by Jenise Fryatt | Featured Contributor
It’s not news to say that our food choices have a powerful effect on our lives.
Those of us with chronic health issues know this first hand.
But too often we live day to day treating the symptoms and never really addressing the causes of our maladies.
Like so many, my childhood included a lot of junk food and regular doses of antibiotics.
This, I believe, is what led to an adulthood of chronic bladder infections that led to more antibiotics which led to a compromised immune system and recurring bouts with candida and eczema.
Bottomline: all of these issues have become known as symptoms of “leaky gut syndrome,” a condition associated with decreased beneficial bacteria in the gut.
As a young mother, I learned that avoiding wheat, dairy and processed foods alleviated my symptoms. But none of my diet changes had long-lasting effects. That is, until I began to incorporate the following changes on a regular basis.
Rethink Wheat Bread And All Processed Foods
Early on I saw a remarkable difference in my symptoms when I avoided wheat. At first I thought it was because I’d become allergic to it from over-exposure. But recently I learned about the devastating effects of glyphosate on the beneficial bacteria in our intestines.
Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, is used in industrially produced soy, corn and wheat. Reason enough to be very wary of eating processed foods or bread.
I’ve gone grain-free many times in my life and certainly did find a great improvement in my symptoms. But my love for bread caused me to keep searching for a satisfying alternative to wheat that my body could tolerate indefinitely.
My solution? Homemade organic sourdough spelt bread.
Honestly, it’s the best bread I’ve ever eaten and it’s benefits include easier digestibility and promotion of beneficial gut bacteria.
This artisan recipe requires no kneading, making it easy to incorporate in your weekly routine.
I learned about the benefits of bone broth – for the immune system, joints and bones – a few years ago.
Proponents claimed it could actually heal a leaky gut, so I had to try it.
Within a few weeks of drinking bone broth on a daily basis, my symptoms were drastically alleviated. But soup for lunch had also become a habit that I’ve continued to this day.
I usually roast a whole organic chicken once a week. I save the bones and later I simmer them with carrots, onions and celery overnight in a stock pot filled with water. This gives me about a gallon of broth that I use to make a variety of different kinds of soups – all with the healing benefits of bone broth.
I learned about the benefits of naturally fermented vegetables and fruits around the same time that I learned about bone broth.
Because of my gut bacteria imbalance I was always taking probiotic supplements. But the more I learned about the benefits of fermented foods, the more I was convinced that it was worth the effort.
Sauerkraut was easy: just shred it, incorporate salt, pack it in a mason jar and let it sit at room temperature for 3 days. But I quickly learned that it’s just as easy to ferment nearly any fruit or vegetable.
I’ve also learned that the two most important keys to fermenting your own food are choosing quality ingredients and making sure that your vegetable stays immersed in it’s own juice or water, avoiding any contact with air.
I’m no doctor and never will claim to be one. But I can tell you that after making these three changes in my food choices, I have eliminated my eczema, bladder and yeast infections. In addition, my migraines have decreased dramatically.
I’m also glad to say that these three habits help me to live much more sustainably.
- By making my own organic sourdough spelt bread I avoid toxins, pesticides AND plastic bags
- By using the organic chicken bones left over from my roast chicken dinner I get more meals from one chicken.
- By fermenting my own store-bought or home-grown fresh vegetables I prolong the life of the vegetables; eliminate the need for probiotic supplements; and avoid plastic containers.
None of these food choices will ever beat the convenience of packaged, processed foods. But the extra effort and time it takes to add these foods into your daily life could drastically improve your health. For me, it has certainly been well worth it.
Jenise Fryatt is well-known in content marketing and event marketing arenas.
As Content Marketing Strategist for Smarter Shift, she employs her knowledge on behalf of the company as well as its clients. She also served as moderator for three regular Twitter chats and founded the popular #ContentChat which focuses on topics of interest to content marketers.
As part owner in an audio visual company, Jenise has a special connection to the events industry. She’s been a regular blogger on various sites on the topics of social media and events and spent three years writing for the Cvent blog on the topic of digital marketing for events. She also co-authored two research papers for Meeting Planners International (MPI): one on The Strategic Value of Virtual Events and another on Hybrid Events.
However Jenise’s true passion is sustainable living. In addition to co-hosting The Sustainable Living Podcast, she lives on her own three acre homestead and is currently in the process of obtaining her Permaculture Design Certification.
A yoga instructor and long-time meditator, she integrates a mindful approach to all of her work and believes the key to this, and virtually every other problem, lies in cultivating a heart-centered life.