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Why I'm Changing the Direction of My Business, and Why I'd Love for You To Come Along!


Blog Post – Why I’m Changing the Direction of my practice, and why I’d love for you to follow along

 

 

I have a confession. I’ve been struggling for a while now, and truthfully the only people I’ve expressed it to are my closest confidants. I don’t mean to imply that anything is wrong, because its not, but I haven’t felt aligned with my practice for a couple of months now and the frustration has been swirling and building and gestating. Recently, this somewhat irritating energy finally decided to express itself, and I experienced a pretty major meltdown. However, once I finally dried my tears and got myself out of the shame/blame game, I realized the clarity that had been born from the moment. You see, I started out in the health and wellness community very passionate and excited about nutrition and its role in the vitality of the human body. I thrived on learning how to heal from chronic conditions that the conventional medical community dismissed such as anxiety, autoimmunity, depression and hormonal imbalance and ate up every piece of information I could. From there I got interested in other physically-focused aspects of health like sleep, exercise and the stress response, but then as I continued my research, work with clients and personal journey into the space of living well, I realized there was a big, fat hole no one was talking about. Well, not no one, but at least not the majority of practitioners I knew and listened to. The disconnect was: How other pieces of our lives such as work, relationships, self-acceptance, mindset and our ability to lean into feelings like love, vulnerability and joy fit into the puzzle of wellness AND can stop us from really ever getting out from under the story we feel is ours to bear. You see, many of my clients (including myself at one point) hit a wall and stalled out when we focused solely on nutrition. Sure they’d get results and feel or look physically better, but they would either fall back into old habits OR still walk away feeling like there was something missing. They’d get stuck in “healing mode” for months or even years at a time always looking for the next protocol, lab or aha-diagnoses to finally cure their issues, not realizing it all had to do with alignment.

 

The deeper I got into my own path with these internal subjects, the more I started sharing with my clients and the more results they started getting as well. They were becoming happier, calmer, more joyful and less anxious. They were aligning more with their soul paths and learning all about self-love and compassion and taking time, maybe for the first time, to implement self-care, which led them to show up better for everyone around them as well. WE began talking about relationships, and shame around money and their unwillingness to forgive themselves for not being perfect and as I watched these transformations unfold, I realized that I no longer aligned with just a nutrition-centered practice, but still wasn’t sure how to bridge the gap between where I was with my business and where I really wanted to be.

 

Then this last week, in the middle of another frustrating battle, and subsequent breakdown, with my copy, messaging and marketing (all things I dread by the way), I realized something – It wasn’t flowing because it wasn’t my truth. Well, not my whole truth anyway. You see, I’m not interested in taking my clients half way and focusing in on what I consider to be only one aspect of healing and transformation. I’m interested in co-creating and rendezvousing with those who are ready to chew on the whole enchilada. Those who are looking to wake up a year from now and say, “I don’t even recognize the person I used to be.” Those who are willing, able and committed to finding purpose and passion every day and who are ready to fight the good fight to bring forth their authenticity and divine truth.

 

Does nutrition line up with this? Absolutely. You must have a well-oiled machine if you want to win the race, but is it the whole picture? Not from what I’ve found. In fact, over the last couple years, I’ve found that there are really 6 key areas of the human experience that impact whether or not we will ever reach our fullest potential and live a life of freedom and happiness, of health and wellness. They are: Diet, Sleep, Exercise, beliefs/mindset, relationships and finances. And yes, I’m aware that the last one is a loaded topic, but it’s true. I’ve met people who were eating the best diets and sleeping 8 hours a night, but were riddled with dis-ease because they were constantly worried sick about money or, on the flip side, who felt terrible living large because what they really wanted was to live off the grid in a more sustainable way. Like it or not, money plays a role in all of our lives and our alignment with what feels good to us matters – whatever that may be!

 

In my mind, each one of these aspects compliments the others like a beautiful tapestry with multi-colored threads woven throughout. The picture simply wouldn’t be complete without each individual colored strand, and that is the way I have found healing to occur. I believe with my whole heart that when we are not in alignment with the higher purpose we come here to this earth for, that our bodies will find a way of telling us this. Maybe it starts out small like feeling a little tired and burned out, but as we continue to ignore the messages, our body and inner beings turn into screaming toddlers, throwing tantrums and trying every trick they know to get our attention.

