Muscle Nerds Part 2: Digestion & Detoxification

by Jasmine Tan, 13 April, 2017

By Coach Jen Lisheng

This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on the recent Muscle Nerds course attended by the senior coaches at Genesis Gym Singapore. It was a 3-day course conducted by Luke Leaman, founder of Muscle Nerds. You may catch up on Part 1: How Stress Affects Everything here.

We shall look at 2 more important takeaways from the course:

  1. Your digestion
  2. Detoxification

 

Takeaway #4: Ponder over your digestion

When was the last time you took a moment to survey the meal set before you, take in its colors and smells, savour the taste as you take the first bite, feel the texture and warmth of the food, before you chewed it mindfully and swallowed it down?

The process of digestion can be taken for granted sometimes. We assume that it will happen automatically once the food is down the pipe. Facilitating digestion is something we can work on to help us with results and overall health.

Luke highlighted the fact that digestion does not start in the gut or in our mouth, but in our brain. From the time our senses come into contact with the incoming meal, our brain starts to signal our body to prepare for it. Ever feel your mouth water from smelling a delicious aroma? That is your brain signaling your salivary glands to produce saliva for the food. Similarly, your stomach will start to churn out gastric juices. When your tongue tastes the sweetness of the food, your brain signals the pancreas, which readies insulin to be released for the incoming rise in blood sugar. Rushing the meal and gobbling down the food quickly interferes with these processes, rendering digestion to be less efficient. Hence, nutrients are not processed well, causing bloating, gastrointestinal discomfort and poor absorption.

(Image Source: dailymail.co.uk)

Overall stress in our life can hamper digestion as well. In order to facilitate the fight-or-flight processes that comes along with stress response, the body draws blood away from the digestive system to our limbs. Digestion cannot function properly as it should. Not only does this decrease the production of stomach acid to break down food, and starve off gut bacteria that is part of immune system function, our gut becomes more permeable.

Undigested food can then make it through our intestinal lining and into our blood stream. The consequence of this is that our body will see this piece of food, for example, an undigested price of chicken, as a foreign invader to the body. Proteins known as antibodies are then produced to the piece of chicken. The next time we ingest chicken again, these antibodies start having a reaction to the chicken we eat. This is how food sensitivities are developed, and why some people get food intolerances to certain items.

3 Practical Actionable Steps:

  1. Don't rush through your meal. Get into a calm anticipation of your meal, and take your time with it. Eating is supposed to be enjoyable and restorative. Treat it as such!
  2. Consider using Apple Cider Vinegar. A table spoon before meals will help stimulate stomach acid for better digestion.
  3. Already experiencing GI discomfort from eating? Try swapping out your regular food for the next 3 weeks, and eat foods you don’t normally consume. For example, if you usually eat a lot of beef, switch to seafood for a while. You may have developed food intolerances, and may need to utilize a different food source for your body to stop producing antibodies to your regular diet.

 

Takeaway #5: Detoxification 

Our liver is the main organ for detoxification in the body. Working in tandem with other organs like our kidneys and intestines, toxins that enter the body are passed out through our sweat, urine and poop. Under an ideal circumstance of a relatively clean environment and a healthy diet, our body has no trouble detoxifying itself, and keep the body healthy and operating a-okay.

However, the fact of the matter is that our environment is getting more and more polluted. From exhaust fumes to xenoesteogens in personal care products,  and from food to the water we drink, there has never been a time where our detoxification system has been taxed harder than it has now.

Very often, because our detoxification process is overwhelmed, it has detrimental effects to our health. Toxins slow down metabolism, retard the rate we burn oxygen, affect our cognitive prowess, and raise inflammation. 

Basically, not good.

Compounding all this is poor lifestyle and diet. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Are you eating fruits and vegetables on a regular basis? Do you have a protein source with every meal? These factors contribute greatly to how well we detoxify. Question is, are you supporting detoxification, or making the process harder?

Luke shared an insightful quote he learned: "You have not detoxed anything until it is out of your body." Until it gets pooped out, peeed out and sweated out, toxins stay in body, along with it deleterious affects. Very much like digestion, we need to take more notice of this silent process happening in the background to facilitate health and fitness. And to move toxins out of the body, sufficient water, amino acids from protein-rich foods, and numerous nutrients are required.

3 Practical Actionable Steps:

  1. Stay hydrated. Very much like a physical sewage system, water is the medium that will move waste in our body. Drink enough of it. Clear pees are always a good sign, and is something we should aim for throughout the day.
  2. Eat your vegetables and fruits with every meal. Fiber is needed to move our waste and the various nutrients to support detox. Rarely did I ever have to tell a client that he or she was eating too much of either from a health perspective. So it's safe to say they are hard to overdo. Aim for 2 servings every meal, more if you are able to do so. Start by increasing 1 serving every few days and build up from there.
  3. Take supplements. A multivit is always a good place to start, as there is simply too many vitamins and minerals your body needs

Conclusion: Will you work on the often overlooked?

There is a saying, that we are only as strong as our weakest link. Muscle Nerds Level 1 by coach Leaman brought emphasis on areas that are easily neglected, but can have so much impact in our body and in our lives. The Genesis Team has picked up new tools to help further the results of our clients. We thank Luke and Zoe for their impartation, and look forward to learning from them on future.

The Genesis Gym team of coaches are not just fitness coaches. Think of us as your partner in helping you along in the process of achieving a better, more holistic life. If you would like to find out how Genesis Gym can be your partner of empowerment, call us at 93374188 or email [email protected] to schedule your consultation with us.

 

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