach reflux
  • Feeling tired after meals
  • Feeling hungry after meals
  • Muscle and joint pain including neck, shoulder, and back pain

 
So a few causes of poor digestion include dehydration due to not drinking enough water.

Your saliva, mucous membranes in your stomach and small and large intestines are mostly water. If you’re dehydrated you won’t be providing enough enzymes in your mouth to begin predigesting your food. Your stomach lining which protects it from the acid will be weak leading to the formation of stomach ulcers. Your small and large intestines will not be able to breakdown food and push the food through your gastrointestinal tract effectively causing lack of nutrient absorption and blockages.

Your poo is also mostly water so when you become dehydrated you get constipated. The longer poo remains in your colon the more water is extracted and absorbed into your body and the more constipated you get. Not only that, but the waste in your poo which is meant to be eliminated begins to get absorbed into your body as well. So you want to make sure you’re hydrated otherwise you will begin recycling your waste back into your body.

Another cause for poor digestion is eating the wrong foods and taking pharmaceutical drugs and prescribed medications. So if you’re eating processed fake pretend food-like products such as vegetable oils, table salt, instant coffee, pasteurised dairy, wheat and any other packaged junk foods you will cause problems with your digestion. This is due to the fact that these foods are very micronutrient poor and are filled with chemical agents, preservatives, additives, colourings, thickeners, emulsifiers, synthetic minerals and vitamins which are very damaging to your gut and feed more of the pathogens and less of the probiotics. Medications have the same effect.

Eating a lot of these foods and taking drugs also causes your liver to work overtime to get rid of the toxins and because there’s more energy being drawn to your liver to process this junk there’s less energy available to other areas of your body. So instead of building muscle, burning fat, thinking clearly, healing and repairing, fighting off infections your body is too busy trying to detoxify what you’re putting into your mouth.

Plus by not eating enough micronutrients you end up with cells in your body starving of nutrition unable to function leading to illness

Drinking municipal town and city water that has chlorine in it can also upset your digestion. Chlorine is an antibiotic meaning it will kill a lot of your gut microbiome leaving behind the perfect environment for opportunistic pathogens to takeover leading to less nutrient production, more waste production, a weakened immune system and eventually sickness and disease.

So if you’re not drinking enough water, not eating real food, not staying healthy and so not having to take medical drugs, and if you’re not drinking high quality living structured water then you are putting more stress on your body than it can handle.

Stress of any kind whether it be physical, mental and emotional, or biochemical and physiological will cause digestive issues.

How you think and feel about events in your life affect your stress levels and determines whether your body stays in parasympathetic mode your rest, digest, calm, and connect mode or shifts to sympathetic mode your fight, flight, flee or freeze mode. Remember sympathetic mode is all about survival and not about digesting, growth or repair which is what parasympathetic is all about.

So even though you may be eating the highest quality organically farmed, naturally raised food blessed by the Pope himself you will not be digesting and absorbing any of the nutrients if you are in a high stress state. If you’re rushing out the door late for something, arguing with someone, getting frustrated in traffic, watching and reading bad things in the news, these are all causing your body to shift from digestion to survival mode.

So the first phase of digestion, the mental game is really huge when it comes to properly digesting your food. If you can correct the psychic phase of digestion your physical digestion will work a lot better.

The biggest problem with stress of any kind is that it causes physical damage to your gut. Your gut wall is made up of finger like projections called villi that stick out to breakdown food and absorb nutrients and they are connected to each other by tight junctions at their base. When you eat the wrong foods or a toxin or experience stress which will cause the release of stress hormones and other chemicals, all of these act as irritants in your gut causing those tight junctions between your villi to open up. This is bad news as only nutrients should be allowed through your gut wall, but now your gut has become leaky meaning any substance in your gut whether it be nutrient or toxic or parasite, small or large, can slip into your body. This causes a whole cascade of stress, immune responses, inflammation and damage to whatever bodily tissue that foreign substance attaches to. It may attach to your arteries, your joints, your thyroid, your bones, your muscles, your brain, leading to a whole bunch of diseases.

Remember what Hippocrates said:

“All disease begins in the gut.”

A leaky gut is serious business and I should know because I used to have one!

So you must be very aware of what you’re thinking and how you’re eating and that’s what I’m going to go into now — how do you eat for better digestion?

As I mentioned in a previous episode on water drinking a huge glass of water 20-30 minutes before a meal will improve digestion by lubricating your gut and your stomach and helping with the production of stomach acid as well as more saliva in your mouth giving you more enzymes to breakdown food.

The biggest tip I can give you is to eat real food and drink high quality water. The less toxins you ingest the more nutrition you will digest, absorb, and assimilate.

There’s an old saying:

“Drink your food and chew your water.”

You want to chew your food until it turns into a liquid. There’s no specific number of bites, but you’ll know what it is by the fact that you should not need to drink during a meal. If you’re finding yourself having to drink during a meal to get your food down that’s a huge sign telling you that you ain’t chewing enough.

Chew your liquids. Swirl your drink around in your mouth to allow your saliva and enzymes to infuse into the liquid so that your stomach and later stages of digestion recognise it as food and digest it as normal. Not chewing your water leads to it going right through your body with hardly any absorption at all.

Don’t watch or read the news. 99.9% of it is negative causing stress in your subconscious and your body. If you want to watch something or read something it should be a comedy. It should be inspirational and motivational. Or listen to music that makes you more mindful. Calming music not rev-yourself-up music. Me I love to watch the Food Channel of course or I’m listening to empowering podcasts while I eat.

Final tip if you have to go, number two that is, then go! I used to hold it in and I had trained my body to not go even when it wanted to go and eventually that lead to constipation with acute and sudden bouts of diarrhea, also known as constirrhea. If you’re currently fighting the urge to go number two it’s not too late to retrain your body back to its natural state by listening to it and when the urge comes you go and you go hard.

I’ll leave you with this:

“You’re not just what you eat, you’re how you eat as well.”

So eat real food and eat it well to keep your gut happy, healthy, and leakproof.

Links and Resources

 
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