Expert Advice on Harmful Chemicals in Beauty Products

In this video, you can expect to learn the harmful chemicals in beauty products that Lara Adler, environmental toxins expert, says are the worst that you can find in skin care products on the market today. You should look out for these two if you are trying to take better care of your skin and your microbiome.

 

Her top 3 favorite brands that are safe and fun to use.
Learn which are the top 2 companies that make you believe they are “organic” but somehow have shifted and are no longer what we believe them to be.

 

You’ll also get a glance at my favorite companies and whether or not Lara agrees with me.

 

Find my special Better Beauty Products Buying Guide here that I have put together for you and start getting some great products to use.

 

 

Lara is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who received her training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and she is a self-taught Environmental Toxins Expert.

 

Lara states in this chat with me that she is concerned with two specific ingredients: phthalates, and parabens in so-called natural skin products.

Harmful Chemicals in Beauty Products

1. Phthalates

The easy way to discover if your products contain this harmful toxin is if it contains fragrance, perfume, or parfum. You will often see this listed on many body care labels. Anything with a nice smell most likely contains phthalates.

 

What consumers don’t realize is that the word fragrance alone can contain up to 300 different potentially dangerous chemicals that companies don’t have to tell us about so they hide them under the euphemism fragrance, parfum or perfume. Companies know that fragrance is the magic formula for getting consumers to choose one product over another. We want to smell pretty and we buy products that smell pretty. 

 

Phthalates also serve as a fixative in products, meaning they hold the smell throughout the day. So if you get a whiff of someone’s shampoo late in the day, most likely they used a shampoo containing phthalates. The same goes if it is a lotion or laundry detergent. Phthalates can be used in countless products on the market today.

 

Phthalates are also a synthetic estrogen meaning they are endocrine disrupting chemicals, which block or mimic the role of natural hormones in the body, and they do at very low levels. The hormone system in the body is extremely delicate and can be thrown out of whack very easily. This is causing an increasing number of health concerns that can be traced back to gut and hormone imbalance. These chemicals disrupt our normal functioning! The endocrine system is responsible for so much in the body including your body temperature, moods, metabolism, fetal development, growth, maturation, suppleness of our skin, and so much more. So when we have these synthetic estrogens coming in, they will really mess with you health in a way that is quite invisible at first. 

2. Parabens

The second ingredient that Lara mentions is parabens, which she states is present on most ingredient labels. They act as a preservative and we do need preservatives in products to an extent, but they are also an endocrine disrupter and also pass through our skin’s barrier and get into our deeper tissues.

 

Any product that has water as an ingredient will automatically require some degree of preservative because the second you add water you create an environment that encourages bacterial and microbial growth within the product. There are safer preservatives such as food grade and essential oil-based preservatives.  But more often than not parabens are used. These are the ones that block or mimic the role of estrogen in the body. The upside to this ingredient is that it IS listed as what it is on the label. Anything that ends in -araben.

 

Now for the good part! Lara shares her favorite products with us, ones that she has approved of and uses herself! If you want to see all of these in one place, please check out this guide that I created for your convenience.

  1. Acure: These are sold in most health food stores. I use the lip balms and you can grab this pack of 5 with the free Dark Chocolate Mint Flavor. Lara enjoys the shampoo, conditioner, brightening face scrub, body lotion, sensitive facial cleanser, seriously glowing facial serum, night cream, rose + red tea facial toner, ultra hydrating body wash,
  2. Well People Mascara: pro black or pro brown and Eco Bella Mascara black or brown
  3. Devita: Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

 

Lara really loves The Well People makeup company because they are Environmentally Working Group Verified through ewg.org. This resource rates all the products out there so when looking for laundry detergent, house cleaning supplies, and more you can rest assured that someone has done the dirty work of testing it for you. If you would rather not spend time searching through the whole website you can go straight to their Skin Deep Database. This will save you tons of time finding cleaner safer products at www.ewg.org/skindeep

 

Lara shares with us some companies that claim to be healthy and are seen as organic quality in the eyes of the consumers but aren’t necessarily.

