Balanced Health Archives - ig2go

Why Fermented Foods are Good for Your Gut

You’ve probably heard at least once that fermented foods are good for your digestive tract. But have you ever explored the reasons why? We’re diving into those details today to answer your questions, and to figure out how fermented foods occur, and what benefits they actually offer to our digestive system.

What is Fermentation?

Fermenting foods is not new, in fact, it’s been around for thousands of years and is one of the earliest methods of food preservation. Fermentation is the process that happens when Microorganisms like bacteria and yeast are introduced to help break down some of the food’s components. Most often those components are Sugar or Glucose, and they are broken down into alcohol or acids.

Fermentation is able to preserve food because the microorganisms responsible for the fermentation end up overtaking and destroying any bad bacteria in the food would lead to food-borne illnesses. Any microorganisms that are left, are considered GOOD bacteria and are safe for consumption by humans. It’s important to note that although fermentation is relatively simple, proper fermentation does require specific safety steps in order to limit the chance of something going awry.

Fermentation is responsible for such delights as Wine, Beer, Liquor, Cheese, Sourdough, Yogurt, Etc. Each of these fermentation by-products requires specific steps and even different microorganisms to come out as intended.

Human Bodies and Fermentation

Fermentation happens in two main ways within the human body. The first is in our muscle cells. When our cells run out of their primary energy source, ATP, they start producing extra ATP through Lactic Acid Fermentation for more energy. If you’ve ever sprinted and experienced a stitch in your side, that’s most likely the build-up of this lactic acid being created by your muscle cells.

The second form of fermentation that our bodies go through is a huge part of our digestive process. Our guts are home to hundreds of different bacteria species, working in harmony with our digestive and immune systems to break down complex carbohydrates and aid in nutrient absorption. Our bodies rely on this gut biome to function properly and to help fend off any bad bacteria that make their way into our digestive tract. Each person’s biome is slightly different, ad those differences are dependent on the person’s environment, diet, and unique body needs and requirements.

How Fermented foods benefit the body

  1. Fermented food with a living population of good bacteria or yeast, also called “Probiotics”, help your body’s own gut biome maintain its balance. When a gut biome is lacking diversity, or when they are weak due to poor nutritional intake, it can lead to a number of health problems that affect your whole body. Symptoms can include inflammation, IBS, and leaky gut syndrome.
  2. Probiotics help with food digestion of complex carbs and synthesizing certain vitamins like B12 and vitamin K.
  3. Anti-biotics are incredibly useful for many health conditions, but even though they are intended to attack the bad bacteria, they can still wreak havoc on our healthy gut biome. Probiotics can help restore that good bacteria and keep our digestive system working smoothly.
  4. On top of that, your overall gut health is thought to be linked to so many other systems, including bladder health, oral care, plaque build-up, pain sensitivity, blood pressure and blood sugar, and even brain health.

What fermented foods should you be eating?

It’s important to remember that not all fermented foods are going to provide the same benefits. Wine, cheese, and sourdough may all involve fermentation, but the final products no longer contain any live probiotic cultures. If you’re looking to add some probiotics to your diet, we would suggest the following:

  1. Kefir – a fermented dairy drink, thinner than yogurt, and excellent with fresh berries.
  2. Yogurt with live cultures – again, make sure the yogurt you choose says it contains live cultures, as not all yogurt will.
  3. Kombucha – a fermented tea drink, fizzy, somewhat tart, but very refreshing.
  4. Tempeh – fermented soybeans that have been compressed into a cake or patty. Commonly uses as a vegan meat substitute.
  5. Miso – also made by fermenting soybeans, but is ground down to a past that can be used in soup or sauces.
  6. Kimchi – Korean fermented vegetables, commonly used as a condiment or side dish in Asian cuisine
  7. Sauerkraut – fermented cabbage from eastern European cuisine. Also used commonly as a condiment on a number of popular dishes.

Are fermented foods safe for everyone?

