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Don't Polute your Micro-biome

Don't Polute your Micro-biome

Obesity, food and environmental allergies, heart disease and just about every other chronic health condition you can name is being linked to the health of the untold billions of viruses, bacteria and fungi that live inside you.   The makeup of that biome has even been indicated in your food cravings. 

Antibiotics are obviously decimating but that damage doesn't have to come in one fell swoop.  Every time you eat food, that food then either feeds, starves or kills one kind of micro-organism in that biome that has so much influence on your life.  The consumption of simple sugars and white breads feed bad microbes and rob good microbes of what they need to thrive.  Eating meat contaminated with antibiotics obviously can have lessor but similar effects to just directly taking the antibiotics.

On top of your food, exercise also can have a dramatic effect.  Getting that heart pumping distributes oxygen and nutrients around your body feeding both you and your biome.  Athletes have been shown to have higher quantities of microbes that help maintain a healthy weight.

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401495/Exercise-for-a-Better-Microbiome.html

 

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A Call to Potential Plant-based Bloggers
Sacrifice?!
 

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  • Hello Steve,
    Great first blog! Thank you for posting! I did find that the hyperlink was not working so I fixed it. Basically any text can be hyper-linked by highlighting the text and the clicking on the link icon in the WYSIWYG editor. The system does not automatically convert urls. But, I do believe it should and I will suggest it.
    I have seen in some VegSource videos that Dr. Weil is not plant-based and so am not sure he would agree about meat harming the microbiome. :-) But, we agree with you that meat consumption can kill wonderful plant-digesting bacteria. I hope that you will continue to post interesting articles for us to read!
    Sean

  • Dr. Weil said in the attached article... "These include diets heavy in processed foods, increased exposure to antibiotics (via both medical treatments and residues in foods from animals treated with the drugs) ..."

  • Andrew Weil does not claim to be an obesity expert. Clearly whoever published the video assumes all diets are about weight. His goal is to reduce disease. Even his diet is focused on reducing inflammation which he sees as tied to a list of chronic health concerns. He took the Harvard diet which was developed by looking at large cohort studies. It is grain/veggie heavy and meat/cheese light. He then altered it a bit attempting to emphasize foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. The diet itself isn't too bad. For people who are unwilling to commit to the harder to follow Engine 2 diet, I believe it is a good option.

  • I am not sure if you read the latest blog post by Ken Thomas called "Sacrifice?!". It is located at https://www.starch-smart.com/blog/entry/sacrifice and it is a really good read! The reason I think it is a good blog is because it shows that what is difficult for some is easy for others depending on their perspectives and convictions. Basically we are always dealing with trade-offs. I guess that is how life is. Anyhow, I would be interested to hear what you have to say about that blog. Maybe you can post a comment there after reading it. :-)

    For me it would be HARD to go off of the Starch-Smart System because I know what it does to me to stray away from the program. But, that said, I have to say that I understand what you mean when you say that programs like Engine 2 or Starch-Smart are harder to follow by people that are not willing to commit to them. I personally would not be able to eat according to the food pyramid which Dr. Weil uses to describe the diet he calls anti-inflammatory:
    http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html

    The reason it would be hard for me to eat that way is that I would feel terrible on that diet. It would NOT be an improvement. So, for me it would NOT feel healthy. On the other hand there are many people for whom that diet might be an improvement. So, for them they might actually feel better, because of the lack of processed foods, when they change to his diet. And, I guess that diet could be more anti-inflammatory than the Standard American Diet! For me that diet would be highly inflammatory! :-)

  • I am sure you have experienced trying to sell a dramatic change in diet to people. People are often not even willing to consider said change. Often, when trying to sell them, it's easier to push them in the right direction rather than demand a 100% conversion in hopes that they will see and feel the improvement in their health and consider more changes. Furthermore, a person's diet is more than just the food they put in their mouth. It's what their mom fed them as children and so is tied to those emotions. It's what they are proud of knowing how to cook and so tied to those emotions. It's what their friends want to feed them or it potentially complicates their job.

    I was a vegetarian for 8 years in my late 20s but eventually gave it up for my career. As I rose the corporate ladder, I began ending up in meetings where everyone else ate meat and I was the odd man out.

    Dr. Weil's pragmatic approach to diet has it's place. That place may not to be to reverse heart disease but, it is definitely better than what we could call the standard american diet. Furthermore, if I was in good health, I would feel confident that his diet would allow me to stay there and still fill the list of psychological needs I mentioned above.

  • For some people making small changes works best. For others going in head first works best. :-) Although to be honest with you we find that those that jump in 100% will get results. Those that take smaller steps get smaller results. :-)

  • Thanks Sean!
    Yes! The “hard sell” of presenting such a dramatic diet change is a core point of my post, “Sacrifice?!” (https://www.starch-smart.com/blog/entry/sacrifice). It is indeed a hard sell, not because the benefit is outweighed by any sacrifice or effort, but because people truly cannot imagine that level of benefit. With the limited perception of what real health is like, the perceived value is reduced to levels below other aspects of life, such as conformance.

    I would submit, however, that in all aspects of life, including but not limited to, professional, sports, social, health, etc. one cannot excel without being “different”.

    The biology of all organisms, including humans, is dynamic, perpetually moving towards equilibrium and is never static. Attaining a level of health with any certain conditions will not “maintain” under another set of conditions. I learned this first hand as described in the post, “My Story” (https://www.starch-smart.com/blog/entry/kens-type-1-diabetes-journey-part-4-my-story).

  • Ken,
    Great point that people really do not have a good "point of reference" regarding what God health is. What does it look like or feel like? So logical changes are perceived as being radical or dramatic instead of as reasonable and even obvious. I appreciate what you write! Keep it up! :-)
    Sean

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