 

The term organic is not regulated in the personal care product industry, only in food.  Anybody can use the term organic, even if they are not. The only way you will see a USDA Certified skin care product is if 98% of the ingredients are food based ingredients and the companies already have organic certifications. So be mindful when purchasing products and try not to get fooled. You must remember that the words on the front of a label are there to convince you, not inform you, so it is your responsibility as a consumer to turn the label over and look at the ingredients.

 

Companies Lara is bummed about:

1. Burt’s Bees: Known as the pioneer company to have natural products was bought out by the Clorox Company and now the ingredients are not that much better than what you would find in conventional products at a drug store.

2. Body Shop: Filled with all kinds of synthetic ingredients, claims to be safer, is more expensive, but they are not.

I like to patchwork the products that I use and make sure each one is the right fit for me. I have a Better Beauty Buying Guide for you to see my favorites as well as Lara’s favorites that she spoke about in this video here today.

My favorite lines are:

AnnMarie Gianni Skincare

Suntegrity, you can also order sample sizes from the website

Beauty Counter 

You can find all these products in the buying guide I created for you.

Put your favorites together and share with us in the comments below! 

Probiotically,

Summer

https://summerbock.com/harmful-chemicals-in-beauty-products/

 

The Safest Beauty Products for Your Skin

What kinds of beauty products do you put on your skin? Have you taken the time to make sure they are clean and safe?

Whether you have skin issues or just want to age beautifully, this is one area that needs some attention. I’ve seen the insides of many makeup bags, medicine cabinets (guilty!), and showers and know what kinds of products people are using. Some of the healthiest eaters are still using some of the most chemical-laden products. This is super harmful for us and all the microorganisms living on us!

Here are some of the stats: Europe has spent the last decade banning nearly 1,400 chemicals from personal care products, Health Canada 600 and in the United States, banned a mere 12. US cosmetics safety laws haven’t been significantly updated since 1938, meanwhile the science has evolved to show that some of the ingredients commonly used in the beauty industry have been linked to harmful health outcomes.

In today’s videos you’ll discover my most favorite beauty products (straight out of my bathroom – proof that I use them myself). Best of all, you will be able to grab these in the Better Beauty Products Buying Guide that I have created with links for your ease.

Watch these videos to hear more about each individual product:

The Safest Beauty Products for Your Skin

The Safest Body Care Products for Your Skin

Something that hardly anyone is talking about is all the bacteria that live on your skin. They help protect you and make up a vital part of your immune function creating a barrier on the outside of the skin that maintains a pH that keeps pathogens from growing on you.

Your skin plays such an important role in your overall health and what you put on your skin affects all sorts of things including the organisms inside your body and on your body.

So many skin products are filled with toxins and when you put that on your skin, it gets absorbed and then it gets into your bloodstream and your liver has to process, which gives it unnecessary work to do all the while adding carcinogenic compounds into your body.

There are products on the market that contain ingredients that should never be put on your skin. When it comes to skincare and makeup I think this is a really important topic because there are some products that woman love and use that have toxins in them but they use them because they see the results.

This is why I believe that it would benefit you for me to share some of my favorite better beauty products with you today.

You can access the Better Beauty Products Buying Guide right here so you can see what my recommendations are and where you can get them easily.
Probiotically,
Summer

Your Skin Issues May be Rooted in a Bacterial Imbalance

First off, if you’re dealing with rashes, fungal infections on the skin, sensitive skin, dermatitis, itchiness, acne, boils, hives, eczema, psoriasis, and many more you’ll want to look at two things – the products you’re putting on your skin and the bacteria living there.

You may have heard about the gut microbiome, but did you know that the skin has its own microbiome?

What does that even mean?

The gut microbiome is only one home for the bacteria. Your skin has bacteria growing all over it. Your body has methods in place that keep most organisms from growing on you. From dead skin cells shedding to sweating. This is important as it’s part of our immune system. The sweat glands determine what organisms grow where on our body and your diet determines what type of sweat comes out and what type of organisms feed off of that.

