It’s a fun discussion with lots of great health tips peppered throughout.
The bacteria epidemic – get your hands dirty!
What we eat is a huge contributor the bacteria epidemic. And I think that people assume there’s one magic pill that’s going to do it for you. Like probiotics, which is a huge thing in the market. Even if they’re just adding just one strain in a powder and people would go “oh probiotic!” Probiotics are all rage, but we need more than that.
Our bacteria is so depleted that we’re not going to absorb the bacteria we need from just a capsule. We need to start with our hands.
Of course, that means also not using as much antibacterial soap in all that stuff. But really getting your hands dirty, literally being with the dirt, that’s where the bacteria lives.
And I think that this is really so much more than just the bacteria, but also by just being grounded, to be with the earth again. Whether that’s even just one plant outside that you connect with, while getting the dirt in your fingernails and be exposed to it.
Now they’re even making some probiotic soap because the whole idea is that our skin is also a microbiome, our skin also has bacteria and will absorb bacteria. There are other ways of getting the bacteria into our bodies rather than just the supplements. So we need to find natural ways to get more healthy bacteria in our gut and on our skin.
***Listen to our newest podcast guest Alexandria, or affectionately called Metta Tate!!***
Are you against antibacterial soap and do you advise against it?
For the most part I am pretty against it. I do believe there are natural alternatives like apple cider vinegar, garlic, thyme.
Even now some organic companies are using thymol in swimming pools, which is the constituent of thyme, and even oregano instead of chlorine. It’s basically a cleaner, still technically a cleaning bacteria, but not anti-bacterial.
The ones in the market that are killing 99.9% is doing more harm than good in the long run especially at a young age.
So I think just implementing more of the probiotic rich foods is really important in this case. Like the kimchi and sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, and Kefir. But avoid excess sugar in commercial kombucha. For most people I would say, we need bacteria friendly foods at least twice a day, even if it’s like a shot of a kraut juice or something like that.
On Eating Preservatives in Food, it is Depleting Our Gut Microbiome?
Nothing scientifically proven that I can offer but I agree 100% that the preservatives between bacteria, between overall exposure to our bodies, our thyroid, our adrenal gland, preservatives are really putting a tax on our bodies, which is also creating hormonal imbalances too. I think a lot of the things we see as far as thyroid issues and other issues may be a result of the preservatives in food.
Adrenal Fatigue and how it plays a major role in autoimmune issues
Adrenal fatigue is essentially stress on the kidneys. In Chinese medicine the kidneys are essentially the wheel and the engine for our whole bodies. So adrenal fatigue will happen from just long term stress. We’re just always basically in fight or flight.
So when we’re always in fight or flight mode our cortisol is going completely out of balance. Staying in the blood too long, creating insulin and blood sugar spikes.
This often it effects the thyroid and sleep patterns.
Some will have a little extra visceral fat on the body. Stress causes some people to become “wired and tired”. They have a false energy, can’t sleep, and have brittle hair and nails.
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I think that all of this comes back to the preservatives, because our bodies were always exposed to chemicals and preservatives. Whether we’re breathing them in, whether they’re on our skin, whether it’s medication, whether it’s food, there’s just so many opportunities daily that our bodies are exposed to these chemicals and preservatives.
Pretty much everybody is in a permanent fight or flight mode. Their immune system’s going up, everything’s all on a heightened state.
Our body just gets to a point where they’re always like that where everything will spike that response.
Just about everybody I see has some type of autoimmune issue. It’s very prevalent.
A lot of colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, and others. And we are being told we’re just going to have to live with it. It seems like a mysterious epidemic. So it’s definitely something that we need to analyze the root causes collectively.
Hormones acting as messengers in the body- understanding the issue with chronic fight or flight
There’s this herbalist that comes to our school, and she was talking about hormones acting as messengers in the body.
We don’t really think of cortisol as a hormone, we don’t really think of melatonin as a hormone, but these are all basically neurotransmitters that are helping and giving communications to different parts of our body. They’re sending signals and they are part of the body’s communication system.
And our bad diets and environment is messing up peoples hormonal balance.
What do hormones have to do with chronic illnesses?
So in particular this is causing a hormonal imbalance because when our body goes into this response, it’s messaging cortisol to spike in the body. When this happens long term it’s going to stay in our blood, and our blood sugar will spike.
So that’s one specific way that definitely affects a lot of people between energy, between thyroid issues, and hormonal imbalances. I particularly work with women with pms and other fertility issues, where there is a direct impact.
It’s also chronically affecting people’s sleep. So our bodies think that we have to be alert, like how we were in cave man days. What it really comes down to is why we have this system in our body.
And we have this system because at one point when we had no cars, if we needed to run for miles and miles, or there was something invading our hut, we need to just drop everything and go. So in our society it’s not the same, but our bodies still works the same. So that’s just basically what’s keeping us all wired and tired and kind of whacked out with sleep as well.
So if we picture ancient hunter gatherers who didn’t have artificial light, didn’t have televisions, we picture them sitting around the campfire, eating whatever they have killed or hunted or gathered that day.
