A couple of weeks ago I was fishing with my 12-year-old son Garrett, my nephew, and my nieces who were in from Arizona. We were down at my sister’s cabin on a lake near South Bend, Nebraska. My brother, brother-in-law, and sister were with us. We got out there on the lake and it was so peaceful and enjoyable to be outside in this fall weather. We were just cruising the lake and it always makes me feel so close to nature when I can get out like that. It can just be so nice and relaxing. Being able to watch my son fish and how it made him be patience was enjoyable as well. My original gut feeling was that he would not have the patience to fish. You see he is a big PS4 gamer and wants everything to be instant; he doesn’t have patience for anything.
Fishing for Patience
By taking him fishing on the lake, he had to just sit there, wait for the fish to bite, and be quiet. That was really hard for him. He wanted the fish to bite right away. The few minutes of waiting seemed like hours to him. It was like that with my nieces and nephews too. All of the kids were getting antsy and wanting those fish to bite right away. I remember being his age, 12, and I used to go fishing at my grandparents’ farm in Kansas. Those are some of my fondest memories of growing up; the memories of going fishing with my grandmother. She was the one that really taught me a lot. Going fishing with her taught me a lot about patience, being calm, how to be at one with God and out in nature.
As I sat back watching the kids, it got me thinking how important it is for kids, and even us today, to learn how to be patience and wait for things. I think so many of us are really lacking in that area. Our culture today is all about immediate gratification. Everything is on demand, coming at you a hundred miles an hour and it can make your life feel like it’s spinning out of control if you’re not careful.
Learning how to wait for things, slowing that pace down, and calming the mind are all important skills. I feel each and every one of us needs those skills in order to be successful in life and in all of our relationships. When we can gain some perspective, we can stop that hamster wheel of life that so many of us find ourselves in. When we can do that, things really improve.
Worth the Wait
I know this is an area I often have to work on and one I have to work on every single day. I believe the things in life worth having are the things worth waiting for. By unplugging our lives, getting out into nature, and experiencing the beauty all around us can help to slow things down. There’s so much that nature can teach us; The virtue of patience can be applied to our daily lives.
Think of patience like a muscle….. The more we exercise and use it, the stronger it becomes.
Let’s move away from talking about the patience muscle and let’s talk about your gut.
To Recap What We Have Learned Thus Far……
Your gut health is critical to your mood, immune system, joint health, and inflammation levels. We talked a little bit about the leaky gut….. Remember the leaky gut is where toxic food particles, different chemicals, and bacteria will leak through the intestinal wall and get into your bloodstream and body. This in turn creates an immune response by your body that causes inflammation.
How do you know if you have a leaky gut? What can you do about it?
1- Digestive issues
Chronic Diarrhea, Constipation, Gas, or Bloating.
2- Headaches, Brain Fog, or Memory Loss
3- Allergies or Asthma
This does not mean an intolerance to people.
5- Chronic Joint and Muscle Pain with Fatigue
6- Skin Rashes
Acne… Eczema…. both are triggered by inflammation in the body
7- Auto Immune Diseases
Lupus, Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s
8- Poor Immune System
9- Nutritional Deficiencies
10- Cravings for Sugar or Carbs
11- Depression, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), or any Mood Issues
Now, you know what to look for, so what are some of the factors that cause a leaky gut?
We already know what happens in your gut, things are leaking through the intestinal wall. The gut itself is becoming inflamed. The junctions between the cells aren’t tight anymore. What used to keep things out is now letting things in that aren’t supposed to get through. Your diet, the way you live your life, lifestyle, behavior; all of those things contribute to it.
Nobody wants to hear that or be told they need to sleep more, eat healthier, finish your vegetables…. But you guys, I’m telling you that advice my mom used to give me. Grandma gave it to me as well, just like their grandparents gave them. There is so much truth to that!
Leaky Gut Contributors
Corticosteroids (a medication that reduces inflammation).
Alcohol. I like a drink just like the next guy does, but if you’re drinking too much it’s going to contribute to it.
Stress. I know today we’re all stressed out, but that contributes. a nonsteroidal.
Anti-inflammatories. Ibuprofen, Aleve, Naproxen, and Motrin.
Caffeine. This is a big one for me. Too much coffee, energy drinks… Cut back on the red bulls. Cut back on the monster.
Antibiotics. If you’re on those for too long of a period, they will offset the microorganisms within your gut by killing off the good ones. It’s okay for a short period of time. But being on antibiotics for a long period of time can create problems.
All of this may sound like a lot, but don’t worry. There are a lot of steps you can take to heal a leaky gut. And even if you don’t have a leaky gut, these recommendations can help prevent you from getting one too.
Step One: I may be on repeat… Fix your diet.
Even following a basic anti-inflammatory diet will help tremendously.
Drinking…. Focus on only drinking water, tea, or coffee. Cut back on the caffeine; you can still have some coffee, but with minimal sugar. Drinks high in sugar are one of the worst things that contribute to inflammation.
Step Two: Avoid high concentrated sugar foods.
Stay away from candy, cookies, cake, and processed foods. All right. A little bit is okay, but make sure you are really cutting back on that. It is very important this time of year as Thanksgiving is right around the corner; Followed by Christmas.
Please, think about this for a minute here. What happens around Christmas time and the beginning of the next year? This is when most of us are affected by a cough, cold, or flu. When is the cold/flu season? It’s January, right? What is happening to us prior to that?
