Do you ever get just a little tired of hearing the constant call of kids announcing, “I’m hungry ,” or ”What can I have to eat, Mum?” I know I sure do, and if you’re not prepared, it can be frustrating, relentless and annoying to say the least. In order to save your sanity, I’ve got a few quick and easy strategies that are guaranteed to lower your stress levels, and ensure you’re not stuck for an answer … ever again! As a parent, you know that preparation is the key to keeping things from going haywire.
So when that proclamation, “Mum… I’m hungry” is made in your house – you’ll be ready. You’ll be armed with the most nutritious, satisfying food imaginable and a few sneaky back-up strategies too. Plus there’s a bonus.
This is for all of us – not just the kids.
When you yourself are in need of a snack or want to treat yourself, use the same nourishing, simple strategies, and notice how you feel? And… how you look? It won’t be long before you look and feel better yourself. Now, that’s multi-tasking taken to a whole new level!
12 Simple Strategies:
The key to succeeding with many of these strategies is to include good quality fats and proteins in their whole forms. These foods in the right quantities provide great sustenance and leave our blood sugars stable. When these foods are regularly incorporated into our day, many of the reasons for hunger disappear. The more we cram these good nutrient rich foods in, the less the desire for sweetness and the more we recalibrate our taste buds to appreciate a more natural level of sweetness in our day.
We all know kids can be resistant to change & trying new things. Here are some ideas to help encourage your kids:
Experiment with one or two strategies and see how they work. How does your family respond? How does it affect the mood of the family? And then consider adding in another strategy, and so on, until those constant naggings of “I’m Hungry!” become a thing of the past or at least a LOT less often.
To be honest, it’s been an exhausting and emotional couple of days.
Our 13 year old fractured her finger and ended up at the public childrens hospital, Princess Margaret. It was our first visit and for which we’re very grateful was for such a ‘minor’ incident.
As many of you might already appreciate, it was a very long visit i.e. 7:30pm – 1:30am! It was a Tuesday night, and sadly, very busy (although it’s commonly like this), head traumas, car accidents, respiratory problems, high fevers, broken bones etc.
As our daughter noticed, many parents were prepared with snacks, water bottles and overnight bags, having travelled this road before. Not us… a long 6 hours sitting, waiting.
Seeing so many sick young children and the tireless commitment of the nurses and Doctors doing all they could to ease the distress of each child and their parents was humbling and emotional.
And there was so much fear for the families.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being able to help. Fear of sickness.
Screams of terror from young children that I’ve never heard anything like before. Heart breaking. It’s an experience I’d be very happy not to have to experience again. Following the visit to hospital, I’m now working on strengthening our daughters immunity and gut health.
Our daughter’s treatment involved a local anaesthetic to reset the fracture along with 4 different x-rays. Straightforward enough.
These interventions along with a couple of late nights and the mental and emotional stress she has experienced, although not obviously, definitely compromised her immunity and her gut health.
Even though it’s a ‘local’ anaesthetic, my belief is the body is a whole and once the needle is inserted into the blood stream and tissue, chemicals circulate throughout the body.
For example, some of the “temporary adverse effects that are cited and can affect people include:
Some people may have an allergic reaction. The patient could develop hives, itching, and breathing difficulties” Some of the research showed these effects were more common in ‘higher risk’ patients. References below.
It seems to me, even though the anaesthetic is ‘local’ as the term implies, the chemical must circulate throughout the entire body as demonstrated with the reactions given above.
So in the past two – three days I’ve worked hard on rebuilding her immunity and her gut health. Something that is super important, especially with Easter here and (a little) more sugar than she’s used to. Because as we know sugar is a Master at compromising immunity. And the arrival of winter coughs, colds and flu is just around the corner. I want her immunity strong and healthy.
She is totally fine and from all accounts very healthy. So why would I bother? Because while generally our bodies are resilient, it (chemicals, toxins, stress) all adds up.
Once you know what works and the body needs, it takes very little effort to flood the body with nutrients and to rebuild health, so why not. You never know what’s around the corner. And prevention really is better than the cure.
Sometimes it’s hard to know if all the healthy ‘stuff’ you’re doing is really worth it? Is it making a difference or is it really worth the expense or the feelings of isolation we can sometimes feel making healthier choices.
