I often hear from mothers, cousins, friends, or co-workers that “X was just diagnosed with an autoimmune disease… he/she has no idea what to do.” I rarely speak to these new patients personally, but my heart goes out to each one. If I had a chance to talk to them, this is where I’d start.
The small intestine is where the molecular chunks and tangles of food particles are broken down into single molecules. These move to the intestinal walls, through the intestinal walls, and then into the bloodstream or lymph. Consider: until this point, the food is still technically outside the body, moving through a long, walled-off tube. The small intestine is where the outside meets the in. Nourishment ensues.
We have an epidemic of love-hate relationships with our stomachs; we love to fill them, hate their function. Not sure what I’m talking about? Take a look around the antacid section the next time you’re in the pharmacy. Or consider the number of people you know who have been prescribed proton pump inhibitors. Or maybe check the cabinet under your own bathroom sink for that family-sized canister of colorful, mild-flavored tums (which I used to eat like candy when I visited my best friend’s house in grade school- oy). That’s us, hating on our stomachs.
Have you ever cut calories in an effort to lose a few pounds only to find that… nothing changed? Or worse, you gained weight instead?!
It happens. Our best laid plans -with our latest calorie counting app and our carefully curated snack packs- can wind up being complete fails, as many dieters can attest to. It’s the same old story, but why?
When people learn I have goats, they love to remind me that "goats eat EVERYTHING!" Don't believe it. Goats are incredibly picky. If their hay has touched the ground, for instance, it's deemed unfit for eating. Worse, they're not only selectively picky, but incredibly sensitive; just a few bites of the wrong thing can kill them within hours.
Counter-intuitive is a phrase I often use when describing a GAPS or SCD-style elimination diet. In a world where raw vegetables wear glowing halos and plant protein powders are the hottest thing since sliced bread, it’s hard to explain why these foods might need to be temporarily traded for a simple diet of braised meats and boiled vegetables. But does it matter how many micrograms of copper are in your bowl of vegetarian chili if your body can’t actually digest and absorb those beans anyway? Nope, doesn't. Here are the key reasons that an uber-simple diet may be the best.