You probably know my story. I had a tennis ball sized brain tumor surrounded by a melon sized fluid filled sac. Not much room for a brain. Since then, food and fitness have become my medicine. I eat how I feel and feel how I eat, or try to take notice anyway!
Corticosteroids held my inflammation at bay, both before my surgery and then afterwards with a pipe hanging out of my skull, slowly draining my cerebral spinal fluid until thankfully it equalized. My body’s inflammatory processes were over working. I weaned off the corticosteroids slowly, over the next few months, hoping my body would do the inflammatory management thing on its own, which, thankfully, it did.
But these awesome life saving drugs weren’t without side effects. They destroyed my gut lining, which isn’t surprising really as our tummy is lined with inflammation protection and these drugs were anti-inflaming me.
So I was not only learning to walk again, I was learning to digest again. I had to get nutrients in to get energy. To do that, I had to heal my destroyed gut lining, which in my mind had become an unprotected cushion without its cover, with some edges missing and holes in it. Not only was it not able to protect itself from its own stomach acids, it was missing important surface area for nutrient absorption and stuff was getting through the holes and into my blood where no matter how nutritious, was become an assault on my immune system.
Digestion saved my life.
While I hope no one I know has any empathy for how I felt, a lot of us are focusing on eating whole foods and going Paleo, quitting sugar and realigning our macronutrient ratios, all of which are important, before we can’t even begin to make use of this new approach to eating, if we’re unable to digest it. And before we can digest it, we must have an intact tummy lining! The key to understanding our health is understanding our gut. Food truly was my medicine.
Things you can eat to heal your gut today:
- Fermented foods: lacto-fermented vegetables; cultured dairy products I did not like these sour foods at first and found sneaky ways to get them in (tag: food as medicine).
- Cabbage juice: sounds grouse but if you can get it down, wondrous, rich in vitamin U
- Apple cider vinegar: feels burny but heals and activates stomach acids on it own via pancreatic and salivary activation
- Beets and beet kvass
- Pineapple, papaya, watermelon, kombucha
- Dandelion greens and other bitter herbs detoxify the liver
- Calf liver is high in B6, B5 and chromium. And that’s calves not cows, because the older the animal the more toxins it stores, and the liver is our toxin storehouse.
- Never underestimate the simple healing power of hydration, water and electrolytes, in tummy health
- And roobois tea