Category Archives: Life

You might have heard…

Hello long time no updates!

So very much is going on in the news, every day something more startling gut punching than the next and I began to think…what’s the point in recording my rambling bits of a life… then I realized that’s exactly the point… to carry on because that’s what we do.

Despite the beat downs, live streamed killings,  and living through the phlegmy last  gasps of a cotillion of rotting from the inside  of racist baby boomers in charge… we carry on.

So, some of you have recently  read I do tarot readings and have some questions. Here’s some answers.

Are tarot cards evil or ‘magic’? Nope, not at all. Dogma and people who prey on others for money has made people attribute something dark where there is light.  The cards themselves are not magic they are wood pulp and ink. Unlocking the symbols and archetypes aids in the ability to  tap into intuition which can help one make better choices … that’s the actual magic. At this point I can read a persons energy without the cards, but they’re a handy tool.

The scientist Nikola Tesla said “if you want to understand the secrets of the universe think of it in terms of energy frequency and vibration.”

Albert Einstein said and I’m paraphrasing… intuition is a gift the rational mind, the faithful servant.  These are not airy fairy intangible concepts.  You’ve walked into a room and felt the ‘vibe’ for better or worse? That’s tapping into the energy, frequency and vibration of a room. that’s intuition.

We’re probably not going to evolve  dramatically physically as humans anytime soon… (organically at least, augmentation is another thing)…So I propose the next great human evolution will be one of the mind, expanding our understanding of our self and others by using some of the the ninety percent of the brain we’re not currently tapping into.



Did I get into tarot cards because I was in a witch movie?
-Nope,  I got my first Tarot deck as a teenager and the year before the Craft script landed in my lap I’d delved into studying tarot. I’d prefer articles I’ve done NOT call me my character name from The Craft in their titles… but that’s a grabbier lead line than the truth, which is last year I received a script about Marie Laveau the New Orleans voodoo priestess. In doing research I thought who, what and where would Marie Laveau be today, that led to my partnership with House of intuition and doing my tarot residency there.

On a practical level tarot can be like a  a shrink in a box… it’s pretty succinct at getting to the core of the matter. For those  Of course you can take a deep dive into the more esoteric nature of tarot, which is of course a much longer process.

Have I stopped acting and become a tarot reader? No, I love acting!  I just did an episode of a great TV show called being Mary Jane shot in Atlanta. My scenes were with the awesome Gabrielle Union and Michael Ely, they were lovely to work with.  Funny, entertaining and both so very talented. I am  and do many different things.

Why haven’t you seen me on TV lately?
For a few different reasons which I go over in older blog posts so look through the archives, but let’s just say I didn’t start a health centric blog for nothing.

Can you get a reading with me?  You can check my availability for appointments via House of Intuition 213-413-8300  Or email Truehearttarot@gmail.com

Sapchat & IG- @TrueRachelTrue

 

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Holidays Health!


Happy Holidays!
If your traveling don’t forget to pack your probiotics & prebiotics especially if you’re planning on indulging in holiday treats.
Prebiotics are certain fiber foods that feed the good bacteria in your stomach & colon, you need those to have a healthy system & they help avoid yucky stuff like colon cancer.
I love Tiger Nuts, which aren’t a nut, but rather a tuber, for prebiotic fiber. They’re apparently what compromised 90% of an actual Paleo humans diet. You didn’t think Paleo humans actually chowed down as much meat as they’re pushing in the current paleo diet, did you?! Tiger nuts are slightly sweet, very filling, and keep you regular.

Probiotics on the other hand, are good bacteria for human digestion & they are a huge part in the production of hormones like serotonin, which keep you feeling good mentally. Some probiotics need to be refrigerated, but when we’re traveling that’s kinda tough so try a temperature stable kind like Threo Probiotic you can find these on Amazon, great for travel!

threo

 

Try the enzyme Serrapeptase to combat inflammation!


This is my I can’t believe the outcome of 2016 elections or the state of this country face ; / Like OMG I am freaked AF because WInter is here…

Hey,  I just had a birthday! Thank you guys for all the amazing messages! I was just speaking with a pal about how to feel good in your body at any age and two the things I’m diligent about taking daily is a probiotic and the digestive enzyme Serrapeptase.
This enzyme been commonly used in other countries for the last 30 years. It helps clear the body of inert protein based substances like cysts, scars, mucous and plaque in the arteries! It’s over the counter and really helps the body ease inflammation.