 

The more we ignore the message, the louder the fits get until finally, and usually in a grand-gesture of frustration, we end up with something more serious like autoimmunity, heart disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, thyroid issues or some psychosomatic condition conventional medicine has no answer for (um, hello me). Then, and only then, with our backs pinned against the wall, do we usually listen up and THIS is the pivotal moment where we have a choice. A choice to choose a new path, the one that’s always been waiting for us, being held in trust by our higher consciousness, or to turn away in fear and continue to live a life with our hearts and souls closed off to all that we are wasting away what precious time we have left in this mortal body.

 

For those who choose option A, the path will not always be clear or easy – that is to be expected, and where I come in as a coach. I decided to go at this journey alone, but not because I wanted to. At the time, I simply didn’t realize there were coaches out there who were acting as mentors and guides and facilitators for those like myself who were walking the path of awakening and transformation, or I would have absolutely enlisted the help someone wiser. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t’ have teachers. I read books, I listened to books, I listened to podcasts, I read blogs, I Googled an inordinate amount of questions, I went to retreats, I spoke with friends and family, I saw therapists, I went to yoga classes, I meditated, I saw energy healers, I followed inspiring Instagram accounts and so much more. I submerged myself into the space of transformation because it was what I wanted more deeply than anything I’d ever wanted, and you can too. I went through much trial and error in my own journey, and while I certainly don’t preach one way of living (there are a million different ways to align), I do feel like all those experiences put me in a much better position to guide others down the path of awakening and reformation.

 

I believe that there are more of us than ever hearing the call. The call that says, “There’s more. I am more.” It is when we hear this call that we must listen or our resistance to it will build and gain so much momentum that our lives will begin to disintegrate before our eyes as the universe drags us along down the path to our dreams. We can go kicking and screaming, getting beat up along the way by the dusty road of stagnation and fear, or we can let go, surrender and trust that where we are heading is grander than anything we could have imagined for ourselves. It is our choice.

 

So, with that being said, this is the gentle, but exciting shift I will be making with my clients and in my platform. I’m not entirely sure how it will all unfold, and that part is exciting to me now. But I do know that this new, more expansive direction feels right and feels good. I can’t wait to be a part of the many journeys of total life transformation that are to come. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing my clients lives improve as they learn to lean into their intuitive nature and step into their power and vitality. But none of that is possible without addressing more than just our diets. More than just what’s in front of us in a way that we can see, touch and hear. We must go deeper if we are to truly change, and that is what I hope to bring to the table in this new direction. I hope you’ll stick along for the ride. I have a feeling it’s only going to get bigger and better from here. Until next time...

 

Much love, 

Sy 

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Why You Gain Weight When You're Stressed


Most women I know struggle with wanting to lose body fat in one area or another, and many can’t figure out why, despite all their best efforts, this isn’t happening. Now, aside from the topic of self-love and acceptance (two concepts I find paramount to your overall health and wellness), it’s not a crime to want a firmer midsection or to tone up your legs. A healthy, vital and active body is able to carry us places we wish to travel and move in exciting, fun ways that we might not be able to otherwise. Plus, who doesn’t love the feeling of confidence you get when your body is living out in it’s perfect potential? I know I notice when my body feels heavy and sluggish versus when it feels light and energetic. However, notice I said YOUR perfect potential.

 

What we’ll be discussing today is not how to land someone else’s body or uncover six pack abs, but instead how your body’s perfect set point will be revealed once you undo the harmful effects of stress and let your unique shape and size shine through. When I cut out my personal food intolerances, began reducing inflammation and lowered my cortisol, I ended up losing 10 pounds without any changes in exercise or restrictive dieting -  and I’ve seen this happen time and time again with my clients, as they too lean into stress reducing practices and new ways of intuitive, healthful eating.

 

So, you’re probably wondering how one accomplishes such a thing? Well, we’ll get there in a minute, but first I want to take you through the why of how stress causes you to put on extra fat (generally in the belly and hip region for us gals) and then we’ll talk about ways you can reverse this nasty cycle.

