Be gentle to your body. It's the only one you'll get!
You've heard the saying..."Your body is a temple". Have you ever thought of what that really means? It's the place your soul resides. It's also the one truly constant thing you will ever have. Your environment will always change. Relationships change. Values and ideas change. Your body however...that will always be the same place, no matter where in the world you are, how you feel, or what you think. From the time you are born, throughout your entire life, until you die, your mind and soul will always think, feel, pray, love, etc. within that same body. It's your sanctuary in a way. You can color your hair, wear different clothes, get tattoos, remodel and redecorate your sanctuary all you want, but it will always still be the same body.
Our bodies, our temples, would be nothing without our mind and soul.
We are so much more than just our physical beings. When the most crucial part of you, the only thing that truly makes you, YOU...depends on that temple to function, why litter it? Eating processed junk, inhaling fumes, and absorbing poisons into your blood stream is all litter that not only trashes your sanctuary, but also slows it's functioning. Not just slows, but often impairs or halts it altogether. The products you surround yourself with can have toxins that leach into your environment, and your body. Anything that touches your skin can absorb into your bloodstream within seconds. The food you eat may play the biggest role in either nourishing or trashing your temple.
Think about this: Every time you eat, you are either fighting or supporting disease.
Yep. EVERY time. Of course, having a well-balanced diet of whole foods rich in nutrients and healthy fats is a great way to nourish your body. It goes so very much deeper than that, though. So many common health issues can be traced back to gut health. It's actually hard to think of one that isn't! Your gut is basically the control center of your temple. How you feel each day, the way you think, and the way you look are all ultimately controlled by how healthy your gut is. That is where everything starts, where health or disease stems from.
"Listen to your gut" takes on a whole new meaning now, doesn't it?
The science is so much more than I could dive into in this little blog post, but here's the quick version. A healthy gut has a diverse collection of bacteria, whereas a less healthy gut will have a less diverse collection, or microbiome. A less healthy microbiome has been linked to almost 200 different health problems and diseases so far. Diabetes, depression, brain fog, learning disorders, obesity...sound familiar? The list goes onnnnnnn. The more toxins you put into your body, the more unbalanced your good and bad bacteria become, and the more unhealthy your microbiome becomes. Unbalanced bacteria leads to a weaker immune system, which then prevents all other systems in your body from functioning the best they can, which opens you up to a whole slew of super fun problems. Stress, anxiety, mental fatigue (uh...hello, mom brain!!!), can all be traced back to gut health. Those are just a few mild problems. Others range from skin conditions and weight problems to autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, and serious, life-threatening depression. Basically, the worse your gut health is, the worse your overall health becomes.
This is terrible, but also amazing at the same time. When you have digestive issues, problems with your skin, trouble maintaining a healthy weight, or just feel like crap in general, those are all symptoms that something is not right on a deeper level. Those are red flags your body is sending you to tell you something needs to change. The easiest way to get your attention is to disrupt your day to day life. This is your body's quickest way to scream, "HELP!" and get you to fix whatever is wrong. This is a function that is built in on purpose. LISTEN to it. Don't treat or mask the symptoms, figure out what the heck the ACTUAL problem is. Your body is a truly amazing thing. It was designed biologically to heal itself, to fight disease, to maintain all it's systems on it's own, as long as you aren't working against nature. This was not an accident. We are designed to function and survive with exactly what we are given. Not just survive, but THRIVE and grow and advance and evolve. "Listen to your gut" takes on a whole new meaning now, doesn't it?
The awesome thing about this is that you KNOW when something needs to be fixed, so you can take action!
A good quality probiotic is a GREAT place to start. Clean eating is extremely important. If you are repairing your gut, or trying to pinpoint the source of trouble, clean eating is something that you REALLY need to stick to. A cleanse (not a crazy, lose-20-pounds-in-3-days cleanse, but one specifically for gut health) will do wonders, even if just for your mental clarity. It is hammered into our minds that we "need" medication basically from birth. Hell, even before that! How many fetuses are exposed to medication from mom? Medications, mainly antibiotics, are a main contributor to poor gut health. There are certainly situations in which they are needed, but it's a great idea to avoid them as much as possible without risking serious consequences. Start with eliminating the crap from your diet, rebuilding your healthy bacteria, and you WILL see and feel an improvement! You only get this one body. Treat it accordingly.
Have you experienced poor gut health? Had to rebuild your gut? Dealt with symptoms that you are now realizing are likely due to an unhealthy microbiome? Share your story, thoughts, or questions in the comments!