Yes. It is.
After this week, it has reinforced to me the great importance of making good food and lifestyle choices. Of having the knowledge to rebuild the gut and strong immunity. It is SO important and it does make a difference. Rest assured that any effort you’re putting into your family to keep them strong and healthy… is invaluable.
We’ve been lucky not to experience trauma before, however I don’t think it’s luck that we haven’t had to rush children to hospital in the middle of the night with fevers or unexplained symptoms. Healthy is a lifestyle and illness is not something we need to fear.
To learn more join me at my online and live workshops, ‘No More Sick Kids’! Natural remedies to build strong immunity and healthy tummies this Winter.
Meet your Microbiome.
This was the title of the Stool & Faecal Microbial Analysis Masterclass I went to recently with Dr Jason Hawrelak. Not a topic for everyone – but the geeky scientist in me LOVES learning about our bugs and all they do for us. It’s a hot topic, so thought I’d share a few highlights.
Jason is at the forefront of researching this topic i.e. gut health. His approach to supporting this incredible mutually beneficial relationship makes sense to me. Interestingly he poses that most microbes have a part to play in our wellbeing, even pathogens such as parasites.
When our microbes are in balance the body is in harmony and our bodily systems function more optimally, naturally supporting our well-being.
For example he cited, 70% of European children carry parasites, yet from all accounts are ‘healthy”.
Here’s a brief recap of the day:
Our microbiome i.e. our human microbes is a vital, and becoming a greatly appreciated, human organ. It weighs 1-2kg and exceeds the liver in the number of biochemical reactions it’s involved in!
A brief summary of what they miraculously do;
There’s bound to be more…
fyi I wrote this post with more info. in 2016, ‘Is our Microbiome guiding our evolution’?
And in the photo below is a summary of his slide showing many of the diseases associated with a microbial imbalance i.e. Gastrointestinal (GI) Dysbiosis.
He also shared how dysbiosis is diagnosed, ‘primarily by a patients’ medical and diet history’ and with stool analysis.
Throughout the day we also learnt:
6 key takeaways that were reinforced:
Simply put, each one of the above points relates to either food or lifestyle choices.
To be truly healthy there is no escaping the need to be enjoying good food and a health promoting lifestyle. A lifestyle that naturally feeds a healthy microbiome without having to think twice about it.
It’s a simple message that unfortunately can be far more complex to make happen or understand as it involves nourishing not only our body / microbiome but our mind and soul.
And as we discovered in A Gentle Cleanse, it IS possible to feel better, clearer and more energised within just a few days.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how my programs simplify wellbeing and create a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. Or book in a time for us to have a quick chat here. It’s free.
With the change of seasons and the winter months every second person has a cold, flu or gastro bug. The mineral zinc, is a super important piece to our immunity puzzle.
In fact, zinc is vital for many of the body’s processes and most people are chronically deficient in this vital mineral.
‘… As many as 2 billion people around the world have diets deficient in zinc, and studies are raising concerns about the health implications this holds for infectious disease, immune function, DNA damage and cancer.’
“Zinc is essential to … helping DNA repair. One new study has found DNA damage in humans caused by only minor zinc deficiency.” ~ Dr Joseph Mercola
In this post I share why it’s critical for a well-being and our personal experience.
Before zooming in on zinc though, lets take a closer look at minerals. Our life force.
Minerals act as co-factors for enzyme reactions in our body. Enzymes are critical as they speed up the chemical reactions in our cells. Enzymes don’t work without minerals! And every cell requires enzymes to work and function. Minerals are our life force.
A few more facts about minerals:
Without a healthy dose of minerals in our diet our bodies fundamentally will not function efficiently, predisposing us to infection, chronic illness and dis-ease. They are our life force.
Personally, I’ve noticed the benefits of adding more zinc into my day, including a welcomed, calmer and happier disposition, a similar benefit that I’ve noticed in the children.
Zinc is second only to iron in its concentration in our body! It’s needed for much more than treating a cold.
More important benefits of zinc:
It’s also important to note, if we are carrying heavy metals, which most of us are – mercury and nickel can compete with zinc and detrimentally displace the small amount we might have in our diets.
