Stop Counting Calories and Start Counting Chemicals – Saturday Strategy
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I’ve been spending the past few weeks in Colombia and have learned so much about the amazing people here. They are sincere, genuine and heart-centered. They are also pretty smart when it comes to their food!
Did you know that Colombia was recently rated #2 for the most happy country in the world? Not only that, but they are extremely healthy!
Why is Colombia so much healthier than America?
- They’ve eliminated toxins from their foods. They don’t eat processed foods filled with chemicals.
- Almost everything they eat is organic and grass-fed.
- If they eat whole grains, they get them straight from local farmers and they aren’t sprayed with chemicals.
- Monsanto isn’t here poisoning crops!
What does this mean for you? Well, today I want to talk about your GUT MICROBIOME and how chemicals that are in common foods all over the grocery store are actually slowly destroying this very important system within your body.
Your gut microbiome is the community of microorganisms (bacteria) that live inside your gut. A healthy digestive system has a balance of different types of bacteria to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.
If your gut is lacking in good bacteria and other microorganisms, it cannot digest nutrients efficiently, no matter how much healthy food you eat. If you want to absorb as many nutrients as possible, then you need plentiful good bacteria in your gut.
While healthy gut flora is imperative, we also need the bad guys to keep us balanced and able to fight for us. The optimal ratio of good to bad bacteria is 85:15. Unfortunately in our modern day society, with the overuse of antibiotics, exposure to toxins and poor gut health, those numbers are out of whack.
Everything that enters your gut is filtered through the good bacteria and is either sent to the eliminatory system through waste, or pumped to every cell in your body. You want to make sure your cells are only getting the good stuff by filling your diet with real foods and plenty quality probiotics.
Fact: Your gut biome changes every 20 minutes.
Microbiologists have known for long time that our diet essentially creates the type of gut flora we have.
A newer study from 2013 found that the populations of bacteria in our gut are affected dramatically (for better or for worse) by the foods we eat on a daily basis.
Have you ever…
- busted your butt at the gym without seeing results?
- used low-calorie products to try and lose weight?
- been frustrated that the size of your belly?
- lost weight but gained it right back?
It is probably all stemming from an unhealthy gut! A lot of our foods are filled with chemicals and questionable ingredients that disturb or even destroy the bacteria in your gut. Those pesky chemicals are holding you back from getting the body that you really want!
When it comes to health, vitality and even weight loss, we should be much more concerned about counting chemicals instead of calories. Here’s why…
When foreign and acidic chemicals enter your body, your system doesn’t know how to digest or process them and they are treated as a threat. It’s kind of like if you dropped acid on your skin, what would be your reaction? You would immediately try to get it off you and relieve the burning with water, right?
Your system reacts the same way to acidic chemicals that enter the body – it coats them in water. This one of the main reasons behind ‘water weight’ and why so many people struggle with those extra pounds.
So even if you are counting calories and exercising a reasonable amount, if you aren’t paying attention to the chemicals going into your body or cleaning out the ones that are already in there, results will be painfully slow or non-existent. Plus, your immune system will be weaker and unable to effectively fight against disease because it is so focused on battling the foods that you’re eating!
Fact: Roughly 95% of serotonin (the “feel-good” hormone) is created in the gut.
But don’t be discouraged! There is hope, my friend. There ARE answers and we are here to share them with you! It may not be easy at first to make these lifestyle changes, but with dedication and commitment to your health, you CAN and you WILL succeed. We have ultimate faith in you. And remember, we’re in this together.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest bad guys out there so you can start getting them out of your body and out of your kitchen.
4 NASTY CHEMICALS THAT ARE COMMON IN MANY KITCHENS AROUND AMERICA
These things are straight up nasty for you! They are your gut-biome destructors and it’s time to fight back!
What it’s in: water bottles, kid’s cereal, canned food
BPA stands for bisphenol A. It is a chemical created in the 1960’s to harden plastic that is used to store beverages and food. The problem with BPA is that it can seep out of the plastic or canned goods and into the foods it’s containing. According to WebMD, 90% of us have BPA in our bodies right now. The FDA has expressed concerns about the unknown effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate glands. Especially in young children and infants.
What it’s in: meat products, microwaveable popcorn, soup mixes, chewing gum, mayonnaise, frozen meals
Propyl Gallate is an artificial food additive, that is also used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Some studies on rats have shown that propyl gallate may cause cancer. Other side effect of consumption are stomach and skin irritability, as well as allergic reactions that impact breathing. It may also cause kidney and liver problems.Although the FDA considers propyl gallate safe, in other countries it is either banned or very limited in use. (that’s a red flag if you ask me!)
What it’s in: fast food, chips, buns, snack foods, crackers
TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone) is chemical preservative that is actually a form of butane. It is used to extend the shelf life of certain foods. TBHQ has been known to cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus, asthma, rhinitis and vomiting. Disgusting.
Triacetin (glyceryl triacetate)
What it’s in: candy bars, chips, crackers, snack foods (and more)
Is a pharmaceutical excipient used in manufacturing of capsules and tablets, and has been used as a humectant, plasticizer, and solvent.
