Health and disease begin in the gut.
Hippocrates said it first. And all the new science agrees.
So, I mapped the systems that are impacted by intestinal microflora in the Origin of Illness.
Then I used that map to determine what parts of the system are actionable, to create a list of things we can do to support microbiome health.
Thereby creating a microbiome protocol.
In this post, let's look at what some of my favorite healers and optimizers have to say about each of the elements in this protocol:
We'll find out what they think, classic web-log style.
In this post we'll cover stress management, diet, sleep and physical activity. In part 2 we'll review caffeine, chemicals, mindful drug use, environment and gut health therapies.
I consider stress in this post.
Mark Sisson, originator of the The Primal Blueprint, offers the definitive guide to stress, cortisol and the adrenals and covers how stress can make you fat. He also offers 15 stress hacks and 10 forgotten stress relief tips.
Eileen Laird, of Phoenix Helix, interviews Dr Datis Kharrazian in this podcast, in which Dr Kharrazian refers to stress as "the single most impactful factor on the expression of autoimmune disease".
An anti-inflammatory & nutrient-dense diet is the core of all the healing and optimization protocols.
All of these protocols are based on the same science and are fundamentally aligned. They are all gut-healing, anti-inflammatory, ancestral eating systems.
This is a big subject, but in short, healing protocols (like the AIP & Wahls) tend to be be more restrictive than the optimization protocols (like Primal & Bulletproof), but then they are elimination diets, with the assumption that some off-limits foods may be reintroduced in time. Whereas, though both Primal & Bulletproof make allowances for more dietary flexibility, optimizers recommend this pattern of eating as a lifelong commitment to peak performance.
So, it's kind of like this:
Chris Kresser considers sleep to be one of the 9 steps to perfect health.
Eileen Laird considers skipping sleep as a cause of an autoimmune flare. Mickey Trescott has explored why sleep is important for people with autoimmune disease. Joanna Frankham describes her difficulty with sleep and what she's doing about it.
Mark's Daily Apple has over a dozen posts on sleep. Here's one: How to Manufacture the Best Night's Sleep in Your Life.
I have written about the Paleobiology of Sleep.
High Leverage Physical Activity
High leverage means you get maximum benefit for your effort.
In the case of exercise, it's actually really easy (and pretty common) to be low-leverage: to put out a lot of energy in for a negligible (or even negative) result.
Exercising inappropriately can be problematic for people with an unbalanced microbiome. Sarah Ballantyne addresses this in two podcasts: Exercise Performance & Gut Health & The Too Much of Exercise. On her blog she also stresses the importance of exercise, explores the benefits of gentle movement, and tells us why she likes yoga.
Dr Terry Wahls explains how exercise to promotes brain health.
Susan Vennerholm, guest blogging again at Autoimmune Paleo, also cautions against over-exercise as a person with an autoimmune condition, and writes about cardio, high intensity interval training and resistance workouts.
Mark Sisson wins first prize for the highest number of exercise-related posts. His primal movement recommendations are summarized here. He has also written about why exercise feels like a drag; why it's the best medicine; the relationship between exercise and inflammation; and managing mitochondria through exercise. He also makes the case against cardio.
Next up we'll learn what these biohackers have to say about caffeine, chemicals, mindful drug use, environment, and gut health therapies.
Find part 2 here.
Get maximum benefit for your effort with Primal Play.
Darryl Edwards developed Primal Play to make activity fun. His goal is to help us rediscover something essential and exhilarating about ourselves as human beings.
Primal Play centres around the idea that we benefit most from ancestrally-inspired movement.