The summer is beginning its journey towards autumn. The days are shorter, the temperature cooler and summer fun has become more of a memory than a plan. It is back to school for kids. New clothes, new routines and new classrooms. So with this in mind, let’s do the same. Let’s begin the shift from summer to autumn and embrace the change in season, foods and habits, by expanding our understanding of how our bodies work in relation to food.
So often after summer, our habits change. The summer salads are ditched for heartier meals, the cool refreshing drink makes way for the biscuits and the brew and exercise become something you see someone else doing on Instagram. It is natural for us to begin to slow down after summer and being mindful of what we put in our bodies as fuel will help us prepare for autumn and the winter months ahead.
Think of your body as a car, with your gut as the engine. Without the right fuel, water and oil the car will struggle to move – if the engine malfunctions it impacts the entire car. This is exactly the same for our bodies. If our engine – the digestive system – doesn’t get the right fuel, and the proper nutrients from our food, our body will eventually break down. All disease starts in the gut!
What we eat and therefore what we absorb is the most important issue. Nutrient-rich foods are assimilated into our cells so all the organs in our bodies can function properly. This keeps us healthy and maintains the body’s desire to be in top, functional form.
How can we absorb nutrients for our body?
CHEW CHEW CHEW – USE THOSE TEETH!!!
The more your food is broken down, the more nutrients will be absorbed.
The enzymes – proteins that help speed up metabolism – produced by the act of chewing aid digestion and therefore absorption.
SUFFICIENT AMOUNTS OF NUTRIENTS
The more nutrient rich foods we eat the healthier our bodies will be. It’s not enough to supply our bodies with SOME healthy foods whilst still indulging in the sweet and the processed stuff. A balanced diet is what we are after. 75-80% of our daily intake of foods should be nutrient rich – fresh fruits, vegetables (raw and cooked), nuts and seeds, which still leaves a small amount for us to indulge in the more naughty side of eating.
HEALTHY FUNCTIONING GUT FLORA
There are 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of which are found in your gut. Collectively, they are known as your gut microbiome or gut flora. Here are some ways to improve your Gut flora:
- – Eat a diverse range of foods
- – eat lots of vegetables. Legumes. Beans, and fruit
- – eat fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut
- – eat prebiotic foods – fiber and complex carbs
- – eat whole grains
- – eat a more plant-based diet
- – eat foods rich in polyphenols such as cocoa and dark chocolate, red wine, green tea and almonds.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
We are creatures of water. So many of our internal mechanisms rely on a sufficient amount of water and our digestive system is no exception. The more water we drink the better our digestion and absorption of nutrients will be.
PROPER PRESENTATION OF FOOD
Food should be presented in such a way that the enzymes and other breakdown activities of the digestive system can come to bear on it and work. Food presentation is all-important, from taste and smell, which stimulates and informs in advance that food is on the way, to not cooking the hell out of your veg and damaging the food beyond recognition.
I hope that this ‘Back to school’ Blog will help you in the months to come. A healthy gut is a healthy mind.
I am now in my temporary treatment room, which is amazing! The Spa refurbishment is underway and going really well. There are exciting things to come and I’ll reveal more in next month!
I’m off to Peru on a retreat at the end of September. During my time away I will not be contactable as there’s no wifi where I’m headed in the Jungle! So, please get your appointments in before then or book for late October – the exact dates of my absence will be on my website.
Take care and keep well.