This is an unedited transcript.
Welcome to today’s episode of the Mondays podcast. My name is Holly Lowe, and I’m your host, as we journey through those hazy days of motherhood. We have been talking about self care, but on a different level, not so much the makeup and nails. Although that’s all good, too. My passion is going to the root of what’s going on in our bodies and our minds, and cleaning up some things, maybe making some changes that are going to support our bodies and minds. So as we’re journeying through the next little bit, talking about this self care and our wellness, I really wanted to focus in from the very start about our mental health, our emotional health. And it’s a huge topic, this isn’t something that, you know, we can skim over, but I’m not going to take too much time either. So I want to touch on some important parts of this. And if it’s something that you want to hear more of, then let me know. And we can do some deeper dives into some of these parts of it. But I’m going to give you a quick overview today of what the connection is between our gut health and our mind. There’s a huge, you know, array of topics on how our gut health is functioning within our body, and what it affects. Now, I’m not a medical professional in any means. But I am studied in this and I spend much of my time teaching on these connections and how we can support them. One thing that most people are surprised to understand is that we actually have what are considered three brains. Did you know that if you’ve ever thought your you, your mommy brain was not functioning properly, you’ve got to backup so it’s all good. But what I’ve learned over the years, especially with my own personal health journey, but also in supporting 1000s of other women, as we we’ve you know, learn this and worked in this with natural health, I’ve learned that if one of those brains is suffering, they’re all going to suffer. And that is never been truer than when we talk about gut health. Now, when we speak of the gut, I’m not talking stomach necessarily, I’m talking about your entire digestive system. It includes the stomach and includes your colon, the large and small intestine, your bowel, your bladder, but it’s all functioning together in there, all these other organs too. We’ve got our kidneys, we’ve got our filtering organs, our liver or pancreas, old girl, our gallbladder. And it’s this beautiful relationship that these organs have in how they support our gut health as a whole. I I’m definitely going to dive more into our, you know, digestive health in coming months.
But this one, I really felt that as we’re heading into this year, it’s important that especially at this time of year, it’s it’s really important that we look at what is the actual root of my mental wellness, the way I’m feeling my emotions. And I remember training in this years ago, and I was actually really surprised to understand that emotions are chemical emotions are an actual measurable chemical response in the body. How many of us think of emotions as some out there thing, something’s just flying around in our body that’s just happening. It’s just not the case. It’s not how it works. So it felt very relieving to me, it actually felt like oh, you know, a weight was lifted off when I realized if emotions are a chemical response in my cells in my body, then that leaves me with some hope of I can do something about these emotions, I can do something about my mental health, my wellness, my moods, my, you know, my feelings. Instead of it ruling me I have a chance to adjust to them, and an attitude adjustment per se. But it gives me an opportunity to work with them on a physical cellular option, as opposed to just, you know, I’m just feeling like this today. And that’s that, such as having to accept it. acknowledging our emotions is a very powerful thing, acknowledging in the, in the very forefront, acknowledging how we’re feeling and putting a word to it is a big part of that. And I don’t want to downplay that in any way, because there’s a huge you know, movement and change in women’s wellness in just acknowledging that you’re angry, acknowledging that you’re frustrated, acknowledging that you’re, you’re overwhelmed or acknowledging that you’re excited and that it maybe isn’t just anxiety, maybe it’s excitement, maybe it is anxiety. So all of those feelings emotions that we have heard a lot more about, I’d say in the last 10 years, those are important to be acknowledged, and to recognize, put a name to what we’re feeling. But then what that, for me feels like it’s the we dropped the ball a little bit, especially with moms and with new moms in the idea that, well, you’ve acknowledged it, you’re feeling this way, this is it, and I live with it. Now just take a pill for it. And I’m not against medicating for, you know, emotional support and emotional wellness and mental wellness. Absolutely, whatever works. But the truth of the matter is, there are some very practical, daily steps we can do to improve it. So I’m going to kind of briefly talk about that today. And I would love to hear your thoughts on it as well. So feel free to you know, hit that like and subscribe or, or leave me a comment, give me some