This is going to be a long one, friends. Get into your sweats, grab your tea and get comfy 🙂
I had a colonoscopy (or a “scope” as us kids who are in the IBD scene like to call it) as a follow-up a little while back and it was quite the ordeal.
I had been off meds since August 2011 and the docs wanted to see what the heck was going on. So, I had a scope. Now, if any of you have ever had a colonoscopy, y’all know how dreadful the process is. They make you take this horrid laxative and fast the day before. Imagine being on the toilet the whole day, basically peeing out of your bum (I apologize for the candidness) and then not being able to eat anything! It was like a Crohn’s flare-up prescribed by a doctor! It sucked!
Anyhoo, I went to the hospital for the “procedure” (I think it’s important to use many quotations when discussing ugly health stuff, I’m not sure why, but I think it’s important), put on the gown and awaited my destiny. Now, the thing is that for some reason unbeknownst to me, anesthesia doesn’t fully work on me. I’m out — in the sense that I cannot move anything — BUT I can hear what is happening around me. I’m already in a sucky state because I’ve had diarrhea for the past 24 hours, I am HUNGRY and, on top of that, I am freaking out because I’m afraid that the GI will find the Crohn’s still active. And then I hear the dreadful words from from the GI, “Ooo there it is.” The “there” being the ulcers — so I think. Those words would haunt me for the next couple of hours.
The next thing I know, I’m back in the recovery room, I wake up and remember what I heard. I am crushed and the tears start rolling down my face. I had worked so incredibly hard for the past year and a half getting myself healthy: I totally changed my diet, quit my job, went on meditation retreats, did intensive therapy. I did EVERYTHING to get rid of the toxins from my body – WHAT MORE COULD I POSSIBLY DO?! After all my hard work, giving everything I could possibly give to heal my body and my mind. I failed.
There I was, crying myself a river, when the GI walks in. Completely emotionless he says, “Well Kiran, everything looks good, your colon looks great, looks like you don’t have Crohn’s.”
WHAAAAAAT?! WHAT THE #$%^ did I hear when I was under then?! God knows, maybe the anesthesia does work on me and I was dreaming the whole thing! Well whatever it was, I was just glad to get validation from the doctor of my good health, get the bejeezus out of my hospital gown and go home to eat my super power breakfast (although I did have a Vega Smoothie on the ride home).
I told my family the good news, they were all really happy for me. The weird thing though, was that I wasn’t. A few days passed and I was feeling kind of depressed, like a dark shadow was following me. I was taking a shower and then it finally hit me! Crohn’s was officially behind me and I (or a part of me) was sad to see it leave! This was Crohn’s! MY Crohn’s! (Side note: NEVER identify with a disease, don’t ever say MY Crohn’s, MY flu, MY cancer. It’s definitely not yours, don’t give it that power) Crohn’s, who had changed my life for the better or for the worse (definitely for the better). Crohn’s, who’d enabled me to take time off of “life” to rest and to heal and to learn about me! It sounds so cheesy, but it is true! Without Crohn’s I would NOT have quit a job that was stressful, I would not have gone to all these meditation retreats which let me really breathe after 26 years of NOT breathing! Crohn’s gave me the push to get the therapy I so desperately needed, and to find a new career path. Crohn’s made me healthy after being so ill for decades. Crohn’s was, kind of, my saviour.
I got out of the shower, grabbed Irfan and sat him down on the sofa. He was really confused around now. Here I was, right out of the shower, wet hair and all, bawling my eyes out.
“Irfan” I said, “I need to divorce Crohn’s.”
He got it now. “No” he said, “You need to bury Crohn’s.”
I nodded. “Crohn’s, you were my dearest friend and my meanest enemy. My “frienemy”, as they say. Only we know what we went through. Thank you for giving me my life back. I will forever be grateful to you. But, Crohn’s, you need to leave now. The fear of you returning is more harmful than helpful. You need to go now. Goodbye, Crohn’s.”
And with that, I buried, divorced — whatever you want to call it — Crohn’s.
You see, Crohn’s was over long before my scope. But it was the FEAR that was toxic. Every time I ate something that was not on the diet, or I had a little stress, or would have loose bowels I would FREAK OUT. My jaw would clench, I would get tight in the chest, I would get nauseous — all because I would fear a flare-up. A flare-up that would never happen. The fear of Crohn’s was actually worse than Crohn’s itself. At least during a flare-up, I was in the present moment. My fear would always take me in the future, a future in which I would completely ruin the rest of my life, where I would be on all of these horrible steroids, with multiple surgeries, hooked up to IVs in the hospital. I DID NOT want to live that like anymore. I would like to have a piece of chocolate and not have to place myself in this Crohn’s-filled, horrible future.