A number of  significant number of women have posted youtube testimonials on the enzyme combo of Serrapeptase & Nattokinase with success in fertility issues like vlocked fallopioan tubes. The enzymes don’t directly affect hormones or the frequency of eggs etc… rather they go round and clean up the body making the uterus a more hospitable place for a viable pregnancy.
Rather than right a long footnote ridden post, I’m encouraging you to do you own research! Google Serrapeptase & fibroids or Fallopian tube,  or plaque, arteries etc. In other words googles Serrapeptase + your ailment and see if it might be of use to you.

don’t sleep on products that work without toxic side effects! Like did you know  fresh beet juice works just as well for high blood pressure as most prescription meds without all the side effects?! Google it. There’s lots of remedies out there if you’ve the wherewithal to do some digging. If you’re on other meds check with your doctor first of course, if they don’t know about this enzyme, school them!

Check out #HealthLabsNutraSerrapeptase on FB for more info as well!  On  Amazon

Stay healthy! xx Rachel

Day Tripping In The Desert Oldchella Style

“Day tripping In the desert Oldchella style or How did it feel to be the #LoneBlackGirl at Desert trip, the 3 day rock & roll all star concert line up? “
In the desert you can remember your name… This is what a lot of what Joshua Tree national Park looks like, gorgeous & desolate… and teeming with life. If you want to see the giant rocks go to the Northern entrance first.
Windy City, my hair feels like a tumble weed… a young coyote ran out in front of us with lunch in his mouth…
Desert Trip or Oldchella… I was lucky enough to have an artist pass, seeing legendary bands close up is indescribable, the energy from the crowd, electric. Neil Young was incredible and not just because he threw bags of marijuana seeds into the pit. Alas I was too short to grab one…
I love a mirrorless camera… I wish all cameras were mirrorless…  we’re in a digital age, this a is Fuji, I also have a non mirrorless canon that I still adore…. I lust for a Leica
The sign said ‘Keep Out’
golden hour
dscf6016
America
Always match your necklace to the abandoned house by the side of the road

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The Truth About Those Diet Teas

My truth  about diet tea in general…If you’re looking for a major body shift no tea alone will make you lose all your belly fat on their own.  Diet teas are flooding IG & other platforms and while they can help a little bit, please know nothing’s gonna give you a miraculous quick fix…On the plus side for the teas, the one I tried is all natural plant based stuff like dandelion, licorice root & senna leaf.

Senna leaf in diet tea is the same ‘make you run to the loo’ ingredient your grandparents use in Senecot, which you can get for a fraction of the price drugstore, if laxatives are your thing, but let’s face it they probably shouldn’t be…

My other issue is the price you can easily get comparable diet teas at overpriced Whole Foods and still save a ton of dosh over some of the current popular brands.

The cleanse packets can help you with a bit of bloat as in it will make you go to the loo, but you don’t wanna overuse them as that makes muscles lazy, making it harder to go without the teas, most companies will tell you not to overuse products, so that’s good.

If you want a flat  stomach.. and mine is totally not right now, you can try what I’m doing…Start a daily walk or exercise, cut out foods that inflame your system. Only you know which ones really make your particular body feel like crap, use your intuition and cut out stuff that’s dragging you down. I honestly don’t eat many prepacked processed foods at all and I find my body works more efficiently, and I don’t eat dairy, or meat.

And after you do that sort of thing maybe also use a tea once in a while if you’re clogged up and eat some fiber in the form of vegetables too. Veg fiber feeds the good bacteria in the colon as well as gets you moving as well or better than any tea.

Join My Class in LA July 24th!

Join my class! if you’re in the LA area  next weekend July 24th why not join my Healthy body, Healthy Spirit workshop  at the House of Intuition, Los Angeles.

“Food is a spell or prayer for your body!”

Nutritional Alchemy 101 w/Rachel True

Sunday, Jul 24, 2016, 2:00 PM

House of Intuition
2237 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA

7 Members Attending

Healing through spiritual nutrition, fueling the body to nourish the spirit workshop with Rachel TrueThe focus will be on repairing the body on a cellular level through nutritional alchemy and its direct connection to accessing unknown depths of spiritual awareness.It’s easier to manifest magic when body and spirit are in harmony. Integrating sp…

Check out this Meetup →

 

www.HouseOfIntuitionla.com  213 413 8300 to book by phone.