“Although ingestion is not thought to produce harmful effects, the material may still be damaging to the health of the individual following ingestion, especially where pre-existing organ (e.g. liver, kidney) damage is evident. Gastrointestinal tract discomfort may produce nausea and vomiting. ”
That does NOT sound like something I want in my body, how about you? Yuck!
3-Step Solution To Avoid Chemical-Laden Foods
#1 Start eating organic food
When you buy organic food, you are buying food that is free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, GMO’s and synthetic additives. Instead, you are eating PURE, REAL FOOD that hasn’t been sprayed in poisonous chemicals or manipulated in a lab. It is the closest you can get to homegrown, which is why it’s the best option. (round of applause)
You may be thinking, “but buying organic is more expensive.” And while that is true, there are actually quite a few ways you can offset the extra expense of buying organic produce. Plus, it saves you money in the long-run by keeping your body fueled and fed with pure ingredients, which means a healthier body. Pay more now so you don’t pay more later (in the form of medical bills!).
- Go to farmer’s markets. You’ll be supporting your community and getting an education on the process your food goes through before it ends up on your plate.
- Buy seasonally. Not only is it less expensive, but it’s more flavorful too!
- Buy REAL food. When you are buying less processed, boxed and pre-prepared foods, you have more money to invest in nutrient-dense produce!
- BONUS: When you are consuming more nutrient-dense food, your body doesn’t need as much to feel full and energized, which means you eat less!
Don’t worry… if you can’t afford to buy everything organic, use the list below to choose which foods are the most likely to be tainted by GMO’s making them more important to buy organic. Or simply download this list and keep it handy to avoid guessing while you’re out shopping.
Some of the items listed are included because their skin is permeable, leaving them prone to soak in pesticides more easily.
- Strawberries, raspberries
- Peaches, nectarines, pears
In the end, it really boils down to priorities. Maybe you will have to shift a few things around in your budget in order to afford organic foods. But what is most important to you? Living a long, healthy and energy filled life or having more material possessions?
If you don’t feel good, life isn’t fun. End of story. When you have more energy and you feel better, you are more productive, more driven, more ambitious and ready to tackle life with vigor. Isn’t that worth it?
#2 Perimeter shop the grocery store
We talked a lot about this in our 6 Tips To Shop Healthy Saturday Strategy. The perimeter of the store is where all the FRESH, REAL, WHOLE foods are. With some exceptions, the center of the store is packed with processed, extra-ingredient filled food-like products that lack the nutrients necessary to keep your body working optimally with and for you.
Focus on filling your basket with things from the sections around the perimeter. Remember, the less ingredients in each food the better. A few exceptions where you may rightfully wander into the center isles include:
- Spices and Herbs. Go for fresh when possible.
- Raw Nut Butters. Almond, cashew and hazelnut are my favorites.
- Tamari or Coconut Aminos. These are soy sauce alternatives and just as delicious, if not more so.
- Celtic or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
#3 Eat probiotic-rich foods
We’ve said it over and over and over again – your health starts in your gut. If your gut isn’t healthy, neither are you. If your gut doesn’t feel well, neither will you.
Healing your gut is one of the first and most important steps to regaining health and vitality. Probiotic-rich foods help replenish the good bacteria we need to line our digestive tract and keep our overall health and immunity on point.
Dr. Mercola states this about probiotics:
“Your body contains about 100 trillion bacteria — more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your entire body. It’s now quite clear that the type and quantity of microorganisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases.”
One of the best possible things you can do for your gut is adding probiotic-rich foods to your diet. This includes things like:
BIG BONUS TIP
I always recommend taking a daily Probiotic supplement containing multiple strains from both bifidobacterium and lactobacillus sources. You want at least 10 strains and 10-50 billion CFU’s (the higher end if you are someone dealing with an autoimmune disorder, or taking RX regularly – talk to your Naturopathic Doctor to find what the right dose is for you if you’re unsure where to start).
Different strains are important because they all play their own important role in your body. Some help with weight loss, some help balance hormones and give you more energy, some help with cognitive function and so forth.
For more on gut health and probiotic-rich foods, click here.
Green Med has gathered a list of over 200 studies that point to the amazing benefits of probiotics and how they can help hundreds of diseases and ailments. Pretty amazing research, peeps. Be sure to check it out!
So I will say it one more time…
HEALTH BEGINS IN YOUR GUT. Period.
I have some exciting news to share with you soon, my friend. We’ve been working on something that will change your life and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Just know that when I say “we’re in this together,” I mean it! And I wouldn’t be sharing all of this juicy information with you if I didn’t know in my gut (see what I did there…) that what we are rolling out had the potential to literally transform you from the inside out.
So stay tuned and know that I’ve got your back. Your health matters! And I promise to always do my best to support you on your journey.
Last but not least, this week’s Juicer Giveaway Winner is none other than…
Round of applause for Tyler, please! Juicer goes out to you man! Congratulations 🙂
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