Depleted soils, stress, poor diet, chemicals and chronic illness are just a few of the many factors that deplete our zinc exposure and absorption. The body doesn’t store zinc so we need to make sure we get enough in our diet. Here’s how.
Top 10 foods high in zinc.
It’s thought that zinc is better absorbed by our body from animal sources than plant sources.
Other factors that compete for zinc in the body & lead to malabsorption;
How to know if you’re deficient.
It can be difficult to test for zinc levels accurately. Try adding in more of the above foods or if you try a zinc supplement, go for a liquid or colloidal form that is pure zinc and from a brand you trust.
And always discuss any concerns or questions with your health practitioner first.
To learn more about how you can improve your wellbeing and get to the root cause, please contact me for an initial discussion. I’d love to hear from you.
So in the past week I’ve been adding a bit of zinc into our tanks! It’s actually made a noticeable difference.
Like many nutrients, Zinc is one that our bodies uses a lot and one we can quickly become deficient in.
I was going to share a bit about it, but got distracted thinking about nutrients generally. The more I thought about them and how much they form the basis of our well-being and how vital they are, the more I realised… we’re malnourished! Especially our children.
In this post I share WHY this is so and why nutrients are a panacea for modern day illness.
I know we have an abundance of food. ‘Malnourishment is just not possible’, you might be saying. However, before dismissing this… listen in, as it just might be a panacea to safeguarding your longevity and future wellbeing.
Malnutrition in the pure sense is a lack of proper nutrition. It’s a term commonly associated with poverty and lower socioeconomic groups, not a condition for those of us living a modern, western way of life.
So let’s understand why, in western societies where food is abundant, we could be malnourished and thereby unknowingly setting the scene for chronic illness and disease.
There are 3 causes of malnutrition;
And there is a fourth cause… disappearing nutrients.
For most of us we’re fortunate to access an abundance of food, so number one isn’t one of the causes in this instance.
It’s the other causes that are silently affecting us…
How can this be? Firstly, lets remember what nutrients do.
A nutrient is a substance that provides nourishment essential for maintaining life. They are the basic, raw materials that build the strong foundation of a healthy and vital body. Understanding these things and dealing with them is a cornerstone of my work, in tandem with detoxification and managing stress / emotional health.
If we’re deficient in any of the many, many raw materials e.g. zinc, magnesium, copper, selenium, b vitamins, vitamin c or d etc… then our bodies are left vulnerable to dis-function and dis-ease. Many diseases are escalating not diminishing e.g. autoimmunity, digestive issues, mental illness and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Could it relate to a basic nutrient deficiency i.e. malnutrition?
It’s a big question and a big topic that can’t be fully answered here OR I’m not sure we can ever fully answer. But we can reflect on our history and some ideas about the causes of malnutrition.
You’ve heard it before, but perhaps not in this context.
My clients come to me making healthy choices, but they can’t resolve certain conditions or they might just want to make sure they’re ‘doing it right. After a couple of sessions, one of the most common comments I get, usually from those that are the healthiest, is ‘ … and I thought I was healthy?!’.
Which is absolutely okay, our wellbeing is an ongoing journey of learning, of personal growth, development and evolution.
We are healthy based on the knowledge that we have. However – is that knowledge and the choices we’re making, giving us the basic raw materials (the nutrients) our cells MUST have for communication, function and a well-being?
Let’s get back to food. Some examples…
For over 50 years we were lead to believe that a diet heavily loaded with carbohydrate (a non essential nutrient, manufactured in the body) and lean on fats, (an essential nutrient, needed from our diet, and important for absorbing some nutrients) was the way to eat!
It was misleading and damaging to our health with an incorrect balance of macronutrients being eaten, leaving us unsatiated and undernourished. Sadly the only thing that got healthy from this belief was the bottom line of some BIG corporations making dodgy low fat and high sugar ‘food’. Check out my previous post, ‘Breakfast. The food that makes billions’.
I too grew up on cornflakes and sugar, followed by toast and a good spread of soft margarine. At the time we did what we thought to be right and ‘healthy’.
‘When we know better we do better’ ~ Maya Angelou
This way of eating has left a whole generation depleted in key nutrients. Then, unknowingly, passing a weakened genetic inheritance onto the next generation.