Healing through spiritual nutrition, fueling the body to nourish the spirit workshop with Rachel True

The focus will be on repairing the body on a cellular level through nutritional alchemy and its direct connection to accessing unknown depths of spiritual awareness.

It’s easier to manifest magic when body and spirit are in harmony. Integrating spiritual nutrition with our holistic life practices helps our life journey.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the energy we put into our physical healing and spiritual growth, and how we nourish our spiritual vessel.

We’ll use intuition to tap into what parts of our body are asking to be nourished, focusing on foods healing effect on the body, mind, and soul.

Food choices influence mood, emotions and feelings… And feelings feed spiritual nourishment. In our American society easy to fix hormone imbalances and vitamin deficiencies are quite often mistaken for depression. We’ll discuss foods that may help far more efficiently and benignly than pharmaceuticals.

We’ll delve into eating with an awareness of the living energy of food and its connection to our spiritual practice, and  how to identify foods to make you vibrate higher.

We’ll create a magical foods list, incorporating the alchemy of combining foods for higher consciousness.

Will include a few written exercises and a healing meditation.

*(this class is not about gaining or losing weight, eating or not eating meat etc ~unless you want to~… this class is about finding what your particular system needs to work at peak optimal form for mental clarity and spiritual alignment ; )

This class is about how to feel good in your body naturally at any age and how to stay connected to spirit through spiritual nutrition, hope you’ll join us! xx Rachel

Developing Your Tarot Intuition With True heart Tarot Online Live Video Class- Sat, May 29, 2016 at 6:00 PM

I’m excited to announce True Heart Tarot’s ‘Developing Your Tarot Intuition’ online live video class! I hope to expand your understanding of card archetypes and help you develop and connect to your own intuitive nature through tarot.

This will be a very small class with so everyone has a chance to participate. We will be discussing the major & minor arcana, I will be doing some readings for the class, as well. Participants will each do a one card reading, so having your own deck will be helpful. If you don’t have your own deck I will pull a card for you, as well, we will discuss your practice and goals with tarot.  Some experience with tarot will be helpful, newbies are always welcome! As tarot has been a passion for most of my life, I’m pleased to be able to share this knowledge with you!

For more on my Tarot practice please check out TrueHeartTarot.com This online live video event will take place on google hangouts, I look forward to connecting with you! Rachel True

Source: Developing Your Tarot Intuition With Rachel True Tickets, Sat, May 21, 2016 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

rachel tarot

Can’t believe it’s mid May!

Can’t believe it’s May… I think I’ll go for a walk outside now, the summer sun’s calling my name…  (but first…)

 Lunch Smoothie ~ Carrot, celery, cucumber juice with  beet powder, kale powder tiger nut flour, pea protein powder

Why the powders? They’re handy & prepared in a way that protects the nutritional value,  great for  on the run or traveling.

 

Lunch ~YUM!

 

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For reals, though.

 

“They call me Little Wing…”

 

If the 90’s were a wall  this would be that wall.

 

Probiotic Strains And Specific Benefits

People were asking about the kinds & brands of probiotics I like, but I’m no doctor and what works for me specifically might not be your thing.

Below is a super helpful guide that does a bang up job breaking down probiotic strains and specific benefits.

PLEASE NOTE~ www.humnutrition.com, where I found this great info, is a vitamin companies blog site, so if you click through to their page there are some subtle links to products on bottom of  their original post . I am in no way affiliated with them, nor have I tried their products…So, I’m not saying do or don’t buy from them, but do enjoy their free info! – Rachel

PROBIOTIC GUIDE

L. Acidophilus

Best Probiotic For: Vaginal health, Diarrhea, Acne

Consumption of the bacterium L. Acidophilus has been going on since the 20s when doctors would recommend acidophilus milk for treating constipation and diarrhea.

These microbes survive stomach passage and are able to colonize in the intestine. There is good evidence looking at Acidophilus NCFM in treating vaginal infections. Other studies show that it has been demonstrated in humans to reduce problems associated with lactose intolerance and even decrease the risk of colon cancer [1].

However, it is not just digestive woes that probiotics can help address. A clinical case series followed 300 patients who took a probiotic mixture of L. acidophilus and L. Bulgaricus. They documented that 80% of acne patients had some degree of clinical improvement, particularly effective in inflammatory acne. Later, an Italian study involving 40 patients found L. Acidophilus and B. Bifidum supplementation produced better clinical outcomes in acne as well as better tolerance and compliance with antibiotics [2].

