Is it possible to fully appreciate everything we have without seeing what we don’t have? In general, this desire to explore has been a powerful tool for me to see how much I have and how grateful I am for it. With how easy it is in today’s modern life to go from A to B, I can’t recommend it enough.
As an infant I was blessed with being dragged along with my siblings and parents to visit extended family and friends across the Atlantic and Pacific. As I look back now, I understand the dedication my parents had and the work it took bringing three kids along with them along the way.
Since then, most of my travels have been focused mainly around surfing and seeking out tropical destinations with a stronger exchange rate to make my saved dollar last longer. The feeling I get when I think of experiencing different cultures, landscapes, becoming extremely ill and trying all the delicious food these places and people have to offer gives me a sense of how fragile life really is. I believe knowing how fast things can change will give us the opportunity to fully digest and appreciate the people we surround ourselves with and whats going on around us.
This desire for movement has opened up many doors for opportunities, different perspectives and has allowed me to see that it’s not as scary and dangerous out there as some people would like us to believe.
I have noticed there are similarities around the globe. Mostly when we limit destinations to highly trafficked and popular areas, but even staying in smaller towns I see we are all just striving to live a happy life. Break out every so often, see a new place and meet some new people. It’s worth it!
These tasty niblets I’m making for a pre luncheon amuse this week. They are refreshing, cooling, rich in gut healing and muscle soothing amino acids. As with any animal products, it’s all about the quality and it does matter how they were raised and what they were fed. I use Bulletproof Collagelatin witch has a broader amino acid profile than other gelatin, but Great Lakes make a great gelatin as well. Pretty much, you get the long list benefits from bone broth but in tasty little bites and without hours of cooking.
3 Tbs collagelatin
3 cups cucumber juice
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
2 Tbs raw honey
1/2 tsp peppermint spirits
Pinch of salt
1. Combine 1/2 of the cucumber juice in a sauce pot and gently heat until just warm( you don’t want to become hot as it destroys the delicate cucumber flavor.)
2. Remove from heat, add honey and stir until combined
3. Add collagelatin and mix with a stick blender until dissolved
4. Add remaining ingredients and stir
5. lightly oil a dish or fun shaped molds and pour in the liquid
6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Do you even take a multivitamin? Me? Negative, and heres why. After reading many articles, listening to conversations from scientists, doctors and many other humans knowledgable on the topic, I began the never ending journey down the rabbit hole of blood test. Its an interesting topic because everyone must take in some form of food or nutrition. I choose my food strategically and by the looks of mine along side common lab analysis, that is still not enough. We are missing many of the key components for proper function and longevity.
Typically we acquire our nutrition through the food we eat. We know its healthy to eat fresh vegetables and fruits but is this even enough anymore? Heres part of the issue. With todays agricultural practices, the soil our vegetables are grown in is being depleted of nutrients. The industrialization of farming and the chemicals being used are killing the microbes which would naturally create soil much more diverse in nutrients. End result? Less nutritious food and undernourished humans walking around with a grocery list of health issues.
For the blood, its not about being the normal range. Even if the levels are in the “normal range”, its not optimal and we may still see symptoms of deficiencies. If its not optimal, there is room for growth. That room for growth will bring us closer to thriving and feeling our best. Its about raising the bar and being in the optimal range for everything from micronutrients to hormones and every little thing in between. Which leads into the next point on supplements. Do they work? Yes and no. Most generic products are intentionally manufactured just strong enough to insignificantly influence micronutrient levels. So I have found that sticking to specifics is key. A multivitamin may work for some people but not for me. Understanding what I need and don’t need is the difference of wasting money on supplements or recharging myself with key missing components.
With this understanding, I’ve made it a point to test my blood every six months on a broad range of panels. Yes its expensive, but you don’t know until you check. And Id rather spend my money on this than random multivitamins I pee out in the morning. The cool thing about it, is that you can track your own progress. Im not a fan of getting lost in self diagnosis from symptom searching as it is a sure way to stress yourself out and begin thinking you have list of dysfunctions which may or may not be true. This information is extremely valuable and gives way to the direction to follow for optimizing the whole experience we are given.
If we so choose to open the door of understanding our biology and how to make it a little easier, we see that its a constant work in progress. There is always room for improvement. And with this in mind we can check in, acknowledge and reflect on the baby steps taken each day.
How incredible the human body. A complex, intricate machine with the ability to rebuild and repair itself without us interfereing. Now imagine trying to rebuild your house out of garbage. Using broken pieces of material to create the structure suitable to live comfortably in. Yes it could be done, but with addition of much needed materials and energy.
Back to the body and think about the majority of food products sold in grocery stores. Now relate these food products to the materials needed to build functional cells and healthy tissues just as the quality of materials to build a strong house. How far away from this state of wholeness are these products? Would the human body even know how to rebuild itself given these materials?
Now relate this idea to the slowing of the repair function in the body and acceleration of aging. It makes it very clear on why this conveniently popular way of consumption is creating such drastic health conditions, less than optimal mental/emotional capacities and shortened attention spans.
When the raw materials are not delivered and used in the way we need, the blueprint needs to be changed. In the body this results in altered gene expression and deterioration of the whole system. Just as if the support beams were not in place to hold the house, it falls down prematurely and creates a mess.
When we understand and accept that our bodies are our very own house we return the power back to ourselves. The power to choose what we build our house out of and how resilient we want it.
Ive noticed that when we leave our ecosystem, it can be uncomfortable. And outside this comfort zone we gain a different perspective on what we believe we need to live a happy life.
For me, It’s easy to get stuck in my own bubble of comfort. Stuck in the ecosystem surrounding me and attuned to the lifestyle I am attracted to or the way I want to live my life.
So my thought is that by placing ourselves in these potentially uncomfortable situations, we can often break out of our own limits, bringing in contentment and gratitude with what we have or see a new path to make it more enjoyable.
It was traveling to Indonesia in 2010 that put on the path to understanding my health. I became very ill just before returning home and continued this illness for weeks there after. I went to see a doctor and five minutes later I was told I had the flu. But I didn’t believe it was the flu, and this was when I saw that it’s up to me to be in control of own biology and health.
I was in a very fragile state. I lost over ten pounds of functional body weight during this time. I was barely able to eat even the most basic food and even water was difficult to hold down. So I began to research stomach bugs, parasites and anything that could possibly be inside me causing this imbalance. That led me to delve into herbs and the effectiveness they can have on creating an internal environment not suitable for the intruders.
About two weeks into this extremely uncomfortable situation I was still unfit to return to work. So I purchased some clove, wormwood, black walnut, ginger and garlic and declared control over my biology. Almost immediately I noticed a war going on internally. It wasn’t long before the intruders began to loose their grip on my systems.
I’ll leave the unpleasant description of what happened over the next few days to your imagination but I started feeling much better. Since then my gut biome has never been the same and Ive been on a daily journey to keep the balance inside and outside of my body. I’ve become much more sensitive to how i respond to certain foods.
Even today looking back I’m a different person. I am grateful for that experience and for the trajectory it put me on. Empirical knowledge is available to us everyday, if we get out there and breakthrough the comfort zone. We just might learn something.