For the past year I’ve been saying over and over again that I’ve made all these great changes in my life and the last thing I need to change is my diet. Up until 2 weeks ago, I still hadn’t done anything different. I would go a few days doing really well then of course I would end up at Chick-fil-a or a Mexican restaurant. Then two weeks ago I was diagnosed with Lupus, I’ve been to Chick-fil-a once (I got grilled nuggets, those that know me you should be proud). I’ve been feeling absolutely terrible for the 3 weeks prior and I’m just thankful to have a diagnosis. This lead me down a path of research and reading. I’m one of those people that likes to know all there is to know about something, this of course was no different.
In my reading I’ve come across so much research about our guts and how absolutely everything is linked to it, even our mood. Researchers have discovered that there is an entire ecosystem of bacteria and a neural network operating in our guts. This ecosystem is our second brain. It comprises around 100 million neurons which is more than the spinal cord. It causes the butterfly feelings in your stomach or the deep pit in your stomach which is part of our psychological stress response. Up to 90% of the cells involved in these responses carry information to the brain.
This got me thinking that I needed to make some dramatic changes in my eating habits. Every time you eat you are either feeding disease or fighting it. I was definitely feeding. Food is life. In my research I’ve decided what’s best for me. That’s the beauty of this is we get to make our own decisions. Did you know that sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine? I mean, what! I also have learned how certain foods cause inflammation and that turmeric can help to reduce inflammation. I’m learning through a lot of trial and error. I was vegetarian for a week and quickly learned that my body was not going to tolerate that so I incorporated meat back into my diet. Currently I’m gluten free and dairy free. I’m hopeful these changes and the added supplements will help support my body in recovering.
There are four Rs to gut health: remove, replace, reinoculate and replenish.
Identify and remove the things contributing to your symptoms, including:
• Stress: Stress can disrupt your digestion and absorption-particularly if you eat too quickly, too much, or at varying times of the day.
• Allergenic foods: Develop an elimination plan to help determine if you have food allergies. This involves removing potentially allergenic foods for a length of time, then reintroducing the foods, one at a time, every two days, while monitoring for symptoms. A few potentially allergenic foods include processed foods, oranges, dairy, eggs, corn, grains with gluten, pork, shellfish, beef, veal, soy, peanuts, alcohol, coffee, soda, refined sugar, chocolate, ketchup and most other condiments.
The modern diet depletes our system of necessary enzymes for full gut function. Digestive enzymes play an essential role in revamping your gut to full function. I personally am taking Essentialzymes-4 from Young Living. I also recently learned that you should switch up your enzyme supplement and take different ones so next month I’ll be taking Detoxzyme.
For 6 to 12 weeks, reinoculate your gut with good bacteria to help regain healthy balance. A variety of foods and supplements can help develop microflora which are helpful in aiding digestion and nutrient absorption. I personally am using Life 9 from Young Living to address this step.
• Fermented foods: Tea, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt and kombucha are a few that come to mind.
• Prebiotics: These are non-digestible plant components that nourish the body’s microflora.
• Probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria that aid the digestive process and keep our gut health and intestinal function strong.
The last step is repairing the lining of your gut through good nutrition. This process can take up to 6 months. It isn’t a one day fix. I mean think of how long it’s taken our guts to get where they are today. Reducing inflammation and supporting cell growth in your digestive tract can be achieved through Omega-3 fatty acids, Glutamine, kiwi, zinc, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin D. Master Formula from Young Living is where it’s at!