How About Some True Preventative Health Knowledge?

Agar_plate_with_coloniesEvery time I get back to reading scientific studies on gut bacteria, I just get so inspired to eat whole, fresh foods (cook them if you want to!) and to pass that enthusiasm on to you.

In our guts, we have tons of bacteria (don’t blame them completely for the scale readings, though 🙂 . . .) which help us digest our food, make wonderful chemicals which help our blood sugar and mood, and which keep infections from crossing from the gut to our blood.  Plus so much more.  Tending these bacteria properly is TRUE PREVENTATIVE HEALTH.

We Don’t Deserve These Guys

What they do–it is absolutely astounding.  ASTOUNDING.  And what’s amazing is that our bodies and our bacteria hang onto our health for as long as they can for us despite the abuse we bombard them with.  Like a co-dependent spouse.  And I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough chocolate chips, white bread, and vegetable oil in my life to not deserve these poor little critters.

These bacteria really, really, really like plant matter.  Vegetables and fruits.  They like tubers too, like potatoes and sweet potatoes.  They even seem to like whole grains–NOT ground up, processed, and refined flours.

Unstick The Stuck Pin

So, fill yourself up on these plant products.  And if you can’t tolerate them, find a few you can tolerate.  Work on your health some (stress, relationships, sleep, wise supplementation, food sensitivities, sugar load, physical activity, getting some outside time, and making better all-around food choices). Then try to introduce some more!

Promise yourself you won’t stay stuck in life.  Unstick your stuck!  Promise yourself you’ll make the choices to eat more whole, real food (cut how you want, cooked how you want, combined how you like!).  We all have different styles–some dive in with all their heart.  Some move slowly and steadily.  But move to that place you want to be.

No one else will do it for you.

Personify Those Bacteria!

Sometimes, when I’ve been derailed from eating how I feel best, I think something really goofy. As I’m going to the cupboard or fridge, I start thinking about those super beneficial gut bacteria striving to be healthy off of what I eat–thereby keeping me healthy too!  Working SO hard, just struggling to get by.  The grind.

“Ah, I think.  I love those little guys.  They try to be so good to me.”  (Personification at its finest.)  And I ask myself, “Would my helpful little crew like this peanut butter with those chocolate chips?  That gluten-free bread?  Or would they prefer this peanut butter with that apple?”  Apple it is in this moment, then.

I can do this.  One better choice at a time–and I get back to my groove.

You can too.

Have a great day (a great weekend!), and I’m plugging along on a new butyrate post for those who like that kind of stuff.


PS:  I know not all of you have the luxury of being able to eat all the healthy foods due to various intolerances, but for all you can do, don’t stay stuck.

26 thoughts on “How About Some True Preventative Health Knowledge?

  1. Lesq

    This post is so very timely for me as usual. We r always on the same page in our research and reading. I started again with really good oatmeal, some good grains, good amount of veggies and smaller amounts of fruits then I have ever eaten) always was a fruit eater bec easy so smaller ants now), good nuts and seeds chewed very well, and sweet potatoes all varieties and cold white potato. Very interesting bec my bloat is a lot less. Vegetarian based morning and lunch and good quality pastures animal protein once at dinner with veggies and high quality carb. I have been following a way that certain foods get stuck in us and clog out intestines and others don’t. I am waiting to see bec I have always been opportunistic but often times lead down the wrong street. Time will tell. I do believe that food and stress reduction are healers if we allow it to happen. Your words always encourage me. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi, Les!! Opportunistic and let down? Never! Just life showing you what won’t work and steering you a new way! Eh? 🙂 (But yes. I definitely know what you mean and feel the same. Grrr.) Oatmeal, I love, but dang. It really seems to make things worse for me. The cold potatoes, a daily staple! A woman left a comment the other day on bentonite clay. Have you read up on that one? I think I’ll eventually read on that. She says she just used a bit daily and it helps her slow GI. I’ve not tried it before, as I had read some concerns on it. But I’ll have to add it to the stack to read on. Adios! — Terri

  2. Anonymous

    I’m struggling with silent reflux and no gall bladder or appendix to help with digestion and immunity so you bet I’m treating my gut microbes to anything that makes them happy and NOT taking PPI drugs. Instead I’m drinking chlorophyll water, liquid probiotics, a little apple cider vinegar in water 10 minutes before meals and taking HCI/Pepsin with protein meals but definitely cooking up more collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, beet greens, etc… I seem to be making progress… here’s to thinking positively as well!

  3. Pingback: How About Some True Preventative Health Knowledge? — The HSD | Rethink Your Health. Mind. Body. Soul: Plexus.

  4. Anonymous

    Ditto thanks for the encouragement – I just put my quackamole on celery sticks instead of tortilla chips!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      That rocks! Trade questionable oil stability of the tortilla chips for anti-oxidants in the celery—and a pectin-like compound which would feed those bacteria beautifully. Stellar choice. And if that was “guac”–an all-around great nutrition choice! I’m jealous.

      I’m so glad the piece encouraged. Cheers!

  5. Wilbur

    I’ve believed for a long time that the bugs inform me what they’d like to eat. I think that they do for many, if not all, people. The question is which ones are in charge. Or perhaps, since diversity seems to be important for health, whether or not no particular set of bugs is able to dominate the megaphone of cravings.

    People often compliment me on my willpower. I’ve got a house filled with chips, candy, crackers, ice cream, and more. I have no desire. At restaurants, I never touch the bread. But I don’t think its willpower. I have no more willpower than anyone else. My bugs just want different stuff. I crave Brussels sprouts like a chocoholic craves chocolate. They make me feel good. I go nuts if I don’t have veggies in the house. I have backups that refrigerate well, just in case. I’ve been on both sides, and my cravings for gut food are just as intense as my former cravings for junk.

