December 29, 2014
New Year’s Day is fast approaching and with the thoughts of what we’d like to do differently in 2015. I, for one, am over dieting for the sake of losing weight. That’s not to say that I don’t need to lose a few pounds, but I’m sure that they will come off as I improve my overall health. And so, here are a few idea for New Year’s resolutions that will contribute to better health without deprivation.
One of the key components of my health strategy for the coming year is improving my body’s ability to detoxify itself. If you’d like to learn more about detoxification and a simple 4-step plan for doing your own detox, then click one of the links below to register for one of the free Detox webinars that I’ll be teaching over the next two weeks.
And without any further ado, here are some resolutions for your consideration.
I recently mentioned to my pharmacist that I thought that I was still suffering from gut inflammation. He asked me to stick out my tongue, and after a close look he confirmed my suspicions. (Yes, I thought it was strange at the time too, but a furrow or crack down the center back of your tongue is an indicator of gut issues in several Eastern medicine systems) That conversation have many repercussions, one of which is that I”ll be doing a 30 day elimination diet in January to identify foods, other than gluten, that my body can not handle well.
If you have a suspicion that you’re body is not tolerating certain foods well, it would serve you well to find out for sure. Before the advent of allergy tests, most allergies were identified through elimination diets. They are inexpensive and effective if you carefully add the eliminated foods back in slowly, one-at-a- time, after the elimination period.
If you don’t eliminate these foods, then you’re just constantly triggering your immune system and the result is decreased energy, more toxins in your body, and more damage to your body.
Bone broth is one of the most helpful foods that you can consume for overall gut health. Bone broth and meat stocks contain gelatin, one of the substances that your gut needs to repair itself. The broth is also a good source of minerals, which we’re likely to be deficient in if our gut health is impaired.
I make my chicken bone broth in the crockpot, so it only takes about 20 minutes of my focused attention – 10 minutes to put everything into the crockpot and 10 minutes to take it all out and put the broth into containers. During the week I use the broth to cook rice and as the base for sauces and soups. And sometimes I just have a cup or bowl of broth as part, or all of a meal. I’m planning to learn to make beef and fish broths this year.
Fermented foods are a fantastic way to keep your gut supplied with good bacteria. And, again, if you have gut issues, getting good bacteria into your gut is something that needs to happen on a daily basis. Fermenting foods also makes them easier to digest and increases the nutrients that your body is able to take from them. Sauerkraut is a good recipe to start with for fermenting vegetables. Kombucha and kefir are fermented drinks that are easy to make at home, and homemade yogurt is very forgiving.
Did you know that if you have gut and auto-immune issues then your body is a toxin factory? Yep, all of those bad bacteria give off toxins, and your immune systems creates waste products every time that it’s activated. These toxins and wastes need to be cleared out of our body, but it’s a tough task given the sheer amount of toxins that they are having to deal with. It makes sense them to give our kidneys and livers a helping hand wherever we can. An easy way to do that is to drink a cup or two of detox tea every day.
Grains and legumes contain phytic acid that can act as an anti-nutrient, binding with minerals that you need and sweeping them out of your body before they can be absorbed and used. Traditional cultures prepare their grains by soaking, fermenting and sprouting them which makes the the grains and legumes more digestible and reduces the phytic acid. Did you know that some people who are sensitive to corn can eat masa harina without any notice issues. Masa harina is corn that has been soaked in a lye solution. That allows Vitamin B3 to be absorbed when it otherwise wouldn’t and changes something about the corn that allows some people to eat it safely.
Adding soaking, fermenting and sprouting to your routine can be as simple as soaking your hot breakfast cereals with a bit of yogurt for 12 hours, and soaking your beans before you cook them, or it could be as complex as making sourdough bread. Choose one new thing and make it a habit, and then work on the next.