Fermented foods are generally considered safe for most people. Anyone with a Histamine Intolerance should, or anyone who is immuno-compromised should consult their doctor for individual guidance. And it’s also important to know where your fermented foods are coming from. It’s not safe to play with bacteria if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Proper fermentation requires sterile equipment and proper temperature control. Most commercially available fermented foods should be safe, but we highly recommend you follow a vetted recipe if you are attempting to ferment at home.

How much should you be eating?

There’s not really a right answer to this question. If you’re new to fermented foods, eating too much at once may lead to some uncomfortable bloating. A good place to start is a single serving per day for the first few weeks, and working up from there. Listen to your body, and talk to your doctor if anything doesn’t feel right. Every individual is different, and every probiotic stain is a little different. It may take time to find out what cultures benefit your body the most, and how often your gut really benefits from that extra boost.

Creating Wellness by Cultivating Your Space

If you’ve been with us for a while, you know our philosophy on wellness extends beyond just nutrition and good food. Whole-body wellness includes your mental well-being, moving your body, and feeling safe and nurtured in the spaces you spend the most time. Given the state of the news, we thought this week might be a good time to reflect on some ways you can focus on that last point. Here are some ways you can rest and heal your spirit through clearing your space so you can step into each day with a centered mind and powerful intentions.

The importance of your space.

Your space does not necessarily mean your home, your room, or your living area. Your space is an area that you claim as your sanctuary, where you have the room you need to breathe, relax, and express yourself fully. Maybe this is just your desk, maybe it’s your patio, a garden, or even a moment alone in your car on your morning commute.

Often times the rooms and spaces we spend the most time in are both reflections of our inner wellbeing, and hold influence over our inner dialogue and moods. By respecting these spaces, you are also respecting yourself.

Clutter and organization

A ‘perfect’ space looks different to everyone, but I think something we all share is that cleanliness and our preferred methods of organization matter a lot. And sure, it’s common sense that keeping your space clean is important for a number of good reasons. By keeping your space physically clean, you are allowing more freedom of movement and fewer visual distractions. This allows you to focus more on cultivating the things you care about.

You may not notice a little clutter, but when you stop paying attention, it starts to add up. Soon enough, you’re having trouble finding the things you need or things may be in the way when you’re trying to do the things you need to do. But this physical clutter leads to mental clutter as well. Subconsciously you’re spending mental energy to work around the clutter.

Get in the habit of taking that extra 5 seconds or 5 minutes to tidy up every day. Make your bed, pick up the clothes around the hamper, wipe the counters, clean out the trash from your car, and throw out or file any papers taking up room on your desk. These

Leaves to lift you up

Adding a little greenery to your spaces can do wonders for improving your mood, especially if you don’t have regular access to outdoor public green spaces such as parks or gardens. Not only have house plants been shown to reduce stress and improve focus, but they also literally help to purify the air around them. And it’s not just the leaves that are responsible for this, the microorganisms in the soil play an important role in removing airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

If you do decide to purchase houseplants to freshen the air naturally, these are several of the species shownTrusted Source to be most effective:

  • Areca, lady, dwarf date, and bamboo palms
  • Boston fern
  • Rubber tree
  • Spider plant
  • Ficus tree

Energetic clearing

Maintaining your energetic peace is possibly the most important item on this list. Cleaning your space, and investing in some greenery can certainly make it easier to balance your energy, but sometimes you need to take it a step further.

Negative energy can settle in a room, or space, like a fog that clouds your vision, and your thoughts, and it can consume your mental focus to the point where you don’t even feel like yourself anymore.

One of the most common ways to clean your space energetically is to ‘smudge’, or burn medicinal herbs. This tradition stems from the Indigenous cultures of North America, but similar practices can be found in many places around the world. Dried white sage bundles, often called “Smudge sticks” are a common herb to use for this practice. But other herbs or flowers can be added such as lavender, Rose petals, or Rosemary for added benefits. Recent studies have found evidence that burning certain herbs can improve air quality. Beyond just clearing out bad energy, it actually purifies the air. Smudging with Palo Santo sticks and essential oil sprays are also common ways to clear out negative energy and help to purify a space.