    I started by just adding vegetables, much as you suggest.

    I have also learned that there are lots of dimensions to feeding the gut. Someone above mentioned spices. Yes! Cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, black pepper, chile peppers, and so on are good for the gut. They are parts of plants. Assuming my gut speaks to me, the bugs really seem to like very chewy meat, like lamb and goat shoulders. The tendons and sinew are much liked. It also doesn’t have to be apple vs chocolate chips with peanut butter. Chocolate is a processed food, but cacoa is part of a plant. Raw cacoa mixed with raw honey (or maple syrup) and coconut oil (or butter) spread over peanut butter and refrigerated makes an awesome dessert. And probably has more gut food, nutrition, and taste than a watery store-bought apple.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Good points. The bacteria in our guts are involved in protein (collagen from tendons, ligaments) processing, both directly and indirectly.—I don’t know much about fenugreek, and I don’t have any. I will look that up and see what to do with it. Love and use all the other spices.—DO I detect some disrespect for apples (well, store apples anyhow)? Although, probably more for store-bought fruit in general, maybe?

      (And for anyone reading comments, Wilbur consumes a high plant fiber based diet with good benefits and speaks from experience from changing his diet. Although I know one person’s path is not another’s, it still sheds light to learn for the rest of us.)

      1. Wilbur

        I have the fortune of having an excellent orchard near me. Absolutely the best apples. He has a reputation among other farmers for his knowledge of working the land naturally. I can’t eat store-bought apples anymore. Watery and flavorless in comparison.

        But I don’t eat a lot of apples anyway. I feel like the nutrition to calorie tradeoff is bad for me. I eat small blueberries and blackberries when in season (more skin for same weight when small). Dried Turkish figs and apricots out of season. Dried amla and baobab every day. The latter is about 50% pectin.

        For anyone who doesn’t consider the possibility of the bugs controlling our choices, here’s an excerpt from an ebook I’m reading.

        “Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science” by Dorion Sagan

        “Tel Aviv University’s Eugene Rosenberg found that Drosophila pseudoobscura fruit flies would mate only with others on the same diet; antibiotics removed their dietary pickiness, leading to promiscuity and suggesting that possession of specific gut microbes can be like membership in a special club, leading to selective mating and ultimately speciation.”

        If they control mating behavior, the idea that they control what we eat for dessert seems a possibility.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Check. I thought I was fancy eating lychee fruit. To read on: amla, baobab, fenugreek, and get some Sagan material (looks like he has the gamut of material). (And I’m working through a couple others on the brain you mentioned on the brain/consciousness. And some tween material as well, ha, because tween-hood is trying!)

        Ah! And that’s where I’d heard of fenugreek…for improving lactation.


      3. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Amla=gooseberries! I had no idea! We have those in Indiana (my true home). My ninety-year old great-aunt would make jelly out of them and pies! But otherwise, I thought them too sour! Of course, life changes us! How fun!

    2. pana303

      Fenugreek seeds, known as ‘Methi’ in Hindi are easily available at indian grocery stores. The bitter taste is 99% gone when the seeds are sprouted.

      1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Methi. Okay. Thank you. I wonder if fenugreek is in that wonderful spice mix that you get a spoon of as you leave an Indian restaurant. I also wonder how one uses sprouted fenugreek. Is it used like broccoli sprouts? Or then ground? And lastly, with nothing to do with fenugreek at all, I wonder what the traditional fat used in Indian cooking would be. My family loves Indian food, although we only get to eat it about once a year now-a-days. Too many thoughts for the night. Good night. 🙂

  6. Lesq

    Just to add oatmeal has always made me look so bloated and pregnant and sick and couldn’t digest it. I read that less then a quarter of a cup dry soaked and then cooked and keep with it. I have been doing it now for a while and little by little I started to be able to digest it. I read that it is very positive STC and feeding good bacteria so I kept with it. Little by little I have become less bloated as I eat it. I use a lot of water and loosen it with pumpkin or what ever is in season. I wasn’t going to keep at it but was told several times about its feeding good bacteria so like cold potatoes I plug away on this tasteless, but always hopeful journey. 😎🌈

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I’m glad to know that personal anecdote. Like you, knowing that it’s supposed to be helpful and then personally “knowing” it’s not helpful—well, that’s confounding! Start low and go slow. I think I’ve heard that sensible advice before.

  7. Julie

    Hey Terri! Great article as usual!! I’ve had a hard time taking care of myself lately health wise. I just eat whatever’s available at the moment I’m hungry most days…Idk how you did it during residency (bc im assuming these non sleep filled days are quite similar)…miss ya girl and was coming to see what you were up to…I’ve deactivated my fb for now, and haven’t been on the ol’ blog in forever…but just wanted to stop in and say Hey! Finals are the next 2 weeks for me…send some prayers up if you think about it, please!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I will, Julie! It was good to hear from you! I’m glad residency and any school is over! I don’t envy you one little smidge. I didn’t realize how exhausted I left that stage until now when I feel good again. Rock those tests, okay! Sleep is your friend. Remember that you don’t solidify the memory of facts unless you enter REM sleep—or some stage or another. Or something like that! Hug your little ones.

  8. wildcucumber

    Amla = gooseberries? LOL.

    And those Goji berries that cost a fortune = wolf-berries, which are as common as dogs with bare feet all through British hedgerows. But shhh, let’s not tell any of this to to the super-food marketeers.

    >>still chuckling<<

  9. bloomwellnessblog

    Love this – I’m totally going to personify them next time I reach for the chocolate chips😜 So wonderful to have this info backed by a physician as well. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!


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