wholefoods

The Role of the gut in ECZEMA

That itch, that flare up, not another round of cortisone, sleep……what is that you ask????

eczema, gut, skin rash, food intolerance

 As someone who has navigated eczema with her baby quite successfully a number of years ago, I understand your angst when it comes to dealing with this skin condition. You just want it to go away, but how???

 I remember searching for hours on end for the MAGICAL solution or cream.

The truth is that eczema is a complex condition to navigate and what works for one, might not work for the next child or person. My road to success will look very different to your road to success, because each and everyone of us are so uniquely different.

However, at the heart of the issue for everyone, the same foundational pillars need to be “FIXED” in order to heal and it takes TIME, WORK & PERSEVERANCE.

The skin is influenced by other organs in the body and this is especially true of the gut and brain, so much so that scientist coined the term “gut-brain-skin axis”

In this article I am going to focus on the role of the gut in healing eczema.

The triggers of a flair are different for most people, but the most common include:

 None of these “triggers” are the real problem for eczema, but rather an indication that the gut microbiome is out of balance and that the mucosal lining needs to some repair, otherwise known as a leaky gut.

So rather than messing around with lengthy food eliminations protocols for an unsaid period of time, you want to put your efforts straight at the ‘ROOT CAUSE,’ and that is healing the gut.

The gut and eczema:

Eczema is a highly inflammatory skin condition which is a signal that the immune system is unbalanced. The unbalanced immune system is as a direct result of an unbalanced gut flora and leaky gut.

The approach to healing, is that if you correct the gut microbiome balance and seal a leaky gut, this improves the immune function, which decreases inflammation, the body is better able to handle the “triggers” and therefore heal eczema.

How to heal the gut?

When healing the gut, it is best to adopt the very common 4 R approach used in functional medicine:

  1. REMOVE – all packaged and processed food in addition to any known trigger foods

  2. REPLACE – with whole & real food

  3. RESTORE – balance with healing nutrition such as bone broth and fermented foods

  4. REPLENISH – the whole person with lifestyle choices that enhance emotional wellbeing

 In a nutshell, eczema is just a symptom of a number of organs that are not functioning at optimal levels, one of which is the gut. Start wherever you at and make smaller consistent changes over a period of time and be observant with YOUR reaction to the eczema.

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Chantal is an Accredited and Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a very special interest in helping mum’s create thriving wellness for them and their family through the use of healing and transformational wellness practices.

A day with the world's leading microbiologist

So two weeks ago I got to spend the day with one of the world's leading microbiologist talking all things bacteria and the profound effect it has on our health & wellbeing. Their research is mind blowing and so fascinating.

Whilst the day was mostly dedicated to the impact of an undergrowth, overgrowth, colonisation or infection of specific bacteria and their role in brain-gut conditions, there were so many take away points that I thought were very useful to take on board.

More importantly, it is things that are in our control and can make all the difference before we head down a slippery slope of symptoms and debilitating conditions. Let’s not kid ourselves, that is definitely the predicated outcome IF we do not address the below points.

You can watch a summary of this post below:

Signs of a healthy gut:

  1. Must absorb adequate nutrition, i.e no nutritional deficiencies
  2. Good laxation, i.e regular, good formed bowl motions
  3. Be without infection, i.e. bacterial infection within the digestive system.

The biggest factors affecting our gut ecology:

  • NUTRITION – Nutrition plays a fundamental part in the health our gut ecology. What you eat, feeds the bacteria, good & bad. If your gut bacteria is out of whack and you are eating a highly processed and packaged diet, this is essentially fueling the fire. Nutrition is key when healing the balance of our gut microbiome. Their research has also shown that little difference is made to the balance of the microbiome when short term dietary changes are made. The real benefits are had when there is proper compliance to a healing wholefood way of life for a minimum of 2 years, 3 ideally. The foods that fuel the health of our gut ecology and should be consumed on a daily basis include:
    • Broth – multiple times a day
    • Plenty of vegetables – eat the rainbow
    • Fat – essential for cellular health
    • Soluble & insoluble fibre
    • Moderate protein
  • SUGAR – This little sucker got it's own mention. It was suggested that refined sugar is evil in terms of bacteria and should be removed from the diet at all cost – no real big surprise here
  • STRESS -Do not underestimate the impact that long term and short term stress have on the gut ecology. It was suggested to find ways of managing stress on a daily basis and to maybe meditate for 20 minutes a day.
  • PHARMACEUTICALS – The persistent and recurrent use of the likes such as Panadol, aspirin, ibuprofen and antibiotics are particularly damaging to the gut microbiome when no rectification methods are put in place after use. They are also known as gut scrapers.

