Did you know that 80% of your gut health is directly linked with your immune system, and in turn: your stress levels?
The immune system keeps the body healthy, fighting off foreign invaders, viruses, pathogens, and parasites, distinguishing these things from your own bodily tissue. It also makes sure the body is cleansing efficiently and plays a role in the cleansing of the lymph, a system that acts as the bodies sewage, so-to-speak.
When we eat things that are artificial, processed, and full of chemicals the body has a very difficult time clearing out the bad stuff and finding anything that could potentially be salvageable to actually nourish the body. The process of digging through all of the dirt to find gold uses up precious energy. About 15% on just a healthy, but heavier protein-rich meal. The harder it is for the body to digest and do what it’s designed to to run efficiently, the more energy it takes up. This will in turn lead to unnecessary stress on the body, and often times have us craving more despite being full because we have consumed empty calories.
Also, in the case of processed and artificial foods, the body does not know what to do with all of this foreign matter other than to attempt discarding it as quickly as possible. This adds to the stress and inflammation within the body as a fight for survival begins as the body will think it is under attack.
Now, we have overactive immune and nervous systems. If this cycle continues over long periods of time, burnout will occur causing these systems to stop functioning well and the bodily defenses to go down. It can also lead to adrenal fatigue and thyroid problems.
On the flip side, when we feed our bodies with healthy, nourishing, real foods full of vitamins and minerals: our body knows exactly what to do. This is because our bodies are part of nature and as such must be nourished by nature in the purest way possible.
I understand this is not always possible, but I like to live by the 80/20 rule. Eat as healthy as possible 80% of the time, and indulge 20% of the time. This way, I will feel so amazing that when the option to indulge the 20% presents itself, I will still choose the healthiest option possible so as not to sacrifice my energy and good health. Or, since I am still human, I will choose to have something that may not be the healthiest and enjoy every last bite regardless, because I know when I get home I’ll be eating that salad.
The key to eating healthy is to not be hard on yourself when you don’t. If you want the ice cream, love and enjoy it. But don’t use this as an excuse to eat poorly all of the time and say “but I love and enjoy it” because I can ensure your body does not. Plus, if you feel the desire to feed yourself poorly often, instead of the occasional holiday or outing with friends, then there is often and underlying reason that goes much deeper. If this is the case, it would be beneficial to start asking, “Why do I choose to feed myself in a way that does not make me feel good and energized? Why do I continue to stress my body?”
According to health.gov, about half of all Americans have preventable chronic diseases that can be cured with dietary changes. This includes things such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
Now, I’m not going to lie. Eating healthy is a bit more expensive. Naturally, it would be compared to eating at a place like McDonald’s. However, when investing in fresh fruits and vegetables, the value far exceeds that of processed and artificial mush that has no real nutritional value. Investing in real food is an investment in long term health. Even if money is being saved by purchasing foods that inevitably harm the body, that money will then be put into medical bills down the road.
And I don’t care about your grandfather who ate like garbage and smoked like a chimney. Some people have genetic predispositions and unwavering faith that keeps them going, or they just ate enough good food in their youth to have the proper protection that aided their longevity. People who eat healthy in their childhood often go on to live well into their 80s, 90s, and even 100s.
The point is that we have the ability to feel amazing and to live healthy lives with the potential of extreme longevity. If we choose to take care of ourselves and invest in our own health now, our bodies will thrive and in turn we will be granted a higher sense of well-being. We will have more energy to do the things we love and the immunity to keep us protected from stresses and illnesses that may try to harm us. This also leads to greater joy in our lives that can alleviate depression, and as eating healthy nourishes the nervous system, it will help us adapt to stress as well.
Now we know the lives we are capable of having by choosing to eat healthy, but how exactly do we do It?
First, like I said, follow the 80/20 rule or something similar, so that when times of eating less-than-ideal appear, it won’t lead to binge eating cookies and ice cream in front of the tv out of shame.
Second, eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Once we have extended our palate to try numerous varieties of whole foods, our bodies will have an easier time telling us what foods are best for us. It is of no use to buy into fad diets. Our bodies are intelligent and each unique. If we feed them whole foods from the earth, they will tell us the effect each food has on us through our feelings. Maybe even keep a food journal and record the affect each food has.
Third, have fun. Eating healthy isn’t meant to be stressful. Go to farm markets and meet the local farmers. Eat healthy with friends and family and share recipes. Experiment with new things and enjoy nutritious creations with loved ones. Enjoying the process makes the food taste better and offer better absorption into the body (true story).
BloobNut Cream of Buckwheat Recipe
¼ Cup of Buckwheat, ground
1 + ½ Cup Water
½ tsp Cardamom
1 tbsp Cacao
1 Handful of Blueberries
1 Tbsp Cocoyo Vanilla by GT’s [x]
1 Tbsp Almond Butter [x]
Optional: Maple Syrup to Sweeten
Place the buckwheat and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the water is absorbed and the buckwheat takes on a thick, creamy consistency.
Stir in the Cacao, Cardamom, and Maple Syrup.
Top with Blueberries, Coconut Yogurt, and Almond Butter.
Serve immediately and Enjoy! ♡
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