The Inside Story
Gut health made simple...
Those who know me will tell you I’m big on gut health… Huge! It’s the center point, hub, head-honcho of our health and wellbeing. The digestive system is as important as the heart and brain. And thankfully it’s now becoming a buzz theme as research and knowledge is rising. We’re more interested in how our body’s work, we’re becoming our own doctors which (if done intelligently) is amazing news.
So back to our gut; It’s a fact, a healthy… Or not so healthy digestion can have a huge effect on acne, eczema, loss of energy, motivation, clarity, headaches, migraines, hormone imbalances, IBS, metal health issues, depression, cancer, allergies, autism, anxiety and the list goes on. If we gave our digestion more TLC and nourished the trillion’s of good gut flora, then many issue’s would lessen and maybe disappear completely.
Not only does our gut nourish our whole body, our bones, heart, brain, organs and skin. But it also communicates with us - The Vagus Nerve runs from the root of our brain to the depths of our gut which is why it’s often called the second brain, and for good reason. Its designed to read, think and feel all on its own to avoid our brain becoming overloaded, maybe now we’ll think twice before putting junk food into our second brain hey?!?
This is where yoga, meditation and breathing come in. Your emotions play havoc with this complex digestive system; anxiety, stress and worry, are often the root cause to poor health and disease. But we can easily elevate the tone of the Vagus Nerve (latin for wandering) with yoga, breathing and getting a little mindful in our modern lives
So find a yoga you resonate with, exercise to release endorphins, meditate to create space and breeeeaatthh… simply breath deeply and lose yourself in some calming belly breaths. Now fill yourself up with feelings of kindness, love and gratitude and then smile. The cherry on top; chant, hum or sing your favourite tune. The magic happens because the para-sympathetic nerves (I call the 'ease' nerves) is not only the Vagus Nerve but are also found around the eyes, face, ears, mouth, tongue, throat, voice and expressions. All combined with deep breathing and some good gut health and tad dah! You've unlocked the power to self healing.
A Great pose that covers all aspects: Happy Baby
- Calming as you fall in your back body; mould your self into the floor and let it support you.
- A deep hip opener; softly ground the base of your pelvis and tail bone.
- Stimulates your digestion while deeply belly breathing into the gentle compression of your outer belly.
- Releasing tension in your spine from shoulders to base; bring your attention to softening the back of your waist too.
- Helps reduce your heart rate, therefore relaxing and calming your 'ease' nerves and Vagus Nerve; smile and feel as a happy as a baby.
Whilst we’re on the subject here’s a few extra benefits;
- Increasing good gut flora can also reduce, if not eliminate some allergies and intolerances.
- It will ease bloating and aid weight loss, yes weight loss! Your mid-drift will deflate before your very eyes because your gut is happy. And your skin will glow.
- Good gut flora will boost your clarity, drive and focus while supporting a strong immune system (70% of our immune is centered around our gut) keeping lots of nasties at bay. The list is endless peeps, so who wouldn’t want all this? It’s all incredibly accessible just change a little here, add a little there and get super aware.
Some more little tips:
- Eat real food, reduce processed food, gluten, dairy, sugar and meat. They’ll ‘breed’ and ‘feed’ on the bad gut flora which is then absorbed into your fat cells, bones, brain, organs… Yuk!
- Snack on good foods and often, helping to support your enzymes. Scoffing a huge plate of pasta on a very empty stomach is like throwing a ton of logs onto a tiny fire, you get the picture.
- Chew your food; there’s a good reason why your grandma said 'chew your food'. Enzymes are stimulated in your mouth by chewing. Helping to break down foods right from the start, as well as helping to communicate with your digestive system and getting everything geared up for its arrival.
- Drink lots of water and keep hydrated; add cucumber and lemon to fresh water, drink herbal teas, a little green tea and miso soup. Avoiding too much caffeine. See below for 2 of my favourite drinks at the mo.
- Start your day with a pint of hot water with lemon and ginger kick-starting your system, charging-up from the inside-out.
- Make soups; helping to support and soothe your digestion and giving it a little welcome break.
- Eat probiotic rich yoghurts, add pre and pro-biotic’s to your food.
- Increase fibre. We have become a nation of juicers, be conscious you’re not missing out on essential fibre's contained in fruit and veg.
- Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach as this damages the villi (folds in the small intestine tissue). I used to be guilty of this (yep I’m a yogi who love’s a vino or 2.. shhh) but it can cause inflammation and leaky gut syndrome.
- Increase anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric.
- Now to my favorite of all; fermented foods! I LOVE EM! Kimchi, Saukraut and Kombucha. They're without a doubt the power-house to good gut health. My whole family and house guests devour these often, they’re all so simple to make and so satisfying. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.yogamojoibiza.com and I’ll be happy to share scoby’s, recipes, advice and help.
So How is your gut feeling? listen to your gut because it is always right and keep it simple, a little goes a long way. Then shine my darlings, simply shine.
The MOJO Immune Booster
Your immune system defends us against bugs and bacteria, which can cause inflammation, illness and disease. This gem of a juice is a great way to take in stacks of goodness. Make up a batch and enjoy over a couple of days. Mix to your taste.
• 1 pineapple (juice or blender)
• 3 oranges (juicer)
• 2 medium carrots (juicer)
• A thumb's length of ginger (juicer)
• Piece of turmeric root (juicer)
• Pre and or Pro-biotic powder or open a capsule
• Lucuma (high in vit B and Calcium) 1tbsp
• Baobab (high in vit C)1tbsp
Super Hydrating Cucumber water, AKA The Mojo-ito
The night before, add filtered or alkaline water to a glass water bottle or large Mason jar. Then add the chopped cucumber and lemon. Let the water sit overnight in the fridge. The next morning, take it to work or sip all day where ever you are. Keep refrigerated and add ice and a handful of crushed mint when you're ready to drink it. Peppermint oil is particularly anti-inflammatory and soothing for the gut, reducing the symptoms of gas and bloating. Enjoy your cucumber water all day and feel it hydrate every cell in your body
Filtered or alkaline water
½ English cucumber, cleaned, chopped into ½-inch discs
Half lemon, sliced
Fresh mint leaves (optional, but recommended)
Large glass water bottle or large glass mason jar.