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Jocelyn Campbell
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Location: Missoula, MT
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My health is good, but it's definitely not perfect. I'm working on it. And this is some sensitive stuff. I was asked for advice, so I wrote this about what I've been fascinated with concerning gut health.

M.D.'s versus N.D.'s
Quick sidebar, especially since so much of what I know is framed from years of working with N.D.'s. There are some differences between M.D.'s and N.D.'s. Both are physicians, and learn all of the anatomy general health and disease info about human bodies in almost identical ways at first. Then, in learning treatments, the latter part of the M.D.'s schooling is about prescription drugs; while the N.D. learns about nutrition (basically gaining the equivalent of a Ph.D. in nutrition), digestion, some prescription drugs, and herbs or other natural treatments. The N.D. usually goes to school longer, too.

Gut cleanse and restore
There is this meal replacement stuff (Metagenics Ultra Clear brand) available through N.D.'s and holistic M.D.'s that basically cleans out the gut, then restores the natural flora and fauna so your digestion can work properly. It's expensive, but working at the clinic, I saw it totally cure what nothing else would fix. Not really my first recommendation, per se, just easy to list first.

Gut issues and gut health
I had antibiotics every six months, the first 10 years of my childhood. All the good bacteria in my gut was wiped out. I've experienced a LOT of digestion problems.

Here's what I've leaned:
--good bacteria is REQUIRED for healthy digestion
--probiotics are often killed by the small intestine before they get to the large intestine where they need to be
(take supplements at night on an empty stomach, and use multiple sources - more on this below)
--digestive enzymes/stomach acid - natural production of this declines as we age - using antacids can make this worse
(more on this below)
--humans do not have 4 stomachs to digest grasses or grains - pre-digestion by fermenting or soaking is advised
--fats are essential - lots of them
--fats do not make you fat, starchy foods make you fat

Now the books. These are Amazon links so you can read more about them, but most should be available at the library, too.

Here is one book that covers how to eat good bacteria, how to create your own fermented or soaked foods, and how to eat and use healthy fats (4 of the bullet points above):

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

This next book takes the Nourishing Traditions kind of foods (which is based on research by Weston A. Price, btw) a step even farther to heal the gut. There is a lot in there about psychology, and I haven't read the book yet, but I know many people who are following the GAPS diet to restore the bacterial health of their guts and who don't have psychology issues to speak of. Could be the DIY alternative to the expensive meal replacement stuff I mentioned above. I think I need to try the GAPS diet myself, actually. More on GAPS.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia

I saw the next author on a PBS show. She amazed me with her knowledge of healthy digestion. Her explanation of how not enough stomach acid causes heartburn or acid reflux is a game-changer. From this point of view, adding in antacids just adds to the acid reflux problem. Her book sounds awesome to me though I have not read it. More on acid reflux.

The H.O.P.E. Formula: The Ultimate Health Secret

Last, but not least are fats. We've been sold a load of bull about heart health (and overall health) the last 40 years. Here is the trailer of a movie that explains how and why. One takeaway from this: fats don't make you fat and unhealthy; starchy, sugary foods do. More on lard and healthy fats.

Big Fat Lies trailer from the documentary Fathead

Fathead is available on Netflix instant view if you have that. See also the discussion "Super Size Me" vs. "Fat Head".

So, if you read all these books, watched the documentaries, and followed all the suggestions, here's what I think you would eat and how I'm trying to eat:
--grassfed, pastured or foraging meats
--lots of bone broths - the kind that get gelatinous when cold
--lots of beef tallow, chicken fat or lard for cooking - and condiments!
--lots of fresh, chemical free vegetables
--limited fresh fruits until gut is better
--no refined sugars and limited or no honey, maple syrup, etc. until gut is better
--if dairy products, raw, chemical-free and best fermented
--grains only if sourdough, fermented or soaked first
--seeds and nuts - better soaked first
--beans only if soaked or fermented first
--lots of fermented foods with LIVE cultures (yogurt, kefir, uncanned pickles, uncanned sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.)

Basically unprocessed, unpackaged, whole, fresh home-cooked, home-grown foods - a big part of what permies is about. (The inverse of this are foods to avoid - see this great thread on top 5 food that folks avoid.)

Any glaring omissions here? (Besides more permies links to related discussions? )
 
Marc Troyka
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Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
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Ironic you mention this and then later that night I get food poisoning . After I finished un-eating the stuff that made me sick, I traded my ice water for room temp, took a benedryl (works as an anti-nausea if you should ever need to know that) and ate half a banana (all I could tolerate). I wasn't able to sleep until after I took a probiotic, though, which helped tremendously.

