Camping Solo 

Rest day today, camping tomorrow. 

I ground my coffee #thanksReunionIsland 

I cooked my cabbage, and made a slaw #thanksBerryFreshFarms (started working there today!)



I prepped some things and froze others:


I learned fire building tips from a pro, thanks Cris!

I’m going to be ight, and am looking forward to being in nature, the constant noise here is getting to me. My body wants a break from training, but mind is racing. Bringing yoga mat, hiking shoes and kayak. Trying to match mind level w body needs, slow things down.

Music is made in the silence between the notes.

Meat Pie Food Fear challenge

My community is so supportive since I’ve been more vocal about overcoming my eating disorder.  It’s great.  BQM supported my first burger (albeit, bunless), The Rude Boy (polite*) is sponsoring me for my second, and North Shore Pie co gave me free meat pies to support my challenge to eat the filling of the pie which I did yesterday:

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I had the filling, and it was yum.  I asked for the ingredients, and ya, apart from good-sourced meat, it has cornstarch (not non-GMO, or organic….but fucking eh).

There’s no magic supplement, fish oil, snake-skin-superfood or turmeric and black pepper that’s going to get some lbs on my skeleton, nor is there an easy way out.

Eat more, stress less (this means “stress” in all senses of the word: cold showers to working out).

I’m struggling with both.  Straight up.  I am challenged to rest, and challenged to eat more.  I’ll challenge my food fears, but honestly, I know how to “calculate” the risks so “everything evens out”.

I know I gotta shut that shit out the window and let go and just allow myself to feel the hunger and satiety cues.  I’ve started meditating daily again, for only 10 mins, but it’s huge.

And my GOD: I’m NOT alone.  SO many people have expressed similar struggles since I’ve been more vocal, so here’s to us all trucking on.  From skin-picking anxiety, to OCD, to distracting through numbing of all different vices (weed, alch, exercise, food).

The key is to stop running away and face myself.  To listen and connect.  THIS is why my 10  minute meditation practice is going to save my life: I am going to save my life. Ya…I’m going to the damn gym when I should probs rest….but I’m packing a snack for afterwards that I’ll eat without thinking, simply with feeling, and I’ll meditate like Buddha.  OM

See you in a bar past 9pm in 5lbs…and thankgodfortinder.

Jah bless.

Feel it in your “GUT”?

A good day starts with good shit.  Is that not true?

In the Western world, talking “shit” is considered embarrassing, and not appropriate.  Alright, so maybe I don’t really want to hear about my brother’s “solid one” and give him a high 5 when he reports to me at breakfast, but(t) I think that the topic of our gut is something that is of integral importance to health.  I think that social support around the topic is another healing component of colon health, and that this directly relates to state of mind and contentment.

gut health

Be honest with yourself here, how good do you feel after you’ve had a great bowel movement?  Pretty good, like you can take on the world, invincible 😉 ?

According to Ayurveda, proper management of the colon is the foundation for treating the digestive system and all our digestive diseases.  And furthermore, our gut health is directly related to our state of mind, our body’s immunity and our happiness.

Let’s have a look at our gut bacteria.  Our gut flora is an array of microorganisms residing in our large intestine that functions directly to impact our health in order to:

  • help the body digest certain foods that the small intestine cannot digest
  • produce some vitamins like Vitamin B and K
  • combats aggressions from other microorganisms and maintains wholeness of intestinal pH and integrity
  • It plays an important role in the immune system, performing a barrier effect.
  • A healthy and balanced gut microbiota is key to ensuring proper digestive functioning.

While our general composition of microbiota is similar in most healthy people, everyone does have a different make-up of gut microorganisms, with more than 3 billion microbial genes in our gut (150 times more than in our own genes!).  The personalization comes into play based on environmental factors, ethnicity (for example, Japanese people cannot easily digest lactose), and studies show that a big influential factor on our gut flora health is environment, diet and lifestyle.

So what happens when our gut flora is off and what causes it?

Dysbiosis is a condition where there is an imbalance of out gut microbiota, and occurs when we are under stress, abuse our health, and make poor diet and lifestyle choices.  This can be linked to disorder and malfunction of the bowels, inflammatory diseases, allergies, obesity, diabetes and many more.

Let’s link this to brain function:

Studies in rats show a link between gut health and brain function.  The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) is a network of cell that provide a gateway between the bloodstream and the nervous system.  It protects our brain from toxins, and filters out threatening components in our blood.  A study took mice that were raised in a germ-free environment, where they had weak gut flora, and weak protective mechanisms and immunity, and showed that their BBB had weakened junctions.

This leaky barrier resulted in nerve damage to the brain, particularly the hippocampus which controls stress and memory formation.  Other affected areas were the frontal cortex (our happiness brain centre!) which functions for executive control and decision making, and the striatum, for coordinating movements.  These deficits lasted through into adulthood.

Gut flora determine our relationship to the environment around us, as 75 percent of the immune system resides with the gut. They determine much about our emotional well-being, since 80 percent of our serotonin is in the gut. The enteric nervous system—often referred to as the “second brain”—is embedded within the gut. Gut microbes determine our vulnerability to disease and stress, and direct our potential to thrive emotionally, physically and intellectually.

http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/The-Outer-Womb/the-gut-microbes-and-poop/How-Our-Gut-Flora-Shapes-Us.html

According to a study reprinted on the website Green Med Info:

“… [A]n increasing number of clinical studies have shown that treating gastrointestinal inflammations with probiotics, vitamin B, D and omega 3 fatty acids, through attenuating proinflammatory stimuli to brain, may also improve depression symptoms and quality of life. All these findings justify an assumption that treating gastrointestinal inflammations may improve the efficacy of the currently used treatment modalities of depression and related diseases.”

So how do we promote healthy gut?

Dr. Mercola recommends:

    • Fermented foods are still the best route to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions. Healthy choices include lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner), fermented raw (unpasteurrized) grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots, and natto (fermented soy).

If you regularly eat fermented foods such as these that, again, have not been pasteurized (pasteurization kills the naturally occurring probiotics), your healthy gut bacteria will thrive.

  • Probiotic supplement. Although I’m not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are definitely an exception. I have used many different brands over the past 15 years and there are many good ones out there.
  • If you do not eat fermented foods, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement certainly makes a lot of sense considering how important they are to optimizing your mental health.

Probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry, transmitting mood- and behaviour-regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve, which is yet another reason why your intestinal health can have such a profound influence on your mental health, and vice versa. Two other important factors to treat gastrointestinal inflammation and also help relieve depression are:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/06/can-inflammation-in-this-organ-be-at-the-root-of-your-depression.aspx

How does this link to a good shit?  The life you live, the stress you put yourself under, the food you eat, and how you eat them, all factor into your colon health.  A marker for damaged or compromised gut flora is directly related to healthy bowel movement functions.  Are you plugged up?  Incomplete?  Grumpy?  Take a look at your state of mind, your diet, and lifestyle.  Consider where you are and where you want to be.  Maybe this is where you begin to change your life.