I am by no means a health expert, but I find it fascinating and every now and then I go on a little kick. Last year I read a book called “The Beauty Detox Solution” by Kimberley Snyder, upon recommendation of a super-healthy cousin, which completely changed the way I look at food and digestion. My family thinks it’s a little hokey, and I take it with a grain of salt (ya gotta live a little) but she is a passionate lady who has done some serious research. I hardcore recommend the book to anyone and everyone. If you don’t have an open enough mind to read it and absorb the facts, fine. But don’t be ignorant and say it’s all a bunch of garbs :)
If you didn’t skip Biology 30 like me, you probably know this. But this is how a good digestive system is supposed to work (I think this is a majorly simplified version – perfect for folks like me):
It is important to have a healthy, flowing digestive system so that toxins are flushed out of our system and don’t build-up (turning into disease). I am not very good with facts (once I’m sold on an idea, the ‘why’ gets a little foggy, which is not very helpful in persuading others) but these are things I’ve learned about digestion:
– Dairy is one of the worst things for your body – marketing campaigns have led us to believe that milk is SO full of calcium and good vitamins. Turns out, its pasteurized (like a million other products) so all the goodness that may have been in it is boiled out. The vitamins are added after the pasteurization. You actually get more calcium from vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach. My family used to go through 9 jugs of milk per week, when all 6 kids lived at home … so they have a hard time believing this, but I do!
– Gluten is hard for our digestive system to process – this stems from the fact that wheat has become majorly genetically-modified over the years. I know, I know … I say that and all the farm boys roll their eyes. But seriously. It has been modified so that farmers get a greater yield (can you blame them? it’s their livelihood and despite the population growth, grain prices have not increased near as much as they should have), so that it is easier for baking (bread rises better, pizza dough is stickier, etc), and other countless reasons. On top of that, gluten is actually addictive, which is why you crave it!
In short, today’s wheat is not comparable to the wheat in the olden days and the proof is in our body’s problems digesting it.
– Vegetables and fruits have TONS of vitamins/minerals/other good stuff for you – fruit is especially effective in kicking up toxins, but you have to also be careful that once the toxins are “kicked up”, you flush them out.
– Probiotics (aka – living enzymes) aid the good bacteria in your gut and help to keep things moving – do you poo 2-3 times a day? A lot of people think they are regular but don’t actually have a hairy clue what regular is. It is also advertised that probiotics are found in yogurt, and although that may be true, Kimberley Snyder has another opinion on how good those yogurt probiotics are for you.
Alternatively, you can:
> take digestive enzymes and/or probiotic pills (both are refrigerated because they are living cells)
> eat sauerkraut that has not been pasteurized/does not have preservatives (or make your own – fermented foods are full of probiotics)
> add kefir to your diet (which I’m still learning about) – apparently kefir made with young coconut water is better than milk based kefir
> drink kombucha tea or drinks
-Also, this is a big one. We tend to have a lot of company and so mom cooks a big meal and even trying to be careful, I end up stuffed. I just read up last night about how overeating actually puts tremendous stress on the digestive system. Shoot. Some facts about overeating:
> stomach pain signals the distress of an organ packed so full that it physically distends, and may even push beyond its muscular wall
> the liver dumps massive quantities of still-toxic food into your intestines, creating waves of nausea
> huge meals are not handled efficiently; consequently, while some food is properly processed, the rest remains stored within the body, undigested. Then, food builds up within digestive organs where it putrefies.These poisons are then absorbed into the blood and distributed throughout the body, making us more susceptible to disease.
> overeating reduces stomach acid levels
Eww. I definitely need to be more careful. You can read more about the awful things overeating does here.
– Other Health Tips I’ve Learned
> green smoothies as much as possible (spinach + lemon to cut the taste of spinach + fruit + water + chia seeds/flax seed/hemp/whatever you want = amazing)
> add freshly ground flax and/or flax seed oil to your diet
> have a tbsp of coconut oil with a meal
> eat simpler meals, and eat your veggies first (there is a method to this madness)
> have a cup or two of hot water with lemon and ginger everyday
> don’t consume meat and animal products in excess
> stay away from packaged food – produce is where it’s at
> exercise and stay active – makes a huuuuge difference
> moderation in all things – sometimes you just have to live a little and go with the flow!
So yeah, I don’t have it all figured out by any means, definitely don’t have the perfect bod, and don’t claim to be in perfect health… but I find this all so interesting and for those of you who do too, sweet. For those who hate hearing about this stuff and think its all a bunch of bologna, I’m sorry (but not that sorry).
One other thing … today I got to see my favorite little gaffer!!! ♥ I have so many favorite gaffers but this one is always soo happy and she just lights up a room with her pudgy little grin. Wow. I absolutely adore her!
Hope everyone has a great week ♥