There are a lot of components when it comes to skin health and there is crossover between gut health and skin issues. Eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, hives, itching, flaky skin, fungus, etc are just a few problems people are dealing with. These are all skin issues that are related to what is going on inside your body. You have to make sure your body is digesting properly so you can take care of these issues.

When looking at the skin itself there are so many types of bacteria that grow and when your immune system isn’t working properly this is when you get bacterial and yeast overgrowth, which results in many skin problems. Therefore, you want to make sure your largest organ (the skin) is working properly.

You can check out the textbook “The Bacteriology of Humans, an Ecological Perspective” if you want to nerd out on the science.

The skin itself generally has a low pH, low moisture content, various immune cells, and enzymes that break apart any organisms that may be hanging out there. Even then, there are some bacteria that end up sticking around. They generally cluster around sweat glands and near the hair follicles.

There are good bacteria that live on your skin and you want them there!

Bacteria on your skin can eat: glucose, ribose, fatty acids, glycerol, lactic acid, amino acids, urea, biotin, phosphate, thiamine, and micronutrients. These nutrients come from your sweat so you need to take care of what is inside your body so your sweat is as clean as possible. This fosters the growth of the best bacteria for optimal skin health.

Something you can do right now to help make your skin a happy home for good bacteria:

1. Use sesame, shea butter, olive, or coconut oil all over your skin when you get out of the bath or shower. This feeds the good bacteria, your skin cells, and improves the functioning of your immune barrier at the skin level.

2. Make an herbal infused oil. In the videos below I teach how to do this with chaparral, which is a desert plant. So if you don’t live in the desert, substitute fresh rosemary which you can find at more natural foods stores or order dry chaparral from an herbal company like Mountain Rose Herbs.

3. STOP USING ANTIBACTERIAL PRODUCTS. I’m yelling this because this product is highly overused and unnecessary in most situation. When your body is healthy and your skin microbiome is flourishing you are protected from pathogens on the skin. Continually using antibacterial soaps and gels will start to break down your own immune defenses. If you are finishing up in the bathroom on an airplane or around someone who is sick, please opt for a coule drops of lavender essential oil instead.

4. Sunbathing from time to time, not to burn, but just to soak in the sun for about 10 minutes on each side will help kill off microorganisms that should not be there.

5. Exfoliation using the skin scrubby in my store. Soak in the bathtub for 10 min and use the scrubby without soap to remove the layer of dead skin cells. Once dried off, cover yourself in oil and put on a bathrobe to let it soak in.

If you are struggling with noticeable skin issues such as fungal nails, spots, blemishes, bumps, and more, please watch the following videos, This Natural Sunscreen Doubles as an Anti-Fungal for the Skin.

You can view the second video This Natural Sunscreen Doubles as an Anti-Fungal for the Skin Part 2 Decanting

 

Use clean, natural products that won’t mess with your bacteria so you can keep your skin glowing and beautiful!

Probiotically,

Summer

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This Natural Sunscreen Doubles as an Anti-Fungal for the Skin

This amazing oil can be used on fungal infections, Candida, discoloration on your skin, athlete’s foot, and an all-over skin-microbiome balancer. If you do have Candida I recommend you use it on your skin to support your immune system overcome the infection even if it is in your gut, too.  It can be used as a low SPF sunscreen, which means it will need to be reapplied as needed.

Introducing the amazing desert plant, chaparral. I learned about chaparral while studying herbal medicine in the desert. If you don’t have access to the desert, you can substitute rosemary (which you can purchase at natural foods market in the fresh herbs section, but it won’t have the same power as chaparral. You can also order dried chaparral from many companies including Starwest Herbs and Mountain Rose Herbs. Follow the same instructions in the video.)

 

Part 1: Making the Oil 

In this video, you’ll learn how to make Chaparral Oil. I made this batch during my road trip across the country.

 

Before you attempt at making this oil, give the leaves at least 24 hours to dry out a little.

Put the plant inside a jar and cover with olive oil.