 

If you’ve been here long, you’ve probably heard me throw around the term Cortisol quite a bit. However, if you’re new, cortisol is referred to as our stress hormone and is responsible for helping us get through an event that requires us to “flee or fight.” In cases of acute stress, such as a car accident or other emergency, this hormone can be life saving. When our brain registers a stressor, it calls upon our adrenals to release cortisol. Cortisol then circulates throughout the body, breaking down amino acids (mostly from our muscles), and turning them into glucose so we have plenty of energy to either run away quickly or fight bravely. This hormone, combined with adrenaline and dopamine, are responsible for the effects of stress like increased blood pressure and heart rate, hyper-arousal and alertness to danger, shakiness or jitters and dilated pupils. All the necessary ingredients for us to evolutionarily deal with being chased by a tiger or fighting off a neighboring tribe.

 

In these short-lived, acute scenarios, this cascade, known as the the stress response, is not only necessary, but welcomed by the body and brain.

 

However, when we begin to abuse this chain of command by entering into the chronic stress zone, we begin to see problems arise.

 

The effects of cortisol and adrenaline take quite a while to leave the body, meaning that when you’re under chronic stress (think daily traffic, stressful job you hate, negative thoughts all day long, fights with your spouse, crazy kids running around the house while you’re trying to work, too much on your to-do list and not enough time to do it, moves, bills, and on and on) you have a constant supply of stress hormones running through your veins like a drip line filled with Red Bull.

 

Can you imagine just how drained and depleted you’d become eventually if this were the case? Well it IS the case. Adrenaline and cortisol are powerful drugs which is why many of us are “stress-junkies.” They feel really good, until they don’t.

 

Unfortunately, stress is king in the body. The adrenals, which are responsible for the stress response, are also responsible for governing functions like sleep, sex drive, sex hormones, weight and metabolism, thyroid function and more. But, when they are burdened with pumping out more and more cortisol to meet the demands of our stress levels, these other processes take a back seat. Essentially, your adrenals take the nutrients reserved for making all these other things happen and shove them into the cortisol-manufacturing process. So, now that you’re aware of the way that works, let’s dive into cortisol’s effects on our body composition.

 

#1: Cortisol is catabolic. Catabolic is just a fancy way of saying that cortisol breaks down hard earned muscle tissue. Now, in small doses, not a big deal. But in every day cases, where you’re in a constant state of catabolism, muscle degrades while fat increases. That’s because it’s cortisol’s job to turn amino acids into glucose, remember from above? Those amino acids are most readily found in muscle tissue. Muscle is way more metabolically active than fat, meaning it uses up, or burns, more calories sustaining itself than fat. More muscle = higher metabolism. More cortisol = less muscle. You see the problem?

 

 

#2: Cortisol promotes the storage of belly fat. During times of stress or famine, the most important things to protect are our vital and reproductive organs. Where are they? Yep, in the belly and hip region. Cortisol is what gives us the famous spare tire or muffin-top, despite working out and eating healthily. There are actually more cortisol receptors in the tissue of our abdominal reason specifically for this purpose. More stress = more belly fat.

 

 

#3: Cortisol increases blood sugar, which increases insulin, which increases fat storage. Now, insulin gets a bad rap, but essentially we need it in order to get glucose into our cells. When our blood sugar rises because we eat, it’s insulin’s job to open up our cells so that energy from our food can get in. This is why we call it the “storage” hormone. However, when cortisol is released and goes around breaking down muscle into glucose, our blood sugar rises. Only, we don’t necessarily need this extra fuel and our body knows this, so it releases an overload of insulin to lower our blood sugar. We are now storing not only fuel from our food, but also fuel from the extra glucose floating around and our cells are full. Not only does this end up causing us to store more fat, but also to become insulin resistant as our cells can’t take any more energy. High cortisol = high blood sugar = high insulin = extra fat.

 

 

So, now that we’ve painted a pretty grim picture, let’s talk about what you can proactively do to mitigate these effects, because, let’s be honest, it’s frustrating to watch your waist expand despite all your hard work and healthful living.

