Did you know that what you eat can have a profound impact on how you feel safe to show up in the world? I always knew what we eat has a huge impact on our health and how we feel as we move through our days, but this is a deeper understanding that I have been exploring while I complete the independent study project required for my Advanced EFT Practitioner certification.
As a long-time foodie, nutrition consultant and educator, I have explored the benefits of whole and living food, including sprouts and ferments. And I know how much adding these foods to my daily diet has brought increased energy to my days. And I also know how I feel when I don’t manage to have them – I am definitely more sluggish and moody. The other thing I know is that we all carry some form of self-judgement around eating what we ‘should’ and food can be a significant source of unconscious self-sabotage. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
My early explorations with food were focused on what I should eat.
I was convinced that if I knew what to eat, I would eat it and be perfect (whatever that means). Since discovering Conscious EFT, learning how it works, and experiencing how it has helped me start to transform my relationship with food, and myself, I am now exploring food as an ally that can have more benefits than I expected.
After using Conscious EFT daily for myself, and with my clients, I began to see nervous system dysregulation as an inflammation, or fire, that tapping helped to bring under control. And I started looking at how inflammation shows up in our various systems and how we can smooth it. For our nervous system, research shows that tapping regulates our limbic system, the home of our emotional brain. Tapping soothes the amygdala, the fire alarm in the limbic system.
We also know that our meridian system has a fire alarm in the triple warmer meridian, and a number of energy medicine practices can smooth that fire and reduce inflammation.
We are complex beings.
It makes sense that we have more than one system or mechanism to deal with danger and stress. Our guts have a sophisticated enteric nervous system that orchestrates how the food we eat can impact our physical and mental health. In fact, the conventional wisdom held by practitioners using a functional approach to health (nutritionists, naturopaths and some doctors) is that all health and disease begins in the gut. And, not only is our gut critical to health, the critters living in it have a more significant influence than we might have known.
In the last decade, research into the human microbiome is showing just how specific these influences can be. An imbalance in our gut microbiome can be closely linked to a number of conditions or challenges previously thought to be psychological. It is now known that rebalancing the microbiome to include specific beneficial microbes can reduce or sometimes eliminate the challenges associated with such things as mood, ADHD, anxiety, depression, autism, OCD, and a host of other issues described as mental health. Research is showing that the gut microbiome is a primary orchestrator of our moods, brain chemistry and overall health.
It’s pretty obvious that the gut is another place where many of us have an out-of-control fire. And also a place where we have a lot of opportunities to soothe that fire through an anti-inflammatory diet that includes ferments or probiotics that can support a healthy gut microbiome. This can improve immunity, digestion and nutrient status, and any condition associated with inflammation, like allergies, arthritis and autoimmune disorders, and many others. So, yes, what we eat can have a profound effect on how we feel safe to show up in the world. If we are stressed and anxious, we will choose to show up in ways that are fearful, defensive and sometimes aggressive. If, however, we feel balanced and resilient, we will show up differently – more confident and present and more able to find creative solutions to the challenges we face.
We can use this information to make choices that help us nurture and nourish ourselves to be more resilient in these seemingly crazy times. And that helps us to feel like we have more control in areas where we have a choice. Each month, I will be sharing a recipe that can help reduce inflammation, nourish us, and feed the beneficial microbes that live in our guts. Sounds like a win-win situation!