Dirty On The Outside; Clean On The Inside

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When we moved to Cambodia, God as He always does, showered us with an unexpected blessing: dirt, less access to medicine, and no processed foods.  Today, we get to reflect on this lesson and share this unexpected healthy lifestyle with you!

fat baby in dirt
Getting dirty is good!! It worked for Eli.

Our first few years we craved it.  At times we would drive through the city in our old beat up not air-conditioned truck to try to find it. And, our mouth watered to think of indulging once again.  Sugar and processed foods.  We left most of it behind in America.  Not by choice but lack of access.  Desserts were not readily available here and when they were did not taste anything like the American desserts we grew up with.  What we didn’t know is that we were helping ourselves by being away.  That craving is long gone and we now realize the energy and happiness we feel has so much to do with what we fuel.

This week, we both read a book called The Microbiome Solution: A Radical Way To Health Your Body from the Inside Out which completely opened our eyes to the new research about our gut, its relationship with most all diseases, weight, health, and what we are doing to destroy it.

Basically there are trillions of microbes living inside your gut.  There are “good” ones and “bad” ones.  The more we put things in and on our bodies that are not natural (antibiotics, antimicrobial cleansers, pesticides, food ingredients you can’t pronounce), the more we feed the “bad” ones.  The more we fill our bodies with the most natural foods and contact the natural environment, we feed the “good” ones.  And, the impact is on every aspect of our health.

“An immune system that doesn’t get up close and personal with enough germs early on is like a kid with overprotective parents, ill equipped to deal with problems when they inevitably happen.  Inadequate exposure leads to defects in immune tolerance and a trigger-happy state of heightened activity where essential bacteria, proteins in food, and even parts of our own body are treated like the enemy and attacked.” Robyn Chutkan: The Microbiome Solution

pumpkin seeds
Preparing Pumpkin seeds in bags to distribute to the poor. Pumpkin plants are an incredible plant to have at home because of the enormous benefits of the seeds, leaves, stalks, and fruit.

As we apply these lessons to our lives, we love to teach and impact others lives with this teaching.  The villages we work in know how to buy local, eat balanced, snack on whole foods, and plant the most nutritious foods such pumpkin instead of sugar cane.

What happens when the poor agricultural based countries outlive the wealthiest ones in the world?  That is where we are heading today.  We have over sterilized our lives and foods and need to return to a more natural way of life.  Did you know that even living around concrete as opposed to grass or dirt increases allergies in adulthood?  Our modern ways of living and convenience are catching up with us. That is why today we want to share with you the benefits of getting back to balance.  You will be shocked about how this imbalance has affected your life and those you love!

The Benefits of a Healthy Microbiome:

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Healthy immune system

70% of your body’s immune cells live in your gut. 1  A healthy gut can help to improve your overall health. 2

Improved mood

A healthy human microbiome consists of 10-100 trillion microorganisms. 3  Some of these bacteria are known for secreting serotonin 3 —the feel good chemical. 5  Just how much serotonin is produced in your gut? A whopping 90 % of your body’s mood-boosting serotonin is produced in your gut! 6

Weight management

Regular consumption of probiotics contributes to healthy weight.  The microbes in our gut produce even smaller molecules that are then sent to our blood. These smaller molecules boost the metabolism. Females using probiotics during a study lost 4 more pounds during a 12-week period. 6

Overall health

One of the most popular “good” bacterium, lactobacillus, helps the body to maintain overall good health.  In addition to regulating the digestive tract, lactobacillus also produces lactase and vitamin K, both of which are necessary to maintain good health. 7

Reduced stomach discomfort

Due to poor diets and misinformation about proper gut health, it’s no wonder that stomach discomfort is rampant in North America. Nearly 60 % of people in North America suffer from an imbalance of the gut flora. An overgrowth of the “bad” bacteria can lead to an unhappy tummy. 8

Reduced stress levels

Unfortunately, experiencing stress at some point in your life is unavoidable; however, from yoga to yogurt, there are many ways to help reduce stress.  Studies on mice continue to demonstrate that a healthy gut teeming with good bacteria tends to produce less stressed mice. 8  Grab that yogurt and de-stress!  How much yogurt should you eat to get a healthy amount of probiotic? Message me to find out!

Improved mind

A healthy microbiome is linked to a sharper mind and improved mood.  The microbes produce hundreds of neurochemicals; these neurochemicals are then used by the brain to regulate mental functions such as learning and memory. 9

Age better

Frailty is so prevalent in aging populations and your microbiome has so much to do with absorption and use of the calcium and Vitamins in your diet.

The battle is on!

Our immune system is always on alert, always ready to fight any intruders.  Again, the majority of the body’s immune cells are housed in the gut, which makes a healthy gut the perfect line of defense against toxins and “bad” bacteria.

Do I need to supplement to get a good micro-biome?

Marc and I personally have decided the answer to this is “yes.”  We have spent years putting in processed foods, sugars, and toxins, and our body needs to be cleansed.  Because we cannot eat 6-10 servings of homegrown vegetables with a variety of colors each day, our body needs the nutrients, omegas, and probiotics to be at its peak.  If you want to know what we do, please message me.  We love to share.

The benefits of a healthy microbiome extend far beyond an effective digestive tract. In the spirit of good health, give yourself a gut check and experience all the benefits of a healthy microbiome; your trillions of microbes will thank you.

To receive health tips, weight loss information, coaching, and encouragement for better health join our Facebook group: Healthy Weight Motivation Community

References
1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/#b8
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076704/
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3426293/
5 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/serotonin-facts-232248
6 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140128103537.htm
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20974015
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448089/
9 http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling.aspx

Infograph originally published in: Trust Your Gut: Benefits of Healthy Microbiome.

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5 comments

  1. I noticed similar improvements in my overall health and fitness during my hike along the Appalachian Trail. Although I won’t pretend that processed food was absent from my diet, I think my metabolism was so fast that I overcame the detriments you mention. Once those cravings fade, we live more naturally (and closer to the dirt), I absolutely relate with the invigorating effects. Makes me want to return again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, processed foods seem to be such an ingrained part of the Western world lifestyle. In the end however I suppose it really comes down to choices. Very interesting information here. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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