Take off most of the stems and just keep the leaves for the oil.

There are no specific measurements here, just cover the plant material with oil.

Put a lid on it.

Give you oil  a few weeks and allow it to get warm inside the jar by setting it near a warm appliance, heater, or next to a sunny window.

It needs to be warm. If the oil is cold it cannot pull the constituents out of the plant.

 

Put in a crockpot or allow to sit in the sun.

 

When it’s done strain it through a mesh strainer or a cheese cloth.

 

I recommend using this oil after a shower or a bath all over your body and even on your scalp if you struggle with dandruff.

 

You can also turn it into a salve using beeswax after you’ve decanted the oil. 

 

Part 2: Decanting

 

After sitting in the jar for 2 months, the oil looks super dark.

If you look at the plant matter in the oil, you can see that the leaves are thin because all of the constituents have been pulled out of the plant.

 

That’s why the oil will appear to have a super dark green color.

 

To strain you can use a cheese cloth or muslin (unbleached) and you will want to pour the oil into the cheesecloth to separate the plant matter from the oil.

 

Pour out as much as you can from the jar and then pull the ends of the cheese cloth up and squeeze to get all of the oil out of the plant matter.

 

You want to store your chaparral oil in a sealed jar.

 

You can use your chaparral oil when you get out of the shower after your body is dried. Slather on your scalp and all over your body. NOTE: If you put it on your scalp, you will need to wash it with shampoo a few times to get the oil out. 

If sleeping in the oil make sure to wear a shower cap and put a towel on your pillow to protect your sheets.

Probiotically,

-Summer Bock

How to Use Energy Power to Boost your Adrenal Function

Today I will be sharing a treat with you. I made two super quick videos showing you how to use my wildcrafted Energy Power mix.

There are so many ways to infuse Energy Power into your food so you can increase your energy when you need it most during the day.

In this first video I am simply mixing the Energy Power into nut butter, but you can add it to just about anything you like.

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In the second video I  show you how to make an herbal latte!

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You can really do just about anything with this great stuff.

Mixing Energy Power into your food:

In this example I have chosen to use almond butter.

There are many different ways to mix your energy power into your food.

Take 1/2 tablespoon of Energy Power and mix it up in the almond butter until it is blended well. You can also add in honey or other goodies to create your own treat.

Simple as that!

Recipe: Making a fresh almond milk herbal latte with ‘Energy Power’

1 Cup of almond milk

Heaping tablespoon of Energy Power

Mix these together, add to a frother or stove top and whisk away.

Summer-11printPour into a glass and enjoy.

You can also add this to other drinks or liquids and some even add Energy Power to coffee to keep your adrenals stable.

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Shop at Guts & Glory Apothecary

Enjoy!

Probiotically,

Summer

Why Herbs Are Important For Digestion

Hey!

Summer Bock here. I thought we’d kick off the month of April with a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, herbs.

Did you know that I’m a trained Herbalist and the products I feature are here on my site? It was a lifelong dream of mine and it has come true!

I trained in the woods and hunted and gathered herbs to learn what worked well together. Also I learned what herbs worked well in different organ systems of the body.

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Alkaline Protein Power by Guts & Glory Apothecary
(my herbal company)

 

Herbs are a tremendous ally in my Gut Rebuilding Program that I do with my clients.

Herbs help to:

  • Seal and heal the intestines
  • Stimulate digestive juices
  • Mitigate gas and bloating and indigestion
  • Increase parastalysis (the movement of your intestines) to alleviate constipation
  • Balance the microbiome

Find all the products in my store

Probiotically,

Summer

How to make easy and delicious, probiotic-rich Kimchi at home

In this video I am going to show you how super simple it is to make a delicious kimchi that you can use in your meals daily.

