What a couple of months it’s been! A new job with crazy hours (4am-7am? #yawn), a move, the Whole30 challenge, a road trip in the UK, and then class trips and the last week of school. And then the summer is truly upon us, as Canada Day is fast approaching!
I wanted to do a bit of an update on the whole “Post-Whole-30″ thing. We finished up the official challenge just two days before we flew to London – very much on purpose, because you really do want to be able to sit in a pub and drink a pint when you’re across the pond! I was so eager to have different breakfast options because I was SO sick of eggs. I fantasized over bowls of cereal with milk and toast with peanut butter.
They didn’t taste as good as I remembered them tasting. I didn’t think that my taste buds had “changed” while doing the Whole30, but they sure did. Even my favourite, LIFE cereal, was bland and uninteresting. And I was craaaazy hungry by the time 10am rolled around.
I had a piece of cake at a baby shower because I love cake (who doesn’t?) and it was honestly pretty disappointing. The icing was so sweet it was gross. I felt sick by the time I finished it.
I have treated myself numerous times to a chocolate bar or a piece of Turkish Delight that we brought back from the UK (because NARNIA), and I have been seriously unimpressed with any of it. I want to eat these things because I remember them tasting sooo good, but when I do, I’m disappointed. And so it’s easier for me to say “no” to them because they’re not worth it.
I should say that besides gaining about a pound back over our trip, I didn’t experience one single discomfort or side-effect from adding any of these restricted foods back into my life. No bloating, no soreness in my stomach, my sleep didn’t get any worse (I don’t think that it CAN get any worse), no change in skin. Only slight decrease in energy. Not even milk has caused any problems, which I was very surprised by.
One other thing that I did with about two weeks left in the Whole30 was start taking probiotics again. I’ve taken them on and off for the past 4.5 years, but honestly I could never remember to take them. Because they need to be refrigerated and the container is so small, they usually ended up hiding behind the salad dressing bottles in the door of the fridge until they expired, which is an expensive waste of money and does absolutely nothing for the health of my gut.
But. I was approached last month by Renew Life Canada and asked if I would be interested in trying out their non-refrigerated Ultimate Flora Critical Care GO pack of probiotic pills. Which of course I was. I was in the middle of a challenge to change the way I approached food to help and reset my gut and my mindset, so adding probiotics to the mix was a natural next step. I was curious about the fact that these ones didn’t need to be refrigerated, and whether or not that would have an impact on my actually remembering to take them every day.
Why probiotics, though? Why was I so excited to start taking them alongside my nutrition challenge?
Our digestive system affects our whole body. Hippocrates (you know, the guy you studied in a grade 10 history class and the fellow that the “Hippocratic Oath” – First, Do No Harm – was named after?) said waaaay back when that “all disease comes from the gut.” Seventy percent of our immune system is IN our digestive system. And when we do something like take antibiotics (which I have done SO MANY TIMES in the past 6 years…. strep throat again and again and again, mastitis, UTIs, etc…) we KILL a large part of the good bacteria in our gut that helps fuel that immune system.
When my daughter was 2 weeks old, my dad died. It was a long time coming, so that wasn’t stressful for me, but the travel, the change of routine, being present for the visitations and the funeral, and all of the family time led to me developing mastitis. Within hours of spiking a REALLY high fever, I was on a coarse of antibiotics. I didn’t know. I had no idea that antibiotics could completely destroy not only MY, but my daughter’s, good bacteria in our respective digestive systems. I knew that you should eat yogurt when taking antibiotics, but I didn’t know about probiotic supplements. From then, my daughter didn’t sleep more than 30 minutes at a time for the next 2.5 months. I’m positive it was because I ruined her intestinal bacteria with my course of antibiotics.
But I digress.
Renew Life offers several different probiotic supplements tailored to particular situations. The Go Pack is great for travellers and those of us who lose our probiotics in the fridge.
The Critical Care is great for folks who have just taken a round of antibiotics or who have a chronic digestive issue.
The Ultra Potent is one of the strongest probiotics out there to help tackle severe digestive issues or helps rebuild the immune system after multiple rounds of antibiotics.
You can get probiotics through food and beverages like yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha, but Dr. Sara Celik (naturopathic doctor and spokesperson for Renew Life) says that probiotic supplements contain different strains of bacteria than the food – which is a good thing, because the more different strains you consume, the better. So don’t just reply on the supplements – make the probiotic food a part of your routine, too!
I should also mention that probiotics have recently been shown to improve certain skin conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea. I’m only halfway through a month of these probiotics, but I’m hoping to see my rosacea improve.
Alright. This is getting lengthy, and I applaud all those of you who are still with me. I can’t really say how the probiotics have made me feel, because I started this DURING the Whole30 when I had SO MUCH other stuff changing at the same time. But I feel good. I like taking the effort to treat my innards right. My husband pounced on my probiotics when they arrived in the mail and suggested that if I wasn’t keen on taking them, he’d happily take them and report back to me how he was feeling…. And now he has some of his own. ;)
To add to my string of health-conscious decisions, I’m pretty sure that I’ve finally found a gym to join that is A) not too far away B) not too expensive and C) fully stocked with many, many resistance and cardio machines. Also it has free childcare and free hydrotherapy massages and unlimited access to classes. My plan is to got at least 3x a week after work – I finish work at 7:15 am – I hope to make it more often, and am even more hopeful that it won’t be less often.
So. That’s that. Are you a probiotic taker? Gym goer? Clean eater? “Everything in Moderation”er? Tell me what you’re doing for yourself this summer.
Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post for Renew Life Canada and we received compensation in exchange for trying their product and sharing our thoughts, but all thoughts, opinions, and experiences are very obviously my own. We don’t endorse or promote products we don’t trust or believe in.
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