 

While I highly recommend turning down the volume on your high intensity exercise routine and making sure you’re eating a diet high in greens, healthy fats and clean protein, I want to focus today’s tips on emotional/perceived stress. We call it perceived stress in the health industry because really, what stresses one person out (like doing taxes or working 60 hours a week) may not bother another. We all come with different, unique set points based on our genetics, childhood, lifestyle etc., so what we perceive as stressful isn’t in and of itself stressful. Now, the best way to lower emotional stress is to take a look at your perceptions and see how you can reframe them into something that isn’t stressful.

 

Let’s look at a fairly neutral situation like end-of-day traffic. You’re on your way home from work and stuck in traffic even though you need to be at your son’s baseball game in 30 minutes and still haven’t eaten since breakfast. You could: Scream at the drivers in front of you, curse the traffic gods, stress about being late and hungry and panic at the thought of showing up in front of all the other mother’s late – again – in your work clothes – tired and hungry…

 

OR

 

You could step back and look at it another way. By the very definition that you are in traffic, you should be in traffic. It’s rush hour in a big city, there’s usually a wreck or something blocking the flow, and it’s pretty typical. That’s just the way it is. So, you decide to enjoy your time listening to the podcast you never have a moment alone to play or that new audio book you purchased, but again, don’t have time for. You also realized that your hubby is stuck in traffic as well on his way home, so you call him and have a flirty, fun conversation you don’t get to do as much these days with kids around 24/7 and decide that he’ll cook dinner while you’re at the game. Before you know it, the traffic has cleared and you’re on your way to the game, and because you’re in such a good mood, stop by the store for a snack, and meet your best friend walking in to the game, who also happens to be late – because of traffic.

 

Now – which one do you think releases cortisol and which one do you think releases happy, feel-good hormones?

 

I’m guessing you don’t need me to tell you the answer. And, while this might seem like a silly situation, you can take any possible situation in your life and choose to meet it with grace, patience and love or fear, panic and stress. Reframing is a powerful way to calm down our stress response and therefore naturally allow our bodies to thrive.

 

In short, if you’re working yourself to death at the gym and haven’t touched a carb since ’98, I’d recommend that instead of doing more, you do a little less. Show yourself some compassion, choose to see your life with some light, and see if those extra lbs. don’t come melting off. I dare you.

Until next time, 

Sy

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What a Healthy Digestive System looks like and How to Get One.



 

So, I’ve officially decided to go in the direction of Gut Health Therapy in my practice and I couldn’t be more excited about it. When people think of the gut, they tend to focus solely on digestion and digestive complaints, however, the gut is home to a microbiome filled with trillions of bacteria that act as the control panel of the human body. What does this mean? It means that gut health isn’t just related to how you digest your food, but also influences and controls hundreds of processes within your body ranging from your mood to your hormones to skin health and beyond. The potential for healing your gut and getting back to feeling your best is limitless and I think that’s why I love it so much. I myself was able to come back from severe adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance through healing my gut and I love sharing this information with others who might be frustrated, confused and out of ideas. Anyway – that’s all for now, but with the gut in mind, I want to jump in to today’s topic:  A Basic Look at Healthy Digestion.

 

Most people have a rough idea of what digestion entails. You eat your food, it goes to your stomach and fills you up, and then somewhere in the next 12-24 hours it makes its way out and that’s that. What most people DON’T know, however, is that digestion and all it’s processes affect way more than your satiety level and fat stores. In fact, your gut is the birthplace for almost every metabolic process in your body – which is a fancy term for everything that makes you YOU! In order for us to extract and utilize nutrients from our food, a certain cascade of events must take place. Without proper nutrient utilization, every cell in our body is subject to compromise. Digestion has several steps but it all begins with one simple little thought. Most of us assume that digestion begins once we swallow our food, but in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you have the thought “I’m hungry,” you set off a chain of command that begins with your salivary glands. As you prepare your food, wait for it to cook or heat up, and continue thinking about your meal, your body gets itself ready by producing digestive enzymes and juices that will aide the breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins. This is why, when we bust through the drive through, talking on the phone, and scarf our meal in the car on our way back to work, we end up with bloating at best or terrible reflux and indigestion in worse cases. We never even had time to think about our food, let alone prepare our body to receive it. Most people think of cooking or prepping your foods as a chore, but in reality, cooking our food is the closest thing we have to our ancestrally honoring our body to assimilate nutrients.