Ingredients:

  • Napa Cabbage soaked for 3 hours in salt water
  • 2 cups carrots in matchsticks
  • 5- 6 cups of mini Daikon
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Chili Flakes

Tools:

  • Stainless Steel Bowl
  • Crock
  • Blender/Vitamix/Food Processor
  • Glass Jar
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife

Quick Directions:

  1. Cut the Cabbage into 1 inch pieces or pieces of about the same size
  2. Add the carrots matchstick size
  3. Add the Daikon, cut into thin coin pieces
  4. Add the green onions in 1 inch slices
  5. Add 3-4 tablespoons of salt for every 5lbs of vegetables
  6. Mix around using your hands so the salt starts to pull the water out of the vegetables

For the paste:

  1. Cut up 2 yellow onions and toss in the blender
  2. Cut up the ginger (you can leave the skin on) and add to the blender
  3. Add 5 cloves of garlic to the blender
  4. Add Chili flakes and more salt to the blender

Blend up!

Next pour the paste on top of the veggies in the bowl and massage in with your hands.

Taste you mixture

“You want it as salty as a Lays potato chip”

Add the mixture a layer at a time to the jar so you can push it down and get all the bubbles out.

Next clean the edges of the jar to prevent it from getting moldy.

finished product!

finished product!

Let it ferment for 3-4 days or up to 2 weeks and then put it in the fridge.

I hope you enjoyed this and it was helpful. Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you and share if you have a great recipe of your own!

Probiotically,

Summer

How To Make Kefir

How to make kefir:

In today’s video you will learn how simple it is to make kefir both dairy and non-dairy.

Also added in here is a vegan recipe for sunflower seed and flax vegan yogurt, for those who are intolerant to dairy!

 

 

Ingredients used in the 3 videos:

  • coconut
  • kefir grains
  • blended sunflower seed and flaxseed soaked for a day
  • dried apricots
  • kefir grains sitting in cow’s milk

Benefits of kefir:

  • full of probiotics
  • good for those with lactose intolerance
  • helps you digest milk probiotics

If you can’t drink straight milk, sometimes kefir is just fine.

Kefir is one of the top promoted products by health enthusiasts, BUT ONLY if you make it at home. The reason for this is the starter that is used in an industrial environment is a powdered culture that is a mono culture and its added to milk and it sits for 24-48 hours and you end up with a sterile environment.

Kefir grains are made up of some bacteria and some yeast and one of the bacteria produces cellulose and they hang out and live in the granules and then you put them, about 1 tablespoon in the milk or coconut water, put in a jar and let it ferment somewhere warm for 24-48 hours.

Probiotic rich, delicious and a little sour with about 1% alcohol

Key component- get your hands on real kefir grains so you aren’t using starter cultures.

Key is to get your hand on real kefir grains, not a starter culture because the starter does not have the same benefits.

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T
his is me about to plop kefir grains into a fresh jar of raw milk.

Apricot Fizz Kefir:

Take a jar and add 1/2 cup apricot and 1/2 cup of water and add 1 tsp- 1 tbsp of kefir grains, put the lid on it and  let sit for 24-48 hours.

If your grains were kept in the fridge beforehand your apricot fizz kefir will need the 48 hours to ferment.

The finished product will taste like an apricot soda, so delicious!

Sunflower Seed Flax Yogurt:

This is very versatile and can be used as a sour cream, you can add onions to it or use it on crackers and add spices.

Sunflower seeds and flax seeds have been soaked for a day and then blended in the blender to make a paste.

Then you need to thoroughly rinse the kefir grains and get all of the milk off of them.

Add the kefir grain that have been thriving in the cows milk.

Once cleaned off, plop them into the sunflower and flaxseed mixture.

Put a lid on it and let it sit for 24-48 hours.

Rule of thumb for making kefir: Use 1/4 of liquid to a tbsp of kefir grains. This is not an exact science.

TIP- After awhile of the kefir grains being out of the milk they tend to look sad, add them to some milk and they will plump back up again.

Probiotically,

Summer

I have eleven more (free) videos at http://fermentationist.com/make-kefir/ if you want to learn how to make more probiotic-rich fermented foods!!!

Comment below with any questions you have about kefir. What is your favorite way to drink kefir?

