My Gut is Still Fucked

I took antibiotics for an infected ingrown toenail at the end of September for 2 weeks.  High dose.  It was my first time taking antibiotics in probably about 15 years, I really try as best I can not to take anything if I don’t need it.

I actually can’t believe that even now, I’m still struggling with the shits.  This is absolutely annoying and I am living in the scientifically more identified news explaining the gut-brain connection.the-truth-about-runners-trots-2-30877-1429191488-9_dblbig.jpg

I feel like shit: literally and figuratively.  I can see my anxiety worsen, I can see the OCD-tendencies that go along with high anxiety follow: skin picking, anger, sadness.

My run stitch isn’t really there, but I’m pretty much having to pop-a-squat on each run.  It’s been on-going since the end of September, despite taking high dose of probiotics.

I’m also along with the anxiety, therefore eating foods that my highly anxious self is craving: the very foods that Ayurveda explains worsens the anxious state (rajasic, vata-heightening foods).

Enter:

  • brussels
  • cauli
  • vegonvegonveg
  • coffee
  • flax

It’s such a mixed up coping cycle: the more I feel disconnected from my body, the more I crave disconnection.

It’s so crazy how much the effects of feeling bloated can have on my psyche.  It’s like when I wake up and have tried to not eat too much the night before, and should be feeling hungry (like, I woke up middle of the night hungry), but instead am literally so full of shit that the hunger cues are off.  I am curious about the evolutionary implications of this.  I wonder, from a viewpoint of the survival, the primal needs, why hunger cues would leave when bloat comes on.  Maybe it’s the body saying that eating at this time wouldn’t be wise because digestion is preoccupied with so much “shit”.  That would make sense.

It’s really frustrating though.  But I think from a soul-perspective that my body is choosing the one way to speak to me for me to actually listen and potentially change through my gut.

The thing is, my gut is directly relating to my stress-response and how I am breathing.  This is related to how I hold my body, my thoracic cavity, and hips, and legs, ankles, feet.  This physical manifestation of misaligned coping speaks consequently through body pains and compensations while running; which is another form of self-connect, and also self-disconnect.  There’s no black and white.  I both love running, but have a compulsive relationship with it.  I am not yet fully in harmony with my body.  FUCK.

When my gut is off, I want to eat more of the foods that I use to cope; the fillers that don’t actually nourish my body with its needs.  Furthermore, this only exacerbates my mental state which impedes me from knowing where else in life I need nourishment.  And the cycle continues.

The remedy is always reconnecting with myself.  The best poops I had were in India when I ate “sattvic” foods; foods that induce a calm state of mind.  This was also a period of time when I felt the most peaceful in my body than ever in my life.

Consciousness is both a blessing and a curse: it is just so FULL on.  It’s certainly easier to bypass The Work and disconnect.  But it’s definitely not without consequences, my gut can attest to that.

Shit, (wo)man, this is tough.

India and Poop Philosophy 

Honestly, when I spent a month at the Yoga Institute in India, I had the best poops in my life. This is huge for me, bc my gut is where my body communicates any stress, and it sucks!

I ate veg Indian food. I didn’t eat rice or chapati, but heaps of delicious dal, cooked veg. Hansaji is beautiful, wise, kind, and her advice here in this vid is truly legit.

Also: we pooped in holes in ground-toilets…and hoses vs tp. #Dontknockittillyoutryit

How Food and Emotion are connected

In Ayurveda, there’s big emphasis on the state of mind, and how food affects us.

Did you know that food, and the way we eat, and how we feel while, during, and after eating plays a huge role in how we live our lives?

yoga-diet

Hansaji Yogendra of The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, India, has great insight onto this topic in her article Yogic Principles of Healthy Eating:

The ancients knew this long ago – they equated food with God. Thus, were developed rituals and practices like praying before meals, eating with full concentration, relishing the meal, etc. Therefore while eating, one should attend to the way food is being chewed, the subtle tastes of the different food items, the way it goes down the oesophagus to the stomach, etc.

When food is eaten thus, with one -pointedness, the assimilation and absorption of food is at its best. This is the ideal way to eat food. Alternatively, one could also indulge in polite conversations bringing joy and happiness. Avoid watching television while eating. One should also try to go beyond likes and dislikes and not have a negative opinion about food. Most physical ailments are caused due to unhealthy food habits.

Moderation is the key word. Eat food as a duty, eat only as much as will make you feel hungry after 4 hours. Remember that food we eat is only to sustain us and our body’s proper functioning, avoid overeating just because you like the taste of the food. Instead eat what you love slowly, relishing every part of the meal; that way you will feel fuller faster and not crave for more food.

