We are walking National Parks of bacteria. On the inside and on our skin, we carry over 100 trillion (yes you read it right!) microorganisms on us all the time. After the big genome discovery, now we know that this is what really makes us healthy or sick. Genes we can only turn on or off, we know that, but our micro-ecosystem can be helped in so many ways. That’s what we do at Olive. Most of them live in our digestive tract and are the reason why 80% of our immune system is in the tummy as one of their tasks is to kill intruders. That’s why your health often depends on your digestion. Your digestion depend on what you take in. What you take in depends on your environment. It’s all connected. At Olive we love our human micro biome and so should you, so let us present your friends that can keep you from disease, help you loose weight and make you sleep well!
Most of us don’t know that we are 90% microbes. We use detergents, solvents, soaps, sanitizers, alcohol, antibiotics, etc, to kill what we have been told is so bad. But science in this fascinating area, is moving from 100 years of focus on killing all bacteria to a new understanding of what the complex bacterial ecosystem in and outside our bodies do to us. It’s fascinating, I love it! I believe it is going to be one of the main areas in medical treatments. But until then we can help ourselves by feeding our small friends with the right food and stop killing them with chemicals.
Think about this next time you drink alcohol, when you breath polluted air (including ‘air fresheners’), or you spray yourself and your baby with soap and perfume. We are witnessing the rapid shift from a world ruled by the antibacterial obsession and marketing, to one that has a heightened awareness of the importance of the microbial ecosystem (the microbiome). This beautiful animated video explains more if you are interested.
The food we make at Olive Retreat focuses on creating a perfect environment for the gut flora and our body. The good bacteria live in our digestive tract and lives of of fibers, both soluble and in-soluble, so called pre-biotic. This is the reason why you need to find produce in its whole form and not refined; grains, rices, beans, etc. If you read the label on a bread which says “whole grain”, and if it is less than 20%, the rest is refined wheat.
Eat the cleaned (and of course organic) peel of the fruit and vegetables and loads of green salads. Use the fiber from your juicing in bread or food. Even pumpkin peel is great and only takes a few minutes to get soft when cooking, so stop peeling! If there are bad bacteria (normally from the soil) left they die when cooking it anyway. Think of your unseen friends and always include the peels and some raw food in your meal, cut down on animal food, sugar and chemicals.
Yesterday we prepared pro-biotic food for the March retreat. It is nothing but fermented food, you could describe it as pre-digested, as you start the breaking down of the food before it hits your stomach. Eaten since the Stone Age all around the world, and probably before that too, as our cousins the big apes eat fermented food. In Asia they have fermented rice and soy, like miso, soy sauce, in Latin America they ferment beans and all kinds of vegetables. In Europe we have done sauerkraut, cider, pickles, and yogurt, for ages . It is a perfect way to preserve the food and start the bacteria growing to become pro-biotic (and much cheaper than in capsules form the health store). More on this superfood in upcoming blogs.