Temple Food and Insights from the World’s Greatest Chefs

I have a difficult time watching the same movie twice. It feels like a waste of time. But there are a few select cinematic presentations that capture my heart. The first one was Dirty Dancing. I probably watched it everyday after school in 4th grade with my friends. We practiced ‘the lift’ in the neighbor’s pool each summer. I recently watched it again two times in a row. I never get tired of that one.

 

There is a series on Netflix called, Chef’s Table. I have watched each episode from all the seasons countless times. I watch, I cry, I get inspired. I am moved by the precision of mastery. I exhale mesmerized by the painful beauty of the toil of perfection. These chefs engage all of their senses to create masterpieces that I only dream of tasting.

 

When I watched Francis Mallmann from Patagonia, Argentina I became enthralled in his romantic relationship to fire and what it does to food. He’s pares down his productions to pit fires and open flames to alchemize the simplest of foods into pure pleasure. The scene where he is on the plane and he says that he has to keep going, keep experiences new things to stay inspired. That’s me, too. His final quote leave me speechless every time. “In order to grow and to improve you have to be there a bit at the edge of uncertainty.” And then he reads aloud the last two lines from The Call of the Wild. “There’s a whisper on the night-wind. There’s a star agleam to guide us. And the Wild is calling, calling…let us go.”

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Francis Mallmann cooking fresh fish on a boat.

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Francis Mallmann’s pit roasted pumpkin with greens and goat cheese.

 

One of my favorites is Magnus Nilsson. I bought his beautiful hardbound book, Fäviken, named after his restaurant. He makes art on a plate delicately garnished with lichen. Lichen! I studied lichen in college. I took two classes on it and it fascinated me. As an herbalist, I am seduced by its medicinal qualities. To involve an organism that is so taken for granted, growing on tombstones and eating away at rock for hundreds of years – a symbiotic relationship of a fungus and a cyanobacteria – and celebrated in a gourmet meal. YES. In Sweden he has a root cellar behind his restaurant. The rustic shelves and dirt floors are lined with ferments resembling a mad scientist’s lab filled with jars of preserved floating experiments. I dream of a cellar like this. A special place to keep ferments happy. This episode inspired my recipe for my lacto-fermented whole carrots with tops which you can follow in the book Find Your True Fork, where I’m featured as the fermentation expert, which releases in July 2017.

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Nordic chef, Magnus Nilsson.

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Blade of beef with crispy reindeer lichen.

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The root cellar behind Fäviken, the restaurant.

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Magnus Milsson’s beautiful hardbound book, Fäviken. Click here to purchase.

Virgilio Martinez from Peru is so inspired by his homeland that he creates each of his meals as mini ecosystems based on the altitude from where the plants/animals/fungi are found. He works with his sister who catalogs and researches the ethnobotany of these plants.

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Virgilio Martinez prepping a plate.

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Green algae balls from the mountain lakes of Peru.

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Virgilio Martinez uses all kinds of traditional corn

In season four, they follow a Buddhist nun, Jeong Kwan, who has risen to the ranks of Michelin star chefs by preparing vegan temple food for her fellow monks. She gardens, meditates, and cooks. She pulls kimchi out of crocks buried in the ground to add to the meal. She ferments her own soy sauce. She has famous chefs falling to their knees in adoration at what happens in their mouths and subsequently their brains when they eat her food.

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Jeong Kwan serving (delicious) food.

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Her chef-worthy plating skills rival top rated chefs worldwide.

 

She talks about how temple food keeps the body in a calm and focused state prime for reaching enlightenment through meditation. She doesn’t use garlic, scallions, onions, or leeks because they are too stimulating for the mind and makes it more difficult to meditate. She says that is one of the biggest differences between temple food and laypeople food.

 

Temple food. I’m utterly floored by this concept. I grew up Southern Baptist where we are taught that the body is a temple. And that’s when it struck me. When you are on a healing diet, you aren’t necessarily eating food that everyone else eats. You are eating temple food. Food that feeds and nourishes the temple that is your body. Food as medicine in its purist form. Food that makes you stronger, keeps you calm, wards off sickness, clears the body of wastes, and makes you peaceful. I feel the truth of this message in my core.

