Treating the Silent Killer

“All disease begins in the gut”

-Hippocrates

Gut issues impact so many of us. It is not pretty or glamorous so many people don’t talk about it and thus not facing the huge problem we have in front of us. For so many million people living in pain and discomfort out there, you are not alone. Not only can gut issues cause problems with digestion, bloating and discomfort, there is also a slew of other disorders that stem from bad gut health. It is crazy to think something as small as our gut flora is effecting our entire body both inside and out, but it couldn’t be more true.

First of all a bit about what exactly our gut flora is. Our gut microbiota is made up of tens of trillions microorganisms of over 100 different species. This gut microbiome has a wide range of uses but on the most basic level the gut flora found in our digestive tract helps us to digest the food we eat. Unfortunately though not all of our gut flora is good, every person also contains many bad gut microbiota within them as well. More and more research is being introduced showing the true possibilities of an unhealthy gut on our overall health and the results are something we should all be paying attention to.

It is easy to see whether or not your stomach is bloated or uncomfortable, but your body also has so many other ways it is possibly telling you that your gut is unhealthy if we know how to listen to it. Before anything else it is important to know a little bit about leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is a broad term used to describe a permeability of the small intestine. This means that there is a “leaking” within the small intestine walls which allows food particles, toxins and bacteria to permeate through. Obviously this can cause a lot of issues within your gut and throughout your entire body. Fortunately though our bodies give us so many signs of this distress if we simply listen to it. Below are a few of the most common.

  • Sugar cravings can often be a sign of bad bacteria in the gut. Bad bacteria eat sugar, so the more you consume it the more you are feeding this beast already inside of you. Unfortunately this also means carbs, as your body treats carbs as a sugar source. While loving carbs does not mean you necessarily have leaky gut, it can mean that if you have many of the issues below you could be feeding the bad bacteria already inside you. Carbohydrates are an integral part of our diet and I believe that people should include them into their diet especially when exercising, but keep in mind how much you are eating and greatly reducing the amount of sugar you consume could help your gut immensely.
  • Mental health issues. I know this isn’t a disorder that you would necessarily connect to your gut, but in truth your gut has everything to do with what is happening in your brain! If you have depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, OCD and even things such as alzheimers and autism there is a good chance that your gut bacteria has a lot to do with it! I will talk more about this in blogs to come because this specific topic is so near and dear to my heart but I urge you to really focus on gut health and rejuvenation if you suffer from any of theses. Scientists have found that about 90% of your serotonin is created in your gut along with many other neurotransmitters! It is no wonder that disturbances to the gut health will cause mental health issues!
  • Most commonly people will notice an imbalanced gut flora due to digestive issues alone. This is a great starting point and if you are having digestive distress then listen! This is often not the first sign our body sends us, but it is often a powerful one! Listen to it and begin treating naturally immediately!
  • If you have taken a lot of antibiotics throughout your life there is a good chance a lot of damage can be seen on the gut flora. I understand the need for antibiotics but it can greatly harm your digestive tract. If this is the case for you, email me and I would love to talk about some healing options for you going forward.
  • Acne, eczema and rosacea are all signs that your body is out of whack as well. Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and if there are signs that it is hurting or unhealthy it is often a big clue that your insides are feeling the same. Study after study has shown that skin issues are directly correlated with leaky gut syndrome. Inflammation and stress within the digestive tract quickly shows its signs on the surface of your skin, so again please listen!
  • Food allergies or intolerances are quite commonplace for people with gut issues. For me this was the sign I most held onto. My entire life I have had food that upset my stomach. I also had headaches as a kid that were so severe I had to have brain scans and CAT scans because they were convinced I had a brain tumour. It was a really difficult time in life. That is until I went to see a natural medicine practitioner who after many tests realized I had an inflamed small intestine. She took me off gluten and dairy (which I had already been off since birth because of allergies) and quickly my headaches reduced ten fold. This was before the age of gluten free life and before most people knew what the word gluten even was. It changed my life dramatically, not only in feeling better but also realizing how integral this type of medicine was. It is the reason I believe so whole heartedly in natural medicine today. I have had a few of these experiences in my life where a natural medicine practitioner was able to find problems. Allergies can come in all shapes and sizes, but most of the time it is our bodies telling us important messages about what is happening inside.

The incredible part is that this list could go on and on! There are so many other signs that our body sends us to inform us of this distress, but most importantly we need to be listening. If you are tired of this discomfort, whether it be in the form of acne, gas, depression, losing hair or even springtime allergies I urge you to contact me! I can help to get you on the right track, finally feeling like the happiest, healthiest you. This is not something you simply have to live with, because with the right meal plan and changes to your environment all of this could change! I have gone through so many of these symptoms myself and I know what it feels like to be sick and tired of it. That is why I am so dedicated to helping people through gut issues and on your way to living your best life. If you or someone you know struggle with any of these symptoms, please contact me right away!

