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Gut Health and Weight Loss and Hormonal Impact Part 1

WE ARE ONLY AS HEALTHY AS THE FOOD WE CAN DIGEST

This means that if the gut isn’t functioning well (optimally) then it really doesn’t matter how good the food is that we eat. We will have deficiencies. This is why GUT Health is a major corner stone for optimal health.

  • Endocrine system: depends on essential nutrients (healthy hormones) in order to function properly.
  • Immune system: highly dependent on the gut for proper functioning.
  • Nervous System: again, highly dependent on the gut for proper functioning. In fact, there are more nerve cells in the gut than in the brain

Gut-Brain Axis

  • Motility, secretion, nutrient delivery, microbial balance
  • Neurotransmitters, stress, anxiety, mood, behavior

HPA Axis

  • Hypothalamus: gland in the brain which produces CRH
  • Anterior Pituitary: gland in the brain which produces ACTH
  • Adrenal Cortex: Endocrine gland (on the kidneys) which produces cortisol

So “at the end of the day” in relation to the gut, cortisol affects:

  • How the colon moves
  • What it absorbs
  • How much and what kind of mucus it produces
  • The microbiome and can slow down the entire system to enable the body to be able to deal with stress and what not

This stress response helps the human being to survive in a life threatening situation. The habitual stress response, say due to a relationship issue or unhappy job, can greatly impact gut health and overall health negatively.

Interesting side note: the stress response, as shown above, impacts gut health. The opposite is true. You can develop leaking gut which in term allows gut flora can affect the HPA axis in a negative way. Additionally, bad bacteria and fungus can affect all of the functions mentioned above. This becomes a vicious (aka VICIOUS) circle. Downward spiral. Perfect storm.

The Gut and Nervous System are INTIMATELY connected.

Insulin and Blood Sugar Management: a healthy GI track helps the blood sugar management system. An unhealthy GI tract can increase insulin insensitive. For the endurance athlete specifically, this can negatively impact burning fat for fuel. So sugar cravings go up and belly fact sticks around or becomes more prevalent.

Estrogen: Your gut flora can influence your levels of estrogen. Estrobolome, a gut bacteria, produces or breaks down estrogen. The liver breaks down estrogen (or deactivates) and sends it into the GI tract to “get rid of”. Unfriendly gut bacteria can reactivate inactive this estrogen. This can impact estrogen/progesterone balance. (Or affect testosterone levels). Also, the stomach produces estrogen-like molecules. Which increases appetite. It is so interesting in that when someone consumes BPA, which produces an estrogen like molecule, even in the presence of food, the appetite increases. So please avoid plastic produces that have BPA.

Progesterone / Testosterone: Hormonal balance is affected by Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which is a toxin produced by unfriendly gut bacteria. LPS has more of an impact when LEAKY gut is present, as LPS crosses the gut barrier and can affect ovaries and decrease progesterone production. Which affects the ever important balance of estrogen to progesterone. LPS may also play a role in PCOS by increasing insulin and testosterone levels. Additionally, LSP has been shown to negatively impact the immune system and be a contributing factor to many autoimmune disorders.

Thyroid Gland: LPS may also affect Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Again, this goes back to the research on how unfriendly bacteria impact the immune system and the cascade affect of that. You can think of it like, the LPS causes the body’s immune system to attack itself.

Uterus / Endometriosis: Endometrial lesions (uterine cells growing elsewhere) interfere with the gut’s ability to keep waste products moving, contributing to SIBO and microbiome imbalance. It does this in that these lesions are sticky and cause parts of the bowel to stick together, to the abdominal wall or other organs.

Continue to Part 2 for the Basic Gut Health Protocol

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Strong is: Hop scotching through the crap show of life to ROCK OUT your 4k swim

❤️👊🏻💥 Life can be so hard somethings.

We have sons that struggle with mental health ... suicide thoughts and emotional pain is not as uncommon as we’d like to think. Seriously, being a mom is sooo tough. 💔Sometimes your heart seems to get pulled out your nose. 💔Relationships are tough. 🦠Managing our own crazy can be tough. Working on personal growth can really leave you feeling naked and ultra vulnerable.

🏊‍♀️So getting your tail to the pool or where ever can be a big effort. Especially as moms and bread winners, role models and the like ... we have to put the game faces on. Play like we are ok.

So for those of you who aren’t quite ok. ❤️❤️ Or just not ok ... hang in there. Try and reach out. Find someone you can say stuff to.

Today I was talking w someone who’s just starting out in tri. We know each other decently. She’s a real / honest / no drama kinda of girl. She said ... “swimming is your safe place, just don’t think of any of the bs”. And it really hit home. Swimming is my safe place. I’m not super fast. I’m have severe swim anxiety. But I’ve conquered all that. I’ve heal a nice portion of my soul in the pool and open water.

I’m doing this crazy challenge of 100x100s Jan 1. Which is kinda silly as I have a needy shoulder. Hahahaha. And right now I swim about 6 times a month. I haven’t same more than 2000 in a hot min. Like since IMTX18. Hahahaha. Omg. However. I do a lot of strength work and yoga/swim stuff.

🐠🦈AND I ROCKED THE HELL OUT IF THIS SWIM. 🐳🐡

👊🏻💥AND ROCKED THE HELL OUT OF LIFE for 1:25:34.

And that just helped me bounce back to feeling so much stronger and capable. I showed myself that ... yep. I’m stronger than what I was feeling.

So ladies. When you are feeling low. Defeated. Drowning w life or whatever. Keep your head up. Reach out. And show up. Get your mind right. Just for that workout or even 5 minutes. Whatever. Do the best you can, w putting all things to the side.

Oh. And I did some SUPERWOMAN Breathing!!! 5 minutes and BOOM!!! 💥🏋️‍♂️💥🏋️‍♂️💃

TRAINING NOTES:

  • 8 x 500, RI 0:30 (no swim tools or aids)
  • Pacing work. I worked to keep my mind with "calm and strong", working to have a nice solid pull each stroke.
  • I began to practice nutrition. Each 500 I would stop for 30 seconds for a drink. First couple of 500s I used 20oz of water with Liquid IV, 500mg Na, 400 Mg Potassium. The 2nd half of the swim I used my bike blend of Infinite. I didn't like this as much and burbed it up a bit. I will go with Liquid IV next time for the duration and perhaps Glukos Gels for calories.
  • My right shoulder and pinkie finger was numb/achy for the 3rd 500. But I worked on form and that went away.
  • My nose was INCREDIBLY snotting after. My ears were blocked for a number of hours, probably due to the sneezing and what not. I will need to address this for longer swims in that pool. Finding a salt water pool would be a real good idea.
  • Shoulders were not sore at all the next day. I do a couple of different swim specific strength training workouts. 4 times a week optimally. 2-3 is required. Neck was a bit sore the next day. Though I would imagine that is because the 4k was done only breathing to the left. I was not able to get to every 3 due to heart rate not being chill enough.

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