Image by @Briony
By now, you must know that if you eat like crap, and treat your body like crap, you’re gonna eventually feel like crap – right? And that’s not really rocket science, folks. Crap + Crap = More Crapola. Nourishing your body properly by fuelling it with real food, full of fresh nutrients, is gonna make you feel great and help you to operate at your optimal level of health. But, I do want you to dig a little deeper than the ol’ “you are what you eat” verbiage. Because, you can be eating really healthy and taking all of the supplements in the world, but you may not be assimilating it all properly. And guess what, you’re likely wasting your money too. So with that said, it’s time to switch your thinking to “you are what you absorb” instead.
Yeah, that’s an intense statement and not one that I take lightly as a certified nutritionist. I get it, you may be wondering, “umm excuse me Catherine, but how the heck am I supposed to know what I’m absorbing or not absorbing?” And possibly also, “Really?! One more thing to worry about that I might be doing wrong?” Well, I can’t really Magic School Bus myself into your body (please tell me you get that reference), but I can give ya some tips. So, let me break it down for you in order to ease your mind and your wallets a bit!
Are You Taking Care of Your Gut?
When you eat food or take a supplement, it goes directly into your mouth (I mean, for the most part) and then through the digestive tract. During this digestive cascade, your body uses a bunch of fun and fancy functions to break down your food and then utilize as much as it can from it, before processing it and turning it into waste. Yes, I’m talking about your poop, thank you very much. Poop is pretty awesome and everybody freakin’ does it.
Now, think about that for a minute – no, not the poop, but all of the stuff that comes before it. If your gut integrity is not in order, how the heck are you supposed to actually break everything down, assimilate it and then utilize it effectively? Well, you’ve gotta start by taking care of your digestive system with a series of factors like lifestyle, food and supplementation.
Some key factors include:
- – Consuming whole foods: like eating actual real food, folks. It’s not that complicated, just don’t put processed garbage into your face hole.
- – Removing inflammatory foods: this could be things like gluten, dairy and soy – but you should really find out for yourself by seeing a health care professional, in order to learn all about what foods are causing you issues (these are just some of the most common offenders).
- – Kicking stress in the butt: Did you know that there are more nerve cells in your gut than there are in your spinal cord? Talk about really feelin’ those butterflies, amirite? And listen, stressors exist everywhere – there’s nothing you can do about that. What’s important is how you react to them, so work on finding really great tools that work best for you in order to reduce stress in your life;
- – Supplementation: Sometimes we need a little extra help. It’s important to heal the gut before we replenish it with all the good stuff that it ultimately needs. Some of my favourite gut-health supplements that help to heal and replenish, but also have great residual effects on the rest of the body include: probiotics, prebiotics, collagen, L-Glutamine, and aloe (inner fillet not whole leaf).
Are You Just Investing In Expensive Urine?
Speaking of supplements, what are you taking and why? I get it, there’s a lot of health noise out there, but if you’re taking a supplement just because you read somewhere that it’s supposed to help with something, you’re only seeing a part of the picture. You could just be wasting your time and money, not to mention the fact that it could possible be detrimental or even dangerous.
Here’s an example. Vitamin C is freakin’ awesome. But if you’re not taking the right form for you, you’ll just poop out about 80% of it. That’s a pretty big waste and also won’t get you the results you’re looking for from a health standpoint. Same goes with probiotics – what strains are you taking and what are you doing to support them? Are you sure that your supporting your microbiome properly with the right prebiotics as well (like fibre) and beneficial foods? Are you taking them at the right time of day for you and truly optimizing their effectiveness, for optimal results?
Just breathe. You’re gonna be okay.
Where Are You Getting Your Information From?
I get it, it can be pretty confusing. And I felt the exact same way before I went to school to study nutrition for myself. And even now, I still have to do my due diligence in order to keep up with all of the latest research and breaking information out there in the world. While it’s empowering to take your health into your own hands, you do want to make sure that you have a good support system that will keep you safe and healthy, while you strive towards achieving your goals.
That’s why seeking the advice of a credible health care professional is key. You are unique and you will have different needs than someone else based on factors like your lifestyle, genetics, diet, activity level – just to name a few! You’re worthy of seeking the help that you need, so don’t be afraid to go out and get it. You are what you absorb doesn’t just mean what your putting into your body, it can also mean what information you’re taking in and what needs to be kicked to the freakin’ curb. Question everything and treat yourself right, because your body is the only place you have to live.
(Story by Contributing Editor and Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Catherine Sugrue)