VIEWING OUR BODY FROM THE INSIDE OUT
I view my body and every body as the most incredible thing to exist. Once you have a deep appreciation of the inner workings of the human body, right down to it’s cellular level, it makes decision making easy. I am so grateful I chose to explore this whole world of hormones and how systems function and how they all integrate together through my studies at Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and now with the Kresser Institute. It totally does my head in somedays but I think this information is really the missing link that people absolutely need to feel freakin amazing.
Having an appreciation that nutrients; these only come from the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath, the sunlight, power every reaction in our body, including hormone synthesis, you understand the importance of your choices.
“If you could only see the miraculousness of your inner workings, you would be in absolute awe of yourself”.
Our bodies know exactly how to function, it’s up to us to give it the right information in order to carry out those functions.
That is really what my work is about – making sure things are functioning as they should! And if they aren’t (if you have symptoms I can tell you they aren’t) finding ways to feed your body with the right informations to restore function.
Let look at an example.
Thyroid hormone needs several nutrients in order for it to function properly (iodine, selenium, iron, zinc, B12, B2, Vit C, Vit A, Vit D, Magnesium). Being deficient in any of these can impact on thyroid production. Hence, why I am always harping on about eating nutrient dense food (learn to love a little liver friends, it is THE most nutrient dense food on the planet).
Hypothyroidism (hypo meaning low thyroid function) can also be caused by immune dysfunction as is the case for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition), gut dysfunction (conversion of T4 to T3 takes place in the gut), inflammation, a calorie restrictive diet and high cortisol (stress hormone).
From this little example you can see that eating nutrient rich food, having great gut health, a balanced immune system, reducing stress, and avoiding things that drive inflammation are ALL important for functions. This isn’t even an exhaustive list, many other factors affect how the thyroid is functioning…
So just know that there is a little more going on than meets the eye when it comes to hormone health. It’s never as simple as a result on a piece of paper. This is a real life classic example: You go to the doctor complaining of every thyroid symptom under the sun (reduced mood, fatigue, constipation, outer third of your eyebrow missing) and things are only getting worse and they check your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and say, “Nope nothing wrong, it’s in the normal range your good to go! Just do a little more exercise, eat a little less and here’s an antidepressant for that mood” and send you on your merry way.
You walk out feeling like a big piece of poo because your been exercising your butt off, eating next to nothing and putting on more weight and you feel like shit because of it all! I am telling you; in this scenerio you may very well have a thyroid problem but your TSH in this moment may be in the so called normal range.
I would say, trust yourself and do a little more digging and investigate what is going on. As women, we have somewhere along the way of being busy, feeling under appreciated and darkened by a deep cloud of worthlessness lost touch of our own intuition (which by the way is an actual thing). If you feel and know in your heart something is not right, don’t let someone even those with a white coat, make you doubt yourself. Find someone who is willing to listen to you that isn’t going to just treat or not treat a test result but rather treat you as a person.
IMPORTANT POINT NUMBER 2 : LET’S REASSESS THE LANGUAGE WE USE AROUND FOOD
Food is not:
- Clean. You don’t eat “dirty” food when you eat a cake. Cake isn’t “dirty!”
- Healthy. This is a tricky one because it’s so common. Health refers to a physical or mental state of a person. Humans are healthy or unhealthy but food is not healthy or unhealthy.
- Good. We can make good or bad decisions around food choices but food itself isn’t good or bad.
I know this might seem really picky but different people create meaning from the words we use. If you are constantly taking about eating “clean” this week and all you have been consuming is green juices and you have an impressionable young teenage daughter that doesn’t have the same life experience or rationale as you, she can interpret that as anything other than “green smoothies” is dirty food. And who wants to eat dirty food right?
So instead of saying, I ate “clean” this week. . Or even I ate “healthy” this week.
Let’s try a new world out and see how it feels for you….
Food is nutritious or not nutritious. The definition of nutritious is: “efficient as food, nourishing.”
Nourishing yourself with food is the name of the game! When you sit down to beautiful meal you have made from real living (or previously real living) produce, say to yourself, I am eating nutritious food that will nourish my the inner workings of my body. You want to eat it, don’t you? Ok let’s try the reverse. You sit down and open the bag of Doritos. You say, this food is NOT nutritious at all and it provides nothing for the inner workings of my body. Did it work? Did it make you feel a little less like eating the whole pack? Or make you want to still go and eat something nutritious on top?
Non-nutritious food is still ok to eat but it’s not going to nourish your body. Just know that. And sometimes that’s really ok. If it’s going to nourish your soul and connection then I say go ahead and enjoy that glass of wine and pizza with a girlfriend. In this case it’s not about the food. What you do 80% of the time is what impacts you not what you do “on occasion”.
There are sometimes when I think consuming non nutritious food is not ok. Children – children need nourishment. They are growing and developing. Yet children are the most targeted and most likely to consume junk “food” (we can lose the food word here and say just “junk”). Junk is not nutritious and will not nourish a child. This is super important as we as adults are responsible. Today is the first generation of kids in modern history that’s expected to live shorter lifespans than their parents. YIKES that is scary!
IMPORTANT POINT NUMBER 3 : REMOVING FEAR FROM FOOD
We need to take the “fear” factor out of eating. There are just as many health conscious people with hormone disruption and sub optimal health as there are non-health conscious people. I wrote about this here. This is often due to the rigidity and rules that are place around what we “should” and “shouldn’t” eat.
We need to eat from a place of nourishment and focus on supplying our body with all the little nutrients it needs to do it’s super important jobs. When this is achieved you can enjoy:
- boundless energy
- beautiful hair, skin and nails
- a menstrual cycles that visits and goes every month with ease
- a natural amount of healthy body fat (not over or under, just right for you)
- a clear, sharp mind
- a natural sex drive
- And the best thing ENJOYMENT
But we also need to relax a little around food too. That piece of cake isn’t toxic, it isn’t going straight to your thighs, your body will not explode from consuming some not so healthy vegetable oil, and staying at home instead of joining friends out of fear of not being able to eat at the party is not serving you any health favours.
Hope this helps to shift your thoughts a little around food, hormones, and achieving a healthy vibrant YOU.
P.S If you are feeling a little stuck in a rut and thinking things just aint right, feel free to check out my page here for how I can help.
Chantel is an accredited Pharmacist, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Kresser Institute student specialising in a functional medicine approach to optimising peoples health, through nutritional and lifestyle based solutions.
She has identified during her work as a Pharmacist a huge gap in the current medical care system. Her mission is to bridge the gap between medical care and self care in order to bring a person from living with dis-ease back to a state of ease.
Chantel finds malfunctions overlooked by the current medical model and recommends functional lab guided, health building strategies that include behaviour modifications and an ancestral based lifestyle which supports the body’s innate healing ability through nutrition, movements, mindset, stress management and supplementation if needed.
She has the utmost respect that no two people are the same.