Over the years I have done my fair share of self-experimentation and thus first-hand know the importance of gut-brain care. Along the way, I have noticed the research emerging about the importance of the gut, the gut microbiome, and the gut-brain connection.
What does this mean to me?
Along with the importance of eating nutrient-dense foods in order to feed my brain and my body; I also pay great attention to my microbiome.
I support my friendly bacteria by intaking fermented foods as well as avoiding chemicals and such that kill off my good bacteria.
We have a living breathing eco-system living within and on us including our gut: it is called the microbiome.
“The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – that live on and inside the human body. The number of genes in all the microbes in one person’s microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome.”
This microbiome is being acknowledged as imperative to our health; not only digestive and physical health but also mental and emotional health.
Think of it this way: you are not only eating because food tastes good but you are also eating to feed your body AND your microbiome.
When I travel I notice the different local bacterias and their effect on my gut-microbiome. In some countries, I have no digestive difference; and in others, I need to take probiotics to help it.
Along with overall physical function (remember I am a rock climber which requires strength and leanness), I also pay great attention to how my brain is affected and thus functions.
When my digestion is off my brain function is also off; including my mood.
I focus on the care of my microbiome because it affects my mood and mental state. I feel better when I do.
Gut Microbiome Care:
- I make sure my microbiome is getting friendly bacteria support via fermented foods or probiotics.
- I also avoid sugar and flour to protect the health of my microbiome.
The Detriment of Sugar and Flour
Sugar feeds all the bad guys in our body; all the yeasts and fungi and cancers. Flour has similar effects to sugar and additionally is a sticky mess and difficult to digest. Both sugar and flour cause inflammation: which underlies all diseases. Also worth mentioning is the massive spike in insulin that happens with sugar and flour.
It is easier to not pay attention and eat what is convenient… until it is not.
I notice that in our culture and in my clients it is easy to disassociate from the fact that what we eat affects our health. Sometimes the effects are not immediate, but they are inevitable…
Here is what I know and what I do in my personal daily life that has served me well.
- I keep constant awareness of what I am eating.
- I stay tuned into my body and listen to what it is saying to me.
- I tune into my body and ask…
- Do I need more protein?
- Am I hydrated?
- Do I need more oil or more salt?
- Am I feeling too full and need to reduce my food intake?
- How is my friendly bacteria? More kraut, kombucha, or probiotics?
Over the years I have developed a relationship with my body where I make choices of what I eat based on what my body, my microbiome, my mood and my brain needs.
The awareness practice of observing the effects of food on the body is relevant to healing any and all digestive troubles.
Become Your Own Body’s Expert
If you choose to put attention on the relationship of what you eat and its effects on your body, you will become the expert at your own body and your own health needs.
It is a very empowering relationship.
Get to know your brain’s needs, tend to your microbiome, consider your gut, watch yourself, and get into gut-brain care.
Coffee Enemas: a tool I use.