This weekend, I had an amazing time going to the farm Thyme Again Gardens, about 1.5-2 hours from Toronto, to breathe some fresh air, spend time in nature and share good friend and laughter with my nutritionist friends Sarah Ramsden, Summer Innanen and Katherine Mossop (check out their work, they all do amazing stuff).
This was a good way to get some much needed vitamin D and sunlight, to practice some earthing (did you know that being in direct contact with the Earth, without shoes, is a good way to decrease stress levels, regulate your sleep and calm inflammation?), disconnect from the internet, emails and social medias, and just have fun.
We had a delicious potluck picnic. Sarah brought an avocado & tomato salad, Katherine was in charge of the grass-fed burgers and treated us to some pancetta, I brought egg cups (wrapped with prosciutto, as you can see in the image below) and some nut-free & gluten-free cookies (recipe from Against All Grains) and Summer satisfied our sweet tooth with a refreshing fruit salad topped with coconut cream and grilled coconut. We also got to sample 4 different types of homemade sauerkraut, thanks to Sarah. Sorry I couldn’t take a picture of the final result as we were all too hungry and excited to get all of this REAL food into our stomach. 🙂
The organic farm we visited is home to many animals, including sheep, pigs, chickens, cows, dogs, cats and even a horse, a lama and a donkey. The lambs are the cutest to pet. 😉 Their fur is so soft and they sometimes wiggle their little tails when we find a good spot to scratch for them.
Did you know that being in nature is a great way to lower your stress levels and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (the rest-or-digest nervous system as opposed to the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system)? And this is very important to help with your adrenal health, digestive health, mental health and overall health.
Did you also know that visiting farm animals could also benefit pregnant women and their babies? In the book “An Epidemic of Absence” by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, the author explains how our germ-phobic society could be responsible for the increased prevalence of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Your immune system is meant to be exposed to microbes on a regular basis.
Our current almost sterile environment soaked with antimicrobial soaps and hand sanitizers is confusing our immune system. Without anything worthwhile fighting, your immune system may turn against you!
That’s exactly what happens with allergies when your immune system starts attacking non-harmful compounds from your environment (i.e. pollen) or the food you eat (i.e. nuts, soy, wheat, fish or dairy).
With autoimmune diseases, it’s part of your own body that your immune system starts attacking. It could be your thyroid gland with Grave’s disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (which constitutes 90% of all forms of hypothyroidism), your pancreas with type 1 diabetes, your joints with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, your skin with psoriasis, lupus or vitiligo, your spine with ankylosing spondylitis, your intestines with celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, your uterus with endometriosis, the myelin coating your nerves with multiple sclerosis, and the list goes on….!
As much as I do believe that “health starts in the gut“, I also believe that “health starts in the womb“. Many studies, as detailed in the book “An Epidemic of Absence”, show that adults and children living on a farm are less likely to suffer from allergies or autoimmune conditions. And studies also go beyond that by showing that, living on a farm may not be necessary. This is good news if you’re not ready to move on your own farm! 🙂
In fact, analysing the studies more closely show all it takes to get these same health benefits for your baby throughout its life as an infant, toddler, children, teenager and even as an adult, is to make sure that the mom is exposed to at least 2 different animal species while the baby is still in the womb.
Bottom word: All pregnant women should visit a farm and be in contact with at least 2 animal species during their pregnancy. 🙂
I can’t guarantee anything but it’s not too difficult to do, there aren’t any risks in doing so (and you might actually get a lot of benefits from yourself as I mentioned above in this post) and it might help your baby develop a more balanced immune system to prevent allergies and autoimmune diseases. For a lifetime. What a great gift you can give to your child!
And no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to try to improve the health of your gut flora and balance your immune system by applying the same strategy and working on improving your digestive health. If you couldn’t start this process the womb, fix your gut and you should be a step close to a better health and quality of life.
Listen to this podcast “Revolution Health Radio” with Chris Kresser for more info about this topic.
What do you think?
Any personal experiences or comments to share?
Say what you think below in the comment section.