L. Rhamnosus

Best Probiotic For: GI support, Eczema

Rhamnosus is thought to be the most extensively studied in adults and children, and strong evidence shows that it colonizes the intestine. Gut flora is disrupted during travel, and healthy bacteria is killed off during a round of antibiotics. Rhamnosus GG has been found beneficial specifically for treating diarrhea associated with these cases [1].

Another exciting study found that this strain was also potentially beneficial in preventing eczema. The children of women who supplemented with it during childbirth were half as likely to develop atopic eczema by the age 4 than the children of women who did not [2].

L. Plantarum

Best Probiotic For: Inflammation

In the gastrointestinal tract L. Plantarum can help regulate immunity and control inflammation. A 2007 study found that the probiotic could suppress an inflammatory response in the gut. Perhaps most significantly, a double blind placebo-controlled study over 4 weeks concluded that L. Plantarum 299v provided effective symptom relief, especially of abdominal pain and bloating, in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome [1].

L. Casei

Best Probiotic For: GI support, Brain function

Studies show some promising results with L. Casei for digestive support and regulating diarrhea. One study on the effect of milk fermented by L. Casei strain DN-114 found that supplementation significantly reduced the incidence of diarrhea [1].

L. Casei also made headlines when a study found it beneficial in relieving anxiety. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study found supplementation with 24 billion units of the L. Casei strain Shirota led to a rise in probiotics Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as a significant decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression [2].

Now let’s take a look at a separate class of probiotics, Bifidobacterium.

B. Lactis

Best Probiotic For: Immunity

To boost the immune system, B. Lactis is a promising choice. One study had participants taking either a probiotic or a placebo for 6 weeks. At the end of the period, researchers measured antibody levels and found greater increases in antibodies of the B. Lactis group than in placebo participants, concluding that this probiotic may help improve immune function [1]. In addition, a 2009 study found that supplementation of the strain B. Lactis DN-173 led to self-reported improvements in digestive comfort [2].

B. Longum

Best Probiotic For: Constipation, Brain Function

B. Longum is one of the first types of bacteria to colonize our bodies at birth. These important microorganisms ferment sugars into lactic acid, helping to stabilize the acidity of the GI tract and inhibit growth of harmful bacteria. For a group of adults prone to constipation, taking a mix of B. Longum BB536 with milk or yogurt for 2 weeks increased bowel movements [1].

B. Longum is also one of the species researched for the role of probiotics in the gut brain axis. A report from University College Cork found in a study of healthy men that supplementing with B. Longum 1714 caused stress levels to decrease and memory to improve [2].

B. Bifidum

Best Probiotic For: Immunity, GI support

Time, stress, diet and antibiotics can all deplete the body’s supply of B. Bifidum. Researchers found that these microbes help regulate the innate immune response, your body’s first line of defense against infection.

B. Bifidum has also been shown to prevent intestinal pathogens or digestive disrupters from flourishing in the gut, essential in restoring the bacterial balance and optimizing digestion. Clinical research found it supports a significant reduction in IBS symptoms, an improvement in quality of life and even helps relieve occurrences of ulcerative colitis – a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. [1].

B. Breve

Best Probiotic for: GI support, Anti-aging

A pilot study found that B. Breve was effective in increasing stool frequency in children with functional constipation. These researchers also found a positive effect in stool consistency and relief in abdominal pain, making B. breve a promising addition for easing digestive woes like constipation [1].

Other studies looking at the benefit of probiotics on skin ailments found a fascinating trend. B. breve B-3 could potentially be used to prevent photo-aging induced by chronic UV irradiation [2]. This ability to mitigate the detrimental effects of UV exposure in sun damage is great news for keeping skin plump, hydrated and younger-looking.

Not to be confused with streptococcal infections or the bacteria that causes strep throat, some species and strains of Streptococcus have promising research on the benefits for health and wellbeing.

Streptococcus

Streptococcus Thermophilus

Best For: GI support, Skin support

This probiotic displays antibacterial activity against harmful intestinal microbes, indicating a possibility to prevent diseases. A study on S. Thermophilus in combination with L. Casei and L. Bulgaricus found reduced incidence of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea with supplementation.