(Note each generation is also unknowingly inheriting a toxic load accumulating from one generation to the next, which also plays a big part in weakening our genetic makeup, more info. below and here)
As examples of other dietary choices that are unknowingly depleting our nutrients, let’s look at phytic acid and food diversity.
Unless properly prepared, nuts, seeds, pulses and grains i.e. cereals (all the foods at the bottom of our standard American and Australian food pyramids), deplete us nutritionally.
Here’s why. These foods come neatly packaged up with phytic acid.
The problem arises when we consume large amounts of these foods (as we’ve generally done for the past 50 years) and the phytic acid bind to those important minerals within us, it depletes our bodies of calcium, iron, zinc etc. thereby compromising the systems that rely on these raw materials e.g. our immunity, blood, bone health and much more.
Note that when nuts, seeds and grains are soaked, activated and / or sprouted it helps release the phytic acid, making them kinder on our digestion and mineral stores. It’s the way our ancestors prepared these foods thousands of years ago when they began to consume them more frequently.
Our microbiome (natural bugs that live with us symbiotically) need food diversity to create their own diversity and therefore our wellbeing.
Diversity not only within their own kind, but diversity in the food we feed them. It is vital. I heard once that as we evolved, in a single day we ate up to 100 different types of plant species i.e. leaves, tubers and grasses! This diversity not only gave us diversity in taste and flavour, it gave diversity in our microbiome (bugs). Our bugs are instrumental in helping us digest and absorb our food. Thinking about it – not washing food was beneficial back then – perhaps a topic for another time.
Compare this to our modern day lives, where the diversity of foods we eat in a single day has become very narrow and very sanitised.
The plethora of ‘wild’ bugs and nutrients we require and were historically exposed to a thousand years ago (and for a hundred thousand years before that) is dramatically reduced.
The next cause of our modern day malnutrition is how we are absorbing food / nutrients?
We may have the best ‘diet’ in the world, but relatively speaking it’s limited … and it doesn’t help us if we aren’t absorbing it.
There are many different factors. Below are a couple of common ones.
Heavy metals and toxins.
Most of us have heavy metals stored away in our cells. It’s not IF we have them it’s a matter of how much we have and IF we are detoxing them?
Metals such as mercury are ‘opportunistic’ in that they will jump into a cell receptor site in place of important minerals e.g. very simply, mercury can jump in and push zinc out.
Heavy metals and toxins can hamper absorption of nutrients and effect organ health, especially the liver, again leaving us nutritionally depleted.
This is one of the most important reasons for nutrient mal-absorption.
When our microbiome i.e. the population of bugs that live symbiotically on and within us, is out of balance, we don’t absorb nutrients efficiently.
Our bugs help us metabolise our food e.g. some species help produce vitamin B12 in the small intestine, B12 is vital for healthy nerves (ie stress management and brain function) and blood cells. Then if we have disbyosis, i.e. a greater population of pathogenic bugs these too can rob us of vital nutrients.
This is an evolutionary cause that’s not in the standard definition of malnutrition, yet it’s significant.
Humans evolved drinking fresh water from natural, mineralised streams and eating food from nutrient rich soils and oceans. Good quality nutrients were readily available, helping us evolve as one of the most successful species on the planet. This is no longer the case.
Our soils are drastically depleted with very few minerals left, particularly in Western Australia. The food we eat is nutrient depleted. Plus most of us drink chemically treated water that has barely, if any, nutrients.
Although our oceans are still one of the few places with good mineral stores (notwithstanding the polution), we are a long way from the naturally mineralised streams, water holes or nutrient rich soils we would have enjoyed and evolved with.
We can see how unknowingly, physically and genetically weaker frames can be inherited from one generation to the next, as we are nutrient depleted.
Other factors causing a lack of nutrients include our emotional wellbeing and stress levels. Two factors that if left unmanaged also quickly deplete key nutrients. Read more about managing stress here and here.
So how do we know if we’re malnourished i.e. nutrient deficient?
There are many, many different symptoms that indicate nutritional deficiencies, for example;
Some great Nutrient Rich Foods we can be adding in;
And a colloidal mineral supplement if need be.