 

Moving on …  as you are chewing, your salivary glands trigger enzymes that begin to break down carbohydrates, to be used for immediate energy needs. In a society that eats quickly and efficiently, we have forgotten that chewing is the first mechanical step of food breakdown that occurs. Our teeth are meant to aide the process of digestion so that we aren’t having to overuse and overwork our secretory glands and gastric juices. Often, if people are experiencing gas, bloating or indigestion, the simple act of chewing their food better can relieve symptoms and reduce the burden on their body. Once food has been turned to mush (bolus) in the mouth, we swallow and it makes its way down the esophagus and into our stomach.

Your stomach is an AMAZING organ that protects both itself and our body from the intense chemical reactions taking place inside. Hydrochloric acid (Hcl), or stomach acid, has a pH strong enough to eat through metal, yet the cells in the lining of your stomach produce mucus to ensure its survival. Brilliant! Anyway, once bolus reaches your stomach, several hormones and actions are stimulated to continue the process, including the release of pepsin to breakdown proteins into amino acids and polypeptides. Your stomach will continue to secrete Hcl and mechanically churn your food until it reaches a highly acidic pH of 1-3 and is soupy in consistency. This mixture is called chyme. Once this pH has been reached, your pyloric sphincter will open up and allow these contents to flow into your duodenum, or the first part of the small intestine, where bicarbonate will flow in to to calm down the acidity of the chyme. At this point, bile is also released from the gallbladder, when dietary fat is detected, to break it down into fatty acids. As chyme moves along the rest of the small intestine, all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are absorbed through the intestinal wall and into your bloodstream, to the liver where they are distributed to your various cells, tissues and, ultimately, organs. I’ll say it again, literally EVERY CELL, OF EVERY TISSUE, THAT MAKES UP EVERY ORGAN, IS AFFECTED BY DIGESTION! Still think your food doesn’t matter?

 

I’ll finish up quickly. Once your leftover fiber, water and waste leaves the small intestine and enters the colon (large intestine) there is a lot of probiotic activity that takes place to eat up extra waste in your intestinal wall and manufacture vitamins and nutrients. You also reabsorb compounds like water, hormones, bile back into your body, assuming they don’t make it out quickly enough. We could cover an entire blog post just about colon activity but I’ll save it for another time. Knowledge is power my friends. When you understand HOW the digestive system and processes work, you are in a position to make sure that everything stays on track and that you are giving your body the support it needs to do its job well. In another post, we will talk about dysfunction, but having an understanding of FUNCTION first is critical to gaining a foothold on the complaints and issues you may be experiencing. To put it lightly, without proper digestion, our whole body goes to shit! So, with that in mind, here are 5 tips to get you back in shape!

 

1.     Chew your food! At this risk of sounding like your mother… You have teeth for a reason: Use them.

2.     Try adding in foods like apple cider vinegar, ginger and lemon water before your meals to stimulate your own natural Hcl production. Stomach acid is king!

3.     Sit down and enjoy your meal. Eating is not a chore, nor something to cross off your to-do list. Your nervous system MUST be in a rest and digest mode to properly assimilate your food. To put it bluntly, maybe its time to reevaluate your priorities if life in the fast lane is your jam.

4.     Don’t skimp on fat. Fat is necessary for so many reasons, but one of them is to maintain and healthy liver and gallbladder. Without dietary fat, you risk biliary stasis and build up – ie. Gallstones and the inability to tolerate fats in your diet. Trust me, it’s nasty. Shoot for small amounts at first if you are coming off a low or no-fat diet, and aim for healthy, stable fats like coconut oil, butter, avocado, nuts/seeds, and properly prepared olive oils.

5.     If you are having trouble digesting food, you may want to consider adding a digestive enzyme or HCL supplement to your meals. I would suggest working with a practitioner on this, but you can also test for stomach acid production at home.  

Till next time! 

