Just a small introduction…
I wanted to start this first post as a little introduction and as to how I got here; a sparkle-eyed lass excited to talk anyones ear off about the tiny microbes inhabiting our guts!
For starts, I am native to Southern California, Los Angeles to be precise. This is where you roll your eyes and think, “Well, there it is; she’s a fit obsessed, diet practicing, lululemon wearing, ANGELINO!” …Okay, I hope you’re not that critical, But Yes! I am obsessed with foods and their interaction within our bodies, but to be more exact, the Holistic Interactions within our bodies…and KIDS!
As of May 2017, I will hold a Bachelors Degree in Child Development. The pursuit of a formal education plays a role in this mesh up of passions and is how I ended up living here in Humboldt County on the wild coast of Northern California. While I had a few choices as to where I would finish my degree, Humboldt State University included that their program was a “holistic approach” to child development.
Okay, times out for a second, because I want to talk about that word because I love it because it sounds like
Now while the university was probably using “holistic” in a philisophical manner, I had read it in a combination of philosophy AND medicine. I mean, like Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs (Google that), If kids don’t feel well physically, mentally, emotionally, how can we as educators expect them to focus on learning?
After hours/days worth of researching, reading, and investigating, I’ve come to the conclusion that as educators and people in the lives of young children and their families, we are missing a major piece to the puzzle of a holistic child development understanding when we do not include supporting the development of the gut microbiota in young children.
So WHY is this important to kids? 2 Reasons:
1.) Research has found that the gut microbiota has bi-directional communication (meaning, they communicate back and forth) with other parts of the body such as the immune system, the central nervous system, and basically, THE BRAIN (*cough* holistic systems *cough*)
2.) Childhood is a critical time for the development of the gut microbiota. Before birth we don’t really have one at all; we are sterile within our mother’s womb until birth when we are gifted a kickstart of microbial activity. It is between birth and around 3 years old that the gut microbiota will colonize and stabilize to about 40-60% of what it will look like as an adult. That is a lot of work to do within a very small window of time!
There are many factors in our modern world that stand in the way of this successful colonizing of gut flora and we’ll get there! But for now, let’s start with the happy shiny good stuff;
My Mission; To lay a foundation of knowledge on how the gut microbiota attribute to overall health for young children and their families and to provide resources to achieve it.
There are some buzz words floating around, like “Probiotics”, “Live Cultures”, and “Gut Microbiome”. When companies add on words to these like, “Diet” or “Weight Loss”, we have a health frenzy, folks. Companies that are using research to make profit off their products rather than delivering the research to the people. While these companies offer health and a slimmer sleeker you, I want to remind that it’s what our health looks like on the inside that counts; That we aim for a sound body, mind, and soul. I believe wholesome foods, without anything taken out, but instead even more put in with fermentation, is the way to retrieve the most benefit. This is how I was raised and this is what I choose to share; from my mother’s kitchen, to my own, I just want to welcome you to Gut Stuff.
Thanks for reading!