Adopting a diet full of a diverse range of organic, whole foods rather than processed, refined and packaged foods is a big step in the right (nutrient) direction.
The topic of nutrition is huge and complex. I’ve skimmed across the surface and tried to simplify it as much as possible. I hope it’s introduced you to a concept or reminded you of the vital importance of good nutrition. It is the first step in a healing or wellness journey.
Replenishing our bodies with deep nutrition helps build and maintain strong, healthy, disease and symptom free minds and bodies.
In affect, it is a panacea. Now I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts?
If you want to ensure you or your family are enjoying foods that really are healthy and nourish your body deeply, contact me for a free consultation here or book in for one of my programs here. I’d love to give you the guidance you’re looking for, simply.
This information is based on my scientific training, research, personal experience with healing myself and my immediate family and personal conclusions. I continue to learn while working with different health professionals and coaches to ensure our families wellbeing and harmony. It takes knowledge and it takes a team.
Always consider the reliability of where your knowledge is coming from and who’s on your team.
Emerging out of the grey of a slow, cold winter, for many of us rather than feeling the joys of spring, we’re feeling heavy and sluggish and have been sick, actually… really sick.
70-80% of our immunity lies in our gut, so a significant part of staying healthy is about a healthy gut.
Healing the gut is the number 1 focus for healing everything … almost. While it’s not the only consideration, the health of the gut must be the number 1 consideration.
Our kids and I have all been diagnosed with gut issues i.e. leaky gut and nasty parasitic infections, yet without obvious symptoms. My daughter, however, had very bad eczema as a baby and my energy and immune system literally crashed when the children were little ones.
Symptoms I now know were linked to poor gut function and other imbalances.
You might be thinking, ‘I’m healthy! Why have I got gut issues?’
We’re all work in progress, but I reckon I’ve had gut issues for a while, and the health of my gut and my husbands’ has affected the health of our childrens’.
For me personally, the following may have contributed;
Other factors contributing to gut dysfunction;
Unknowingly many children are starting life with compromised gut function. If parents haven’t actively detoxed for heavy metals and rebuilt their microbiome, our kids are inheriting a handsome dose of toxins and an under performing gut flora that can quickly set the scene for gut dysfunction, malabsorption, autoimmune and inflammatory disease.
I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s a reality and far better to know and to do something about it sooner than later.
And there is good news! The gut will heal and so will the body.
Have a listen to my gorgeous client, Callie and her inspiring story. Cal shares how she helped her 3 year old son, Bowen recover from a severe allergy to eggs. How she trusted her mothers instinct and her number 1 tip for creating a healthy home.
When the gut is functioning well, the foreigners i.e. toxins, heavy metals, parasites, viruses, bacteria etc. can pass right on through, while the body naturally does its thing.
Are you dealing with a form of gut dysfunction? Or perhaps you are but you don’t know you are. It’s highly likely.
Other than the obvious gut symptoms e.g. irritable bowel, reflux etc. Other clues / symptoms to consider;
Unless you’ve already identified an issue and taken action to restore it, it’s time to start rebuilding your gut health, gently, gradually, one step at a time and help safeguard your future wellbeing.
It doesn’t have to be difficult and the earlier you take action the better.
Learn more about protecting and restoring your gut health at my next Enriched Living Workshop, ‘Gut Health. Simple steps to healthy digestion & a long life’ We’re going on a fun and informative journey of the digestive system. You’ll learn commonly missed aspects to great gut health, plus lots of ideas for recipes and remedies to begin repairing your gut and your families. Simply. Naturally.
Seats are limited. Register ASAP.
And have a listen to Callie’s story.
Remember learning about European explorers, who travelled on their long journeys with certain foods like sauerkraut, to help prevent scurvy? An illness caused by a Vitamin C deficiency.
… we’ve known about the vital roles nutrients play in promoting health and how deficiencies are instrumental in contributing to illness for a very long time.
If any of our family are unwell or ‘run down’, while there’s no fear of scurvy, I always ‘add in’ a good dose of Vitamin C either with native plants or a good quality supplement (details below) to help fight infection and aid our recovery.
Along with our food and lifestyle choices, it works. I can’t remember the last time any of us, even the kids who are 13 and 15, went to the Doctor.