Sy

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Amy Hunt: How Essential Oils Helped Balance My Family Again


Hey guys! I’m super excited to announce my first guest post blogger today. She is a personal friend of mine, as well as a reputable essential oil consultant and is here to tell us a little more about how we can use essential oils and how they have helped her own family to begin their healing journey. I love to incorporate essential oils (I use Doterra, but there are many wonderful brands available) into my daily health routines, and know that while many people are curious, they just don’t have enough information to know whether or not they would be a good fit. So, without further ado, here is Amy to tell us a little more about nature’s natural solutions …

 

Hello there. Today, I want to talk a little bit about the basics of essential oils, as well as how they have played a role in my own family’s health and vitality. As we pay more careful attention to what we are eating, we notice that we begin to feel healthier and more alive!

While our daily eating habits are no doubt foundational to our overall health and wellness, many of us find ourselves seeking additional support for seasonal threats, illness and mood. Taking the time and energy to eat with precision and care, and then using synthetic chemicals to combat threats to our health, seems intuitively counter-productive and can leave one looking for more natural forms of health care. Similar feelings can occur as we decide to rid our lives of harmful chemicals including those found in our cleaning, health and beauty products. These incongruent feelings of eating real, nutrient-containing foods but living in a world laced with dangerous and damaging additives and chemicals lead can lead us to more natural, plant-based solutions.

Our family began our crusade toward these natural solutions when our daughter was in second grade. Our once happy, bright and care-free daughter began to be irritable, moody, unfocused, and, for the first time in her life, struggled in school. Wanting to give our child the absolute best, we took her to our trusted pediatrician. This led to a series of trial and error prescriptions. She had gone from a child to a lab rat in no time and was experiencing harsh side effects. In trying to help her, it seemed we were doing more harm than good. It was at this point that we abandoned all prescription drugs and I began my frantic search to support her naturally. It was a timely miracle when an old roommate from college called unexpectedly. Her children had similar symptoms, but she had not used western medicine to treat them and they were doing wonderfully. Instead, she used Certified Pure Therapeutic-Grade essential oils along with a healthy eating regimen to support them. They were thriving! I wanted to know more. I devoured articles on the internet and was fascinated that the primary goal of western medicine is to treat symptoms after they occur while eastern medicine uses doctors to prevent problems and maintain a healthy body all of the time.  Now, I am not suggesting that there is no place for conventional doctors or that we should never use western medicine again. However, what I am saying is that for those who feel like chemicals are overused and abused in “caring” for our bodies, there is hope!

Essential oils, which are natural compounds extracted and distilled from plants, have provided safe and healthy benefits for thousands of years. These oils work at a cellular level combating threats without building up resistance. Their molecular design is recognized by our bodies and is used for optimal support. Each oil has a different chemical combination and every cell has the ability to “call for help” when needed elements are absent. Essential oils have natural abilities to respond to each cell in need without depleting the body’s resources. This ability is seen in the oil’s ability to permeate the cell walls, pass through the blood-brain barrier, work without side effects, and support our bodies against seasonal and environmental threats. 

Just as many acknowledge organic, locally-grown foods as those that provide our body optimal benefits, Certified Pure Therapeutic-grade oils are the safest oils for absorption and consumption. They are free of fillers, pesticides and contaminants and their potency and effectiveness increase because they are grown indigenously.

Our journey began with our daughter four years ago. We continue to use oils for physical and emotional support and they have become a part of our lifestyle.

Today, I would like to highlight three of the most versatile oils that we use daily with our family and that are a great jumping off point for anyone who is looking to begin implementation.

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If you are ready to try natural solutions to support your health and wellness contact me at amywilhunt@gmail.com. If you mention this blog, you can receive a free 30 minute consult. I am anxious to hear about your top health priorities and discuss ways we can support that using essential oils. You can purchase oils directly from my website: http://mydoterra.com/amyhunt

Or ask me how you can receive these amazing health benefits at 25% off. 

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Leaky Gut: What is it and could you have it?


 

So you may have heard a new term floating around the internet and in health circles that has you a little confused and, even somewhat grossed out. The name is Leaky Gut, and the game is inflammation, but first, is Leaky Gut exactly what it sounds like? Well, yes and no. In scientific circles, the condition is technically called Intestinal Permeability  and refers to micro-holes in the intestinal lining that lead to reactivity of the immune system. In other words, when the integrity of the gut lining is compromised, your body begins to attack itself which leads to all sorts of chronic illnesses and health complaints.  

