Inside your belly is a thriving bacterial world, an eco-system commonly known as the ‘microbiome.’ It’s filled with bacteria – trillions of them, in fact – all going about their daily business of keeping you well. Without you’re being aware of it, they’re busily breaking down food; extracting nutrients; producing vitamins and brain chemicals; fending off microbial invaders; protecting you from disease; and performing hundreds of tasks essential to keeping your systems functioning optimally.
What most people don’t realize is that gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction or digestive problems can be the underlying issue for many seemingly unrelated problems–that is, conditions where the symptoms are not localized to the GI tract. Some skin conditions such as eczema, certain types of arthritis, some types of autoimmune diseases, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many non-specific symptoms may have their root cause in digestive problems. This section will have blogs related to digestion and keeping the GI system functioning optimally.
When I first learned about mindful eating, I was a bit intimidated – being someone who loved to eat and typically ravaged my meals, I was a little scared of actually sitting down with my food and taking my time to eat it. But as I began incorporating small steps like chewing and deep breathing, my relationship with food quickly began to change. Not only was I choosing whole, healthy foods, but I was actually learning HOW I should be eating them, which helped me create an awareness that allowed me to tune into the needs of my body and listen to which foods and portion sizes made me feel best.
One of the most common complaints we hear from patients on a paleo diet is an increase in constipation. Regular elimination is critical for gut health, no matter what diet you follow. This common side effect of the paleo diet can be combated with a few simple strategies.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a gatekeeper, protecting the brain from various toxic elements while allowing the entrance of various life-sustaining nutrients like water, glucose, amino acids, and gases that are essential for the function of the brain. It is formed by cells that line the capillaries and are connected by what are called “tight junctions,” quite similar to the tight junctions in the cells that line the gut.
Dairy is one of those topics that come up a lot here at the Wellness Center. Many of our patients discover that their digestion or skin is irritated by dairy consumption and end up avoiding it all together. Others find that raw milk or goat and sheep’s milk is fine for them, but that other dairy products still irritate them. There’s no doubt that when it comes to dairy everyone is different, and your tolerance can change over time.
Here are 10 articles from 2014 that I found especially interesting. There are 3 articles about the microbiome and the bugs in our gut. The most fascinating one is the research showing that the bugs in our gut may be driving our appetite, cravings and moods, driving us to eat what they want. I had to include the important piece from Men’s Journal, on how every time you walk into a physician’s office, you run the risk of overtreatment. This is essential reading if you haven’t seen it yet! There are also articles on some unusual beneficial effects of exercise and the detrimental effects of sitting too long. And obviously I had to include posts about the benefits of fat and the evils of sugar.
Recent research shows that people who practice gratitude experience fewer illnesses, enjoy greater health and feel more loving, optimistic and forgiving. Viewed in this light, Thanksgiving is an essential and important holiday: a national, annual day of gratitude. Without the complexities of gift-giving, religious prayers, or denominational rituals, Thanksgiving merely asks us to give thanks. And to cook and to eat – activities we generally do every day anyways.
When adopting a paleo diet, patients can begin to see and feel positive results within weeks, often including increased energy, weight loss, and improved digestion. While following this grain-free, Paleo diet, the body can normalize hunger hormones, repair the gut and begin to shed extra weight, however there are a few common setbacks that can cause people to fall off track. Here are 5 common “Paleo Pitfalls, and how you can avoid them.
If you are dealing with constipation, you should start with the basics: eat a whole foods diet, avoid processed foods, and drink lots of water. Often doing a Cleanse and taking a good probiotic is helpful.
However, if you have tried all this and still can’t get things moving, here are some other tools we use at the wellness center.
Dr. L: It seems like every month brings us the latest, greatest diet book. Why contribute to the glut?
Kathie: Believe me, I’m as tired of these magic formula for losing weight as anybody: “eat this number of calories or this ratio of carbs/fats/protein for Phase 1, then for Phase 2…” Almost nobody can follow these formulas for very long. Writing The Swift Diet was for me a chance to celebrate the importance of healthy whole foods, especially vegetables, fruits and legumes. I’m translating the nutritional science onto the plate.