Before following your gut instincts, do this...
Why we should understand the microbiome in our gut before following those "gut instincts".
We all heard the cliche sayings like "listen to your gut" or "I just have a gut feeling..." but do we actually understand what it means to listen to your gut? Because if I'm being honest, I never understood how to. The only thing my gut ever told me is that maybe if you didn't eat that pint of ice cream last night you wouldn't have to unbutton your pants every time you sit down. Well, now that there is a lot more research being done and readily available information on gut health and the community of bacteria living there, I took the opportunity to educate myself on just how much influence our gut health has on our body and thinking minds and it turns out, it plays a MAJOR role in just about every small to life-changing decision. Knowing this key piece of information should make you think twice before really listening to your gut, however.
One day I found myself watching a documentary addressing the micro- organisms that live in our gut and it suddenly became so clear to me how our guts have so much influence on not just how we think and feel about ourselves, but how that could also manifest itself through our outer environment. The good news is if you are unhappy with your environment, living situation, or just your overall health it is possible to change all of it through diet alone. However, it takes an understanding and awareness that the negative outlook about your life or your body is not your own but from the microbiome in your gut. In other words, if they are suffering-you will too.
How Gut Bacteria Affects Our Thoughts And Emotions
This may not come to a surprise to many but for me it was a bit of shock. It turns out there are over a trillion bacterial cells living in and on our bodies. So much so, that their cells out number ours by 10:1 and their bacterial genes contribute about 100x as many genes than our own genome. In other words, they are not OUR bacteria, we are THEIR human.
The good bacteria holds valuable information about the outside world and it educates our immune cells when it makes contact. This strengthens our immune response and allows the body to regenerate more efficiently. The gut is like a microbiome made up of millions of bacterial civilizations, some good and bad and depending on what are diet consists of, will determine which ones will thrive.
A diet that consist of mostly sugar, junk food, processed foods, and other digested toxins will support an environment of the bacteria we don't want. This food being fed to the wrong bacteria will disturb the immune system leaving it in perpetual inflammation, which is the result of auto immune diseases, obesity, diabetes, allergies, cancers, and other viral infections. When the good microbial living in the gut lack a diversity of the key nutrient (fiber) then the whole system becomes out of balance.
This not only is a detriment to our bodies but it also keeps us emotionally unstable and lack mental clarity. As I mentioned earlier, we do think and feel with our gut. The gut has the most connections to our brain and it controls our perception and reaction to our environment. A gut with mostly bad bacteria will consume most of your energy leaving you feeling lethargic, anxious, depressed, unmotivated, uninspired, and toxic. Decisions made under these unstable emotional states will manifest in your outer world through your relationships, performance, behaviors, bad habits, body, and lifestyle. So if you are wondering why you attract toxic situations then you might want to start with what toxins you are putting in your body. This is why awareness of self is so important before decision-making because our decisions are based off of our thoughts, which is based off our emotions, which is controlled by our gut. The more health conscious lifestyle you practice the more you naturally become self-aware and find it easier to manifest beauty in your outer world.
I used to find it so annoying when people would explain how to manifest your dreams, "think about the dream relationship or job as if it already happened..." Okay thanks, that is great and all but how do I act as if it is already there when I know it's not? This is where I believe most people give up, well it makes sense then that in order to change our environment, we have to change internal environment first.
If you want to truly transform, the easiest way for me was through my diet. If our thinking and emotions are primarily controlled by the gut then it makes sense that when we begin to change our diet we can change the bacteria balance in our gut.
I thought I had a moderately healthy diet but realized I could still make a lot of better decisions when it came to my diet. There is no doubt that most of us take our daily supplement, exercise a few days a week, or drink our daily green juice in the morning but let's be honest, its not really doing us any good if we follow up with unhealthy choices that is not supportive of our overall well-being. I'm not saying we need to be 100% healthy, there is no such thing as perfection but the closer we can get to it, the more our bodies will thank us, and each little change you begin to incorporate in your daily life will become a habit and before you know it--you just made it part of your lifestyle.
Once you begin incorporating more high fiber food in your diet you are now setting up the environment in your microbiome for the good bacteria, which will begin asking for more of that healthy food. Soon, you won't crave another cigarette, burger, or any other toxins. The thought of it will actually make you sick and that is when you know you changed your gut bacteria and it is now safe to listen to your gut with confidence and be on your way to a complete transformation.
The best way to start is with sugar. Almost everything we eat, even food we think is healthy, has added sugar. On average, each American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar a year. Diet foods and beverages are just as worse, if not more, because it contains the ingredient ASPARTAME that replaces the sugar but still makes you crave it. This ingredient not only makes you addicted to it so you keep on consuming it, but also kills brain cells. It is found in most sugar free food, sugar free yogurt, yogurt drinks, protein drinks, nutritional bars, meal replacements, diet carbonated drinks..so don't be fooled. The next best thing, which is the most obvious, is eliminating junk and processed foods. Nikola Tesla said, "if you want to think in terms of energy, think of vibration and frequency". Everything is made up of energy which means everything has a vibrational frequency. The reason why you feel heavy and discomfort after eating a lot junk food is because it has a very low vibrational frequency. Anything manmade that is not from nature has a low vibration. The more processed, the lower the frequency. Homemade meals that are rich in nutrients have much higher frequency and this gives the body energy to heal and regenerate itself. Packaged food with lots of ingredients that you never heard of and can't even pronounce should be kept away. Foods that are highly processed and packaged in the factory or from animals that were probably treated inhumanely also has a very low vibration and not the kind of information you want to feed to your gut and immune system.
Once you begin to incorporate more wholesome foods in your diet and change your bacteria. Not only will this give you more energy but even when you do sneak in a cookie or burger every so often, your immune response will still be stable enough to bring your body into balance with much more ease. If you keep this up long enough you will begin to see changes in your appearance. The skin is the last organ to get the nutrients, so when your skin is looking good then you know your gut is thriving. However, that is not the only change you will see. You will begin to feel different about yourself and the world around you. You will have what people will refer to as a "presence" and move through life with much more grace. The healthier you feel the easier it will be to incorporate more healthy lifestyle changes that you probably never envisioned yourself doing before.
I am not saying changes will occur over night, it all depends on how disciplined you are. It's okay if you slip up every now and then as long as you start over again the next day. The worse thing you can do is beat yourself up about it because then you keep yourself in that negative feedback loop. Forgiveness is key to everything so just be patient with yourself. Monitor your progress and give yourself credit for even the smallest of wins. For example, maybe for the time you went a whole day without drinking any sugar beverages--that is a win! So pat yourself on the back.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this and found it informative. I will be posting other follow up stories explaining many of the concepts mentioned, so stay tuned if you are interested.