The sun goes down, they have only the light of their fire. The melatonin starts kicking in to help him get sleepy. They then go to sleep and then have presumably a better night’s sleep than many of us would have based on our modern lifestyle.
And then the sun comes up and they were living in tune with nature and the natural rhythms. They didn’t have street lights, they didn’t have televisions, they didn’t have iPhones. Living in harmony with nature and with natural hormones alerting them when the saber toothed tiger is in the area so that they could quickly climb a tree. And that’s that fight or flight thing.
And we’re having it triggered all the time and have unnatural hormone activity because we are using artificial light to artificially lengthen the day. We are eating late at night because we can go to a refrigerator and grab food and eat it.
Ayurveda and Ancient Medicine
A big thing for me because of ayurveda, and also connecting with the planet, is the sun and the earths cycle and relating that to digestion.
So in most ancient cultures, we had our biggest meal mostly in the afternoon. So from an ayurvedic perspective the sun is at its highest point around noon, and that’s when our digestive fires would be at its highest point.
One thing that’s calling to me is working with that and then incorporating flushing out the body in the morning and then having the highest meal and then letting your body kind of re-digesting everything. So it’s simple things like that will really help people in a way.
Another thing is to expose yourself to the sun’s rays when you first wake up. I remember I had this teacher once who took his son to India with him. He was an ayurvedic practitioner.
The first night his son went to bed as early as around 8:30 because there were no video games, it was pitch black. So your body really does know that it’s time to sleep when we don’t have all this stuff to stimulate us.
A lot of times I would mention to clients that if they have trouble sleeping too, as soon as they wake up, open the blinds and look right at the sun because it really helps to stimulate the circadian rhythm to get us back into that natural rhythm.
So there’s just little hacks that we can do every day that bring us back into that natural rhythm because it’s still in us. And ancient people knew this and they didn’t need books to know it. They just studied themselves and the world around them, and it’s still available to us.
So the doshas are different archetypes based on the elements. Because these people were so in tune and introspective about all these elements around us. They realized how much they really play a role in whether that’s hormone, digestion, whether that’s our reproductive system, our mood. That all of these elements play such a vital role in our bodies.
So connecting with that they realized that there are three different archetypes and each are ruled by two of the elements.
There’s three doshas that are the main ones. So there’s Kapha, Vata and Pitta and each are ruled by two of the elements. So Vata is air and space. Pitta is fire and water. Kapha is water and earth.
We could think of it more in a spiritual sense, as well as a scientific sense. You know, lymphedema, for example, we know that that’s kind of a water issue, you’re retaining water.
So that’s something that someone who has more of a kapha – earth and water, and more in their bodies would be susceptible to that because they already have an excess amount of water.
What are some of the biggest things working against peoples natural health?
1. Breathing. More often than not, people are not taking deep breaths.
And when we’re not taking deep breaths, the mind has the ability to then overthink and over analyze. And I think a lot of people live in their minds, and we’re not really, truly living in our bodies.
So of course, we’re not gonna be grounded to the Earth if we’re not really present in our own physical bodies.
And relating back to the dosha. Breath is prana, and that’s our life force. Make sure our whole body is exposed to this life force. That’s why Vata was created first because everything starts with air in space, it’s of course the air element. So bringing that back into our brain and our blood and everything.
2. Sugar. Sugar creates a deadly cycle and it plays such a role in affecting our gut health, which also affects our mood. Of course before we get to the physical we have to get the motivation and the life force going.
So taking the deep breaths and avoiding this stuff that’s going to deplete us are probably the two biggest things to start with.
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What are Some Habits You Wish People Would Adopt
Intermittent fasting. So, there’s different times that people do. But I think for a lot of people, that the 12 to 8 one works best.
Not only is this going to help maintain the blood sugar and help other hormones gain re-balance, but also it then helps people to wait until the sun is at its highest point to have a meal so that we’re not kind of feeding our bodies before we’re actually ready to digest that food.
The morning is a spiritual time, and an introverted time. Intermittent fasting supports this.
So if we’re not really focusing on food, I feel like we’re going to get more things done in the morning. Like maybe our exercise, maybe a walk outside, maybe gardening, maybe even just having more intimate conversations, journaling. So I think the intermittent fasting usually is a way that helps people re-stimulate their rhythm.
Intermittent Fasting for Shift Workers
For shift workers, the 8 hour intermittent fasting windows is what’s most important, but they can do it whenever they want.
There’s other ways that we can incorporate it and it could be with the schedule that they have.
So basically just keep it simple and choose the window that works for you according to how you know when you need your energy, and when you work, and sleep, and just experiment with it.
About Metta Tate!
Alexandria studied a three year clinical program in Herbal Medicine, where she received her certification to practice herbal medicine with clients. Ever since she has been using the training through client work, workshops, and through various jobs helping support others with holistic health.
She also studied Ayurveda and has completed a course from well known Ayurvedic practitioners including Anne Mcintyre. Combining ancient wisdom with garden fresh herbs, Alexandria makes herbal extracts for spiritual and physical well being. She feels very called to work with fresh plants, rebuilding the soil, and connecting people back to the land.
To connect and or book Alexandria “Metta Tate”, check out her social channel:
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