Raw Emotions

Raw Emotions

It has been two months since we have been traveling and away from our ‘home’. I am fully engaged with my team and friendships in Kenya almost on a daily, but at the same time realize I am obviously not fully immersed. What does this mean?

Engaged – involved, attached, participating
Immersed – deeply involved, completely engrossed, absorbed

I like to give the example of baking. When you are engaged you might be assisting the baker or simply enjoying the cake afterwards. When you are fully immersed, you are the baker and know the recipe and basically running the kitchen.

It hit me yesterday that my immersion has dissipated and what I used to be numb to currently hits me in a very different light.


Every day in Kenya, I see joy and loss all wrapped in one. When you have removed yourself from that culture and everyday reality, you easily forget what that looks like.

This is where I am.

I have forgotten what my body and emotional capabilities do on a daily basis to regulate itself. You grow a stamina living in a third world because you know you cannot help everyone and you can only do what you are capable of doing. If I were to see all the hurt, loss and pain that I do daily in my neighborhood then I would be emotionally distressed and burned out. So, my body reacts and I learn how to live in that normal by adjusting my expectations and realities to know what I can handle and be a part of.

Everyone’s stamina and capabilities look different, so you find that balance for you. That is the life I live, normally.

When I step away from my normalcy and the daily culture, I begin a new normal and my body quickly lets go of those natural “auto-pilot” tendencies it is used to doing. This is a perfect explanation of why we take time in the states. Not only to see our beautiful family and friends and be refueled by their presence, but to also rest. To be able to let our guard down, let our ‘numbness’ go and just be.

So, yesterday hit me hard.

I received a call from Kenya that one of our women lost her baby upon delivery. I will not go into details, but she was full term and I can guarantee you if she would have had the medical attention and education that we all know so well, she would not be burying her sweet baby girl today. As I am anticipating meeting my own baby girl any day now, I was heartbroken. I also was in tears because the women of Imani Collective are my family. I do life with them. And I consider them my sisters. I not only am grieving for my sister and that I am not there for her, but it hit me that the numbness that normally surrounds my heart and helps me take hits like this more often has been completely stripped away.

This is not a bad thing as my senses recalibrate and become familiar to one another again, but it also very painful. I am sad for the loss, upset at the corrupt and uneducated system of the country we call home, and through it all, I am just trusting in our God that he has an ultimate plan for Mary and her family.

I am reminded, I have no control and that it is okay to just feel it all. To let the numbness be ripped away, let my heart be heavy and let my guard down. To let the realities that surround me hit me the way they should and just feel the raw emotions that life is made of.

Today, I am letting myself be overwhelmed with emotions and allowing myself to feel it all.

Truths about your gut + health

Truths about your gut + health

Hey, guys!

First, thank you so much to Jenny – I am so excited and humbled to take over the #HealthyYou blog this Friday in hopes of, not only connecting to more remarkable, impactful women but possibly help and educate others as well!

My name is Cassie Brown, I am a Wife, Mommy and Holistic Health Practitioner at Candid Health.

Due to my personal journey of managing adult acne and seeing more and more women (and men) dealing with, preventative, chronic illnesses and/or skin conditions, I wanted to speak with you about the host of where the majority of these conditions stem from, our gut. Namely, our colon.

Excited? Or is it just me? 

Either way, according to Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut.” I’m pretty sure he’s been spot on with this observation because, according to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and second cancer to cause death in, both, women and men. *long pause*

Okay, I’m not trying to scare you here. I just wanted to inform you of how important our gut health truly is.

Because the colon is the root to many of our health issues and critical to our overall wellness, it’s extremely important to be knowledgeable of this vital organ along with how to keep it healthy. So I’m going to break it down the best I can.

I’ve heard about the colon but what is it exactly? Well, it’s known as the large intestine and is a part of our digestion system.