 

This is the essence of the work I do – I teach this to my clients by recommending a healing diet that is easy to digest and helps remove toxins.

 

I am inspired to plant a garden this year. I want to create the most healing, gut-rebuilding, temple food recipes I can muster. I know what it feels like to be clear and strong. I don’t feel that way right now. I feel good, but since moving back to the South, I feel as though I have succumbed to the bad habits of my region. I spent a year experimenting with gluten after 14 years without it and I know (again) that it is not for me.  

 

It threw my body for a loop. I started drinking smoothies at the local juice shop down the street and because they are paying more attention to flavor than health, I was drinking sugar bombs that has made me slightly insulin resistant.

 

I have some things to sort out in my body this year. I have been getting mentally and emotionally ready. I try to eat how I know I need to eat and then I break at the need for convenience and socializing. I am trying to figure out why it feels harder than it did before. I eat really healthy, don’t get me wrong, but I am eating an imbalanced diet too high in honey, dates, chocolate, and meat.

 

I search for why it isn’t easy like it was before and I realize the current challenge has so much to do with the fact that I’m not in a state of panic about my health anymore. I was willing to do anything in the past to get away from the terror of getting sicker. The panic attacks were a real motivator for change. I am happier than I’ve ever been. I’m more relaxed and unshakable. The wrong foods used to really throw me off. I would get reactive, anxious, and stressed out about it. It no longer happens like that.

 

Now that my mental and emotional state are more balanced I am seeking a new motivation – one from a positive place. One that isn’t based on moving away from pain. Instead, I’m moving towards pleasure. This is a lesson in self worth. What does it take on a daily basis for me to feel happy and want to take in foods that aren’t so stimulating? What motivates me now to eat the foods that keep me calm and my body as healthy as it possibly can be? Why do I listen to the doubts and excuses that creep in?

 

It brings me to addiction. That feeling of the floor falling out from under me gets stronger and stronger the more relaxed and easy my life gets. I’ve worked diligently to get here. I have encountered immense struggles to raise myself up from the depths of suffering. I spent so much of my life in pain – both emotional and physical – that I get a little uneasy when there are no bumps in the road. I actually crave the feeling of tenseness and friction that addictive substances and stimulants have on my body.

 

I did my genetic testing recently and discovered that I have a gene snp for dopamine issues. The ‘need’ for chocolate, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, anything – that external stimulant to help trigger a dopamine response so my central nervous system can relax is akin to a real physiological issue. I have some healing to do on this level. And I’m a little scared about it.

 

What is life without these stimulants? Can I function? Will I sleep a lot while my brain heals? Should I check into a healing retreat center so they can serve me the healthiest foods and give me the moral support to make it over the many humps? What will happen to my business if I can’t focus?

 

Regardless of these doubts, I’m confident in my abilities to achieve this.

 

And through watching the Chef’s Table I realize what I’m missing. I’m missing my relationship with nature. With plants and animals. With quiet. With humans who care deeply about our planet and the symbiotic relationship with life. I think we are a bit more on the parasitic side right now. That’s what fermentation has taught me. That a symbiotic relationship benefits all involved. The health crisis that is happening in our world from obesity to cancer, diabetes to heart disease, is proof enough that we are not benefiting from the relationships we are forging (forcing) with nature.

There’s where my new health journey begins. Symbiosis. Planting. Growing. Appreciating. Preparing. Eating. The Temple Food. That is my next mission. Will you join me? Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments below.

 

Probiotically,
Summer

 

Overcoming food addiction to lose weight with Susan Peirce Thompson

If you have ever had trouble stopping eating, eating when you’re not hungry, or dealing with cravings that have taken over your mind then please watch the newest Guts & Glory Blogcast with Susan Peirce Thompson, a good friend and psychology professor who has figured out some pretty cool solutions!

She’s giving a free webinar in which she’s going to explain how people’s brains are blocking them from losing weight…and what they can do about it. Once you register for the webinar you will get access to the quiz!