You have had an “ah-ha!” moment, haven’t you?
A time when something clicks. You had information about something – something perhaps you even accepted as true (though you probably had some doubts or questions) – but later in life you learn something else that fills in the gaps of your understanding and suddenly – CLICK – it all fits and makes sense.
Recently I have been heavily studying Permaculture. In Permaculture we identify the connections between elements and how they affect one another. How the addition of one element, like a chicken, can effect another element, such as a garden. How the removal of trees on a hill effects water down the hill.
Many of these connections in nature may seem, perhaps, obvious. Though of course there are more detailed and highly complex connections. Whatever the case, Permaculture is something I get – it clicks for me.
In my studies of Permaculture I have made many new friends. One of these friends very politely approached me about his concern regarding my health. In our polite discussion he recommended that I try a gluten-free diet for a few weeks as a test to see if it benefits me or not.
My initial thoughts? “Bread. He wants me to give up bread. I love bread. There is nothing wrong with bread.” Then he mentioned a few studies that were done and the benefits that have been realized. I decided to research it a bit and ran across this:
For example, the bugs in your gut are like a rain forest – a diverse and interdependent ecosystem. They must be in balance for you to be healthy. –Mark Hyman, MD
Wait a minute. What was that? My body… an ecosystem? … an ecosystem?? Of course! An Ecosystem!
– Click –
Pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. My body is not just my body. It is an ecosystem full of life with bacteria of various types working in harmony (or trying to). It may gross you out, but I think it is critical, for me at least, to understand this next point:
There are five hundred species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut; it’s a huge chemical factory that helps you digest your food, produces vitamins, helps regulate hormones, excrete toxins and produce healing compounds that keep your gut healthy. Too many of the wrong ones like parasites, yeasts or bad bacteria, or not enough of the good ones like lactobacillus or bifidobacteria can lead to serious damage to your health. –Mark Hyman, MD
500 species. That is a diverse ecosystem! If I had 500 species of plants on my property I would be EXTREMELY careful when adding anything into that ecosystem because I would know why I have each of those plants and how they support and interact with each other and I know that anything I add into the ecosystem could disrupt a connection, or make it stronger.
My body is an ecosystem. Wow.
I have successfully lost weight in the past. Once I was on a program – the kind where you pay for some supplements and attend meetings and get weighed in. I did great on it, I lost 75lb in 17 weeks. That diet starts with you limiting (and nearly eliminating) carbohydrates – primarily breads, pastas, etc. Read here: Wheat was taken out of my diet.
– Click –
Wait a moment – this has already worked for me before. I stopped taking in gluten and my weight melted off. Yes, I did other things too – as in generally eating homemade/home cooked food and ate in smaller portions, more often – but I did not increase my physical activity. Hmm…
So, is it possible that MY ecosystem cannot handle the inclusion of a new element, like gluten?
Perhaps it is well past time for me to be more concerned with my own ecosystem just as much as I am concerned about the acreage of our homestead and the ecosystem I am trying to establish there.
In Permaculture we do not shy away from tying something new – presuming the concept is sound and it follows the ethics. To me, it seems like trying to eliminate (do not eat) this element (gluten) from my ecosystem (body) meets that criteria. It is worth the test – it is worth giving it a trial to see how the ecosystem reacts.
As such, this post is the start of that journey. After some time passes I will provide a video, as is my custom, and let you know how the project is going.