We feel it’s important to note that WHERE you get your Smudge sticks and Palo Santo matters. The popularity of these practices has led to mass production and unethical harvesting of these plants. Be sure the items you buy are sourced sustainably, or purchase them directly from First Nation’s people who use sustainable practices.

How to smudge

  1. To burn a smudge stick just light the tip
  2. Blow it out and either wave in air or place in a glass or metal container (one that will not burn) with sand or salt placed therein to hold the smudge bundle upright.
  3. Then wave the smoke around whatever it is you’d like to purify. A feather or group of feathers is a traditional way to do this.
  4. As the smoke moves around and up to the sky, imagine releasing whatever is not in your best interests. Let it go on the smoke. The sacred smoke will take these energies back to the Source, where they will be transformed into positive energy again.
  5. To extinguish, invert smudge into the sand or salt to smother. Smudges put out a lot of soothing smoke.

If you’re interested in adding smudging to your wellness routine, we offer a selection of smudge sticks, herbs, and Palo Santo in our store. We encourage you to stop by and pick one that suits your needs best.


As a woman-owned business, our heart goes out to all of the women that are, and the generations of women that will be effected by the recent news. We urge you to take time to care for yourself this week and reflect on ways you can still take ownership of your wellbeing and your energy. When we take action from a centered mind, we allow ourselves to use all of our power and energy as a singular focus. We believe It’s important in these times to cultivate a community that supports one another, and connect with each other so we can work towards solutions for a brighter and more equitable future.

How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

This post is NOT about losing weight. In fact, that resolution isn’t even going to be mentioned, because you know why? I’m SICK OF IT! Aren’t you? Of course, you can use food to lose weight (studies show it’s more effective to control your diet than increase exercise if you have to choose), but let’s dig a little deeper this year and go after what we really want to maintain your New Years Health goals.

1. Resolution: Be Happier 

It’s a simple one, but it’s what we’re really after with all the other resolutions isn’t it? Even when you have a great family, work you love, and live in a beautiful part of the country that hovers between 60 and 80 degrees in the dead of winter – you can still feel down more often than you’d like. Stop punishing yourself for being ungrateful – that’s not it. Unless you need to make real changes in your life (maybe you do!), these downtimes are chemical. And that means you can lift yourself back up with food. 

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Two especially powerful anti-inflammatory foods (or supplements) you can try are: 

  • Turmeric (curcumin) 
  • Omega-3 (fish, or fish oil) 

2. Resolution: Be Healthier 

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, daily.

  1. Lemons – Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, vitamin C.
  2. Broccoli – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting rock-star, vitamin K & vitamin C combo builds healthy bones.
  3. Dark Chocolate – 1/4th oz daily reduces blood pressure & bad cholesterol, and improves your mood!
  4. Salmon/Fish/Flax Seeds/Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease. 
  5. Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and eye-health-improving. Toss a handful in with your eggs every morning! 

3. Resolution: Spend More Time With Loved Ones 

Invite some friends over to cook a healthy meal together – and schedule these dinners as often as you’d like.  We’re all so busy that if we don’t schedule in time with friends and loved ones, it never happens. So put a few dinner dates on your calendar. Here’s an idea: Make a game of it by inviting a friend to walk through your local farmer’s market with you, choose some “mystery” ingredients, and see what you can do with them when you get back! 

Don’t like to cook, but still want the healthy dinner? We’ve got you covered. Just serve everyone Intelligent Gourmet! 

Share your new years health goals with us! What are your favorite tools and healthy habits?

How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

This post is NOT about losing weight. In fact, that resolution isn’t even going to be mentioned, because you know why? I’m SICK OF IT! Aren’t you? Of course, you can use food to lose weight (studies show it’s more effective to control your diet than increase exercise if you have to choose), but let’s dig a little deeper this year and go after what we really want to maintain your New Years Health goals.

1. Resolution: Be Happier 

It’s a simple one, but it’s what we’re really after with all the other resolutions isn’t it? Even when you have a great family, work you love, and live in a beautiful part of the country that hovers between 60 and 80 degrees in the dead of winter – you can still feel down more often than you’d like. Stop punishing yourself for being ungrateful – that’s not it. Unless you need to make real changes in your life (maybe you do!), these downtimes are chemical. And that means you can lift yourself back up with food. 

