I like to call him Brian. Brian the brain.
Yes, I’m probably a little bonkers, but if you take a minute to think about the decisions our brain is making for us on autopilot, it seems like there is a separate person inside our heads.
In my last email, we looked at the way the brain makes automatic decisions about whether we need to be paying attention to something, and how difficult it is to make the conscious (slow) part of our brain make the decision rather than the automatic (fast) part of our brain.
Today, I wanted to look though the connection between our brain and our gut, and see how we can take better charge of our brain by putting the right stuff in our tummies.
At first glance, there isn’t much connection between the gut and brain.
But, there is literally a direct link between the two. Which explains how we get butterflies in our tummy when we are looking forward to (or dreading!) something, why we want to eat more when we’re stressed and how eating foods we’re intolerant to can lead to behavioural issues.
The gut is known as the second brain; it is a giant ecosystem of millions of tiny microbes (known as the microbiome) which helps digest your food, regulate your hormones, excrete toxins and produces vitamins. A huge percentage of your immune system is in your gut too. In short, its an important thing to look after – it’s probably the gateway to health.
By putting good quality foods, which our body likes (while the basics are the same, that may be a little different for everyone) into our tummies, our brain will work at its best. We’ll think faster which makes us feel more clever and able to make the right decision more quickly.
There is also a big link between what we eat and our emotions. Eating foods we’re intolerant to likely leads to a low mood, or even depression. Eating the right food helps our brain work optimally. That mid-afternoon energy slump where you can’t focus and just need to nap? Probably caused by what you’ve eaten earlier on today.
Although your true quest might be to see the scales shift, or to be able to fit into those size 12 jeans again; in my experience, it’s often the case that understanding and feeling how different things affect your whole system make it easier to make the right choices.
Even just knowing you’ll have a more productive day tomorrow if you eat well today could give you a drive to make the right choices for reasons other than seeing what you want to see on the scales.
If we can make the smaller jeans almost a side benefit to feeling good and making yourself as healthy as possible, I believe it makes the whole journey feel easier and more productive.
I’d be delighted to help you with this. Get in touch to arrange a free 30 minute face-to-face or FaceTime consultation and we can discuss the right way to get you to your goals.