Did you know that our bodies and cells are outnumbered by bacteria, yeast and viruses? Some research shows that the microbiotic organisms outnumber our cells by 10 to 1. Whatever the correct number, we know that we’re made up of a ton of beneficial microorganisms that keep our bodies in homeostasis (balance) in addition to our own cells. It is a beautiful ecosystem that works beautifully, until we introduce something that doesn’t serve the natural balance. When our bodies and microflora get away from the balance, that is what causes disease. For example, yeast infections is just an overgrowth of the candida that we already have through certain foods or stress and it is a matter of getting that back into balance.
So that being said, once you’ve gone through the steps of eliminating and removing possible inflammatory triggers from your life and replacing with the anti-inflammatory, health-producing ones, then it is time to reinoculate and restore beneficial bacteria. This step is done to return to a healthy balance of microflora in the gut. You can do this by taking probiotics, but natural gut acid causes the breakdown of the benefits before it gets to the place that needs it. I prefer to eat or drink the probiotics in forms of food or beverages. Here is a list of foods and drinks that are full of probiotics:
- Apple cider vinegar- 1 teaspoon in a big glass of water twice a day
- Kefir -water or goats milk
- Coconut Kefir
- Organic, grass-fed goats or sheep milk yogurt
- Preserved lemons
- Indian style fermented carrots
There are a kazillion more recipes that you can find online just type in preserved, cultured or fermented food recipes and you can experiment at home. A little goes a long way, so half a cup of kombucha a day or a tablespoon of carrots on your breakfast eggs and lunch salad and you’re doing your body good.
Food: Described above
Movement: I wasn’t sure how to ‘reinoculate’ your way to health, but after reading a study on ‘anxiety reappraisal’, I thought it could mean retraining your brain to get up and moving. The idea that you can reappraise anxiety is a way to trick yourself to feeling excited when feeling nervous or anxious. Another study showed that goals could be ‘reappraised’ through changing the words. Maybe using “I am excited to start a new exercise routine” rather than “I’m too tired to start an exercise routine” will eventually get you off the couch to do that 3 minutes of marching in place. Whatever the goal, try it. What can you lose?
Sleep: Reinoculating in the food sense means reintroducing something that is beneficial. For sleep, this can be reintroducing a dark, sleep-inducing environment to your bedroom. Maybe this means getting a diffuser and diffuse cedarwood and lavender for relaxation and a full-nights rest. Or reintroducing darkness into your room with black-out curtains. What about reintroducing a tech-free sanctuary like we had as children? Again, it is your choice to find what works for you to get this pillar of health. Sleep is imperative to optimal health, I can’t stress it enough. I love Arianna Huffington’s campaign for a sleep revolution. You can read more about it in her new book.
Play: Reinoculating your life with play could go any number of ways. Pick a time to dedicate to playful silliness throughout your busy day and commit to it.
Community: This is a given. Just by being part of SHP you’re participating in an online community. Reinoculate yourself with the idea that we’re just all a bunch of kids wanting to play in the sandbox and be heard and accepted. Inject your brain with the idea that people are awesome and that you only want to be surrounded by folks who encompass that awesomeness.
There you go! Happy Reinoculating!!