feedback, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what we’re talking about today. So when we talk about the three brains, this is something that Dr. Carolyn leaf, amazing, amazing scientist and researcher writes about in some of her books, and if we were to break it down really simply, our three brains are here. So in our head, in our heart area, and then our gut, which is belly button area and below, right. So our brain is what we think of the most as being our brain center, and our thinking and our processing center. In reality, it is it is our processing, it is the computer motherboard, right? That’s where the processing happens. That’s where the messaging is being sorted. That’s why when we sleep, we dream and we have crazy dreams sometimes because that messaging center is doing its job cleaning up the files from the day, the week, whatever it was to compile them to keep the ones they need to keep to discard the ones they don’t. But that is not all there is to it. Right? Our brain is maybe the processing center, but our heart is the feeling Center. Our heart is where those emotions of things like overwhelm, and anxiety and frustration, feelings of being stuck. Or, you know, they could go on and on. But those often negative feelings. But obviously, we know that’s what we focus on. But often it’s also the lovely feelings, right? feelings of love, feelings of joy, feelings of peace. It could be that check that I call it a little check in here that goes, hmm, something’s not quite right. This is where our intuition lives, mommas. It lives in here. So we’ll talk about, you know, the feelings as physically the symptoms that we feel and the physical feelings we get for each of these brains. But those are the emotional feelings that are in that area. And then with our gut,
the feelings, the emotional feelings that come with our gut are things like anxiety, depression, feelings of being stuck feelings of being, you know, held in place, maybe not able to move forward. Yeah, that would be probably the best way to sum those up. And but that’s that gut area. Now let’s talk quickly about those symptoms. I don’t like using that word, but the way our body talks to us and that’s just the term everyone understands. But the messages that our body physically shares with us to help explain the emotional chemistry that’s happening in ourselves. So when we talk about the head, brain, the top part of the brain, we’re talking about, head tension, headaches, migraines, pressure between the shoulder blades and up your neck, eye pain, sinus pressure, sinus infections, tooth and jaw pain, teeth grinding, those are just a few. There’s many of them. But those are the most common when we’re dealing with an overwhelm or a processing blockage that’s happening in the brain part. And it could be just trying to understand our world right now, as simple as that might sound. It’s not logic or logic Center. This is really important because if those areas of our brain feel offended, right for me, I know my logic gets very offended when people aren’t dealing with facts, when it’s just emotion flying around. I like facts. I like research I like you know, truth. And when that’s subjective, based on opinion, how many of us have seen that lately, you know, over the last few years, especially, but if that’s subjective, and it’s only based on opinion, then this part of my body gets offended. My, my brain processing and the lack of logic will actually cause headaches for me head tension, eye pain, and just lethargy, very tired, brain fog. So that is something that we need to pay attention to because again, it’s a chemical response happening within ourselves. And our brain is the one responding to that now in my body, all three of these are going to respond. And same with yours. If we pay attention, we move to the heart. If there is conflicts going on in this area, this brain, the heart, part of our brain system is going to feel, you know, arrhythmias, it could be chest tightness, it can be for breastfeeding mamas, it can be breast pain, it can be mastitis and things like that, it will definitely show up between your shoulder blades, your muscles in your back, a lot of tightness and discomfort, shoulder pain, you know, live system not draining properly in your body and things like that. So that area oftentimes is conflict, the conflict in the heart. Conflict in those heartfelt emotions can be conflict in our intuition. It could be we believe one thing and our partner believes another and it’s causing conflict in our, you know, the way we raise our kids, whatever that looks like, there is something playing on that area of the body that will produce negative physical symptoms as well. I’m just focusing on on the, you know, the ones that are causing us trouble. Obviously, the pleasant symptoms are the side effects that are lovely, like peace and joy and contentment. That’s what we’re striving for. So we’ll get to that. Now, if we move down a little further, we go down to the gut. This is where we’re looking at feelings of like anxiety and depression and frustration and that type of thing. Now, this is where a whole slew of things can happen down here. We’ve got reproductive issues, we’ve got digestive issues, bowel issues.