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Two especially powerful anti-inflammatory foods (or supplements) you can try are: 

  • Turmeric (curcumin) 
  • Omega-3 (fish, or fish oil) 

2. Resolution: Be Healthier 

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, daily.

  1. Lemons – Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, vitamin C.
  2. Broccoli – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting rock-star, vitamin K & vitamin C combo builds healthy bones.
  3. Dark Chocolate – 1/4th oz daily reduces blood pressure & bad cholesterol, and improves your mood!
  4. Salmon/Fish/Flax Seeds/Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease. 
  5. Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and eye-health-improving. Toss a handful in with your eggs every morning! 

3. Resolution: Spend More Time With Loved Ones 

Invite some friends over to cook a healthy meal together – and schedule these dinners as often as you’d like.  We’re all so busy that if we don’t schedule in time with friends and loved ones, it never happens. So put a few dinner dates on your calendar. Here’s an idea: Make a game of it by inviting a friend to walk through your local farmer’s market with you, choose some “mystery” ingredients, and see what you can do with them when you get back! 

Don’t like to cook, but still want the healthy dinner? We’ve got you covered. Just serve everyone Intelligent Gourmet! 

Share your new years health goals with us! What are your favorite tools and healthy habits?


New Years Health | How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

In the Kitchen – How to make an IG Taco Bowl

This recipe is a great way to make a quick, flavorful meal that’s packed with vitamins, protein, & flavor.

Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Dishes on C10 News


See original video here

We’re honored to have been invited on Channel 10 News to share some of our favorite healthy St Patrick’s day dishes! It’s time to drop the belief that holidays are synonymous with unhealthy eating. Get festive without the guilt with our IG Bangers and Mash, and IG Shamrock Shake.

Hosting a holiday get together? Check out our Catering Menu! We’ll take care of the feast, while you enjoy the festivities.

Diffusing Essential Oils

People often ask why I love to diffuse essential oils.

Well being a long time scent junkie or should I say candle-holic, I was sad to learn that my addiction to burning a candle in every room just might not be the best thing I could’ve been doing for my health or for the health of those around me.  I simply had to find healthier and more organic way to satisfy my cravings. THE FACTS:

  • A lot of the candles we burn are made from paraffin wax, when you burn paraffin it forms the toxic substances benzene and toluene both of these are know to be carcinogens.
  • Some candles even have a tendency towards lead core in the wicks, nobody wants to release that in their environment.
  • Because we love beautiful things and the marketplace is appealing to our scenes, many of our candles even the soy ones are enhanced with artificial scents and colored with harmful dyes.

 

Enough said, I made the decision to my part by not spreading toxins in the air with my burning candles.

Diffusing pure essential oils gave me all of my fabulous scents with the  added benefit of promoting physical and mental health.  Just one of the many gifts of diffusing oil is that you can choose your oils to suit you and create customized blends of the oils to fit your mood or your current situation.

  • Blend them is your work space to create an atmosphere of clarity, energy and stimulate focus.
  • Use them in your home to promote, relaxation, calmness and a sense of general well being.
  • In your bedroom use one oil in the evening for a restful night sleep and in the morning to strength and toning while doing your morning meditation or exercise.

I chose Neal’s Yard Remedies, because I think of them at the pioneers of essential oils. Their oils are all 100% pure and unadulterated.

They believe that wild-crafted and organically grown plants are better for you, the growers and pickers, their communities and the environment. By severely restricting the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are used you can be sure you are getting the best possible product.

To order call us . 813.287.2253 or shop online @ https://us.nyrorrganic.com/shop/ig2go

04.11.17 Neals Yard ad

SELF CARE RITUALS TO PRACTICE DAILY – THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

 

self-care-header-for-blogLEARN HOW IMPLEMENTING THESE 10 SIMPLE SELF CARE EXERCISES INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER! .