So, Crohn’s is gone, my friends! Well, most of the time. Sometime he creeps up (he’s male for some reason) when my stomach is touchy or when I want to have an omelette with tomatos (tomatos are inflammatory, after all) but I’m able to kick him to the curb. Well, until he creeps up again. The sooner I see him, the sooner I’m able to give him the boot!
Lessons learned: Fear of the Crohn’s can be worse than the having of the Crohn’s (sometimes a flare-up is so horrible, I DO NOT want to downplay the experience of that, but I think you know what I’m trying to say).
This was kind of a personal story and I held on to it for a while, but my friend Naaz (my amazing yogi, three-time-cancer-survivor friend who you can follow @naaz_a, facebook.com/yogawithnaaz, popupyogacalgary.com) convinced me to share it.
I hope this helps people. Sharing is caring. Sharing helps me.
Be well, friends 🙂
Irfan’s dad sent a link about the Squatty Potty – this is awesome! I tried doing this with a stool and let me tell you….pooping time was fabulous. Easy, quick, and minimal struggle – try it out for yourself!
I asked my friend Naaz if she would like to guest blog on happygut, and she agreed – yay! She has gotten into juicing and is crazy bananas about it! It was only fitting then, that she did a juicing blog! (omigoodness, enough with the exclamation marks Kiran!)
Naaz’s love for juicing was one of my main motivations for getting my own juicer (got it for a fraction of the retail price on kijiji! what, what!!!) and I am super excited to start. Naaz outlines a fabulous how-to-start-juicing-guideline.
Now before you read about juicing, I think it’s very important to talk about how awesome Naaz is. My friends, she is a beauty with a heart of gold. She is a dancer, yoga instructor and, o yea, a three time cancer survivor. She is a gracious warrior, if I ever met one 🙂
I could go on forever about my dear friend, but I’ll stop here – after all, this blog is hers and about juicing 😉
My Love Affair With Juice
by Naaz Ali
I wasn’t always in love with juicing – In fact, I wouldn’t even consider us being “in like”. Let’s just say I tolerated juice when I had to, and in return, juice tolerated me right back. I didn’t particularly care for the amount of prep work (oh, the endless chopping), the way it tasted (my taste buds were far too accustomed to sugar), the stomachaches afterwards (I’ll spare you the gory details), and the incessant cleanup. I was on and off the juicing bandwagon for many years. That all changed when, earlier this year, I came across Kris Carr’s “Crazy, Sexy, Diet”, and my relationship with juice was changed forever!
As a 3-time cancer survivor, a yoga teacher, and someone who has become very particular about what goes into her body, Kris Carr’s words leapt off the page and sang to my very soul. One of the things I absolutely loved was how she understood that juicing needed to be taken slowly. As a woman who tends to jump into things headfirst (sometimes with little or no thought given to the subject at hand), this was a concept I knew I had to learn to embrace. I started following her diet slowly, listening to my body as I went. I began a semi-raw, vegan, gluten-free, anti-inflammatory diet with green juice in the morning and a smoothie in the afternoon. As expected, my body experienced some hurdles with the new diet, but knowing it was normal, taking extra supplements and being kind to myself really eased the transition.
After about 6 months of being on the diet, I feel better than I have in years. I have more energy, I lost weight and I feel happier and more grounded. One of the best parts is that I fell in love with my juice! Now I can’t wait to have my green juice in the morning and I switched out my smoothie for even more juice in the afternoon. I’m in love with the color, the smooth texture, and the hint of sweetness and tartness in every sip. The feeling of my cells soaking up all that goodness just can’t be beat. When I’m feeling “off” or tired, I know all I need is a nice big glass of juice and some R&R, and I’m as good as new. Juice has become my soul food and an amazing BFF!
So for you, Happygut readers, I want to share my go-to juice recipes, along with some tips and tricks for happier juicing! If you are just starting out, I recommend the Transition Cocktail. Stay on that for as long as you feel is right for your body. I stayed with the Transition Cocktail for about 4 months before I ventured out into further juicing territory. And above all, enjoy! Juicing is a wonderful gift to your body and your soul. It may take time for you to adjust to adding juice into your routine, but once you do, it’s just the beginning of a lifelong romance.