What’s interesting is, we think often as this part, leading the rest, the reality is our gut dictates the rest. So this is where when we talk about self care, if we don’t look at the gut, if we ignore our gut health, it’s a complete disservice to the rest of our body and our brain. When you think about, we know when you’re unwell, the way your tummy feels, the way your internal organs feel, and maybe your bathroom habits, right, you’re going bowel movements, or worse or uncomfortable things like that, or you’re constipated, right, all the yucky symptoms that we don’t often talk about. But those are always connected to an emotion as well. So I mean, obviously, if you’re dealing with something that’s just a run of the mill, you ate something bad and you’re sick. Makes sense. But if you’re unsure of what’s going on, you can’t explain with physical reasons why you’re unwell, I challenge you to look at the emotional root, what brain is being affected the most. And then consider where those emotions sit, for example, and when I was going through many years of very high stress, with business and with family and with health issues, and all these things going on, and I knew that my from from testing, I knew that my cortisol levels were through the roof, they were just terrible. I was in a constant fight or flight state, whether I liked it or not. And what happened is my gut paid the price for me not dealing with stressors that I could have had some more control over. And what I mean by that is, I was ending up with foods, I couldn’t eat anymore. Foods I couldn’t digest properly, constipation, and pain and bloating, like terrible. And it just was, it became worse and worse. And it just was such a distraction to my life at that point, that it didn’t matter what I used as a remedy for the symptoms. They weren’t going away. It was temporary, it was a bandaid solution, which is what a lot of the time you’re going to get in traditional health care. So I decided I had to figure this out, I had to understand more. And the more work I did to release things and to heal parts of me up emotionally and to get proper support to do that. The more I did that process, the better my digestive system got, surprise, surprise. And then I also happened to notice I had more peace in the center, I had less pain in my ribs and my back, I realized that I had less brain fog. I didn’t have that foggy mommy brain as badly as I could have or I did. So there’s such a strong connection and it’s proven. This I find very interesting. It’s proven that we actually have more neural pathways running from our gut to our brain than the other way around. Isn’t that interesting? We’re gonna talk more about that. So when we look at things like serotonin production, if you’ve heard that spoken about, and that’s our happy hormones, right, that production are in our body that helps balance out the stressors, helps calm some of that, you know cortisol production and helps regulate hormones as well. That connection is not all up here. It’s not just happening here, the majority of it is happening in our gut center. And if we I feel like if we understood that more, we would be taking better care of that. When we hear all the talk about mental health week and mental health month, and women’s mental health and postpartum mental health, and all of these, these topics, I’m so grateful that the conversation is happening. But again, I feel like we’re really missing the mark, by not discussing this very valuable piece of information that our gut dictates more serotonin is created in our gut than in our brain. And that pathway, that neurological pathway that’s happening in the conversation between these three brains, is so key to our wellness. What we put in our mind with, unfortunately, directly affects all of these systems, how we eat, and that’s why I am, I’m a huge, you know, supporter of healthy eating. But I’m not a supporter of diet culture, because it doesn’t it perpetuates the problem more than solves it. It’s not about dieting, it’s not about eating less, per se. Maybe it is for some people if that’s an addiction or a problem that they’re dealing with. But it’s about what’s going in our mouth. What food are we feeding our three brains? And I’m speaking specifically
to the gut at this point. Do we have foods that our gut is built to process? Things like dairy? I know you’ve heard me say this, and I’m going to forever say it. Our guts not designed to break down dairy proteins, right? Our baby cows tummy is made to break down dairy proteins because it’s it’s Mama’s milk. We’re not. We’re not made that way. Now, why do people eat it with no problem and drink it with no problem? Here’s the thing. I hear this often. I had it, I’m fine. I use it. I’m fine. Are we? Are we actually fine? No, that’s the question. We have allergies, we have inflammation, we have painful periods. We have PCOS, we have endometriosis. We have mental health issues, we have acne. Hmm. We have asthma, we have all kinds of things that are inflammation and phlegm based in our gut, that we assume is just normal. It’s not, it’s actually not normal to live like that. It’s not normal to have our body fighting in that way. So before you jump quickly onto that, it doesn’t bother me, it’s fine, I’m okay with it, I would strongly recommend you give your body a break from it. And then listen to what it says. If you can clear out dairy proteins and dairy completely. I’m talking every form of dairy for six months, and then slowly one item at a time, reintroduce it and tell me that none of them cause any form of emotional response in the negatives, skin response, breathing respiratory gut disruption, then, you know, then have at it. But the point is, there are some very simple things. And it’s not hard to make these changes anymore. It’s not they used to be hard. When I did this, it was almost impossible to have, you know, nondairy options. Now. They’re everywhere. And they’re decent. In many cases, they’re great. So consider that there are things that we can switch and we can change that will change other parts of your health that you didn’t even consider. When I went dairy free. I couldn’t believe how quickly my allergies went away, among other things that I was doing. But that was the main main thing that I changed. So that’s another that’s a big one. And then we’ve got