IS YOUR GUT MAKING YOU CRAZY?

We Welcome Guest Blogger and Friend Sarah Bingham founder of Fast Food Healing.

Sarah is a licensed nutrition consultant with a master’s degree and more than thirty-five years experience counseling and lecturing on all aspects of nutrition throughout the country. Her current focus is in family nutrition, helping parents recover their children from conditions like autism, ADD, ADHD, asthma and other learning/behavior issues. She is also a dynamic and passionate speaker who communicates with clarity, humor and inspiration the simplicity of achieving wellness.

Sarah works as the Director of Nutritional Programs for Valle Counseling in Tampa, FL. She is a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome) practitioner (see www.gaps.me). Sarah is the founder of Fast Food Healing LLC, a personalized in-home nutrition counseling business. Sarah always addresses body, mind and spirit as they are all critical to a healthy body.

Following is an article Sarah shared with us.  Did you know that 80-90% of your neurotransmitters (chemicals that effect your mood and brain function) are created in your gut? Also, the seat of your immune system is in your gut. Hence, that old saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling” is quite accurate. Hence, what research is beginning to put together is if your mood, mind or behavior are off, you have a very good chance of having a gut that is off and a poor immune system.

What do I mean by “off”? Your gut is loaded (about 4 pounds) with good guy bacteria. This good guy bacteria keeps in check the potentially bad guy bacteria that is also present. All of these microbes have important functions, like creating B vitamins, neurotransmitters, and anti-cancer substances. When the good guys are winning, your mood and ability to think are in great shape. Your immune system is also in good shape. But, when the bad guys are winning, you could be suffering from any one of these conditions: Irritable bowel, reflux, ADD, ADHD, asthma, autism, bipolar disease, food allergies and intolerance, depression, dyslexia, autoimmune disease and more.

What causes your gut to become out of balance? Antibiotics, stress, the birth control pill, most prescription drugs and a diet high in processed foods. So, take a mother to be who has eaten a processed diet her whole life, has had a few courses of antibiotics and is now pregnant. Her gut “flora” or bacteria are more than likely out of balance. A baby’s gut is sterile until going through the birth canal. At this point, the baby swallows some of the mother’s vaginal fluid, which is reflective of her gut balance or imbalance. Thus, the baby’s gut is inoculated with either good guy bacteria or bad guy bacteria. And the cycle begins again.

Sometimes it’s easy to bring your gut back into balance using probiotics, lactic acid fermented foods and good whole foods and sometimes it takes a major effort to accomplish a rebalancing of the gut. When I look out at our society with lots of depression, rage, anxiety, immune dysfunction and irritable bowel, I think we all need a major revamping of our gut flora. As Hippocrates said back in 400 BC, “All disease begins in the gut.”

love your gut

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Feeling Tired? It’s because you’re eating this

donuts

Feeling tired? Unmotivated? Blah? It might be a hormonal imbalance, it might be you’re trying to do too much, it might be stress, but it also might be something you ate.

UCLA researchers have found that sugary, high fat, and processed foods don’t just wreck your health and your waistline, they can cause fatigue, lack of motivation, and poor performance as well. The good news is that a splurge once in a while isn’t enough to do damage – it was only the subjects that ate junk food for 3 months straight that experienced obesity and cognitive impairments. It’s a good thing the subjects were lab rats!

But it begs the question – what happens to humans, especially children, who habitually eat high fat, sugary processed foods? This study at least indicates that the damage may be permanent, or at least very resistant to change.

If you’ve been eating a few too many fast food meals, try a whole foods diet for a week and see if you feel more energetic, motivated, and mentally sharp. Can’t take time to cook? At Intelligent Gourmet, we make healthy food as fast and as easy as take-out. And, we have kids meals too.

Spring Cleaning Starts On the Inside

whole meats make a difference

You might wonder what I mean when I say I cook “Clean” at Intelligent Gourmet. No, it’s not a reflection of how often we scrub down our kitchen (although we do keep our kitchen very, very clean). It’s a lifestyle choice that eliminates all processed foods, additives and refined junk. And it makes a world of difference in how you look and feel.

