Photo credit: everydiet.org

You know how every once in awhile it becomes painfully obvious that you’re supposed to read a certain book? A coworker mentions it. A cousin asks if you’ve heard of it. A fellow health coach recommends it.

Whoever it is, whatever the combination it feels like the Universe is tugging at your shoulder, “Hey! Pay attention to this! I mean it!” I learned a long time ago that no one book is going to be the answer to solving my personal health concerns, but it’s like each time I read a new one I unlock a little bit of information. One more puzzle piece fits into place. Very often books like these will confirm things I’ve started relying on my intuition for – and that’s always really affirming.

Clean Gut” was one such book for me, and I started reading it a few weeks ago. There was one particular part of the introduction where Dr. Junger (a cardiologist) described his struggles with digestion issues – and their capability to pull in mood disorders (like anxiety and depression) – that really spoke to me.

The problem:

Six straight years of endless workdays, sleepless nights and a steady diet of microwavable dinners and fast food had done a number on my system…My seasonal allergies, which developed shortly after I arrived in New York, had turned into year-round torture of sneezing, itching, sniffling and coughing. What had started as mild constipation- the result of takeout meals, vending-machine snacks, nurses’ potlucks and food from the hospital cafeteria- had worsened into abdominal pain, cramps, bloating…On most days I couldn’t function. To be honest, I didn’t want to function

When he sought advice from “traditional” doctors:

So I decided to seek help from my peers. I visited three specialists: an allergist, a gastroenterologist, and a psychiatrist. I ended up with seven prescriptions medications for three different diagnoses: severe allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and depression.

The experience that Dr. Junger had is typical for so many people who are diagnosed with IBS. When the gut is struggling with basic digestive function for long enough, it WILL effect your mood. He recognizes in the book that depression was his most troubling symptom, and the one he was most committed to addressing. From there, his journey brought him to study meditation, spirituality and healing in India and ultimately completely overall his view of the the body.

It took me YEARS of doctors visits before I really connected the dots to this truth that Dr. Junger is so passionate about now: Healthy gut, healthy you. Your gut and your immune system are intricately connected. When one goes “off”, the other follows.

Plus, Gwyneth digs Clean.

Three things:

1.) I’m skinny, like the kind of skinny where people always think I’m vegan, and this article on MindBodyGreen from a couple weeks ago was really refreshing. “Hey, Not All Real Women Have Curves.”

“So, let’s settle this argument once and for all. We are all real women. We, the rail thin, are just as lovely as the curvy goddesses, the big-boned beauties, and the strong and sexy athletes. We’re all beautifully unique. And more than anything, our beauty sinks far deeper than the body that you see in that first glance. Our hearts are real. Our love is real. Our passion, our joy, our pain is more real than a pair of pointy elbows and a closet full of size smalls.

2.) I have officially transitioned over to drinking from a glass BKR bottle. No more plastic water bottles for this lady. I ditched BPA awhile ago, but drinking from glass feels even more awesome.

3.) Tomorrow is the last day to check out WFM’s 25% of facial care sale (this is a national one baby! no matter where you live). I may check out this local brand, Shamanuti.

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