all our animal products. And I’m not I’m not a vegan preacher in any means at all. So we all have to figure out what works for our bodies. But there is actual scientific, you know, fact and proof that our gut system. As we have developed and evolved over time, our gut is no longer capable of properly breaking down animal meat proteins as effectively anymore not to say you can’t have them not to say there aren’t benefits there are. But it’s not like it used to be where we had this idea that the only way to get protein was from animal meat or animal products. The only way to build muscle was with meat. It’s not the case it just it isn’t true. And it’s it’s factually proven. And you can talk to any of the incredible MMA fighters and bodybuilders who are just incredibly fat and phenomenally built and healthy, who are completely vegan. So that’s something to consider is how do I feel when I eat this? Right? How do I feel when I put this in my mouth and I eat it? What am I left Feeling like, and I challenge myself all the time and clients and other people who are listening, I challenge you, when you eat, keep a food journal, if you’re a journaling kind of person, I’m not, I’m not a fan of it, because it just takes too much time as a busy mom. But I do note, within about a half hour of eating to an hour after eating anything, I do do a little check in with my body and my emotions. Am I feeling agitated? Am I feeling you know, anxious, if I have caffeine, my anxiety is through the roof, and my my chest, you know, heart palpitations, and my pulse will be racing, and I can’t focus properly. That’s me with caffeine, I can’t do it. My anxiety goes crazy. And that is again, another proven item that does trigger these things in most people. So, you know, when someone comes to me and says, I need some oils for anxiety, what do you have, I’m like, I have some, I have great options for you. But this is just a bandaid. smelling something calming is lovely because it actually hits the limbic system, the emotional seat have this brain, at your in your head and it, it just you know it, it sends those messages through the olfactory system to calm in the brain. So I’m not saying it doesn’t work, it’s actually powerful, that works really well. But if that same person is drinking three coffees, you know large coffee today with sugar and cream,
I would want to have that conversation and say you’re doing an ultimate disservice to your body. You can there are other ways I can help you with that as well. Right? So considering what we’re putting in as fuel to our body, and how it affects these three brains in this interaction, but considering that the first and foremost one you need to pay attention to is the gut. I feel like it gives us a shift in focus, instead of trying to just in some mystical mythical way, figure out why our emotions are doing what they’re doing, or why we have brain fog, or why we are so tired all the time, why we have pain, why our periods are so heavy and painful. And when in reality, we could really just we could just look at our what’s going into our gut, how our gut is functioning, are we having bowel movements daily, are we having healthy bowel movements multiple times a day. For years, I didn’t even realize that it wasn’t unusual to only you know, go once a day or once every two days. Having that poop talk, it’s important with your doctor with a gut specialist with a naturopath, however you do it. But you need to have that conversation. Because if things are not clearing out of your body, you are building up toxins, the toxins go cellular and they go to your brain, they go through your filtering organs, they re circulate, and they will wreak havoc on the rest of your body. So making sure that part of your body is flowing smoothly, is so key to this whole gut health part of the you know the picture. Probiotics have a huge, you know, story out there now in the marketing field. And well, I’m a fan of probiotics. I’m also a fan of prebiotics. I’m a fan of spore based, you know, gut health supplements. So it’s not just about grabbing probiotic off the fridge shelf, you know, the refrigerated section, most of that doesn’t even get to your gut because your stomach acid destroys it. That’s why they have to have so many billions of trillions of cells, you know, alive, active enzymes in there. You you really need enzymes in the right word I apologize. Live active, you know, bacterial strains in there. I’m going to talk what enzymes are we finished. But that’s why they need so many is because it’s going into your gut, and it is it’s barely making it down to the colon where it needs to go. So those probiotic strains need to either be double encapsulated. One of my favorite ones is the PB Assist that we use from doTERRA is one of the few that I’ve ever seen, if any, that are actually double encapsulated two capsules, one with a prebiotic, and inside that is the probiotic. So when it gets to your gut, it dissolves and then it makes it down to the colon where the probiotic is supposed to be delivered. So just, you know, that’s just something that I’ve grown to love because the delivery system on our supplements is really important. But that’s a whole other conversation. So paying attention to our daily gut health is food based and supplement based, but it’s also then, you know, bathroom habits based as well. Making sure that we are just checking that off each day. And this isn’t a big to do list. It really isn’t. It’s eating things that you can grow yourself. Now I’m not saying you have to grow it yourself. But when you’re eating it, ask yourself could I have made this myself? Could I have grown this myself? Or was this made in a factory Was this process at a plant. That makes sense. So we want something that you can easily walk out and pull it out of the ground or pick it off a tree, you want a lot of that in your daily diet, you want a lot of that going into your gut. And then the rest is just the little bits. So again, it’s not about limiting, it’s not so much about restricting yourself, because that’s not fun. And that doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t satisfy our needs. In many ways. You know, when we do like to enjoy foods. With the exception of dairy, I’d say there’s just no, there’s no safe amount. But for the other things, do what feels right for your body.