There is also promising research on this species for supporting skin. Ceramides are natural lipids that make up the surface of the skin structure. Depleted ceramide levels are clinically linked with dry and damaged skin. S. Thermophilus was shown to have a beneficial effect on the level of ceramides in the barrier of the skin, which protects underlying tissue from infection, dehydration and chemicals. These skin-supporting microbes also act as antioxidants in the body, trapping reactive forms of oxygen that dry, damage and age the skin [1].

Source: The Guide to Choosing the Best Probiotic For You | HUM Nutrition Blog

 

The Gut Bacteria, Mood, Weight Connection!

Gut bacteria article are popping up all over so I decided to go down the info rabbit hole to better understand what  it all means…

What if by fixing your gut, you could fix your mind?

I learned so much cool stuff that I wanted to parse together from a layman’s point of view, the more striking info  because it’s game changing,  almost alchemical stuff.

“Super wow, consider my mind blown by the awesomeness that is science!”

Through advancements in Enteric Neuroscience, which is basically the study of the Enteric Nervous System and how gut bacteria affects our biology,  we’re finally learning more about the brain.  A rather clever doctor at the top of his field once told me that the medical world only knows about 10% of what’s happening in the body and even less in the brain so I’ll take my breakthroughs were I can.

“Meet your  2nd brain, The Enteric Nervous System”

If you’re like me you remember zero, zip, nada about the The Enteric Nervous System from school;  It’s  a network of neurons running from your esophagus to your tale bone that meshes out through the gut tissue, it can operate autonomously and oddly, wasn’t discovered until mid 19th century.

“It’s the original nervous system, the one we crawled out of primordial ooze with that might’ve involved into the brain”

The Enteric nerve system connects to the brain by way of the Vagus nerve and research  shows that Vagus nerve stimuli can drive obsessive eating as well as allow women with complete spinal cord injuries to experience orgasms, so don’t under estimate its power.

Theories will certainly change as new discoveries are revealed, but for now the good news is with any luck the personalized medical care revolution we hoped for in the wake of gene therapy innovations in the 90’s might finally come to fruition by way of your gut and new insight into the ENS.

“Someday you might sip down a designed just for you bacterial cocktail, and that’s a great thing!”

Nothing new under the sun

In 1910 Doctor George Porter Phillips reported that live bacteria introduced through whey to patients dealing with ‘Melancholia’ reported a marked improvement in mood. His study was further backed up in 1923 when doctors found bacteria treatment helpful in the aid of psychosis.

 Studies have long shown a connection between patients who suffer from depression and anxiety to gastrointestinal problems,  now the connection becomes less opaque.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that among other things regulates, your ability to feel good. Serotonin producing cells form early in the development of the enteric nervous system. Trauma, say in the form of early gut infection, intense stress could possibly lead to ailments down the road like irritable bowl syndrome. A recent study showed 87 of 100 IBS subjects had antibodies that killed off of neurons in the gut. (Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, vol 18, p 78)

“Most people think Serotonin is produced in the brain, but did you know 90% of it is produced & resides in your gut?”

According to this Caltech study an estimated 90% of serotonin is made in the digestive tract and specific bacteria are critical for its production. It can’t be produced without Tryptophan, and get this, our body doesn’t make any, it must be obtained from food or supplements.  Round up spray, a common pesticide, interrupts the pathway in the plant cell that makes tryptophan and messes with the soils ecosystem.

“You begin to see how in one of the richest countries on the planet it’s so very easy to feel terrible in mind and body”

1 in 10 Americans are on SSRI’s, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors  and that number climbing steadily.  According to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association,  from 1999 to 2012 the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%,  While another  study highlights that  69% of antidepressant users never met criteria for major depressive disorder.

From Scientific American– more and more doctors are prescribing antidepressants to treat non psychological conditions, this is troubling to me because for some of these issues the meds are a temporary bandage, not a cure. Some off-label uses of SSRIs include:

  • Abuse and dependence
  • ADHD (in children and adolescents)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism (in children)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Arthritis
  • Deficits caused by stroke
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Hot flashes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraine
  • Neurocardiogenic syncope (fainting)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Premature ejaculation

That’s a lot of things an SSRI can fix, huh? Pill companies must be thrilled to have such a convenient cure on their hands.

Obviously many people on  ssri meds  benefit from them and see vast improvement to their quality of life.  We’ve probably all seen this to be true of ourselves, or family members who stabilized after finding the right med combo,  but what if a fair sized percentage of current and new users  are dealing with gut troubles manifesting as depression?

