Good morning friends!
Here at SOMAVET we have spent the last 3 weeks since the beginning of Jan testing out the cyclical meal plan that was created by Kathryn Asher and a number of her affiliate colleagues in nutritional psychology and endocrinology to see if we could notice the benefits and difference when it comes to hormones, sleep and mood.
It is scientifically proven that it takes the body 3 months (90 days) to reset itself properly from start of a program to shed load in to a new cycle and that is why we have chosen to include this 90 life lab challenge in to our March 21st edition so that those looking to really deep dive on their health and wellbeing can follow a tailor made, realistic 90 day step by step guide that looks at how you can improve your hormone function, sleep, gut health and mood by simply implementing a cyclical meal plan that incorporates natural, seasonal and locally available foods that are easy enough to put together as meals for you and your family and that are based on what to eat at specific times of your cycle (Guys, you can do this too it is absolutely fine, if not entirely encouraged)
We will put a link to the LIFE LAB HERE for you to head to for the FULL break down but, this post is about the science of how these meal plans benefit your gut health and what effects that change has on your overall mood AND we can tell you that after only 25 days in, we are all feeling GREAT!
It has been reported by most on our team that they feel lighter, more energetic and they are really enjoying putting meals together or at least their other halves are (we have a couple that can’t even make toast 🙂 and as it’s linked to the PLANTOEAT app they can click straight on the meal they wish to make and all the ingredients and shopping lists are right there so it’s a super easy way to reduce time and cost etc but, LET’S GET BACK TO THE SCIENCE////
So, you know how if you feel like something isn’t quite right? You have a sense that something is off? You’re uncomfortable, on edge or feel uneasy? That sinking feeling in your stomach brings on the twinges and can make you feel that perhaps you need the loo or you end up doubled over in pain caused by panic and stress? Well, that’s your 2nd brain talking. The one that’s closely linked to your intuitive sensory brain in your actual brain but instead of it being in your head, it’s in your guts. All those sayings, ‘I haven’t got the guts to do it’ or ‘Always trust your gut’ or ‘That gut feeling’ well, they’re not just hog wash sayings. They truly count! And then you have Hippocrates that clearly stated in all his elaborate wisdom that, ALL DISEASE BEGINS IN THE GUT and LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE AND MEDICINE BE THY FOOD – Suggesting that, if we are mindful with what we eat, then our health will replenish and our mood and mind will thrive!
THE INSTINCTIVE, INTUITIVE SECOND BRAIN
The science of our brain, for those interested in the facts and fundamentals state that the gut is, as mentioned above, our 2nd brain. What does that mean?
Neurons are basic building blocks in the nervous system, which transmit information throughout the body. The human gut is lined with over 100 million neurons – more than are present in the spinal cord. Scientists believe that neurons are present in the gut to deal with the complex digestive process, without your brain getting involved. But our gut brain gets involved in lots of other interactions, too. Bacteria in the gut produce neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, such as dopamine, serotonin and GABA. Information is then passed from the gut to the brain via the VAGUS NERVE which runs all the way from your abdomen to the brain stem.
So this means that the food you eat is directly responsible for your gut bacteria and the environment that is cultivated within your gut (your MICROBIOME – AKA your MINI BIOLOGICAL ME , which is therefore responsible for your emotional wellbeing as it directly correlates to your hormone production, digestion and brain function – thus, MOOD. It is a very syncopated system that if treated to function harmoniously, will do so and will benefit you to the maximum but otherwise, you’re gonna pay the consequences of a volatile system that is the feeding ground for all other areas of disease and imbalance throughout the rest of the body, mind and spirit. Taking care of your gut wants to be your number 1 priority and then everything else will slot in to place.
We’re going to be chatting with a number of Gut Health advocates over the next coming months to help Kathryn alongside her LIFE LAB and that can shed light from a scientific perspective, creative and food prep perspective and also spiritual perspective so that all bases are covered because there are many that believe that the best way to support your gut is through a meat based diet whereas there are many that would suggest the alternative and that plant based is the best way forwards. Well, there’s always a polarity in everything in life, that’s for sure BUT, we are going to base our conversations and our plans and programs around versatile options that can suit everyone’s needs and desires and also look at how the little swaps and drops can make such a huge difference but for now…..
What are the TOP 5 things that you can do to support your gut health?
- HYDRATE – Drink CLEAN, FILTERED water (We’re coming in hard later in Feb with a discussion about this from one of our toxic load experts Catherine Farrant) but wherever possible please drink from running water sources that have filter systems on and avoid bottled water as even if bottling filtered water after 4 hours the acidity levels rise so much and your water is no longer living, it is effectively DEAD therefore will not hydrate you in the way water is designed to. Spring water, running water is by far the better option than anything bottled
- DO NOT EAT ATE AT NIGHT – Give your body time to rest and digest. If you are on a fasting program, when you start eating in your day might vary but we suggest that stopping food intake at 7pm will give your digestive system time to rest and restore
- SLEEP – One of the best things you can do for your gut health is to do NOTHING AT ALL and simply sleep. Go to bed at a good time each night and make sure that you haven’t eaten too close to bedtime (See above) and that you allow your body time to fully rest and replenish. Your body LOVES it when you’re asleep because all your cells and tissues repair while you are in the land of nod, your immune system gets its cytokine boost that helps fight free radicals and inflammation and all of your hormones are hard at work to make sure they repair and reset the systems needed to work best for you so, GO TO SLEEP!
- GET FERMENTING – Fermented foods are preserved using an age-old process that not only boosts the food’s shelf life and nutritional value, but can give your body a dose of healthy probiotics, which are live microorganisms crucial to healthy digestion. It’s become increasingly popular and good that it has, that foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir have made their ways on to the food isles but while they’re great add in’s for your tummy, they’re even better if you can make them yourself and it’s super easy to do so…Check out MISTYS_GUT_INSTINCT for some fab fermenting facts and ideas!
- REDUCE SUGAR, GLUTEN AND DAIRY – Unless it’s in raw form or of very good quality, most store bought dairy products can wreak havoc on your gut health but that’s not the case for raw milk or Greek yoghurt that has the live bacteria known to aid healthy bacteria cultivation and so chose wisely when it comes to cheese, milk and so on. Just an FYI but ALL parmesan is raw so YAY. But wherever possible also reduce gluten and SUGAR is a nightmare on your gut as it feeds overgrowth of bacteria that can lead to candida, yeast overgrowth and parasitic infections so swap for honey instead!
We will continue on our GUT CHATS over the next few months but we thought, given it’s the middle of winter and all our moods are low enough given that simple fact alone, let’s look at ways that we can increase our mood and if a simple few bits and pieces as above can help, give them a go!
Anyone interested in Kathryn’s cyclical LIFE LAB meal plan can join either via our quarterly membership or annual membership though she is also selling the SUPER CYCLE MEAL PLAN as a stand along sale item via her site so ANYONE not just vets can purchase this should you be interested. These make a fab gift for people that would like ways to help out friends or family members and she is running her sale in conjunction to our March release so you can buy it now in January Sale ready for our MARCH SUPER START where we all take our power back and get in shape, MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT!
Love your guts and yourself from all of us at