Any gardener knows that simply cutting the top off a weed won’t stop it from growing back. It actually creates a vicious cycle that lead to very resistant weeds.
The same is true in the human body.
Most of us have been taught that germs cause disease. But another theory, known at the terrain theory, suggests that it’s not the germ but the state of our “internal environment” that determines health.
This is why when you’re well rested, eating well, and energized you tend to get sick less often or at least get over an infection quickly. If you’ve had a stressful week, didn’t get much sleep, and have been snacking on refined foods – the likelihood of becoming sick is much higher. Yes, germs are part of the disease process, but we are more or less susceptible to illness depending on the state of our terrain.
At the end of his life, Louis Pasteur, the scientist who developed the germ theory, is quoted to have said: “the microbe is nothing; the milieu is everything.”
To be healthy, we need to tend to our soil.
5 essential ways to support a healthy (and disease resistant) terrain:
An absolutely underrated aspect of a healthy lifestyle is adequate, good quality sleep.
Tips for healthy sleep:
- sleep in the dark
- set consistent bed and wake times (ideally between 10pm-11am to bed and rise with the sun)
- avoid stimulation 1-2 hours before bedtime, especially from electronics
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Nutrient depleted, refined, processed foods are healthy terrain enemies. Focus on lots of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, good quality protein, and healthy fats.
#3. Support balanced gut flora
Many infection are related to “opportunistic organisms” – they are always around but don’t flourish until there is opportunity to do so. Supporting a good balance of healthy gut flora will keep these unwanted bugs in check and also support optimal digestion.
- consume fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut
- eat a diet high in fibre to fuel and support good bacteria
- speak with a naturopathic doctor about a probiotic supplement
#4. Reduce toxins
Toxins create inflammation and oxidative damage. Try to avoid what you can as well as support your detox pathways to ensure you optimize the health of your terrain.
- sweat it out! use infrared saunas and exercise to mobilize and eliminate toxins thru your sweat
- reduce pesticides by using the ewg.org list of least and most contaminated crops
- stop putting toxins on your body and opt for safe, natural body care products (drop in and check out the options)
- speak to a naturopathic doctor about detox support
#5. Manage stress
I cannot “stress” this enough! Do what you can to eliminate unnecessary stress and then work to change your point of view about the rest of it. Herbs, meditation, exercise, acupuncture, counselling, prayer, yoga therapy, laughter, and breathing techniques are all effective stress management options.