“We know antibiotics wipe out gut bacteria, now we’re finding antidepressants also wipe out gut bacteria”

The very medicine taken to feel better could be wiping away healthy gut bacteria and with it,  any chance of getting better. This study also noted weight gain was the norm for the mice, as they also suffered a 16% less efficacy rate in burning calories while on a specific antidepressant.

So now you’re overweight, still depressed, and probably experiencing anxiety as adrenaline produced in response to stress can cause an outgrowth of undesirable bacteria. Your doctor then might up your meds,  switch you over to another ssri, or  maybe add in an anti psychotic to balance you out, never thinking to suggest you take a probiotic,  get a hormone panel or start eating more prebiotic foods.

“The chances of the average Western trained doctor suggesting a diagnostic hormone panel or a course of probiotics to cure the blues is low to none”

When the medical, psychiatric and pharmaceutical industry  treat psychological conditions with meds that target  brain chemistry as well as gut microbes maybe we’ll see  improvements.

“There’s slim chance of producing a balanced body ecosystem living in a nutritional desert. “

Gut Microbial Therapy

I found a most edifying lecture by Dr. Simon Carding  Leader of the Gut Health and Food Safety Research Program at the Institute of Food Research and Norwich Medical School titled, ‘Fix Your Gut, Fix Your Brain’,  which  further backs up that gut microbes influence when, what and how often we eat.

Fix your gut, Fix your brain!

Bacteria changes introduced to ‘normal’ weight mice made them gain weight without a calorie increase, just as different strains introduced into the gut of obese mice gave them the ability to eat high fat and not gain weight.

“Gut bacteria in newborns is affected by delivery method with c-sections getting microbiota from the delivery team”

Gut bacteria in newborns is affected by delivery method  C-section babies bacteria diversity comes more from the delivery team than the mother. This is why vaginal bacteria transplants are a thing.

Let’s say you’re a bottle, not breast fed C section baby who primarily ate a standard American diet in early childhood, you’re not colonizing the kind of bacteria that help stabilize things like your immunity system, weight or mood, and with that, the ability to fend off future chronic illnesses becomes tricky.

If your system is severely compromised with bad bacteria, specifically Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. which can over-populate the colon, you can die. In these severe cases a Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) can be performed. Fecal matter, that’s your poo, is  collected from a donor, mixed with a saline or other solution, strained, then placed in a sick patient, via the colon or sometimes the nasal passage.  Once good bacteria levels are restored,  patients return to health.

“A gob of strangers poop up your nose could save your life”

Highly effective, thoroughly gross, but in the end animals playing with pack mates poo might be natures way of spreading good bacteria around. Maybe your dog sniffs another dogs  butt to determine the health of the newly encountered animal.

Not all donor fecal matter is equal, so who you get your bacteria from matters.  A  mother with no weight issues received a FMT transplant from her overweight daughter. The daughter went on to become obese, the mother eventually also became obese. The daughter passed on all her bacteria, the good and the not so good.

Sterile mice bred to have no gut bacteria craved sweets, mice with healthy gut bacteria did not. Mice with a certain diversity of microbia digested foods efficiently, remained trim but when  gut diversity was reduced,  unchecked stress hormone levels went up and the mice sought out fatty foods, and then burned those calories at a slower pace.

Brain scans  of human subjects with fatty acids injected directly into the gut showed a lower response to pictures and music designed to make them feel sad than those given a placebo. Subjects  also reported feeling only about half as sad as the placebo group. (The Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 121, p 3094).

Ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone,  is released when we feel stress, most likely this is left over from fight or flight responses. In 2011  Jeffrey Zigman at UT Southwestern Medical Center reported that mice exposed to chronic stress sought out fatty food, but those  genetically engineered to be unable to respond to Ghrelin did not (The Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 121, p 2684).

Zigman notes that in our modern world, with freely available high-fat food, the result of chronic stress or depression can be chronically elevated ghrelin – and obesity.

“It may turn out some of us crave fatty greasy foods for their sedating properties, rather than a desire to over eat unhealthy foods or lack of will power”

Restoring gut balance could possibly lead to a decrease in food cravings, less fat on the body, less hormonal issues. It’s also becoming clear there’s a connection between gut inflammation and some cancers as intestinal inflammation targets cancer-inducing activity of the microbiota.