We’ve been taught to show compassion for others, but how often do we afford ourselves with that same level of kindness?  Truthfully we don’t, and I frequently wonder why we don’t treat ourselves as our own best friend.  We’ve done some thinking and our team has created some quick and simple self care rituals that you  should practice on a regular basis.  By implementing these steps daily into your routine you will self soothe and make sure you’re at your optimum,emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Including these steps into your life will increase a little bit of love and attention for your own body, mind, and soul. With attention to your own self care you can begin to feel more connected to your inner self and what naturally follows in greater joy.
10 Self Caring Exercises that will Boost your Power

  1. Stand or sit in front of mirror Look into your own eyes and tell yourself, “I see you. You’re beautiful. I love you.”You can talk to yourself about how proud you are of a certain accomplishment or how you handled a situation at work or home. Speak about what gets you connected to the true reality of who you are an intuitive, strong, courageous being.
  2. Think Positively: Write yourself a list of positive affirmations things you are happy with right now and changes of where you want to be. Read them out loud to yourself daily. The power of affirmations is well documented the truth is that what we manifest becomes our reality!
  3. Do something grounding something that involves connecting your body with the Earth in whatever way makes sense for you. Lying on the ground in the grass and meditating for 10 minutes. Walking barefoot in the sand.
  4. Be grateful and say “thanks” for all the greatness in your life. Do this before bed and when you awake for the new day.
  5. Before you begin to eat, be mindful of your food. Take time to think about where it comes from or how it was grown, who prepared it with you or for you. Appreciate it, delight in the flavor and enjoy the food for what it is, fuel for your body.
  6. Use Laughter As Medicine: Laughter boosts oxygen levels and improves circulation and immunity response. Plus, you get a good belly workout!
  7. Get a massage regularly Getting a massage releases toxins from your body, which promotes relaxation.
  8. Try Acupuncture, acupuncture triggers your nervous system to send serotonin to your brain (instant relaxation!)
  9. Start a Journal: Journaling can help you make sense of your feelings. Simply start writing about how you feel go back and read it latter see if you don’t feel differently.
  10. A healthy diet is a big part of any successful self-care plan. Nutrition has been linked with emotional, physical, and cognitive health. Eating a healthy diet gives your brain and your body the vitamins and minerals needed to stay well.

 

Warming Up to Healthy Eating- Lentil Soup

picture-for-blog-post-01-01-17

Was last night the sixth holiday party we just attended? Yes, it surely was. Or perhaps it was the thirteen. I’ve lost count. While I relished every last friend, holiday/new year wish, hors d’oeuvre, cookie & cocktail with gusto, I am now carried away to a more sensible space. Here in Florida it’s a sometimes cold place we call January.

If you are like us and many others, who have spent the last month stuffed with stuffing and tipsy with holiday cheer, January brings with it a promising opportunity for replenishment, balance, and the only way to do that is by giving your body everything it needs to thrive. Lots of healthy foods and vegetables.

But to go right from cookies to carrots in 0 to 60 seconds seems crazy, we believe the body must be eased back into it’s normal patterns gently and reasonably. No fad diets, or pill will have you looking and feeling your best.

At Intelligent Gourmet, we know it’s not about losing weight – it’s about living your best life. That said, for many of us, part of becoming healthier, happier people involves undoing some of the less-great decisions of the last several weeks and, yes, losing weight. Unfortunately, changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight (though one diet claims otherwise)

What matters is keeping your nutrition high, your calories controlled, and your exercise up!