3-4 stalks of celery
4 stalks of celery
1 quarter of a lemon (rind and all)
1 apple (I like to experiment with the fruit, try pear, honeydew or pineapple!)
3-4 leaves of kale
1 piece of ginger (start small, you can always add more!)
4 stalks of celery
1 quarter of a lemon
1 piece of ginger
Tips and Tricks For Happier Juicing
1) Get a good juicer!
This may seem like a no brainer, but until I bought a high quality juicer, I had no idea that you didn’t have to struggle for your juice! I love my Breville Compact Juicer. It is wonderful, it has a wide mouth, so you don’t have to chop your veggies or fruits, super easy to clean and is on the lower end of the price points for juicers. Some juice purists may disagree that it doesn’t deliver optimum nutrients because it has a centrifugal motor, but in my opinion it does the job I need it to do for the price that is right for me. J
2) Start slow.
I know I have mentioned it before, but it is so important to ease into your new juicing lifestyle. When you feel ready to move beyond the Transition Cocktail, take your time. Add an apple for a few weeks and see how it feels, then add another vegetable. Your body will thank you for this, believe me!
3) Be mindful.
After you make your juice, take it to your favorite spot in your house and drink slowly. Savor every sip and notice how your body takes in your juice. You might actually feel your cells soaking up all the love you’re giving it. This makes for a very happy you, and is a beautiful way to start your day.
4) Be gentle with yourself.
Yes, you might go through some unpleasantness as you begin your juicing journey. The symptoms may vary, but if you’ve been on a bad diet for awhile, are accustomed to sugar of any kind (this includes honey), or have a weak digestive system, then do be prepared for your body to have a bit of a reaction. Diarrhea was not uncommon for me in the first month. The important thing is to listen to your body and stick with it. If you want to lessen the amount of juice you take in the beginning, I say go for it. Do what is right for you and again, your body will thank you!
You can follow Naaz on Twiiter: @naaz_a
I like Bulk Barn. It’s a fabulous place for those people who are gluten free and not afraid of experimenting in the kitchen. Such a range of grains and flowers – the possibilities are endless!
It’s also most often a cheaper alternative to buying packaged gluten free flours from Wholefoods or other organic grocery stores. It is for this reason that I buy most of my grains, flours, nuts, seeds, and beans from Bulk Barn.
I recently read an article on the dangers of genetically modified (GMO) foods and although I almost eat nothing processed and base my diet on whole foods, I wondered if the products I was buying from Bulk Barn were GMO. Some of their products do in fact indicate that they are NOT GMO but the bulk (tehehehe, BULK) of them don’t say anything. I contacted them and asked them if they could give me a list of their products that are GMO, if any. They said that this would be too cumbersome as they had tons of suppliers all over the world. I then asked them if I could send them a list of specific products to look into – products that I usually buy from there. They agreed and have gotten back to me on some of the items I inquired about.
Here is a list of products that are NOT genetically modified from Bulk Barn:
Dark buckwheat flour
Brown rice flour
Black turtle beans
Rolled oats large flakes
Oat bran cereal
Large prunes pits removed
Black-eyed cow peas
Ground flax seed
Dark brown sugar
Hulled sesame seeds raw
123-dry roasted salted cashew pieces (be careful with the cashews, see below)
125-dry roasted unsalted cashew pieces (be careful with the cashews, see below)
Here is a list of products they are still looking into:
Grade A wild rice
Cocoa powder ruddy red
Kasha whole toasted buckwheat
Here is a list of products that ARE GMO:
111-cashew pieces roasted & salted
112-jumbo cashews roasted & salted
113-cashews roasted & salted
115-unsaled cashew pieces
I will keep you all updated with regard to my list. I recommend that you too contact Bulk Barn with your own list – knowledge is power, people!
Happy Bulk Barn shopping 🙂
First off, I would like to apologize for being MIA (missing in action people!) for an embarrassing amount of time. I have a valid excuse though! Sort of….
I was on vacation for 3 weeks! What kind of vacation do you have when you’re already FUNemployed you ask? An awesome one I say! We had a wedding in London, UK at the beginning of May and another wedding in Chisinau, Moldova (get your map out, right beside Romania 😉 ) at the end of May and so Irfan, my partner, and I decided to make a 3 week holiday out of it. It was a good idea 🙂
Now, I was super nervous about travelling – the last time I travelled I got Crohn’s for Pete’s sake! I am on a super strict diet which I could barely accommodate when I go out in Toronto, so how in God’s name was I going to survive in Zagreb?! Well let me tell you the good news my friends……it is totally doable! With a little preparation and discipline, I had a super happy gut vacation!