Furthermore, here are some key points to take home:

Tips to eat right from dawn to dusk

  • While lying in bed on your back inhale 5 seconds and exhale deeply 5 seconds. While going for a walk inhale for 2 steps, exhale for 2 steps. Follow this pattern for about hundred steps. This will help you wake up feeling happy and relaxed.
  • Appreciate whatever there is on your plate. In case some taste is unpleasant for you, instead of becoming critical, enjoy every morsel of food and be happy that you have some food to eat, unlike others who do not. Our likes and dislikes have to be tempered by what is good for us. Remember to chew your food thoroughly. Make sure you do not have another morsel ready as you chew, this will tend to rush your meal. Wait till you have swallowed the food in your moth before you pick up the next morsel.
  • If your job is a sedentary one, get up every half an hour and walk a few steps.
  • Change the position of your legs often, this helps prevent swelling in the legs and keeps your blood circulation in order. Whenever possible close the eyes and think. Listen more and speak less.

Now here is a log that I used to track my emotions and how I felt after eating different foods.  I noticed consistently that there was a theme to how I felt after consuming different foods.  The Ayurvedic food groups are tracked into 3 Categories:

According to Yoga, the type of food you eat determines the type of mind , you have. As the food, so the mind; As the mind, so the man. Therefore, eat easily digestible food or

  1. Sattvic food which includes: Milk and milk products fresh fruits and dry fruits seasonal vegetables, cereals (like wheat, unpolished rice, jowar, bajra, corn), pulses (like moong dal – green with skin and yellow), sprouted cereals and pulses. A little ginger, turmeric powder (haldi), cumin seeds (jeera), coriander powder (dhania). Honey, jaggery, crystal sugar (misry), raw sugar (gud shakkar), ghee or rice brand oil and filtered oil (groundnut or till oil). Eating this food brings relaxation and a feeling of peace.What not to eat?
  2. Only little of rajasic food may be eaten. This food is difficult to digest and leaves one in a disturbed state of mind. All non-vegetarian foods, hot spices, onions, garlic, non-seasonal vegetables and salt fall in this category.
  3. Tamasic food is unnatural and stale. All refined, processed, artificially coloured, flavoured and deep frozen foods are Tamasic in nature.

NOW: Keep in mind that moderation in moderation is key.  This info is powerful knowledge, and so use to your digression.  Every body is different, so why not experiment with the log below to see how you feel?  It’s a cool self-experiment.

Mind and Body Reaction to Food Intake: Rate each which is applicable /10

This is a log which is a tool to use in order to see how our food choices affect the way we function in our minds and bodies. Food is a powerful medicine that affects not only our body functioning, but also our state of mind and state of being. This log is a way to watch how we feel after eating the food we eat, in a way to mindfully shift our behaviours after becoming aware of the way our choices are driving our sense perceptions.

  Morning Afternoon Evening
Time of Eating      
Food      
Mental state prior to eating      
Perceived Quantity      
Calmness      
Clarity      
Stress-level      
Mental comfort      
Physical Comfort      
Energy Level      
Happiness      
Self-Image      
Confidence      
Anxiety      
Ease/dis-ease      
Satiety      
Other      

Here’s an extra vid of brilliant insight if you want to hear more about Hansaji, and what she has to share:

When you can’t stop thinking, Sing.

indian princesses

At The Yoga Institute where I got certified as a Yoga Instructor, the Director, Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra shared with us a few healthy habits to incorporate into our lives.

Simple Good Life Tips from a Yoga Perspective: (basically, from a “self-love” perspective)

  • walk for 10 mins before and after eating, faster before, slower after
  • breathe deep for 60 seconds before eating a meal
  • practice Jalneti, or clearing of the nasal passage daily 
  • practice asanas, or yoga postures daily
  • think less

Sooooo, the bolded point.  This is tricky.

During a walk with Hansaji one morning, I was humming and hawing about my life troubles, like: my ass that had been injured, a sense of “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life”, being broke, and wanting to travel.

She let me ramble, and then said, “Canadian girl, you think too much.  Less thought will mean more peace, and then you will see how your life will just happen as it is meant to.”

To this, I replied, “I know, way too much, and am struggling with how to stop so that I can just live.”

She then said this brilliant thing, “When you find that you cannot stop thinking, sing.”

I love this, have loved it since, and have followed it.  It is wonderful, I suggest to try it!  By singing, the mind is unable to multitask, and it focuses instead on the beauty of the melody that you are singing along to.  It’s like laughter, an instant vacation, so calming and blissful.

Here’s a sweet lil mantra that I fell in love with.  It’s a pop version of a powerful mantra, that is one of the oldest and most powerful of Sanskrit mantras . It is believed that by chanting the Gayatri mantra and firmly establishing it in the mind, if you carry on your life and do the work that is ordained for you, your life will be full of happiness.  You can often find me singing it on the Scarborough streets, among other songs 🙂