Heal Our Bodies

I wrote this entry, and then forgot to post it over the weekend. I had good intentions…but, then….well. So, here is my post that I meant to put on my blog yesterday. Hopefully, my forgetfulness will not be an omen for how the rest of my week will go.


The last post in my weekend gut health series will be introducing Dave Asprey. I listened to his interview at the Healthy Gut Summit 2015, sponsored by Donna Gates of Body Ecology. His segment was entitled, BioHacking The Gut. Dave stated that he had bio-hacked his own biology. He lost one hundred pounds and upgraded his brain (and IQ). Dave is a blogger and podcaster, and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. If you ever heard of or tried “bullet proof” coffee, he is the man behind the scenes of this fast growing, healthy coffee, trend.

I was intrigued by what this man had to say, from his very first words during the interview. He started by talking about MCT oil. Some of you may know what that is, others may not…..so I’ll give you his brief description from his Bullet Proof site.< MCT is> “Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) work directly in cells to give you an extra boost to maximize your performance.  Very little MCT oil is stored as fat because it is used for energy so quickly!”

MCT oil will re-awaken the thyroid (which regulates your metabolism), and give a burst of energy. We already know that coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-yeast, and fat burning…it actually helps to put our bodies in ketosis mode. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. (WebMD. 2015. What is Ketosis?) According to Dave, his MCT oil is 6x more powerful than coconut oil.

In his bullet proof coffee, he calls for good, organic coffee, real butter or ghee from grass fed cows, and some of that power packed MCT oil. The coffee comes out smooth and creamy with a bit of froth on top, reminiscent of a hot latte. By the way, real butter contains butyric acid which helps gut lining, and reduces brain inflammation. (an interesting article on butter from Dr. Mercola) It is great to drink (or eat) wonderful creaminess and to know that it is also extremely healthy. Who could ask for more? If you are not a big fan of coffee, MCT oil and it’s benefits, can also be used when cooking, and in soups to enhance the flavor of whatever it is that is being cooked.

Eating clean, and eating “real” foods will help us to lose weight, gain energy, and heal our bodies.

Health And Nutrition


Today’s post is about what I learned from Dr. Josh Axe at the Healthy Gut Summit 2015. I have to mention that Dr. Axe is one of my favorite “go to” guys for all things health and nutrition related. During the Summit he discussed autoimmunity and how it affects the gut, or maybe I should say how the gut affects autoimmunity.

If a person has an autoimmune disease, in layman’s terms, the person’s body is having an abnormal immune response. There is an immune attack on the body’s tissue. It causes inflamed or leaky gut among many other symptoms. (If one has leaky gut, substances escape through the lining of the gut, out into the body, the body detects it and has an automatic immune attack). According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune diseases affect up to 50 million Americans. Dr. Pamela Smith, who spent 20 years as an ER doctor and now works in functional and nutritional medicine and was at the Healthy Gut Summit said that there are now 104 different autoimmune diseases! That is staggering to think about. If you, yourself, are not affected by an autoimmune disease, I’m pretty sure you probably know someone who is. (a list of the different types of autoimmune diseases)

Dr. Axe stated that a leaky gut causes inflammation which causes food intolerances and autoimmunity. Some symptoms might be bloating, fatigue, skin issues, weight gain, or adrenal fatigue. It is not all bad news…..there are ways to heal the gut, and in turn help you feel better. Stay away from grain and sugar (two big foods that cause inflammation in the body). Get serious about not eating genetically modified foods (GMO’s). Conventional dairy is hard on the gut and vegetable oils are not healthy fats. A diet high is phytic acid causes a myriad number of problems. On his site he states, “Phytic acid (phytate) is a mineral blocker and enzyme inhibitor found in grains, nuts, seeds and beans which can serious health problems in our diets.The main reason phytic acid has become an issue today is because we have stopped ancient food preparation techniques such as sprouting or sourdough fermentation which kills off the phytic acid.

According to research published in the The Lancet a diet high in phytic acid will create mineral deficiencies and cause osteoporosis…” (see what else Dr. Axe says about phytic acid--a very interesting article)

Instead, we should eat foods for healing! Foods that are easy to digest, plenty of vegetables and fruits, saturated fats, and the essential amino acids of proline and glycine (found in bone broth). Read about these amazing amino acids, here.

Educating one’s self on how to eat clean, and eat for optimum health should be everyones goal! There are many wonderful foods out there, that will allow us to feel better, look better, and have more energy. None of us should settle for the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Cleaning Up The Gut


For today’s post, I am writing about clean eating for gut health. I will be discussing what I learned from cardiologist, and integrative medical doctor, Alejandro Junger. He has written several books on how to eat clean, and detoxify our bodies. During this session I had many “a ha” moments, realizing much of what he said applied directly to me! I was fascinated with his interview during the Gut Summit, and am putting into personal practice several of the things he discussed. I would love to share some of the information I learned, with the hope that you too will learn something new and helpful.

He began by discussing “leaky gut”, which is particularly interesting to me, because that is something I struggle with. He said, “the gut is the root of health”. It is the beginning of immunity. Before doing my research, I had no idea how closely the gut and immune system worked together. I also did not realize the gut-brain connection. For me, it is exciting to realize that I really can make a difference in my health!