In Summary

 - Eat a wholefood real food diet with plenty of vegetables and include multiple cups of broth daily

 - Manage stress on a DAILY basis to calm the nervous system

  - Avoid EXCESS use of common pharmaceuticals. If needed, ensure repair/healing work follows soon after use.

If you need help addressing the health of your gut or improving your wellbeing, get in contact for a FREE 30 minute coaching session or book in a 90 Minute Nutrition & Wellness Audit to get you started in your journey.

 

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Chantal is an Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping mum's transform the health of their family using healing wholefood and transformational wellness practices.

 

Packing a Gut Friendly Lunchbox

Holy Moly – here we are again. Back to school and packing lunches.  It was fabulous to have a break from it, but I’m keen to get back into all things routine until I’m not again! Lol.

Today’s article will be short and sharp.

We are all busy doing the best we can, but let’s not forget that the health of our children is in our hands. We have such a short period of time to have a profound effect on the foundation of their health, and that is primarily through nutrition and wellness practices. For the purpose of today, the focus will be on nutrition.

You can listen to the audio summary of the article here:

Here are some of my top tips for packing a gut friendly lunchbox:

  1. Wholefood ingredients AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE is the first start. Look at what you are currently packing and ask how can you improve it from there. Just start somewhere.
  2. Make the base ingredients the best quality you can afford. For example:
    1. Use sourdough bread instead of conventional commercial baked bread to avoid the plethora of additives and preservatives
    2. Use spelt bread for a lower gluten load
    3. Try making your own loaf from time to time using quality ingredients
    4. Use good quality grassfed butter, even better, make it organic – AVOID MARGARINE AT ALL COSTS, even the so called “healthy ones”
    5. Check the ingredients of cheese, it should only contain 4 ingredients, NOTHING ELSE. Stay away from the plastic wrapped cheese....need I say more?
  3. Do not be afraid to use butter liberally (if it can be tolerated of course)– it contains amazing fat soluble vitamins that is needed for optimal development, not to mention great for cellular health and stabilisation of blood sugar levels. I know what you are going to say next, but it doesn't spread that easily. Solution - take it out 2 minutes before you need it - PROBLEM FIXED - USE REAL BUTTER
  4. Instead of a packaged/processed item for recess, include a homemade baked goodie. When using quality ingredients and wholefood sweeteners (in moderation) these actually provide nutrients rather just empty calories and a chemical sh&t storm. Try out a new recipe at home for a snack or on the weekend BEFORE putting it into the lunchbox.
  5. Use left-overs where ever you can, either as a sandwich filling or in a thermos container
  6. If you are incorporating a packaged item of some sort - CHECK THE LABEL. Ask yourself, will my child's body recognise these ingredients as a food?
  7. Avoid those sugar laddened poppers claiming to be healthy. Did you know one 250ml popper can contain 5-7 tsp of sugar??!!!! There is nothing wrong with water. Make fruit infused water if they need some flavour
  8. If you are wanting to move to a more wholefood lunchbox, include food items your child will like. For example, if I was to put a blueberry muffin into my son’s box, I can guarantee you it will not be eaten. Put in a savoury type muffin and it will be gobbled up. Vice versa with my daughter.
  9. Lastly, but most importantly.....PLAN IT & BATCH IT. I am not even going to pretend that it is super simple and easy to just whip up healthy nourishing lunchboxes EVERYDAY for weeks on end. However, you can simplify and move through it with ease by planning first and foremost and then batching it.
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To combat the issue of the food not eaten or going to waste. I have a rule – “What is not eaten at school will be eaten as a snack when they get home BEFORE anything else is provided” I am very firm with this and so far this has worked really well.

To help you with some inspiration beyond the humble sandwich, I’ve put together a Snacks & Lunches Guide that provides 26 Snack & lunch ideas (sweet & savoury) and 10 of my favourite recipes that are well recycled and on high rotation in my house. The majority of the recipes are freezer & batch cooking friendly.

Click on the BUTTON below to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

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Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping stressed and overwhelmed parents implement gut healing protocols using a personalised step by step approach to improve the health of their family.