I travelled with the following “just in case there is no happy gut food available”:
Gluten Free Quick Oats
Homemade Granola (recipe to be posted!)
Irfan thought I was being overzealous for bringing all that I did. I thought I wasn’t bringing enough (I REALLY wanted to bring soy/almond milk but changed my mind last minute for the added weight). But let me tell you, even though I didn’t use ALL of the stuff I brought, I was hella glad I did for no other reason but for the peace of mind. Don’t forget that peace of mind helps to lead to a happy gut 🙂
We did manage to finish the quick oats and granola and I actually wished I had brought more! We did not, however, finish the vega smoothie. I barely used it. I’m glad I brought it but know now that I will use less next time. Because you have to mix the smoothie with water/milk, I found the granola is so much more handy and tasty (I love you Vega but you could improve in the taste department, let’s be real).
My Happy Gut Meals:
We stayed in hotels and with friends throughout the trip. The quick oats were perfect for breakfast! I would boil some water, make the oatmeal, add some soy or nut milk if I was able to get it where we were (I was impressed with YOU Malta!), flax, chia and granola. BAAM! A delicious and nutritious super power breakfast. It’s important to start your day with an awesome meal. Don’t settle just because your on vacation, make it happen!
Lunch and dinner we almost always ate out unless it was during the wedding days, in which case we ate wedding food. This is what I learned from eating out at a number of restaurants in different countries. Be nice to the waiters/waitresses my friends. They just may accommodate or custom make a happy gut meal (thank you Caravan, an Uzbek restaurant in Chisinau!). If this fails, and it may, order a salad. Almost all restaurants will have salads. Now they may not be as fabulous as the kale+chard+avo+sunflower sprout+olive oil salads (omigod, I’m drooling!) you enjoy at home but they will do and are better than the inflammatory alternatives on the menu.
Eat fresh fruits! Fruits are available everywhere – take advantage of this!
If you find good greens, don’t let the opportunity pass you buy! Spinach, arugula, kale, chard, are not so easy to come buy. If you find it, EAT it! You may not know when you will get to eat super healthy leafy greens again.Head lettuce (boooooring) is usually the name of the game for salads in restaurants. I found organic spinach in Nottingham, UK, bought 2 bags and ate them like it was the last spinach I would ever eat for the rest of my life. I even smuggled in into one of the weddings! Here is the picture to prove it:
So basically on our Euro-tour I ate super power nutritious delicious oatmeal for breakfast, ate salads, fish and anything else happy gut friendly at restaurants for lunch and dinner and had granola and fruits for snacks. I always had the Vega smoothie as a backup.
For next time, I will definitely bring the quick oats, granola and (a few scoops) of the vega smoothie. I may add some almond butter (which I was able to get in London and carry with me throughout the rest of my trip) or any other nut butter of your choice and some granola bars (the granola I made for the trip was actually intended to be bars but didn’t work out that way…. whaa whaa whaaa). I did some bring some Larabars (see pic below) which were really handy although a bit too expensive for me (about $1.50 per bar) – the few I did have I got as free samples 🙂 Next time, I will try to make my own!
In conclution, happygut travelling is totally and completely 100% doable. You and your gut deserve it, after all 😉
NOTE: if you are travelling to places where the drinking water may not be safe, DO NOT eat salads! You can eat fruits that that you can peal. Common sense, people 🙂
I have recently discovered Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog. He’s awesome. He is another MD who gets it! He treats the causes and NOT the symptoms. I sort of have a crush, I’m not going to lie (sorry Irfan 😉 ).
Anywho, my sister-in-law Jemila (shout out to J-Spot!!) asked me to do a post on what inflammation is and it’s possible signs. Dr. Hyman’s discusses this at link in his blog so I figured I’d reference the expert.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s immune response to injury or infection causing pain, redness, heat, and swelling in the affected area. Everyone who has had a sore throat, a rash, hives, or a sprained ankle knows about inflammation. Those are normal appropriate responses of our defense system to infection or trauma. We need inflammation to survive.