Now, you may be wondering what sorts of things actually cause these "mini-holes" and what you can do about it? There are lots of different variables that contribute to a leaky gut, but the main players are:  

Chronic Stress  

Food Intolerances 

Antibiotic Use 

Use of steroids, NSAIDS or prescription drugs 

Environmental Toxin Exposure 

Chemotherapy/Radiation 

Ingesting pesticides, herbicides, synthetic hormones  

Conventional meats, eggs and dairy 

Overconsumption of sugar and processed foods  

 

So how exactly do these contribute to a leaky gut? Well, they are all a bit unique, but most of them either directly wear down the lining (think nsaids and chemotherapy) or they amp up general inflammation in the body that leads to a wearing down of the lining over time (think sugar consumption and food intolerances). Either way, the end result is much like rubbing sandpaper over the same spot for hours and hours (in this case, sometimes months or even years) until eventually you break through creating a hole. Once this hole has been made, it becomes easy for food particles, proteins and waste to "leak" into places they shouldn't be – i.e. Your bloodstream.  

In a healthy gut, your cells are packed closely together, in formations called Tight Junctions, that allow for very little permeability. This is what keeps nutrients in your gut and waste out of your body. Unfortunately, while your body is pretty smart, it can't quite keep up with the cognitive abilities of your brain. When partially digested protein molecules enter your bloodstream from your gut (in the case of leaky gut), they may be similar, or even identical, in makeup to protein strands of specific organs in your body. Proteins, after all, are just proteins whether they are eaten dietarily or found native in the body. When these proteins cross the 'Do Not Enter' barrier in your gut, your body sends out soldiers to attack them since they don't have the clearance to be in that restricted area. Immune responses like this are important when pathogens like bacteria and viruses are present, such as when you contract the flu, but not so helpful when we begin to attack our own cells. Unfortunately, in all its wisdom, your body can't tell the difference between the piece of toast you just ate and your thyroidWe call this Molecular Mimicry, which eventually leads to autoimmunity - or any conditions where your body attacks its own cells. So, any and all proteins that match the amino acid strand of gluten in your toast will be treated as foreigners and attacked. Assuming the protein makeup of your thyroid matches your invader toast from that morning, you're in trouble. Obviously, the process is bit more complex than this, but this gives you a general grasp 

When your gut is leaking out proteins from every meal you ingestyour body is then in a constant state of immune arousal and this leads to even more inflammation that you don't want. Strangely, more and more scientific literature is pointing to the fact that a Leaky Gut doesn't just affect, well, the gut. No, as a matter of fact, a leaky gut can go on to affect literally thousands of different process in your body from your eyes down to your toes. Not good news. Thankfully, a Leaky Gut can be repaired and even strengthened to become better than before. We won't be getting into that in this post, but the 3 best things you can do to begin the process are:  

1. Remove foods that you are intolerant to sensitive to: the biggest culprits are usually grains, dairy, soy, sugar, alcohol, chocolate, eggs, nuts. Try doing an elimination diet and then adding each on back in slowly to check for reactions.  

2. Reduce or manage your chronic stress. Learn to meditate, try yoga or take some relaxing walks. Even 10 minutes in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels significantly.  

3. Include gut healing foods in your diet such as bone broth, collagen protein, l-glutamine, vitamin C, plenty of fresh, organic vegetables and probiotic/fermented foods such as kruat, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and cultured dairy/veggies.  

If you can begin to make these small changes, overtime your gut, and body, will definitely thank you. Until next time!  