So with the change of seasons on the way and bugs aplenty, it’s a good time to consider adding vitamin C into your meals & routine.
And this ESSENTIAL Vitamin is so much more than an immune booster! Vitamin C is involved in protein metabolism and collagen synthesis i.e. it’s needed to help make these molecules accessible for the body to absorb and use. It’s also vital for other critical functions including our happiness and youthful skin.
In this post discover 8 great reasons you need Vitamin C daily, especially with the change of seasons, how we become deficient AND simple ways to get more into your day.
Why Vitamin C is essential in your daily diet.
6 more good reasons.
Other than immunity, Vitamin C is necessary for these vital functions;
Why we may not get what we need;
9 Signs of Deficiency.
The best source.
Our food. Especially fruits and vegetables, in their whole form, fresh and local;
Eating foods in their most natural and whole forms give our bodies more nutrients and the ‘co-factors’ i.e. the other nutrients and enzymes that allow those nutrients to be easily and effectively absorbed by our bodies.
While many of us turn to supplements first, it’s important to emphasise the best source of any vitamin, mineral, or nutrient is fresh, raw and local food sources.
However, in saying that, with the change of seasons I always add in a Vitamin C supplement.
Specific foods to be adding in;
These foods can easily be added into our meals or another easy way to add them in, is in smoothies. I’ve got lots of great smoothie ideas on my site. Check them out.
Supplementing: If we need to supplement be certain that the supplements are high quality, they are bioavailable i.e. in a liquid form (e.g. a lioposomal vitamin C) or powdered, with few ingredients, are free of additives, fillers, or synthetic ingredients and are preferably bottled in glass.
And THE best ways to boost our immune system overall… sleep well, move more and stress less.
And some more inspiration and information on boosting our immunity simply;
Be curious. Experiment. Listen. Be enriched.
How familiar are you with the word ‘microbiome’? …
Going back 5 years, it was a rare word and not one I’d come across. Fast forward to today, unless you’ve been on a deserted island, it’s likely you’ve heard of it and for good reason.
This ‘invisible organ’ is at the heart of our wellbeing and quite possibly shaping our evolution.
In my research I was struck by just how fundamentally important these microscopic bugs are to our existence. Let’s discover exactly WHAT the microbiome is and WHY we need to start paying it a lot more attention.
Together, these tiny bugs work extremely hard on our behalf and in all that I’m learning, deserve deep respect. So much so, I wonder if this microbiome of ours, has and is, quietly guiding our evolution?
1. We need their genes. While the genes of our microbes give them ‘life’, their genes also help us survive, e.g.
The genes of our microbiome outnumber the genes of our very own body by about 100 to 1.
Consequently, it’s like we have two sets of genes! The ones we inherited from our parents and the other acquired i.e. our microbiome.
Geneticist, Seth Bordenstein says, “Arguably, the microbiota are as important as genes.”
2. An ancient relationship. Animals and microbes have lived together for as long as animals have been in existence and long before humans walked the earth.
Almost every cell in our body has a form of bacterial ancestry.
3. It changes within 24 hours. Our gut flora (microbiome) changes day to day, depending on what we’re exposing it to. We need to keep feeding it daily to maintain its healthy integrity. Changing our diet can change the composition of the bugs in our gut within 24 hours!
4. Diversity is the key. Generally, a lower diversity or different types of bacteria in our microbiome relates to an increased risk of disease’, ‘Increasing diversity reduces chances of disease e.g. inflammation’. Dr Justin Sonnenberg, Scientist.
“We’ve discovered that there’s this class of chemicals in the mother’s milk that is there, not for the baby to digest, but for the microbiota to digest. The mother actually laces her milk with a kind of dietary fibre that’s a class of molecules you can’t find anywhere else on the planet. They’re not even present in cow’s milk.” ~ Dr Justin Sonnenburg, Scientist.
Right from birth our bodies intuitively know how important it is to not only nourish our babies, but our babies bugs, our microbiome. Showing just HOW fundamentally important our gut flora is.
With our modern lifestyles and choices the diversity of this ancient and mutually beneficial relationship is steadily diminishing – perhaps along with our natural evolution as a species.
