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This bite-sized podcast by Vedic meditation teacher & Ayurveda practitioner-in-training, Emily Rees will help you discover what intentions are, why they’re powerful and how they can help us create meaning and purpose. This is a great practice often used to self-reflect and set the tone for your reality.
When was the last time you had a ‘gut feeling’ about something?
Even if you can’t remember what triggered it, you’re sure to recall the sensation. That tingly, butterflies-in-the-tummy phenomenon we experience when anxious, stressed, or knowing something is a bit ‘off’ is tied to our ancient survival instincts. Unsurprisingly, the gut is often referred to as our ‘second brain.’
While this feeling of unease is commonly linked to what’s going on in one’s mental space – or chalked up to intuition – its effects also impact our bodies physically…
As you’ll know all too well if you’ve ever found yourself dashing to the bathroom before a job interview or feeling like you might throw up before a presentation! That’s the gut-mind connection at play.
The science of the symbiotic gut-brain connection
Science is still working on understanding the complexities behind the physiology of mind-body interactions but researchers say one thing is already clear: There’s a definite connection between the gut and the brain. This bond is ‘bidirectional’ in nature – meaning communication moves both ways – “between the central nervous system and gut microbiota,” according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine titled, Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis.
This means that while the brain impacts the gut (causing those urgent trips to the loo we just spoke about), the reverse is also true: What happens in the gut can also impact the brain.
Western medicine has been a little late to the party with this concept but the mind-body connection has long been established in Ayurvedic medicine. “In the Vedic and Ayurvedic worldview, consciousness (the mind) creates the body. Every thought we think shapes our world, including our physical form,” explains Vedic meditation teacher & Ayurveda practitioner-in-training, Emily Rees.
“Ayurveda shows us that most disease and imbalance begin at the level of the mind and eventually becomes manifest as symptoms and ailments. When we work with the mind, we have the opportunity to get to the root cause behind a lot of our health challenges,” continues Emily.
How to foster a healthy gut (and help heal a cranky one) using mindfulness and nutrition:
| Enjoy meals mindfully |
Each time it’s time to eat, remind yourself to slow down and consume your food in a mindful manner. Besides helping your digestive system function at its best, you’ll likely find this habit allows you to enjoy your meal even more.
Emily’s top tips? Put your phone away and turn the TV off then take three big, slow belly breaths. “This can be all it takes to bring you out of your thinking mind and into the present and leaves you free to eat properly and set yourself up to digest what’s on your plate.”
| Stress less |
While managing stress levels is easier said than done, it’s key for a healthy gut. “If our ‘fight or flight’ system is in over-drive daily, this can take our body’s energy away from our digestive processes, leaving our digestion less than optimal,” says Natasha.
Build stress-reducing activities (like breathing exercises, mindfulness and Yoga) into your daily routine and don’t be shy about asking for extra support from close friends, family members or health care professionals.
| Get the right nutrition |
Ever heard that ‘food is medicine?’ There’s a lot of truth to this old adage especially when it comes to maintaining healthy gut bacteria. Natasha suggests consuming lots of “everyday whole foods” including fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains as well as getting the right amount of fibre and water each day.
| Try taking probiotics and prebiotics |
Probiotics and prebiotics are excellent ways to boost your gut’s health. “By integrating a variety of probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods in our diet, we can help balance and optimise our gut bacteria. With a favourable ratio of more ‘good’ bacteria than ‘bad’ bacteria in our gut, things should run quite smoothly,” says Natasha.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get more prebiotics into your day, Wanderlust Prebiotic Gut Goodness Jar is a consciously created powered fibre blend with inulin derived from organic Jerusalem artichoke and resistant starch derived from organic green banana. Besides being rich in natural prebiotic fibre, the additional wholefood powders provide a natural source of fibre helping to keep you regular. Plus, you can add them to almost anything – smoothies, tea, water or even your morning oats, making them a versatile way to get your prebiotic fix.
And that’s a wrap!
Day 1 is about setting you up for success by providing you with the tools & knowledge to succeed.
Your only other task for today is to get creative, try adding your plant-powered Prebiotic Gut Goodness into your day. Healthy gut-habits are best made when they fit seamlessly into your daily rituals. If you want to inspire others who are on this journey with you, get social & share your creation (p.s don’t forget to tag @wanderlustausnz and #MindGutReset)