Magical Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a miracle drug. The possibilities for its uses are endless and literally I can’t stop singing from the hilltops about it. Yet some people are still not on the bandwagon and I am going to convince you on why you should run out to buy yourself a jar right now!

One of my favorite uses for this deliciousness is simply cooking with it. If you aren’t already I urge you to stop using olive oil when cooking. Every cooking fat has a different smoking point. Which basically means that it is the temperature where the oil will actually begin to smoke at if left unattended. Not only does this smoking point cause a bad smell and taste, it also releases carcinogens when it has reached this point. Olive oil has a low smoking point and thus why it is intended for use as a finishing touch or on salads. Other oils often seen for cooking can have even worse effects. Canola oil is an oil that I cannot tell you enough to STOP USING. 90% of the time canola oil is genetically modified. It has high levels of erucic acid which has been proven to cause heart diseases and high blood pressure. The list could go on and on, but here I am talking instead of why you should switch that oil out for a much healthier, safer coconut oil. Coconut oil on the other hand has a smoking point of 450 degrees. Also its levels of medium chain triglycerides helps to lessen the risk of disease within the liver, kidney and gall bladder. Switch out your other cooking oil pronto! Using coconut oil will help keep you healthy and veer away from disease.

Coconut oil is great for so many other things outside of the kitchen though, and once you discover them it will be hard to put it down. Some of my favorite uses are definitely skin, hair and body care.

I use it in place of lotion all over my body. It leaves my skin moisturized and nourished without the unnatural ingredients of lotion and without the oily feel. On my face is probably where I use it most though. I use it every night as a brightener and moisturizer, but I also do frequent face masks with it as well. Some of my favorite combinations are with baking soda, sugar or coffee as a exfoliant that makes my skin feel incredibly smooth and reduces redness and blemishes. Or I often add lemon to my nightly moisturizer as I find it helps to brighten and clean my skin. If I need a little more on a particular day I will often do a combination of these ingredients, and honestly it feels better than nearly any face mask I’ve ever done.

Not only is coconut oil a miracle worker on your skin, it also helps my hair look the best is ever has. Since I was a kid I have always had issues throughout the winter of dandruff and an incredibly dry scalp. A few years ago I minimized my hair washing to every 3-4 days and the results were astonishing. My hair got greasy way less often, it had volume, less dandruff and saving money from less waste. Although my dry scalp got better it in no way healed completely. Finally I was fed up with it and tried doing oil training. This is when you leave coconut oil or another oil in your hair preferably for 12+ hours the night before washing it.

To do: simply warm coconut oil in your hands until it reaches liquid form and rub into your scalp/hair. If you have greasy or thin hair you may want to focus only on the ends, but if you have a dry scalp like me really get into your driest areas. Put your hair in a bun and forget about it. After it has been in for a few hours or more wash your hair with a fair amount of shampoo. I try to do this once a week. Not only does my dandruff go away my hair feels silky and smooth for the week to come.

One of the last things I urge you to try with the coconut oil sitting on your shelf is oil pulling. Oil pulling (done with sesame, coconut or olive oil) is an Ayurvedic practice that has HUGE benefits. It detoxifies your entire body starting in your mouth. In Ayurvedic Medicine it is thought that each section of your tongue is connected to different organs. When you detoxify and clean mouth you are actually cleaning your entire body and ridding yourself of toxins. Not only does it help to detoxify your organs it also helps internally within your mouth. It kills bad breath, whitens teeth, prevents cavities, promotes gum health, boosts the immune system. This works because our mouths begin to form plaque around our teeth which cause a whole host of health problems in your mouth and even into our heart health. As you swish the oil around in your mouth, the bacteria and plaque gets stuck to and dissolves in the liquid. The more you do it the more plaque and bacteria you will remove.

It is simple, give this a try: First thing in the morning, before eating put a tablespoon of oil, I prefer coconut, into your mouth and let it dissolve. If this makes you cringe a bit, warm it first to get it into liquid form. Then swish it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. At the beginning I started small, even 5-10 minutes will help substantially and then build up to go longer. Do it in the shower or while reading to help you not focus on the time. After the time is up spit it into the trash. Not the drain! Coconut oil hardens when cold so this will harden in your pipes which is not pretty. Also make sure to spit it out and not swallow this. It has all of your bacteria and toxins within it and this stuff belongs in the trash. Super simple and unbelievably effective. I am quite obsessed with oil pulling and have seen amazing results in this practice.

As you can tell I am quite obsessed with coconut oil. If you are not already, please buy a jar! Try to find unrefined and organic for best most natural results. Let me know how your experience using it goes and if you have any questions. I’m sure you’ll quickly find you are just as in love as I am