“Throughout our lives, we help shape our own microbiomes — plus they adapt to changes in our environment. For example, the foods you eat, how you sleep, the amount of bacteria you’re exposed to on a daily basis and the level of stress you live with all help establish the state of your microbiota” ~ Dr Axe.
Years ago, my Dad piled up this heap of dirt at the farm, especially for the grandchildren to play on. They still have hours of fun on it, plus it’s the perfect way to nourish their bugs – just as nature intended.
Eliminates toxins. Certain benefical bacteria can prevent or inactivate toxins released by harmful bacteria, from entering our blood stream. Some may also inactivate toxic molecules that we ingest.
Digests food and helps with colon and gut health. The majority of our gut microbes live in the colon and some of them specialise in fermenting fiber e.g. in legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and the byproducts of this activity helps to nourish the cells lining our colon.
Some bacteria produce a chemical that provides an energy source for our cells. It also helps to strengthen the connections between the cells of our intestinal lining, reducing the likelihood of a leaky gut.
Supports immune health. This is one of our microbiomes most important roles. Our gut microbes can teach the immune system to recognise and attack harmful invaders. It can determine how quickly we fight off illness e.g. a respiratory infection or the flu.
Anti-inflammatory function. Some bacteria release compounds that have a calming effect, preventing inflammation and keeping the immune system from overreacting.
Supports brain health. Bacteria in the intestine make some of the same molecules that are known to transmit signals in the brain e.g. serotonin (our happy hormone) and melatonin (our sleep hormone) – effecting our mood, behaviour and our sleep.
Increasing evidence supports the primary role of the gut microbiome in influencing stress-response patterns, most notably cortisol (stress hormone) production and its regulation.
Supports metabolic health. Along with what people are choosing to eat, there is more and more research showing the link between obesity, metabolic disease and the microbiome. With the diversity of our microbiome having a direct affect on our metabolism – the lower the diversity, the lower the metabolic rate, the lower the energy levels experienced.
In summary, the gut is our home to optimum health and our microbiome appears to be the heart of that home.
1. Mothers own healthy microbiomes, natural births and breastfeeding set the scene for passing on a healthy microbiome to our babies.
2. Our food and lifestyle choices and exposures.
For many of us, this introduction to life for our babies isn’t always possible, that’s okay, (and it wasn’t for my babies either). The body is incredible and the microbiome can be repopulated, keep reading as I share how…
Then what disrupts this complex and intimate system?
Loving our microbes is a fundamental strategy for disease prevention and for kick-starting our wellbeing. Thankfully it’s not hard. Infact, it’s easy, start with one new choice at a time.
3. Control chemical and toxin exposure
4. Move more
5. Sleep well
Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT): If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic digestive complaint or one you cannot find a solution to, perhaps investigate the possibility of an FMT. A procedure in which your microbiome is replaced with a donors microbiome.
Perhaps there are no good or bad bacteria. That potentially harmful microbes become dangerous once they ‘overpopulate’ or start to outnumber the more beneficial bugs, which can happen when any of the above factors are out of balance. Also consider that there is research that shows some of our so called harmful bugs may in fact have a role in stimulating a healthy immune system and also have a part to play in our microbiome.
While much of the science on the microbiome is in its infancy, the important role it has to play in our wellbeing is not. The microbiome has provided a beneficial relationship to our species for eternity.
What we expose our gut and our microbiome to is going to directly impact our vitality and our ability to ward off chronic illness. And many of these environmental exposures we CAN control. Our health is very much in our own hands.
By improving our diet, eating plenty of bug-loving foods and probiotics, lowering our stress, and exercising regularly, we can support our body’s microbiome, simply. Going to war against ‘bugs’ is not the answer, we need to respect the intimate relationship that we have evolved with them.
Whatever we are exposing ourselves to daily, let’s consider not only how it protects our physical body, but also how it protects our microbial community. In doing this we will protect our childrens futures and the natural course of our evolution at the same time.
What can you start doing today to nourish your microbiome better? Is it more time outside, opening the windows, eating more fibre rich foods? What will it be? Choose one and start enjoying adding it into your routine.
…Microbiome being the term given to the precious microorganisms living symbiotically with us as human beings. A relationship that is CRITICAL for a strong, healthy immune system and our optimum wellbeing.