Inflammation causes much damage in our bodies, and most of the health issues individuals have, are due to inflammation somewhere in the body. So the question is, “How do we lessen or completely get rid of inflammation?” Dr. Junger suggests that a lot of people are so much better off if they eliminate the toxic trigger foods that cause inflammation in the gut. For many people these trigger foods have to do with dairy, sugar, coffee, alcohol, and gluten in the diet. Each person is different, and sometimes it is trial and error to see what your trigger foods might be that are causing you to feel blah, bloated, or having to run to the bathroom. It is also important to take good prebiotics (the things the good bacteria in our gut requires) and probiotics (the good bacteria that live in our gut). Here is an article by Dr. Michael Smith of WebMD, that explains both probiotics and prebiotics.

Dr. Junger stated that a large amount of serotonin is made in the gut. So you might be thinking, “that is interesting, but what exactly is serotonin and why is it important?” I looked up a brief description of serotonin in Wikipedia to give us an idea of its importance to us and our well being.

This is what I found: Serotonin /ˌsɛrəˈtoʊnɨn/ or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), platelets, and the central nervous system(CNS) of animals, including humans. It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.

Approximately 90% of the human body‘s total serotonin is located in the enterochromaffin cells in the GI tract, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. The remainder is synthesized in serotonergic neurons of the CNS, where it has various functions. These include the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. Modulation of serotonin at synapses is thought to be a major action of several classes of pharmacological antidepressants.

No wonder Dr. Junger said, if someone is not making enough serotonin in the gut, it can cause stress! Life is always going to have some stress, but if we can help our bodies to deal with it more constructively, by taking care of our gut, we can lessen the detrimenatal effects of stress on our overall health and well being.

Come back next weekend and learn more fascinating and beneficial information about gut health!

Trust Your Gut


Those of us that are on a journey to better health, have come to realize that there are many things that we can do to help ourselves to not only look better, but to also feel better. Proper exercise, reduction in stress, getting enough rest…..all important for sure, but I have come to realize that the most important and crucial thing that we can ever do for ourselves, comes in the form of what we eat, because what we eat is our only source of fuel and nutrition.

Over the next few Sundays I will be doing a series on what I learned at The Healthy Gut Summit 2015. This Summit was created and sponsored by Donna Gates of Body Ecology. Her website states, “After years of extensive study, Body Ecology founder Donna Gates created a back-to-basics approach to restoring health and vitality by understanding the invaluable balance of the human body’s “inner ecology”. Often forgotten or unconsidered, probiotics and enzymes are crucial to a healthy and efficient internal system. When this system is out of balance, a host of medical issues and conditions can arise.” She invited both medical doctors and academic doctors, as well as other individuals in the healthcare field, to explain their research and findings.

The gut (seven key organs…these include the gall bladder, large intestine, liver, oesophagus, pancreas, small intestine and stomach) has often times been called the “second brain”, because there is an undeniable connection between the gut and the brain. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, a functional medicine doctor, “the ultra prevention <is in the gut>….if your gut’s not healthy, you’re not healthy”.

He went on to discuss the top four enemies of gut health. 1. Processed food 2. Hybridized and genetically modified foods (GMO) 3. Stress and environmental toxins 4. Gut busting drugs (such as, antibiotics, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antacids).

Most of us, unless we are making a concerted effort, find it easy to fall into the processed food trap. I know, for myself, before I started my own health and wellness journey it was convenient to grab foods on the go. I might not have been eating a lot of food, but it definitely was not the right food. Those foods that come in boxes, have preservatives for longer shelf life, or whose ingredients are filled with chemicals or weird names that are difficult to pronounce.

I will be talking more about genetically modified foods in another post, but for now I will relay this: There is correlational data on the long term effects of GMO’s on the human body. Genetically modified foods have been linked to autism, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, allergies, IBD, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, peritonitis, deaths from intestinal infection and dementia diseases. (Smith, Jeffrey)

Stress, we all face it. There really is no way to get away from it, unless we live in a bubble. How we deal with the stresses of day to day life is what makes the difference. Chronic stress is toxic to the gut. It promotes leaky gut, which creates holes in “the netting” of the intestines, allowing vitamins/minerals/food particles to escape into the blood stream. This causes food intolerances and autoimmunity. Stress also decreases blood flow, increases stress hormones, and causes inflammatory responses.

Lastly, one of the enemies of the gut is what some doctors refer to as “gut busting” drugs. These drugs, that I mentioned earlier, might be necessary to make some one well, but they can kill the good bacteria in the gut. Being aware of the consequences  of taking an antibiotic, will allow you to realize you need to replace the depleted good gut bacteria by taking some good probiotics/enzymes and by eating those foods that carry those probiotics, naturally.

I will leave you with Dr. Hyman’s “Five R’s of Gut Care”. 1. Remove (the enemies of the gut ) 2. Replace ( with good habits)  3. Reinoculate (give your gut the good probiotics and enzymes that it needs ) 4. Repair (work on healing the gut ) 5. Relax              ( remember excessive stress is harmful to the body )

Come back next Sunday for my post on clean eating and the gut.