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We are what we absorb

This week we heard a statement that smacked us between the eyes.

“We are NOT what we eat. We are what we absorb”.

“We are what we absorb” applies to many things. What we watch, read and listen to as well as what we use everyday like cleaning products and of course skincare.

The conversation we heard was actually about nutrition. Chef Pete Evans speaking with a lady named Maria Hunt, and the topic of healthy digestion really got the cogs turning in the old noggins because of a few burning questions we received of late.

What it boils down to is that even if you are eating the healthiest diet in the world, you won’t reap all of the benefits if your digestion is out of whack.

Without enzymes and good bacteria in your gut you are unable to absorb all the goodness from food.

Could your digestive health be causing skin problems?

We hear from quite a few people about skin problems, and lately we have been trying to help some very lovely people who were lost for answers as to why their skin wasn’t benefiting from their healthy lifestyle.

They were being uber-disciplined with what they eating. Skin aggravating foods were avoided, clean wholesome foods were selected, exercise was a regular feature, and they made natural skincare a ritual. But their skin just wasn’t coming to the party. A similar story we have heard is someone who was trying to drop a few kilos but the weight wouldn’t shift.

Now, it can take some time for all those healthy habits to take effect but the missing piece of the puzzle could have been that their digestion was still off track.

How do I know if my digestive system is healthy?

Our guts are an eco-system of over 100 Trillion microorganisms all working for our health, and it’s very easy for our modern lifestyle to easily throw a spanner in the works. Common spanners are

  • Antibiotics and other medications like birth control
  • Stress
  • Eating too much refined sugars and carbohydrates
  • Eating too much meat
  • Drinking too much alcohol. Too many ‘odd tipples’ of wine.
  • Not eating enough food high in prebiotics e.g. sweet potato, bananas, apples and dark green leafy veggie’s

If any of those describes you then the following list from Supercharged Food could be your body’s signal telling you that your digestion needs some TLC.

  • digestive issues like bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
  • stress
  • fatigue, lethargy or brain fog
  • depression
  • sore muscles and joints
  • autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis
  • low immune system
  • acne
  • skin and allergy problems
  • thrush, urinary tract infections

How do I improve my gut?

If you are like us and having our eyes reopened to the importance of good digestion you next question is “how to I improve my gut?”

fermented foods boost your digestive healthLuckily for us little grasshoppers it is very simple but may require some lifestyle tweaks. Here are some of the ones we have discovered so far

  • Take probiotic and prebiotic supplements. (Not the cheapest option)
  • Eat more fermented foods like fermented veggies, Kefir, Kombucha, miso or natto.
  • Eat more prebiotic foods like sweet potato, green tea, apples, bananas, and of course greens!
  • Drink a glass of lemon water 10 mins of eating a meal to prepare the gut for work.
  • Cut back on sugar, alcohol and processed carbs.
  • Cut back on the meat. Leave the 2kg Shank challenge to some else.
  • Give your gut a break by intermittent fasting like the 5:2 diet

We have decided that our household is going to embark on the journey of improving our digestion health, as it fits into our philosophy of clean living, clean eating and clean thinking. We may struggle a bit with our I-just-eat-sausages-and-pasta 3 year old, but what’s life without challenges!!?

The thing we’re most excited about getting stuck into is fermented foods. We have bought Sandor Kat’s Wild Fermentation book and can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail (link below)

You are more than welcome to join us on our journey as we would love to hear about the gems of wisdom you discover.

Here is a few resource gems and gut gurus we have stumbled upon so far.

  • Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz (Sandor is a fermenter from way back in 1993 and he has some amazing reviews for his books. Waiting on Wild Fermentation to arrive this week!)
  • Supercharged Food (Lee Holmes is a gut healing guru and she has created a really easy and non-scary 4 week gut healing program called Heal Your Gut)
  • I Quit Sugar (we have been using Sarah Wilson’s sugarless recipes at home for a few years now. She has a bunch of cookbooks and e-books, and her cheesecake is a staple here for special occasions)
  • Kehoe’s Kitchen (lots of food fermentation how-to videos and recipes about Katrina Kehoe’s healing journey)
  • The Natural Therapy Shop (this is where we have gone to stock up on fermented vegetable and sourdough starters and kefir grains so we can get stuck into fermenting)
  • Don’t forget about your local Naturopaths, as many are all over this digestion caper.

Until next time take care,
Aaron and Phoebe