The trouble occurs when that defense system runs out of control, like a rebel army bent on destroying its own country. Most people are familiar with overactive immune responses and too much inflammation in common conditions like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease or asthma. But few people know that hidden inflammation run amok is at the root of all chronic illness: heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer and even austism.
The real concern is not our acute response to injury, infection or insult, but the chronic smoldering inflammation that slowly destroys our organs, our ability for optimal functioning and leads to rapid aging. We may feel healthy, but if this inflammation is raging inside of us, then we have a problem.
“As many people die from taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen as die every year from asthma or leukemia. Stopping the use of these drugs would be the equivalent to finding a cure for both.”
Common treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen or aspirin), or steroids like prednisone, though often useful for acute problems, interfere with the body’s own immune response and lead inevitably to serious and deadly side effects. As many people die from taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen as die every year from asthma or leukemia. Stopping the use of these drugs would be the equivalent to finding a cure for both.
So what is the best way to control inflammation while we’re still upstream? First, identify the triggers and causes of inflammation, and then help the body’s natural immune balance reset by providing the right conditions for it to thrive.
What causes inflammation?
If inflammation and immune imbalances are at the root of most of modern disease, how do we find the causes and get the body back in balance? Thankfully the list of things that cause inflammation is relatively short:
- Poor diet: mostly sugar, refined flours, processed food and inflammatory fats such as trans and saturated fats
- Lack of exercise
- Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts or parasites
- Hidden allergens from food or the environment
- Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
- Mold toxins and allergens
Inflammatory factors are unique to each person, various lifestyle, environment or infectious factors spin the immune system out of control leading to a host of chronic illnesses.
It is important to understand this concept of inflammation is not specific to any one organ or medical specialty. In fact, if you read a medical journal from any of the specialties you will find endless articles about how inflammation is at the root of the problem.
Dr. Hyman discusses the problem with mainstream medicine and the lack of communication between specialties. Everyone is treating the downstream effects of inflammation, instead of addressing the cause: multiple problems that are really linked together by inflammation. He gives an example of one of his patients.
“Take for example, a man who came to see me because he wanted to climb a mountain and asked for my help to get healthy. He was 57-years old and on about 15 medications for about five different inflammatory conditions including high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, colitis, reflux, asthma, and an autoimmune disease of his hair follicles called alopecia.
I asked him how he felt and he said great. I said, I am surprised because I see you are on so many medications. Yes, he said, but everything was very well controlled with the latest medication given by the top specialists he saw in every field: the lung doctor for his asthma, the gastroenterologist for his colitis and reflux, the cardiologist for his high blood pressure, the endocrinologist for his pre-diabetes, and the dermatologist for his hair loss.
I asked him with all these top specialists he saw, did anyone ask him why he had five different inflammatory diseases and why his immune system was so pissed off. Was it just bad luck that he “got” all these diseases or was there something connecting all these problems? He looked puzzled and said no.
I then searched for and found the cause of his problems: gluten. He had celiac disease, an autoimmune disease related to eating gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats.
Six months later he came back twenty-five pounds lighter. He had regular blood pressure, no asthma, no reflux and no more colitis. He said he was having normal bowel movements for the first time in his life. And even his hair was growing back. He was off of nearly all his medications.”
7 ways to avoiding inflammation
Dr. Hyman’s recommendations:
- Eat a whole foods, high fiber, plant-based diet which is inherently anti-inflammatory. That means unprocessed, unrefined, real food and high in powerful anti-inflammatory plant chemicals called phytonutrients. Nothing full of sugar or trans fats.
- Get an oil change. Eat healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, avocados and omega 3 fats from small fish like sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon.
- Exercise. Do I need to say more?
- Learn to actively relax to engage your vagus nerve, the powerful nerve that relaxes your whole body and lowers inflammation, by doing yoga, meditation, deep breathing or even taking a hot bath.
- If you have food allergies, find out what they are and stop eating them.
- Take probiotics (“good bacteria”) daily to help your digestion to improve the healthy bacteria in your gut which reduces inflammation. (Look for those that contain 10 billion CFU of bifidobacteria species and lactobacillus species. Choose from reputable brands.)
- Take a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement which helps reduce inflammation.
Taking a comprehensive approach to inflammation and balancing your immune system will help address one of the most important systems of the body.
One of the first books I read after being diagnosed with Crohn’s was “The Body Ecology Diet” by Donna Gates. I found it pretty helpful. It basically lays out a ‘how to build a happy gut plan’. I liked it because it referred to a number of other body healing diets (including the blood type diet, raw food diet, atkins diet, etc.). I adopted many of the books’s principles – I didn’t adhere to it completely as I was working with my naturopath on my anti-inflammatory diet.