One of the thing you can do to address body inflammation is pump up prebiotic foods, and cut out some of the nutrient devoid processed crap that confuse the gut.

Prebiotic foods help populate your gut with healthy bacteria. Cruciferous vegetables are a great source  These include-

  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Rutabagas
  • Radish
  • Onions

And similar leafy greens. Raw veg contains higher levels of what you’re after, cooked is better than not at all. Folks who have medical conditions that make eating these foods difficult should  consult a doctor and go slow with introducing new foods.

These foods are high in fiber something good bacteria thrives on. The standard American diet is super low in fiber so some people might need to add a probiotic to aid in digestion. A study showed in mice who had fiber removed from their diet for a little as 7 weeks suffered a  60% drop of the local gut flora,  this remained low even after the mice returned to high-fiber meals.

This is where taking a quality probiotic comes in handy. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria readily be found in certain yogurt and kefir products as well as pill and liquid form. The FDA regulates probiotics as foods, not medications so this makes it harder for you to know if you’re getting a quality product There are tons on the market so it’s important to find one with a diversity of cultures, say 30 or more different strains of microbiota as opposed to 5, and one with the ability to stay alive through the stomachs digestive process so it might survive to populate the colon. This usually means the brands stocked in the fridge section, with no added sugars, do your research before purchasing.

It’s a glorious machine this human body, and I’m glad we’re finally making some breakthroughs as I’d like to live out the rest of my days relatively pain free in mind and body. I’m excited new info is out there and that it’s easier than ever to access and research studies to your heart, or guts content.

Let’s Talk Hormones!

Hormones are “chemical communicators or connectors” that carry messages to and from organs.  So why is it women usually speak of them with hushed tones? An open dialogue about the role of hormones, their imbalances and the toll perimenopause exacts is needed to share knowledge.

Btw, if you are in your 20’s and are about to click off because who gives a shit about olds,  if you’re on a birth control pill or ring etc,  you’re already manipulating hormones enough to fool your body into thinking it doesn’t need to drop an egg. That’s pretty powerful stuff when you think about it.

If you were a girl who got her period maybe a little younger than your peers, whose body exploded into tits and ass, BAM! And you have dramatic painful periods, are  super ‘moody’, feel ‘hysterical’ and so on,  there’s a chance you might be rocking a hormone imbalance.

It’s up to you to be your own advocate. Even with all the breakthroughs in medicine, doctors are more likely to suggest you take an anti depressant than order a hormone panel, that’s problematic to say the least. If you’re feeling depressed, gaining or losing a ton of weight for no reason, feel anxious…. No matter your age, insist your doctor run a panel.  Hormones can get wonky from a variety of factors and may seem to you or others like solely an emotional issue. Feeling crazed? Get your panel done!

We’re pretty quick in the states to use pharmaceutical pills that mask symptoms, leaving the real culprit unchecked. If you’re considering an SSRI,  getting a panel is doubly important. A simple plant based bio identical hormone could be your salvation. Insurance usually covers the cost, but check with your doctor on any or all of this, of course.

Another thing that affects your hormones is Perimenopause, the transition toward no more periods, Menopause. This can happen in your early 30’s through early 50’s.  It can be jarring to say the least. you might be experiencing amped up PMS like symptoms  27 days a month because your hormones are bouncing around as much as when you were going through puberty. It means fertility is waning, and if you’re over 40,  live in America, that means you’re viewed by society as 2 seconds from full on crone status complete with the invisibility cloak of a middle aged woman, which y’know… is weird.

Steven R. Goldstein, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Medical Center in New York City spoke with WebMD.com about perimenopause and stated “Every woman thinks that it’s the sudden drop in estrogen from not ovulating that causes the problems. But in reality, it’s the fluctuation of estrogen, along with less progesterone, that is behind many of the typical symptoms of perimenopause,” Goldstein says. These symptoms, he tells WebMD, include not only mood swings and sensitivity, but also hot flashes, night sweats, and memory problems.

A hormone imbalance had a profound effect on my health when I dealt with a gnarly case of fibroids, benign tumors that grow in and around the uterus. Mine had taken over,  putting pressure on organs, wrapping around the spine and impinging my hip socket.  The general school of thought from progressive doctors is you don’t get a cranked out uterus like that without a hormone imbalance, usually an Estrogen dominance, oh,  and by the way,  fibroids are one of the top  causes of infertility and miscarriages. The old school of medical thought was, ‘We don’t know why they happen, just be happy it’s nothing more serious, it mostly only affects black women, blah blah, blah…’.  While I’m always and forever grateful they’re benign, I’m super bummed I had to get info on the fibroid-hormone connection so late in the game.

