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Clean gut = new gains

Clean gut = new gains

At the start of the week I decided it was time to clean the system.

I’ve done it many times before and always feel a boost from improving the environment my cells are living in. Cells are constantly responding what’s going on around them both energetically and chemically. If you’d like to learn more about this connection I recommend checking out Biology of Belief from Bruce Lipton. I went to see Bruce speak in Sydney last year with my wife and loved meeting the author of 2 of my favourite books (Spontaneous Evolution is the other of his that I loved).

What’s the deal?

1. Minimum of 2 days vegetarian and with lots of water and herbal tea prior to the cleanse.

2. Salt water flush to start the day.

3. Fast until dinner, fat, fermented veg and gelatine allowed in small amounts on day 2 and 3. I had a fresh vegetable juice on day 2 also.

4. Meat (days 3-5 only), vegetables and salad for dinner.

5. Oil pulling twice per day for 20 minutes.

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What was the result. It’s hard to express exactly what this feels like but the sensation is clean. Personally I love the feeling of an empty digestive tract. What does this do?

An empty digestive tract is able to clean and repair itself. When the gut is able to decrease any inflammation or cramping then there is a great opportunity for nutrient absorption from the micro-villi which are lost when the gut is inflamed. Micro-villi can be understood as shag carpet lining the gut with finer and finer hairs capable of bringing different nutrients into the blood stream. When the gut is inflamed the interstitial fluid folds these micro-villi out to create the equivalent to a garden hose. The surface area for nutrients to be actively integrated into the body are drastically decreased. Healthy gut flora also rely on the structural integrity of the gut to be able to set-up base.

Why do you want bacteria and other micro-organisms in the gut?

Well these are the guys that actually do a lot of the eating for you. They can process foods and produce nutrients that can otherwise be difficult to get. These little critters also provide most of our immune protection from the outside world. Just as there is a living ecosystem on the skin that prevents infection via the skin, the pipe from the mouth to the anus also has a system and balance for keeping out undesirables.

As a side note a great way to be able to help athletes is to help these 2 things be in tact!

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1. Healthy gut lining – research shows that even from the first dose of NSAID’s bleeding in the gut can result. Chronically anaemia and other issues can be an issue here but from the first time that gut wall is compromised the immune system has to go into over-drive to protect what should have been protected by a continual structural barrier.

NOTE The lining of the gut is about as thick as your eye-lid which makes it quite fragile and vulnerable.

2. Healthy gut flora – antibiotics have been shown to cause permanent damage to the gut especially when administered early in life. Just like cancer treatments that revolve around killing bad cells and good cells and hoping there is enough vitality left to regenerate the good cells without the non-cooperating cancer cells proliferating again. The same scenario goes for the antibiotics. Yes, some of the germ cells that are unchecked by the bodies own weakened immune system will be killed but at the same time the healthy cells of the gut, your natural immunity will also be greatly damaged. This means future infection is far more likely as the bodies first line of defence is now weakened or non-existent

I don’t believe in vegetarianism / raw veganism for the long-term but I do believe it is very powerful in helping the body to clean itself and detoxify. Protein intake should also be lowered from time to time to allow cellular cleansing and recycling of nutrients to occur via the process of autophagy.

Minimally consuming food rather than maximally consuming may not be preached by the body composition experts of our time but it is a habit of most of the elite high volume athletes that I’ve come across. Eating 1-2 big meals / day rather than 6 meals through the day is something I found to be surprisingly common among CrossFitters, gymnasts and other athletes to consume food as required rather than force feeding to maximise metabolic rate.

Remember digestion is also a process that requires energy from the body. It’s also a process that needs to be functioning well for high performance to be consistently possible. A high level of immune function is also essential for adding muscle mass.

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Keegan Smith is a world leader in Performance working with teams and athletes from around the world. If this story resonates with you please post it on your blog with a link back to CoachKeegan.com and we’ll grow together.


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