But listening to how your emotions respond, how your physical body responds, and how your energy levels all of that responds to these things you’re eating, as opposed to just restricting right from the start. So listen to how your body speaks. If you have a rash, or you get acne, or you have, you know, itching or dry skin, or psoriasis, Zema, things like that, again, pay attention to what makes it worse, internally, because that’s your skin’s first conversation. Sorry, that’s your guts. First conversation is your skin. It’s your first response, the T one cells, your whole outer system, is the first way that your body tells you, I’m not happy in here, something’s going on in the gut, that is making an output here, here anywhere on your body that’s causing an output, there’s something that went on inside. With the exception of a contact rash, you’ve touched something that’s chemical or and you’re gonna get a rash, obviously, those are the obvious ones. It’s the stuff that we don’t quite get. How did that happen? Why did Why do I have Exuma? Why does my baby have Exuma? Why is there you know, this weird itching rash around my kid’s mouth all the time with little spots of theory based, right. So some of those are simple to learn as you start to eliminate them and see what’s happening. But for the most part, just understanding that our skin is the first conversation, our gut has our bathroom habits, or bowel movements are the second conversation our gut has. And sometimes they’re having some simultaneously these conversations and your body is yelling at you. And then also understanding that that connection from the gut to your brain is super strong. So with our mental health, our emotional health and our wellness, if the guts not happy, this is not going to be happy, the brain function is not going to be happy. And stuck right in the middle of that is that middle brain or heart. So then comes in our stressors, and our need for peace and calm and things that we’re not maybe feeding in the other two areas. So I really, I’m really challenging myself, first and foremost, because a lot of things we talked about, this is me as well. I’m challenging myself to have almost like a daily check in. And with each meal or each thing that I eat or drink. I’m having a check in and just setting a little reminder for myself to say, how did that feel? How am I feeling right now. And if it’s something that I am doing consistently, and I’m noting a response, I don’t want to have that I’m going to take it away for a while. It’s not a day or two, when you eliminate something, you do need to give it some serious time, give it a few weeks at minimum. If it’s caffeine, ease it off slowly and then eliminate it completely. Keeping in mind that decaf things still have traces of caffeine. So wean yourself into a decaf into herbal, or something of that sort. We we switched to something like we switched to decaf, and then we switched to dandy blend, which is a dandelion blend with my green base. But it is been an interesting switch for me to go, oh, I don’t have to just have herbal teas, I can also try this. We make our own nut milk so I can do my own, you know, natural hot chocolates and things like that. So I’ve been having fun learning other things that I enjoy to drink in the mornings or in the evenings that don’t have the same triggering effects on my body as a coffee does. That doesn’t have so much hormone disruption as caffeine does. So that’s just a lot in a very short amount of time. But again, we can dive in even deeper into each one I can talk just on hormones and gut health and, you know, the connection to some of the things we eat. I can talk specifically on our reproductive connection and reproductive pain and discomforts and difficulties and how it’s affected by our gut and our emotions. So when we’re considering the three brains in our body, considering our mental and emotional wellness, as you head into February where tends to be for many a really tough month. If you live in the northern hemisphere, it can be tricky, right to make it through to March and April. It’s that stretch of feeling like I don’t know if I can get through and I’m here to tell you you You can, and there are ways to make it easier. So simple choices like considering what we’re putting into our body and checking in with our body, checking in with physical symptoms, but also emotional output. What does it mean? And what is it connected to? And then how can we make simple shifts, searching out some of those answers, if you would like to get a list of some of the swaps that I love, and this is a special offer right now. It’s totally free. And I have compiled a list of what I call my switch and ditch list of my
favorite things that I realized over time had been causing issues in my body and my emotional and mental wellness. And with these simple changes, the simple swaps, I’ve been able to make a really big difference in my my overall health and wellness. So if that’s something you would like to have access to then just drop me a response to this, send me an email, and we’ll make sure that you get that you can also subscribe to our newsletter on the website as well. If you go to oil babies.com You can find that little subscribe button. And I think there’s a great little discount code up there for you right now too. So hop on there and take a look, get into our newsletter system and then there’s always lots of good freebies for you available. That’s it for now. I am looking forward to chatting with some guests coming up and some more what your mama didn’t tell you episodes. So hang in there. February is going to be a beautiful month.