 

Sy

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Hippie Dippie Cold Care

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Hippie Dippie Cold Care

          So we hear a lot about how to keep the immune system healthy and which foods and vitamins to take to ward away sickness, but what isn’t getting a lot of attention is how our emotional and mental states can support healing as well.  I find that a lot of people feel like once you are sick, there isn’t a whole lot you can do but wait it out. While there is some truth to this statement, supporting your entire metabolism (a fancy word for all the processes in your body) and setting up an environment of rest and repair can seriously speed up that wait time. One of the first things I try to do when I come down with a bug, is remember to be kind to my body. I get that this sounds hippie-dippie to a lot of people, but knowing what I know about how the body works scientifically, trust me when I say that hippie-dippie is the antidote. Unfortunately in our society, we’ve come to wear sickness and tiredness like a badge of honor. The sicker you are and the harder you work, the more medals you win from the imaginary school of hard knocks. In fact, I’d dare say that most of you reading this probably treat your car with more consistent care and maintenance then your body.  Cool, I guess. But pause for a moment and imagine what it would feel like to treat your body like the amazing machine it is and give it all the tender loving care it desires. We know for a fact that we can’t treat our material things like shit and expect them to last very long, or work effectively, so why do we require this of ourselves? So what does this look like?

     Well first off, I can’t overstate the importance of good old rest and relaxation.The two parts to your nervous system are the sympathetic, think “Fight or flight”, and the parasympathetic, think “Rest and Digest”. Repair and rejuvenation only occur when the parasympathetic system is stimulated. Meaning, that if you are running around, trying to do a million things at once, all while battling a gnarly bacteria, your body is only going to get small moments (if any) of time to fight off infection. As hard as it may be to take time out, scheduling in even 5-minute increments of rest throughout the day can do wonders. If you’re feeling extra motivated to get well, use those 5 minutes to do some meditative breathing that will down-regulate your body into a parasympathetic state. I’ve listed how to do this at the bottom of the post ☺

               Secondlly, take time to do the things that will get you well. All I want when I am sick is someone to take care of me, but sadly that’s not really a reality most days. This means its up to me to get me well and, while that seems like a simple thing to say, we often put the responsibility in someone else’s hands, often a significant other or doctor, and then get angry when we don’t feel better than we think we should. Take time to get back in touch with your body. Ask yourself questions like: ”What would make me feel better in this moment? What is my body trying to tell me through this? Do I need to slow down? Am I unraveling a bit? Do Ineed to focus more on treating my body well?” We often think of sickness as inevitable, but our bodies were designed to ward of bacteria and viruses easily given the proper conditions in  a healthy body. I’m not saying you should blame yourself every time you come down with the flu, but it is worth noting if there is anything you could do differently to support your body and work with it, rather than against it.

             The body sees stress as an outside invader, and responds in a similar way. That means hormones like cortisol and adrenaline get stimulated and begin their catabolic effects. In other words, they begin breaking down the body to fuel it and assist with emergency energy needs instead of building it back up. This can be a good thing if we are being chased by an attacker, as it supplies us with immediate energy. However, if we live this way day in and day out and our body is constantly being broken down, there is little chance for repair, especially while we are sick and need it the most. This is why keeping our emotional and mental states in check can be imperative to a speedy recovery.

             So, in summary, the next time you feel like you are coming down with something, or even you are in a full blown flu meltdown, take some time to recharge and treat your body kindly, and I promise it will thank you.

 

                                      Some ideas for rest and relaxation:

1. Take a hot ginger and Epsom salt bath – both relaxing and therapeutic. 

 2. Make yourself warm teas such as peppermint, ginger and turmeric.

 3. Ask for someone in your family to give you a foot rub or do it yourself with some yummy smelling coconut oil.

 4. Diffuse some calming essential like Lavender or On Guard from the Doterra line for an extra immune boost.

 5. Go to bed as early as you need (this one is HUGE!)

 6. Take small rests throughout the day and practice this breathing technique for 10-15 breaths: Breath in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breath out for a count of 4, and hold for a count of 4. 

 7. If you feel well enough, try some dry skin brushing before you take a steamy shower to loosen lymph and mucus.

 8. Try some easy relaxation meditations – starting with your feet and moving towards the head, progressively contract and release each muscle feeling the relaxing effect spread through your whole body.

 9. Drink some warming bone broth with garlic and onion and savor every bite.

 10. Give yourself permission to be sick – it sounds counterintuitive, but tell your body it’s ok to feel this way, you love it and that you plan to take the absolute best care of it. You’ll be surprised what a simple mind shift can do to take the pressure off.

 

That’s all for now friends, stay tuned!

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