Food for thought, weight loss and health

There are many things we do to make ourselves happy

We exercise…
Buy new clothes…
Drink wine…
Listen to audio help books…
Sleep…
Take anti-depressants…
See a counselor or therapist…
Get a massage…
Get our hair done or nails done…
Put makeup on or do our hair…

But it can’t always suppress some of the other, slightly less happy, feelings like;

Lacking in energy…
No motivation…
Feeling a little lost…
Always getting unwell…
Not able to shift body fat…
Not feeling confident…
Having to drag ourselves out of bed…

But, don’t worry. There is something that you can do in 2019 to fight off these unhealthy feelings so you can spend more time feeling content and happy and enjoy life just that little bit more.

First, we need to explain a few things so you can really understand how to do what it is we are going to tell you to do…get it? Maybe not. So, let’s start with some info about your brain, that organ that we believe IS the queen and all ruling organ within our body.

  • Your brain is a 3lb soggy lump of cells sitting inside of your head.
  • We think that this brain is a powersource of everything we do.
  • What it does do is produces chemicals called neurotransmitters that affect our happiness, energy and excitement.
  • Without these chemicals, we would not feel so good. And of course, these chemicals are stimulated by nice things.
  • When you feel stressed, it causes the brain to produce different chemicals that have the opposite effect and create a sense of anxiety, tension and worry.

So, our highs and lows are controlled by these chemicals therefore they are controlled by our brain? Well, you would think so, but actually no…there’s something else going on that you might not have ever considered.

We actually have a ‘second brain’, another organ that also controls just as much of our highs and lows, both physical and mental. Something that we have been missing and may just perhaps be the key to health, happiness and wellbeing.

What exactly do we mean by ‘second brain’?

  • When we are born, we live in a sterile environment, inside our mothers.
  • Through labour, and passing through the birthing canal, we are coated in specific bacteria that start the process of building this ‘second brain’.
  • Since birth we have grown and built the size of our ‘second brain’ until now, when it’s around 3lbs.
  • This 3lbs of ‘invisible organ’ (which by the way is the same weight as your brain), that lives inside your large intestines and is called your microbiome. (What we could call our immune system as it influences the way our body reacts to situations)

Fun fact: Did you know that 90% of our cells in our bodies are bacterial cells and only 10% are your own human cells. So basically we are more bacteria than human. Slightly gross but also…cooooool.

So, let’s learn a little bit more about this Microbiome…

  • Inside your large intestine is an entire ecosystem of microbes; as diverse as the Amazon rainforest (so pretty damn diverse)
  • These gut bacteria, or microbes, respond to medicine, they digest certain food, produce essential vitamins and hormones and control blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Basically, they function almost like a second brain, hence the earlier reference.

For years since Antibiotics were discovered, we have waged a war on our microbes, trying to kill them and for some of us, we still do not place much importance upon the health of our immune system. Diets are restrictive, information is hard to come by and can be confusing, we rely upon medicine a great deal, put stress and energy dips to lack of vitamins or iron (mainly) or talk about our metabolism being ‘slow’.

‘Gut Feeling’

Your gut IS physically linked to your brain through a nerve call the vagus nerve, which sends signals in both directions. However, even if this nerve was severed, the intestines can still function ON THEIR OWN. This suggests they have a mind of their own. Also pretty cool.

As I mentioned earlier, your brain produces chemicals called neurotransmitters, which affect our happiness, energy and excitement. Without these we would not feel so good. Your brain actually has around 100 billion to be exact.

Now, would it surprise you if I said that your intestines have EXACTLY the same amount as the brain, meaning that not only is your brain in control of your thinking, feeling and doing, but so if your gut! So that ‘gut feeling’ is pretty on point. Our Microbiome, is the centre of our immune system, and can cause reactions all over the body. So, ignoring this as important could be the one reason you’re still struggling to keep that weight off, or maintain energy, or even, stop getting colds over and over.

So, as we know neurotransmitters are things that can change the way we think, behave and feel.
…MOST of these are also produced in our gut and none more so than serotonin which is our natural antidepressant.
…Serotonin is our natural antibiotics produced by the body.
…90% of serotonin is produced in our intestines and less than 10% is produced in our brains

This is just ONE way the bacteria in your gut control, and affect how we think and behave. And remember, there is an enormous diversity of bacteria, this is just ONE of them.

So what can we do in 2019?

Stress messes with your insides, with your microbiome balance. But so does modern diets and our modern stressful lifestyle (great so everything then, cue eye roll…).

The start…

It’s helpful to understand this and even better to start to do something about bettering your microbiome balance, especially if you are looking for more energy, better body fat levels and weight management, even things like better blood sugar levels, less mood swings and also bettering your mental wellbeing.

This is some of the information we include in all of our nutritional plans because we know how important it is. Understanding exactly what’s going on and why you are doing it helps you to be consistent and ensures a healthier lifestyle rather than just a temporary diet or fitness binge. Our BeBreakthrough30 covers all of this and more and will be re-launching in January with lots of new recipes and up to date information so keep your eyes peeled for this.

Below are some things you can do today, and throughout 2019, that can help you to better your gut health.

  • Better the types of fats you eat – these can drastically change your bacteria. For example; avocados and sweet potatoes.
  • Eat more prebiotics, which are things that help stimulate your healthy bacteria. Many high-fiber foods are prebiotic. The fiber is digested and fermented by healthy gut bacteria, allowing them to grow. Foods such as garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, oats and apples (among a few.
  • Eat more fermented foods. Fermented foods can boost the number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, found in your gut. Check out this blog for some examples of great fermented foods you can try.
  • Eat a larger variety of foods so you have a more diverse range of bacteria in your gut, as they all feed on different foods.
  • Take a Probiotic. They help replenish your good bacteria. Symprove is a very good probiotic. (we have nothing to do with them fyi and do not get paid for referring their products)
  • Take Oregano oil, this helps keep the gut clean of any harmful bacteria. Read more about this here.

So, start listening to your ‘second brain’ and treat it with just as much respect as your first brain.