If you want to feel better than you have in years, and fit into your summer swimsuit, start now – this Spring – and see the difference eating clean can make in your life. What does a clean diet look like?

  • Whole meats – No “ground” unless you grind it yourself, no processed meats, no deli pre-sliced in a package turkey. You’d be shocked at how much junk is in those! Make friends with your local butcher.
  • Whole grains – Brown rice, whole wheat, bread you’ve either made yourself or from small local bakeries committed to “no junk added.” Get used to reading labels!
  • Food made from scratch using whole fruits and vegetables – Yes, you can still dine out *if* you know the restaurant is committed to making foods from scratch, and are completely transparent about what ingredients go in their food. At Intelligent Gourmet, you know exactly what ingredients we use – and if you don’t, we’re more than happy to tell you in detail!
  • Nuts, seafood, beans, and other whole healthy foods – You can eat nearly everything you want, unless what you want comes in a box or bag.
  • Fresh-squeezed juice – Store-bought juices hide preservatives and added sugars, plus, much of their nutrition is lost from days sitting on a refrigerated store shelf. Buy a juicer, or come by our store for real, fresh juice. You’ll be amazed by how much better they taste, and how much better you feel.

Why eat clean? Well, do you like the idea of eating “guar gum”? What is that anyway? But seriously, when you eat clean you’ll see the difference. You will:

Lose extra weight.
Feel energized.
Enjoy clearer skin and shinier hair.
Sleep better.
Feel happier.

It’s a total body and mind makeover just in time for summer.

Cut Out Sugar, or Cut Out Fat – Turns Out, Both Approaches Are Wrong

Dangers of Non-Fat diets

Researchers love twin experiments because health is so heavily determined by genetics. However, nutrition and exercise also significantly affect health, which is why this recent month-long twin experiment in Britain is so interesting.

Two brothers, twins Chris and Xand, who are both physicians with similar lifestyles and identical fitness regimens, decided to test which nutrient was worse for you: Sugar or fat. The no-sugar, or ultra-low-fat diets are fairly common approaches to weight loss, but it turns out neither are the best method for pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Well I could have told them that!

Low-Fat

Chris adopted the low-fat diet, allocating the bare minimum of 2 percent of his daily total intake to fat. Essentially, he mimicked the “Non-Fat” craze that took over much of the diet market in the 1990’s. Interestingly, in the late 1980’s, two major reports came out identifying dietary fat as the most important change to improving health, which resulted in food manufacturers substituting sugar for fat (ie. Snackwell cookies).

As many 90’s dieters (and Chris) discovered, severely reducing fat does not lead to losing weight. The Low-fat dieting twin experienced constant feelings of hunger, which made him eat more in calories despite the low fat count.

Sugar-Free

Xand, the other twin, went for a high protein diet that eliminated carbohydrates – not just table sugar, but also flour and fruit which convert to sugar – similar to the Atkins diet. When the Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution was first published in 1972, the President of the American College of Nutrition was quoted as saying “Of all the bizarre diets that have been proposed in the last 50 years, this is the most dangerous to the public if followed for any length of time.”

Xand discovered that eliminating all sugar had some nasty side effects, including less energy and stamina, bad breath, constipation, and fatigue. He did lose more weight (a total of 9 pounds in the course of the month), but he said the low-carb, high-protein diet caused his body to go into ketosis (the body burns fat, but doesn’t provide enough glucose to the brain). Ketosis can also lead to kidney failure.

And The Winner Is?

So which is better: No sugar, or Low-fat? It turns out, both are “pretty miserable” in the words of the brothers.

Their conclusion, according to Chris, was “We should not vilify a single nutrient.” The twin doctors reportedly decided that it’s the combination of sugar and fat found in many processed foods that is the real source of diet-related problems. They recommend watching calories and portion size while eating mostly whole foods. The experiment might be news, but the conclusion sounds like common sense to me!