Have you got an ailment you’re finding hard to fix or weight you just can’t budge no matter what you do or an autoimmune condition that’s appeared or parasitic or fungal infections depleting you? There may be a common link.
It has been argued that these conditions could ALL in someway be linked to an imbalanced microbiome, and ultimately perhaps back to a gut that has over the years been impacted by medications and / or antibiotics.
After having antibiotics it’s critical to start repopulating the good bugs asap, helping to safeguard against opportunistic, pathogenic bacteria taking up residence in the vulnerable digestive tract.
Here’s a simplified 3 step process;
Feed the good bugs that still remain and encourage them to multiply with prebiotics i.e. food for the probiotic (good bugs) e.g. raw, preferably organic, vegetables and fruits, psyllium, garlic, onion. Ideally directly from the source or the veggie patch, with a healthy dose of living microbes (probiotics) right there in your home environment perfectly adapted to your microbiome. Dandelion (weed) is an especially good prebiotic! Don’t spray or pull it out, save a patch for your green smoothie or salad!
This insoluble fiber provides food for good bacteria while giving it a structure upon which to multiply. How to add these foods in;
Other wonderful prebiotics are dandelion greens, cabbage, leeks, garlic, onion, ginger, artichoke. If you have a baby, green smoothies are not necessary, keep reading for more ideas. Listen to your body, watch your children and check what foods work best for your family.
Avoid all processed sugars & highly refined / processed foods. Processed sugar & foods feed more of the “bad” bacteria (including the pathogen you are trying to destroy with the antibiotic). Rather build the population of good bugs with healthy food and weed out (starve) the pathogenic bugs.
Processed foods, including highly refined breakfast cereals and the ‘healthier’ variety of sugars such as agave, brown rice syrup, fruit juice, etc. should be avoided (weeded out). Even varieties of fruit with higher sugar content e.g. banana’s should be limited during this time e.g. a week or so. Fruit lower in sugar such as berries or apples stewed or grated are a great alternative sweetener. Also try using xylitol or stevia.
Or repopulate. Add in fermented foods, home grown herbs and veggies and/or Probiotics to help repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain beneficial bacteria.
Go to home grown food, fermented foods first that are high in good bacteria, enzymes and nutrients. Easy fermented food recipes to try include; milk kefir, a basic kimchi,a simple sauerkraut or a fermented turmeric tonicor fermented garlic honey– if you haven’t already, give one or all of them a go!Fermented Foods and/or Probiotics.
But note, probiotics are not all equal. Avoid flavoured, commercial yogurt with sugar added. It will do as much harm to our gut flora than good. The probiotic brands we use include;
There are SO many different strains of bacteria that we need it’s important to ‘mix it up’ and not rely on any one for an extended period of time.
Most importantly enjoy vegetables from the garden, including the microscopic bacteria that come along for the ride.
Feed. Weed. Seed.
Other steps to add in and support the process.
4. Bone stock and gelatin can help the body heal and restore the mucosal lining in our digestive system (which can be damaged during antibiotic use, damaging lifestyle choices or poor diet).
Bone stock already contains gelatin, so if consuming homemade stock you will not necessarily need to supplement your diet with other forms of gelatin.
5. A minimal amount of screen time and LOTS of playing outside. Many of our good bacteria thrive on our bodies movement and exercise. Even if the weather isn’t conducive, get the family outside, experiencing the elements and all the goodness the great outdoors offer us.
6. Essential Oils. Essential oils have the ‘intelligence’ to recognise pathogenic bugs from the beneficial bugs within us, just as they do for the plant, when in nature. They’ve become a fundamental part of our home. If you’re interested in learning more contact me on email@example.com or check out details for my next class and webinar, ‘Natures Medicine Cabinet with Essential Oils’.
While these are steps to rebuild after having to use antibiotics they are equally applicable to use to help build a strong microbiome and overall wellbeing.
Then get all the information you need for kids to thrive this Winter at my workshop ‘No more sick kids’! next Tuesday 9th of April. A LIVE & ONLINE workshop. (Includes my popular ebook, ‘Strong immunity & healthy tummies – natural remedies for kids to thrive’).
Or purchase the ebook in my shop!
First published Aug 17, 2015 6:59 am