I thought I would share some key points, take what you will. I would recommend reading the book, especially if you have just started healing your gut and are overwhelmed with all the information out there!
The 7 Healing Body Ecology Principals
- The Principle of Balance The Principle of Balance is based on the concept of yin and yang, the opposing energy forces from ancient Chinese and Japanese traditions. Everything in the world has some properties of yin and yang, but in varying proportions.Yin energy is light, expansive, wet, soft, cold and more vegetal. Yang energy is heavy, contracting, dry, hard, hot and more animal. Body Ecology uses the terms expansion and contraction to explain the yin and yang energy of the food you eat.Some foods, like sugar and alcohol, are examples of food that is way too expansive for your body. Your blood stream quickly absorbs sugar and produces energy, making you feel temporarily open and relaxed yet these foods are damaging because they are not balanced. Other foods, like excessive and poor-quality salt and animal products, are more contracting and cause your cells to contract and lose fluids, making you feel tight and constricted. Your body is always seeking balance. If you eat too much salt, your body becomes too contractive and you will quickly find yourself craving something sweet. Notice this the next time you go to see a movie. While they may not fully understand this concept, the movie theaters are well aware that both soda pop (sweet and expansive) and popcorn (salty and contracting) are ever-popular combinations for concession sales. Without understanding this principle, you may unknowingly create imbalance in a vicious cycle of cravings.
- The Principle of Acid and Alkaline To maintain health, your blood must be slightly alkaline. The foods we eat and the lifestyle choices we make impact our body’s ability to maintain that alkaline state.Foods can be alkaline, acidic or neutral in your body. Your goal would be to have a balance of alkaline and acidic foods so that you can maintain the alkaline state of your blood. If you get out of balance and your blood becomes too acidic, you become more susceptible to illness and disease.At the same time, lifestyle choices like stress, taking prescription drugs and not getting enough sleep can create acidic blood. Paying attention to a balanced lifestyle is also key to your health and longevity.
- The Principle of Uniqueness As humans, we share so many similarities with one another, but your body is unique. Each of us is an experiment of one and for that reason, you may need to modify certain elements of any diet or lifestyle to suit your own individuality.While the Body Ecology program recommends a specific protocol for restoring balance in your body, any time you try a new way of eating, it’s vital to observe your body’s reactions and assess whether this new path is bringing you back toward balance.
- The Principle of Cleansing Did you know that your body cleanses every day? Through elimination, urine, tears, and sweat, your body rids itself of toxins that would otherwise build up and could lead to sickness and disease. Fevers, colds and skin eruptions are actually a natural part of the cleansing process and shouldn’t be suppressed. Cleansing allows your body to restore balance and occurs when imbalance is too great and threatens life. As you start on the Body Ecology program, you’ll experience the symptoms of cleansing, and you might feel worse than you feel now. Hang in there — it’s your body’s way of getting rid of the bad and making room for the good. After all, you cannot heal your current condition without cleansing.
- The Principle of Food Combining The Body Ecology program teaches that combining certain foods when you eat can either help or hinder your digestion. If you combine the wrong foods, your body will actually secrete enzymes that cancel each other out! This leads to slowed or impaired digestion, causing food to ferment in your stomach or toxins to be released in your intestines. These conditions make your body more attractive to pathogens. This is a highly useful principle to improve your health and weight, and often one of the most misunderstood. For a more in-depth understanding on this principle and all the other principles, be sure to read The Body Ecology Diet.
- The Principle of 80/20 This principle has two concepts that aid your digestion:
Quantity – Overeating severely weakens your digestive system. Give your stomach room to digest your food by only filling your stomach to 80% of capacity and leaving 20% empty to help your body digest.
Balance of Nutrients – 80% of every meal should be land and ocean vegetables. The other 20% should be either a protein OR a grain.
- The Principle of Step-by-Step Just as it takes time to get out of balance, it also takes time to rebuild your health. You cannot expect instant healing, but making small, consistent changes gives your body the foundation it needs to support optimal, long-term health.
Starting any new program is about creating new habits. It takes time and effort, which can sometimes feel hard.
The key is to take everything step-by-step. Incorporate one healing principle (or even one element of a healing principle) at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Take care of yourself by going at the pace that feels right to you.