Tag Archives: Daily

The Mind Body Connection is REAL


A couple of months ago I committed to a summer-based exploratory health initiative involving morning meditation and I promised to report back with an update. The results have been profound. And the most noticeable outcome was completely unanticipated.

For nearly my entire adult life, I have experienced IBS-like symptoms, rotating through ongoing unpredictable bouts of constipation, diarrhea and normal stools. I was never able to detect an etiology or pattern of behavior that would explain my condition and it was very difficult to cope with and manage. Just like Groundhog Day, each time I would complain about these symptoms to my primary care provider at my annual physical, he would tell me that I needed to eat more fiber. I knew this was not accurate, as I have always eaten a lot of fruits and vegetables. My doctor even went as far as giving my samples of the medication Linzess, indicated for IBS symptoms, but I never took them and don’t ever plan to.

Not until recently – until I started meditating for 10-15 minutes each morning – did my IBS symptoms completely vanish. And within days of starting my meditation practice too. I now enjoy regular bowel movements each and every morning like clockwork, something I have NEVER experienced before and previously deemed unattainable.

I shared these results with my integrative practitioner recently and she had a very logical explanation for why this is happening. In addition to the relaxation response of me meditation – SCIENTIFICALLY – our organs, namely our our brains and stomachs, require glucose to function optimally. Anyone who experiences stress on a daily basis (i.e. me) requires more glucose to help their brains function. As my integrative practitioner pointed out, anytime my brain is competing with other organs for glucose, my brain will win. And now that I have been giving my brain a rest for 10-15 minutes each morning through meditation – before doing anything, including speaking with others and/or touching my iPhone – my GI tract is opportunistically utilizing this additionally available glucose to vastly improve my digestive process and output. It seems like a miracle but, really, it’s just science. And I love it!

I am so fascinated by and appreciative of the fact that we can dramatically improve our lives through minor lifestyle modifications. Although I could have never anticipated this particular mind body connection, it is now something I swear by and absolutely recommend to others. I have even done a little research on it and stumbled an article from Harvard that validates my claim and takes a deeper dive into the science behind this phenomena. Needless to say, I plan to continue my morning meditation indefinitely!

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KOMBUCHA: Our home brewing adventure

Hippocrates, regarded as the father of medicine, claimed that “All disease begins in the gut”. Over 2000 years later, many experts in the field of nutrition would agree that a person’s overall health is largely a reflection of what is gong on in his/her gut. The “gut microbiome” – the makeup and balance of microorganisms in the stomach (i.e. Bacteria, Fungi, etc) – is the subject of many incredible contemporary clinical studies and is quite an emerging scientific field. 

Personally, I am a big fan of probiotics to help maintain a healthy gut flora. Speaking from my own experience, I have found that flooding my stomach with “beneficial microorganisms” (i.e. good bacteria) has had a profoundly positive impact on my digestive and immune system health. 

Several years ago, I began drinking GoodBelly, a 2.7oz “shot” of fruit flavored non-dairy probiotic supplement, that is readily available at health food stores, such as Whole Foods Market. I noticed a slight, yet inconsistent, benefit in drinking the product. I later moved on to KeVita, which is a widely available 15.2oz sparkling flavored probiotic beverage, almost like a probiotic soda. I liked this better, but I still was not seeing a consistent benefit. I finally got the courage to begin drinking kombucha, which is a flavored, fermented and naturally carbonated probiotic tea.

Kombucha is described by some as the “elixir of life”. According to my research, the first recorded use of kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty and it was known as “The Tea of Immortality”. I had long been told that kombucha tea was an acquired taste. I would have to agree with this advice, as the first one I ever tried (GT’S Original) smelled like sweaty socks and tasted sour as hell. As I began experimenting with the various flavors of GT’S, of which there are many, I developed a preference for their Gingerade product. I began drinking it consistently, enjoying the great benefits and craving it almost daily. I tried some other brands – even some that are available on tap only at health food stores and restaurants (i.e. Whalebird) – but I determined that, as far as bottled brands go, I was to be a GT’S enthusiast.

This is only the beginning of the story….

Despite loving my new kombucha tea habit, and realizing the many great benefits, it was becoming DAMN EXPENSIVE. Each bottle of 16oz GT’S kombucha retails for up to $4.00!! In other words, if I kept up this habit, I would be forking out well over $1000 per year….that is one expensive probiotic! It was after this realization that I decided to take matters into my own hands and begin brewing my own kombucha tea at home.

There are many websites, social media platforms and YouTube videos dedicated to the craft of home brewing kombucha tea. After watching many tutorials and reading/studying about the do’s and don’ts, I decided to take the plunge with my 9yo daughter. One month in, and a few batches under our belt, we have yet to become masters of brewing kombucha tea….but we are having a lot of fun in the process!

Following are some photos documenting our kombucha tea adventures. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have regarding the process. Enjoy!

Charlotte giving our first batch of sweet tea some love.

Ready for the first fermentation of our first batch.

The mother SCOBY (small) attached to the baby SCOBY (large), which formed in a week’s time.

Creating a variety of flavors with strawberry, mint, lime , ginger and more.

Charlotte showcasing our first bottled batch.

Our second and third batches in the newly dedicated Kombucha cupboard.

Protege and master, side by side.

Next step is to make fancier labels, LOL.

Our SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast) is all grown up!

The next batch is up! It is a continuous practice of trying to perfect our recipe.

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