Imagine that you are the inn keeper. You have guests coming and going and it’s your job to keep them healthy and happy.
You are the host, and your prosperity and well being depends upon how tickled the finicky guests are. There are so many guests that you can’t know them individually, so you have to take care of them en masse. Treat them well and your own wellbeing will be taken care of.
In this analogy the guests are the bacteria and little beings in your gut. There are so many of them they outnumber your own cells hugely. There are roughly 100 trillion bacteria that line your gut. They are so small they only amount to three pounds. But each has a vote in how you feel, your mood, your thinking and the moment to moment quality of your life.
The moment something you eat is offered to the guests, the flora respond to it. That response is a deep, ongoing, sense of how good a host you are. And it shows up as how you feel.
While it is a nice idea that it is up to us how we feel, that we can change our mood or focus on the positive—or be optimistic—it is the guests who have a say in the quality of our day. If you doubt this remember how, when the guests were really upset, and you felt nauseous, all your attention was quickly focused on feeling awful. You couldn’t go about your day in the way that you might have liked because you felt like vomiting.
That is an extreme case and it doesn’t happen often—thankfully. But there are much more subtle nuances of sensation caused by our trillions of guests. While we tend to be a bit egocentric, an argument can be made that rather than finding our own purpose we might prosper by getting curious what the guests want. And focusing on that draws attention immediately to what we eat.
Long ago someone said: “You are what you eat.” But by walking the grocery store aisles or zeroing in on Walmart’s cereal section, soft drink and soda extravaganza or observing the explosive expansion of brightly colored chip bags, obviously we are focusing on what we like to eat rather than what would make our abundant guests healthy and happy.
I am not going to lecture about what you eat. You can find plenty of people who will do that. My purpose here is to inspire you to get curious how to take the best possible care of your trillions of visitors so that they take the best care of you. The more happy guests, the merrier.
Nobody Wants You to Know
Nobody wants you to know how easy it is to be radiantly healthy because they want you in a bad mood. They want you to think that if you just bought a car, or went on holiday or bought their particular snake oil then you would be happy.
Mastering your own moods doesn’t require you to buy stuff: it is available just by getting to know yourself and all the little visitors in your gut.
Noticing Your Moods
Most people know that they should eat better. But most people don’t. Driving by those golden arches reminds you that you are a little hungry. One day I watched people exit Costco and fully one quarter of them pulled a bag of some sort of snack food out of their groceries to munch on while they continued to their next destination.
Watching your mood, feeling the subtle sensations that create your day, may finally provide the impetus to get curious how good you might feel if you ate really well.
Your mood influences how you speak to your kids, co-workers and spouse—and thus eating better is likely to swing your moods up causing more positive conversations without even trying. You just might begin viewing the world more positively on the whole. I’m not talking about The Power of Positive Thinking here or spinning your perceptions upward intentionally. I am talking about having a hundred trillion little bacteria in you that are singing a happy, upbeat song because they are eating what makes them happy to be here.
When you eat lousy food much of the time, your gut, turns against you. And when that happens you are cruising for a bruising or a fight. You lack the necessary energy to get things done or desire to do anything.
People who are tired, or wearing a heavy back pack perceive the angle of a hill to be more extreme than it is. I imagine that having trillions of upset bacteria makes the day look darker, steeper and less enjoyable than it actually is.
It goes beyond moods
But all this goes beyond moods. The more often those trillion bacteria like the way you treat them, what you feed them, the healthier you will be. There is so much new science putting forth the case that the quality of your gut is the quality of your health that every moment you take care of these innumerable guests who inhabit your insides the more healthy you are bound to be.
And the sooner you take care of them the more energy you are likely to have, the higher you will be able to jump, the faster you will be able to run and the more fully you will be able to love.
Awareness of Eating
Become aware of what you are eating, and then, shortly afterward, focus your attention on how you feel. Just doing those two things is likely to lead you to a whole new way of eating and a radical approach to health.
The feedback you need, in order to eat really well, is right here. Treat your guests well and watch yourself shine from the inside out.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Editor: Travis May