I promise you that we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled fitness-inspired blogs soon, but throughout the years of all my misadventures in weight loss, gain, (loss and gain again) and all body image related things, I’ve finally come to understand this: it has to happen from the inside out.
When I say it has to happen from the inside out, I mean that in two ways. First, admittedly I have just really begun to understand our gut health. But now that I am, I can tell you that so much makes sense to me now! I won’t get all scientific and wordy (because I’m not a physician or a scientist) and some of the process just grosses people out. Our guts are home to some 100 trillion micro-organisms, with 400 known kinds of bacteria. From our guts, we’re looking for a promotion of normal gastrointestinal function, regulation of metabolism and about 75-80% of our immune system. So, think about all the things that make it to our guts that aren’t helpful – refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods, just to name a few! Most of us don’t take in the recommended amount of fiber necessary for healthy digestion (it boosts the good bacteria, helps control hunger and aids in regularity). Now, as I’ve very openly admitted before, I’m not into any kind of restriction when it comes to my intake (or yours), however I do think we should all be paying closer attention to what we’re willingly putting in our body that is not going to help us to stay healthy, lose weight or combat against conditions like depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, skin problems or food allergies (the list could go on and on).
Here are just a few things you can do to help get your gut healthy:
- Eat as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible.
- Be sure to get your fiber. 25g a day is recommended for women and 35-38g a day for men.
- Take a probiotic. There are many out there, but find one with an enzyme and probiotic blend. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on my probiotic (my kids take it too!).
- Drink your damn water! The other part of digestion is moving those toxins through your body via bathroom trips. Opt for at least half your body weight in ounces per day, but definitely start swapping out your sodas and sugary coffees for water, or at least a few of them a day.
Now, after all of that we still have one more item to touch on. I said that it all has to come from the inside out, and we’ve covered the literal “guts” now we need to talk about “you”. The you that resides in your head, and heart. I honestly don’t know at this point which “inside” is more important for anyone starting a health journey to understand. The science behind our literal guts is there but our ‘spirit’ is a lot harder to experiment with or dissect.
For me, it’s only after having tried and failed more than I like to admit that I can say to accomplish great things, you must have belief. The more we speak of our limitations or fears, the more they define us. As we list them everyday when we’re giving ourselves reasons to not move forward, we’re breathing life into them. They become a living thing inside of us, taking up space where our ambition and creativity could be living.
I was working with one of my favorite clients the other day on setting goals and came across this quote, “I am letting go of the thoughts that do not make me strong” and I LOVED it (sorry I don’t have a source for it). I feel like it should become a part of my ever-growing tattoo collection because it’s that important to me. I could make a list a mile long of the reasons that I don’t feel good enough, strong enough, etc. from day-to-day. But that has gotten me nowhere. So, instead I’m going to take those thoughts and release them. Just like I did with my over-anxious 7-year old (when he was 7), I’m going to wrap those thoughts up in a nice little package and send it off into the unknown, so that it doesn’t take up valuable space in my head and heart any longer.
When you begin to breathe life into your dreams, you can physically start to manifest them. Start each day by thinking of all the things that you ARE capable of – then take a step (baby or big) and move closer to doing the things that you didn’t believe you could yesterday. You are so worth it.
Next time, as promised, we’ll resume our fitness-inspired topics with a “My Picks: Fitness Edition” just like Megan and Heather’s “Our Picks” but a little different. Then, November will bring the first of my new monthly freebies — a get it in, when you can kind of workout!
Zanteson, L. (2012). Gut Health and Immunity – It’s All About the Good Bacteria That Can Help Fight Disease. Today’s Dietitian. Vol. 14. No. 6.
http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/04/28/ultrawellness-lesson-4-gut-digestive-health/Tags: arrow fitness, fitness, guest blogger, guest blogger series, gut health