April 11, 2018
Lessoning stress in one’s life is key to maintaining a healthy balance including how stress affects one’s digestion. Adding probiotics daily as a supplement is an easy and helpful way to aid the homeostasis in the microbiome. Having Crohn’s disease is a tough diagnosis, but achieving gut-level homeostasis is key to keeping a balance of good and bad bacteria.
Many people don’t realize that taking antibiotics can sweep out the gut flora, causing the balance to shift. I watch my diet carefully: no wheat, no sugar, lots of vegetables and sustainably harvested fish and organic chicken, daily antioxidant tea, mediation, yoga, lots of sleep and daily 3-5 mile hikes.
About twenty years ago, I got severe food poisoning from a fast-food chicken sandwich and I didn’t realize the bacteria invaded my gut and created an inhospitable environment where good bacteria and “bad” bacteria normally thrive in a kind of symbiotic balance. I had an overgrowth of bad bacteria and it wasn’t until I developed full-blown Crohn’s disease and had a bowel resection that I started to really take care of my gut microbiome and my quality of life improved immediately.
I had Crohn’s disease and was really sick and diagnosed about 12 years ago, had surgery, went from 119 pounds back up to 140 pounds and changed my life, especially my work life. I started a publishing company and it is hectic beyond words 🙂 But, that said, it is amazing how fast we are growing and how the small press is forming a kind of community. Basically, when work gets crazy (daily!), I stick to my routine which is getting 7-8 hours of sleep, waking up at 6 or so with a sharp mind, having tea, working on personal writing and poetry (AVOIDING EMAILS!), make my traditional Irish steel cut oats, head out for my daily walk (3-4 miles over steep terrain), come back and do a short yoga-mediation (I use Rodney Yee’s DvD) in my basement meditation studio, then I hit the work scene either in my home office, or my downtown Brattleboro office.
I try to burn as little fossil fuel as possible, so I don’t drive the 5 miles to my main street office unless I have a meeting, or other errands. In warmer weather, I ride my new bike (a great investment and cheaper than a gym membership!). I keep a tight schedule: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I work in town from 1-5:00 PM. The other days and generally most mornings, I work from home. My morning regimen of exercise and a healthy breakfast really helps keep me healthy and grounded.
When things get crazy, I make a list using my Reminders on my iPhone, stick to my sleep/walk/yoga/meditation routine, prioritize work and personal l life balance especially. Weekends are sacred downtime with longer hikes, dinner with my husband, a movie or a potluck or drinks with friends . . .
Spring is a time of rejuvenation and rebirth — getting outside every day and absorbing vitamin D through the eyes and skin is incredibly helpful in keeping your immune system strong. Now is a good time to start a spring routine—Good luck and I look forward to reading comments from readers who have their own routines! What works for you? How are you doing health wise?
Here is a photo of my garden . . . just starting to get it ready for planting (a great upper body workout, too!).