Try working your way back into some better eating habits with a healthy soup packed with protein and vegetables. Here we share with you a recipe for a very versatile lentil soup that you can easily adapt to your families personal preferences and pantry inventory:

Ingredients

  • 1 # package of dried lentils (You can use any kind you like, red, green, brown and black beluga)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, (small diced)
  • 1 large carrots, (small diced)
  • 2 ribs of celery (small diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1 12 oz package of winter squash cubes (available at most grocers)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 hand full of your favorite greens chopped, (kale, spinach, mustard, or chard)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • flat leaf parsley (for garnish)
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Start my heating some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over moderate heat, (you do not want the olive oil smoking) Add the chopped, carrot, celery and onion and allow these vegetable to sauté slowly about 8 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent add in your chopped garlic, salt and spices, stir and cook another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in your winter squash cubes of choice and toss to combine.
  3. Add 4 cups of your stock ( chicken or vegetable depending on if you are making this vegan or not), and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in your raw lentils ( Lentils do not need to be soaked like other beans but do rinse, Check the cooking time on the package, which can vary from one type to the next. Red lentils cook in as little as 15 minutes while the black ones can take as long as 45 minutes.)
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until lentils are just tender but not mushy, and your squash is soft. (Add additional stock if you want a thinner soup adjust to your liking)
  6. When the lentils are just tender, add the chopped greens. (They’ll only take a minute or two to wilt remove the pot from the burner as soon as the greens are wilted and bright green.)
  7. Finish with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, and a generous amount of chopped parsley. Adjust salt if necessary.

CHEF NOTE:

Change up your meal in any one of these 4 ways.

  1. You can trade 1/2 the stock with coconut cream for a creamy flavor.
  2. Season with smoked paprika, a touch of liquid smoke, and a ham bone.
  3. Add in a 14 ounce can of diced tomato for another variation.
  4. Serve with a tablespoon of greek yogurt on top.

IS YOUR GUT MAKING YOU CRAZY?

We Welcome Guest Blogger and Friend Sarah Bingham founder of Fast Food Healing.

Sarah is a licensed nutrition consultant with a master’s degree and more than thirty-five years experience counseling and lecturing on all aspects of nutrition throughout the country. Her current focus is in family nutrition, helping parents recover their children from conditions like autism, ADD, ADHD, asthma and other learning/behavior issues. She is also a dynamic and passionate speaker who communicates with clarity, humor and inspiration the simplicity of achieving wellness.

Sarah works as the Director of Nutritional Programs for Valle Counseling in Tampa, FL. She is a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome) practitioner (see www.gaps.me). Sarah is the founder of Fast Food Healing LLC, a personalized in-home nutrition counseling business. Sarah always addresses body, mind and spirit as they are all critical to a healthy body.

Following is an article Sarah shared with us.  Did you know that 80-90% of your neurotransmitters (chemicals that effect your mood and brain function) are created in your gut? Also, the seat of your immune system is in your gut. Hence, that old saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling” is quite accurate. Hence, what research is beginning to put together is if your mood, mind or behavior are off, you have a very good chance of having a gut that is off and a poor immune system.

What do I mean by “off”? Your gut is loaded (about 4 pounds) with good guy bacteria. This good guy bacteria keeps in check the potentially bad guy bacteria that is also present. All of these microbes have important functions, like creating B vitamins, neurotransmitters, and anti-cancer substances. When the good guys are winning, your mood and ability to think are in great shape. Your immune system is also in good shape. But, when the bad guys are winning, you could be suffering from any one of these conditions: Irritable bowel, reflux, ADD, ADHD, asthma, autism, bipolar disease, food allergies and intolerance, depression, dyslexia, autoimmune disease and more.

What causes your gut to become out of balance? Antibiotics, stress, the birth control pill, most prescription drugs and a diet high in processed foods. So, take a mother to be who has eaten a processed diet her whole life, has had a few courses of antibiotics and is now pregnant. Her gut “flora” or bacteria are more than likely out of balance. A baby’s gut is sterile until going through the birth canal. At this point, the baby swallows some of the mother’s vaginal fluid, which is reflective of her gut balance or imbalance. Thus, the baby’s gut is inoculated with either good guy bacteria or bad guy bacteria. And the cycle begins again.

Sometimes it’s easy to bring your gut back into balance using probiotics, lactic acid fermented foods and good whole foods and sometimes it takes a major effort to accomplish a rebalancing of the gut. When I look out at our society with lots of depression, rage, anxiety, immune dysfunction and irritable bowel, I think we all need a major revamping of our gut flora. As Hippocrates said back in 400 BC, “All disease begins in the gut.”

love your gut