No one is perfect. Give yourself a break. Did you overeat? Drink too much? Now you’re bloated? Well, if you’ve read my past blogs you know that I KNOW better than to do those things. And ok, I was way easier on myself this year, no doubt. But here’s the thing - about 80% of our immune cells reside in our intestinal tract. Trillions of microbial cells also live there in their funny community that we prefer to be dominated by healthy and helpful bacteria. These are the facts.
Beginning of December I got some kind of funk that Nate brought home from work. Just in time for the holiday fun to begin, I felt better. Like I said, I didn’t go super crazy! But for about a week or longer I ate and drank things that aren’t so great for me. So maybe, I didn’t completely get over that funk. Then, last weekend, I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever. By morning I could barely move without wanting to vomit and I hurt everywhere and blah blah, you get it I had the flu. Remembering that I never get the flu, that I’ve always tended to get viruses last in this house, that I hadn’t really been anywhere, and that Nate was perfectly fine, I was perplexed in my flu stupor. Plus, as you may also have read, my immune system tends to work really well, sometimes too well.
I grabbed it somewhere and it’s not so perplexing now that I’m not in a flu-ish daze. I hadn’t really gotten rid completely of the last virus most likely. And my gut was not tip top, so my immune system was not tip top. It’s probably that simple. And that’s the whole point of this post. 80% of immune cells. Think about that, and the connection to illness and the gut is easy to make. You’ll also understand why I always say, health and illness begins in the gut.
Does it seem like there are more viruses around these days? I don’t know if there are or not. Feel free to google it and let me know in the comments. But people talk about them like there are more and like they are more virulent. Smart people say a big bird flu is coming. I got an email from Fish, Wildlife, and Parks about some wild birds testing for it and I won’t go into details but dogs and people are also getting it. Don’t freak out! I mean, it’s the world we’ve created and now we have to live with it. Think about the impact on this precious world if we all ate differently, and what impact that would have on the world, wildlife, clean water, and our guts! Collectively our immune systems would be stronger and more prepared for whatever weird viruses are out there. Companies pumping us and the planet full of dangerous chemicals and unhealthy ingredients would become weaker and have less power in general. People say you vote with your wallet but maybe you vote with your stomach - and in a time of so much tension and division, is food the thing we can actually agree on? Could our guts save the world??!!
Ok, I don’t know if that’s true but it could be true! What if it’s true? What if simply eating well changed the system and saved the planet? And while we were at it, saved ourselves. I mean I’ve lost three weeks of living to these little viruses lately! Ok maybe I’m still in a little flu-ish fog but maybe I’m right and thinking big is the way to go.
I’ll go into this more in my upcoming class, Your Digestion, January 27th. Check it out. You’ll also learn how to do your own daily belly massage.