It begins at the cecum, ends at the rectum and consists of four parts: descending colon, ascending colon, transverse colon and sigmoid colon (like we’re really going to remember those, right?) Basically, it’s the last FIVE feet of your intestine … yes, you read that correct, FIVE.  

The colon, or large intestine, is the final piece of the digestion process. Its function is to reabsorb fluids, sort out waste products from the body, absorb vitamins/nutrients from good bacteria and prepare for its elimination.

Due to the Standard American Diet (SAD) consisting of: non-organic meats, unhealthy fats, processed foods/sugar, GMO ingredients, low fiber, etc, it’s not surprising that our digestive system is constantly compromised.

Here are some symptoms indicating that our digestive system may not be working as well as it should:

  • Stomach ache
  • Constipation (not going at least once a day)
  • Bloating
  • Skin issues (acne/dermatitis)
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue/brain fog

Are any of these ringing a bell? You can also see why happiness begins in the gut – who’s actually happy walking around feeling any of these symptoms?

Now, these can typically cure themselves with some R+R, like a gentle detox and/or clean eating but they can also be more of a concern if left unattended and lead to:

  • Unbalanced gut flora
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
  • Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
  • Cancer

But we honestly don’t have to get to this point. These can be prevented if you take initiative early and do your best not to take your digestive health for granted – and here’s how …

Below I’ve listed 10 ways to maintain a healthy colon. Now, this isn’t a list to point out what you’re not doing and don’t worry if you can’t do these all at once; I don’t want you to. This is a gradual process that you introduce little by little each day. I do want you to remember it’s progress, not perfection.

1| Fiber-rich foods – think: seeds, quinoa, beans, legumes, nuts, avocado …

2| Water – I’m pretty sure I didn’t need to mention this one but you want to try and get your body weight divided by two in ounces (example: if you’re 145/2 = 72.5 oz of water; a little more if you work out.

3| Less red meat – Our digestive system has a harder time breaking down meat and it can sit in our colon for years … yea, you don’t want that.

4| Less trans + saturated (bad) fat

5| Exercise – your body naturally detoxes when we sweat, so not only does it help detox but it helps get your bowels going.

6| Digestive enzymes – taking an enzyme before each meal will assist with the absorption of nutrients and break down protein.

7| Pre/Probiotics + probiotic-rich foods – especially if you’ve had a recent round of antibiotics. You want/need to build up as much as the good bacteria as you can.

8| Colonics – or colon hydrotherapy uses warm water to remove encrusted feces, gas and mucus in the colon.

9| Reduce refined sugar

10| Less stress + more relaxation – when you’re in a tense, uneasy state, your digestive system will mimic the emotion. To try and avoid this, do your best to find a meditation practice for those stressful and overwhelming times in your life.

For those of you who want a little something right now to jumpstart the process, I’ve also provided a nice, colon detox juice to help cleanse and assist in getting things back in order. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp ginger juice (stimulates digestion, absorption of nutrients and eases constipation)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (cleansing, vitamin C, stimulates digestion, balances pH levels)
  • 1/2 c organic apple juice (stabilizes blood sugar and helps slow carbohydrate absorption)
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 c warm, filtered water

Directions: 

  1. Combine and stir all ingredients.
  2. Drink one on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and repeat in the afternoon and evening

That’s it!

Final Thoughts

Ladies (and men) don’t be afraid to talk poop! It shouldn’t be a taboo topic and even though you may not feel “sick” or deal with the symptoms often, it’s still important to stay on top of our colon health. Without our gut health, we leave ourselves susceptible to be a host of preventable illnesses and diseases.

Let’s connect! I’d love to hear from you.
You can contact me at cassie@candidhealth.me
or head over to the site at www.candidhealth.me 


References:
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
https://www.livescience.com/52026-colon-large-intestine.html
http://darwinian-medicine.com/all-disease-begins-in-the-gut/
http://www.foodmatters.com/article/colon-hydrotherapy-the-therapy-that-even-doctors-are-recommending