In my case there was way too much Estrogen, an Estrogen dominance, and zero Progesterone, which is also called the feel good hormone. I did not, in fact, feel good. I was crying all the time, anxious and couldn’t think straight. That’s what one missing  hormone can do! Once I began a plant sourced progesterone supplement and cut out estrogen rich foods that might add to the imbalance, like soy and dairy, (a moment of silence for malted milkshakes)  I felt and started to look like ‘me’ again. I was able to get off weight that’d been stuck, which also helped, as fat stores and releases estrogen.

Last year I had a friend in her 30’s, a successful business woman, mother and full on type A personality tell me she felt out of sorts, not like herself, was prone to bouts of crying,  and no appetite as she was very anxious. This was all very out of character for her and I could see why doctors offered Xanax etc. When I suggested she get a hormone panel she said she’d had one in the last year and that wasn’t the issue… But it sounded exactly like what I’d been through. Hormone levels can slide dramatically in just one year, so I urged her to get another test and in 9 months her levels had changed from normal to very low Estrogen, she got on a bio identical hormone and within weeks felt like her old self more or less.

Here’s a Web MD link to a less anecdotal take, it’s not the most thorough, but it’ll get you started on how the things we eat also influence hormones. Honestly I LOVE dairy, but for me feeling better in my body was worth giving it up.

Besides cremes or pills, there’s also a host of herbs like Black Cohosh that help abate symptom, they didn’t work for me but they might be the only thing you need to feel like yourself! Cameron Diaz has a  new book out soon addressing the subject and here’s one by Suzanne  Sommers, because I finally get how she a  zillion hawking natural hormone cremes .   xx Rachel

 

 

 

The Craft Script is here!

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Support #SupportThePuff

This week in The bahamas a girl was threatened with suspension from school for wearing  her natural hair in super cute afro puffs.  That’s a country  full of kinky coily puffy haired black girls, yet the school’s principal told NB12 News that the girl was reprimanded because her natural hair looked “untidy and unkempt.”

It’s 2016, people it’s time to #SupportThePuff

Racism, not fashion,  dictates that hair growing out of of my head, of its own accord in its natural state be  considered wild, unkempt, unprofessional or unrefined.

Of course, people have the right to wear whatever hair style they desire, natural, straightened, weaves etc,  (I personally love curly clip in hair for work)  You do you, BUT-

European standards of beauty when applied to POC are a uniform,  a tool of integration into mainstream ie white society.  Over time or maybe right after Madame Walker’s  first relaxer hit the shelf,  American black culture by and large adopted this standard amongst ourselves. The over ‘k’ontoured, flat ironed images that have super saturated TV & the web for the last bit of time… have not helped.

“Let’s face it,  it’s people of color who criticize each others spotty edges and prize ones ability to get the hair to ‘lay flat’ the loudest”

And this paradigm sucks. Recently I’ve seen  elementary kids with weaves. In my opinion this is damaging their scalps and their self esteem to no end. Many times after shooting something for tv,  I’d unclip the hair, peel off the lashes and wash away the smoke and mirrors makeup job…  I’d often feel inadequate, unattractive… and I’m a grown adult whose has years of therapy which at least theoretically gives me the  ability to process thoughts like this. What happens to the psyche of a young girl subjected to these standards?

“I once had a shrink tell me I couldn’t go to auditions always looking like Phyllis Diller.  so I fired them”

We are People of color, we are beautiful as is, from our head to our toes.  Now go watch Chris Rocks film Good Hair & go to bed!

-Rachel

#supportthepuff

Here’s a link to an interview with the actual teen. http://ianthia-smith.com/beauty/she-made-me-feel-ugly-teen-at-center-of-natural-hair-controversy-speaks-out/

My Interview with Black Girl Nerds Podcast

Hey! I did an interview w/ the fab crew at www.blackgirlnerds.com They’re black, they’re nerds, they post great stuff! Def check out their site & twitter feed @BlackGirlNerds & @BGNpodcast & of course me @racheltrue – shout out to graveyardsisters.com @graveyardsister who co-interviewed me!

We cover a ton of topics, give a listen, Here’s the podcast! xx Rachel