I drink this green drink for my microbiome almost every day. It is usually the second thing I consume (after water with lemon squeezed into it).
But WHY would someone want to drink something that looks like this???? I do it because I am a good house guest.
What does that even mean?
You’re really not that human…
Guess what? For every one of your human cells, you actually are composed of 100 bacteria cells. Yes – you are only 1/100th human! The rest of you is bacteria. This bacteria mass is a living entity, separate from your “humanness,” called your “microbiome,” and in a typical person it weighs upwards of five pounds.
Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
What does your microbiome do for you?
The majority of this microbiome resides in your body system that goes from your mouth to your anus – which is your “gut” – and in that cavernous system known as your sinus (nasal cavity). Your microbiome is first-line active in every interchange you have with your environment. This “first responder” interprets every bit of air, and what’s in it. It interprets every morsel of food, and every sip of beverage, from the very first touch to your lips until the final moment before expulsion,.
Your microbiome converts food to fuel, protects you from bad food, and encapsulates dangerous viruses, bacteria, metals, molds and parasites in your food and liquid and in the very air you breathe to keep them from harming you.
A healthy microbiome is like a kelp bed you may have seen in underwater film footage: individuals that respond as a unit in unison to currents or other outside forces like fish swimming through them. Like the kelp bed that sways as a whole in response to an outside force, your microbiome is a mass of individual bacteria that communicates within itself, one to another, in response to the outside forces it encounters.
Also, get this: your gut feelings actually are in your gut
Most of your “feelings” start in your colon! The majority of your neurotransmitters are both created AND USED in your gut. That means that your feelings really are “gut reactions.” The feeling in “the pit of your stomach?” That is pretty much where it is actually happening. These feeling “messages” are then communicated to your brain via the super highway known as the vagus nerve, and you then feel motivated, inspired, saddened, depressed, anxious, etc. Stress or anxiety? A properly activated vagus nerve, fed by messages coming from a healthy microbiome, also puts the accelerator or brakes on your “fight or flight” cortisol response.
Your feelings are created from what you eat!
I am the “guest” of the microbiome that resides in me. You, too. The microbiome composes the “houses” we live in, and we are the house guests.
Little kids like to say, “You’re not the boss of me!” Well, these guys actually are the boss of me and you, and we ride on their backs. An unhappy, unhealthy microbiome means you can count on being sick more, both acutely now and chronically (as in autoimmune conditions) later. An unhappy, unhealthy microbiome means you’ll probably be unhappier than you could be. With depression and anxiety wreaking havoc in our world, this is no small thing.
How to Keep Your Microbiome Happy
Keep your microbiome happy and healthy by giving it what it wants: fresh, diverse plant life, every day. In fact, eat 50 different forms of plant life every single month. This goes beyond “eat the rainbow,” but that is a great place to start, because color differences indicate variety. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is way too heavy on browns and whites, so diversifying color in your diet ensures variety (Skittles do NOT count).
Why diversity counts
At the gym, doing diverse kinds of exercise builds diverse muscles and give you a broader base of strength for greater physical success. Doing the same limited exercises over and over leads to unbalanced weaknesses and strengths. You have different muscles, so you need different exercises.
Just like you have different muscles that like different exercises, your microbiome is made of different organisms that like different foods. Feeding it a diversity of of raw colorful nutrient-dense plant life makes the microbiome strong in all kinds of diverse ways. Each different kind of plant life contributes its unique genetic material (ribonucleic acid, or RNA) to the team, building strength in all the different kinds of microbiotic organisms in you, so they can keep you healthier.
What’s in that glass?
- pinches of various herbs from my garden
- pulp and pith from the lemon squeezed into the water I drank first
- vegetables like spinach or carrots
- greens powder (organic, gluten-free, non-GMO)
- digestive enzymes
Coconut oil makes it creamy, while frozen fruit (like organic cherries) makes it a thicker treat. I change it up all the time, depending on what is growing and what I feel like I need. Remember: diversity. Keep it to a relatively small volume, like 6-8 ounces, to make it doable.
I blend all this plant life up in my amazing affordable kitchen friend, the Nutribullet (I should own their stock – I am such a fan), and I start my day knowing that my body and I are on the same team. Give your microbiome a diverse diet of fresh organic, non-GMO plant life to build it into a powerhouse. Love it, and it will love you!
Go beyond “we are what we eat” and take it one step further to “we are what our microbiome eats.” If you want to be strong, happy and healthy, keep your microbiome strong, happy and healthy. Let’s lift up our glasses of “pond scum” and drink proudly!
Cheers to you!
Dr. Wade Binley