We hit Thanksgiving. What do you do at Thanksgiving? You load up on a Turkey, stuffing, pie and much more. What do all of those things do??? Increase your inflammation levels and increase the likelihood of a leaky gut.
BUT… it doesn’t stop there because it rolls over into Christmas, right? What do we do around Christmas time? Party! It’s time to enjoy and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We eat a lot of processed foods, candy, and sugar. We consume more alcohol. What does that do to our body? It contributes to a leaky gut… Which, in turn contributes to our inflammation levels.
What happens to our immune system? Did you guess? That’s right, it drops. Lo and behold, you start to get sick in January. One of the things that you can do, if you take this to heart, is focus on this anti-inflammatory diet. It can really reduce your risk of getting sick.
Now, to get back on track…
Step Three: Avoid Dairy Products. Milk, yogurt, and sour cream. Fermented cheese is okay.
I know I have mentioned this previously. In case you missed it…
20% of your plate should be a meat source and 80% should be covered with some kind of vegetables. I think it’s the opposite for a lot of us. 80% meat & 20% vegetables. But it should be 20% meat & 80% veggies. Cut back on the carbs, gluten reduce, and alcohol.
Eat more gut healing foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. If you’ve never had kimchi, you are missing out, you’ve got to try it. It is extremely healthy for you and is so good for your gut. It helps maintain the proper microorganisms in the stomach.
Asparagus, pineapple, apple cider vinegar, and ginger are all things you can incorporate into your meals.
Step Four: Manage Your Stress Levels
- Focus on meditation. I swear by it. Meditation has so many benefits. It helps calm the mind. Helps you clarify your thoughts. It helps relax the body.
- Get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. Turn the TV off early, set yourself up on a sleep routine and get those hours of rest. It will make a big, big difference for you.
- Yoga is very helpful.
- Breathing exercises; Especially diaphragmatic breathing. Many times, it’s incorporated into meditation.
Really focus on those four things. They can help lower the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and increase the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. That in turn helps to lower your cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone.
~~~~~~Take a Probiotic Supplement~~~~~
There are a lot of good ones on the market and I’m not here to push one over the other. But I am going to tell you, these are some things you need to look for in a probiotic.
Look for probiotics that have multiple strains of bacteria.
Different strains of bacteria provide different benefits to the body and studies have shown that multi-strain probiotics are more effective than the single strain probiotics.
Look for probiotics that have balanced strains of bacteria.
Look for the potency and the CFU (Colony Forming Units) which is the measure of how potent a probiotic is.
You can find probiotics in the CFU range from 2 billion up to 100 billion.
Look for a probiotic that guarantees a CFU at expiry.
This means it will contain, at least, the amount of bacteria that’s promised on the label.
Make sure your probiotic is allergen free.
There’s a lot of probiotics on the market and they can contain allergens like dairy, fish, bovine, crustaceans, soy, and wheat. Some will even contain GMOs in allergens like wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, peanut tree, nuts, sesame, fish, eggs, corn, sulfites, shellfish, and mustard. So really look at the look at what is being made out of.
The capsules are very important. They get the bacteria in your probiotic to where they need to go, which is in your gut.
Now some probiotics on the market are housed in these interrogate coated capsules, be careful with that. Some of the enteric coated capsules contain plasticizers and these things are very dangerous. The best ones are those that are encapsulated in a vegan plant-based delayed release capsule. You want it to be delayed released. It should take about 40-45 minutes of delayed release to make sure it gets in the gut. They shouldn’t contain any plasticizers or chemicals in the capsule.
Packaging and shelf stability.
Many probiotics, even the shelf stable ones, are often packaged in bottles. Every time you open up a bottle, those probiotics are going to get exposed to humidity and the ambient air which can degrade them over time. Some probiotics come in blister packs. Those are actually the best ones to use because you’re just going to pop them out of that blister pack.
I just hit you with a whole lot of information to digest. If you’re like me, it can seem incredibly overwhelming. It can be like “Oh my, how can I apply all this at one time?” Don’t do that! Don’t take all that and overwhelm yourself. Just start with one of these recommendations. If it’s just, “Hey, I’m going to drink water now instead of Diet Mountain Dew,” do that until it becomes normal for you. Then add another one.
Maybe the second step is “80% of my meals going to be vegetables.” Do that as your number two. It doesn’t matter what you start with, just pick some and start putting them in one at a time; slow and steady. Think about it like the tortoise and the hare. You guys all know about Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare, right. Don’t be the rabbit. This isn’t a sprint, it’s your life. It is a marathon. Just do-little bits at a time and over the course of time, you’re going to have those changes put into place. You’re going to be making a huge difference in your intestinal health, which in turn is going to help you overall through proper healing.
Before you know it, you will be on track and feeling better. You will think better and your brain fog will go away. Your body starts healing faster. You won’t notice a lot of the joint pain. A lot of good things will happen.
If you are having trouble with getting your body right with anything to do with back pain all the way to headaches or even shoulder problems and you need some help…..
Would you like one on one help?
You can set up a breakthrough exam session by going to our webpage. You can work with either myself or my team.
I always love to leave you with an inspiring and thought-provoking quote. This one is from Warren Wiersbe,
“some of your greatest blessings come with patience.”
I’ll let you guys think about that for awhile….
Until next time. Power Your Life and keep moving forward.