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Go with Your Gut!

Written by Guest Blogger- Erica Dudek, NPC Bikini & Licensed Massage Therapist


Maya Angelou once told Oprah Winfrey something along these lines, “When you know better, you do better”. Oprah said it was one of the greatest lessons of her life. She loved that wisdom so much, she shared it whenever she could. Forty-three times on her talk show!

Curate a lifetime learner mentality, listen to your gut, (pun intended-lol) and do better for your health, researching as much as you can about inflammation. I’ll be writing about different aspects of it over the next few months and I hope you will take what you read and run with it. This post focuses on the ties between inflammation and your gut health. Also, I’ll share some major causes of disbyosis, which is the loss of beneficial bacteria and the rise of pathogenic bacteria resulting in a loss of microbial diversity.

Gut health is a huge driver of OVERALL health. Leaky gut is linked to many autoimmune diseases, diabetes, heart and brain conditions and skin problems. Our intestinal wall is only one cell membrane thick and when inflammatory foods and chemicals penetrate the lining and release bacteria into our organs and blood, well, Houston, we have a problem. Intestinal permeability occurs when we develop holes or tears in the intestinal wall, allowing partially digested foods, bacteria and toxins to penetrate the organs surrounding it. The guilty foods and chemicals are everywhere in the U.S. food supply, including (SHOCKER!) our Food Pyramid!

Some of the biggest gut health destroyers include gluten, dairy, white sugar and processed, packaged foods. No big surprise right? But high PUFA (Polyunsaturated fat) oils are wreaking havoc on our bodies too. Our bodies don’t recognize chemicals in these oils These include what Dr. Cate Shanahan calls “The Hateful Eight” oils, aka “vegetable oil.” Canola (rapeseed), corn, cottonseed, soy, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed and rice bran oils.

Get rid of anything that says hydrogenated. These oils are toxic to our bodies and rip through our guts. They contribute to a global explosion of chronic issues including Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer, Asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Macular Degeneration.

Read every label in your pantry and before putting something in your grocery cart.

A few easy ways to get started ridding your body of vegetable oils include:

  • Phase out the hateful eight oils and phase in fresh, whole and unprocessed natural foods. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and shop the perimeter of grocery stores.

  • Switch to EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), coconut, avocado, sesame, flax, almond and walnut oils, duck fat, ghee, tallow and butter.

  • Make your own salad dressings. Just because something says organic or GMO free, it more than likely contains one of the vegetable oils. Read the ingredients. Every time.

Remember most restaurants are not in business for your health. Everything coming out of their kitchen contains one of the hateful eight oils, unless advertised. It’s almost guaranteed!

Personally, when I consciously cleaned my diet of as much hateful eight oil as possible, I lost about eight pounds. A lot of that was inflammation and fat. My diet isn’t perfect, but every day, every shopping trip, I’m reading labels and mostly cooking my own meals.

Cindy Caudy, PT, IFBB figure pro said, “Be an advocate for your health, do your own research.” This blog’s owner, IFBB bikini, CPT, & Group X Instructor Pamela John says,"Want to be happy? Begin with gut health! Your gut affects not only your health but your overall mood!"

I want this for each of you; to know a little about this topic and to continue learning. A friend got me to look again at one of my protein powders and my oat milk. I didn’t want to know-- but on the labels... Vegetable oils.

In my next post I’ll share some more causes of inflammation and dive a little deeper into the reasons vegetable oils are so bad for us.

I think Maya Angelou’s real quote is, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” It’s not easy making a dietary change. You are retraining your taste buds and that may take a couple weeks. But Coach Pam always tells us to keep going. Keep going, keep learning and doing better!

Recommended reading and listening

The Fatburn Fix and Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan

Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

Food Forensics by Mike Adams

The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast by Dr. Mark Hyman Dr. Hyman’s website

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