I think you could save a lot of money by getting an expensive probiotic, then blending up some milk and fruit and cracking the pills open into it. Then use it like sourdough starter to keep making more.

Some comments:
-I would soak grains even if making sourdough. I'm pretty sure you still mix in fresh flour when making sourdough, so you'd still have to soak that part.
-Fruit is only a problem if you have insulin-related problems already.
-Strangely, even though honey is similar to HFCS chemically, it doesn't seem to have the same physiological effects as other sugars (including maple syrup or agave). Again, questionable if you have blood sugar/insulin issues (but not necessarily bad for you even then) but otherwise honey is awesome.

Now I'm hungry for home made mayonnaise :X. Maybe with butter and a bit of EVOO, and if I can find some organic bacon, bacon grease.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Posts: 4257
Location: Missoula, MT
410
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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M Troyka wrote:Ironic you mention this and then later that night I get food poisoning . After I finished un-eating the stuff that made me sick, I traded my ice water for room temp, took a benedryl (works as an anti-nausea if you should ever need to know that) and ate half a banana (all I could tolerate). I wasn't able to sleep until after I took a probiotic, though, which helped tremendously.


Sorry you were ill - yet kinda cool to hear the probiotic helped.

M Troyka wrote:I think you could save a lot of money by getting an expensive probiotic, then blending up some milk and fruit and cracking the pills open into it. Then use it like sourdough starter to keep making more.


Interesting. I've heard of folks buying starters for yogurt, kefir and such, but have not heard about using the probiotic itself. I imagine certain kinds or brands would work better than others. I've been wanting to try culturing coconut milk since the one and only coconut milk yogurt (or kefir) on the market around here is full of sugar.

M Troyka wrote:Some comments:
-I would soak grains even if making sourdough. I'm pretty sure you still mix in fresh flour when making sourdough, so you'd still have to soak that part.
-Fruit is only a problem if you have insulin-related problems already.
-Strangely, even though honey is similar to HFCS chemically, it doesn't seem to have the same physiological effects as other sugars (including maple syrup or agave). Again, questionable if you have blood sugar/insulin issues (but not necessarily bad for you even then) but otherwise honey is awesome.


Good tip on soaking the grains even before feeding the sourdough. I'm not doing any grains at all these days, so I haven't gone to that level yet.
Good points, too, about the fruit and honey - I agree.

M Troyka wrote:Now I'm hungry for home made mayonnaise :X. Maybe with butter and a bit of EVOO, and if I can find some organic bacon, bacon grease.


Must admit that I love bacon fat mayonnaise! YUM.
 
Marc Troyka
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Sorry you were ill - yet kinda cool to hear the probiotic helped.


I took one probiotic last night, one with breakfast and one with lunch and now I feel normal again. I have yet to come across any non-flu digestive problem that probiotics won't fix. The one I've got is 10 strains, but I know of a more expensive one that's like 12-15.

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Interesting. I've heard of folks buying starters for yogurt, kefir and such, but have not heard about using the probiotic itself. I imagine certain kinds or brands would work better than others. I've been wanting to try culturing coconut milk since the one and only coconut milk yogurt (or kefir) on the market around here is full of sugar.


Different bacteria eat different things, some eat milk, some fruit, others prefer vegetables. A probiotic with 10+ strains will have a bit of everything, so you could use it as a culture for all sorts of things (although your mileage may vary). If you want to grow the whole spectrum of things, you have to feed them a mixture of foods. I would imagine it'd take some practice to get something that's actually drinkable after culturing, though.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Posts: 4257
Location: Missoula, MT
410
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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M Troyka wrote:Different bacteria eat different things, some eat milk, some fruit, others prefer vegetables. A probiotic with 10+ strains will have a bit of everything, so you could use it as a culture for all sorts of things (although your mileage may vary). If you want to grow the whole spectrum of things, you have to feed them a mixture of foods. I would imagine it'd take some practice to get something that's actually drinkable after culturing, though.


Yes, practicing and experimenting would be key. I've been very curious if anyone else has had success culturing coconut milk at home.
 
Adrien Lapointe
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M Troyka wrote:
I would soak grains even if making sourdough. I'm pretty sure you still mix in fresh flour when making sourdough, so you'd still have to soak that part.


The way I do my sourdough bread I use just a little unsoaked flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the lining of the rising basket (called panneton). This flour could easily be replaced by a sprouted grain flour though. All the rest of the flour is fermented for about 6hrs.
 
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