Self-Care 2: 10% Human

To make a long story short, animals in general and humans in particular aren’t solo organisms, but macro-organisms, reliant upon symbiotic bacteria for most of our digestion and a surprising amount of our general health. 

By number of cells, we are 10% human and 90% bacteria. 

And if  we let our bacteria get too out of whack, we increase our risks of indigestion, heart disease, diabetes, and more of the diseases of modernity.

So one of my goals this year is to eat with my bacteria in mind. 

And apparently, it doesn’t take long to see changes based on diet. Unfortunately, I can’t get the original study to load, but what I’ve read in other places  backs up Miche’s vlog:

We see results within days of serious diet changes, and continue to see lifelong benefits.

Meat Free Monday: the 60 Gram Diet


After reading Alanna Collens’ 10% Human, I’ve really become interested in the role “good” bacteria play in my health. 

I’m taking several steps to improve my health,  and one of them has been to (following Dr. Collens’ example)  try to eat at least 60 grams of fiber each day. 

Try that some time, if you will. It takes some planning, some supplementation, and a big appetite.

But combined with a move to reduce my fat intake and to drastically reduce my refined sugar intake (easy to do after the holidays are over), I’ve lost almost 10 pounds since New Year’s Day.

A typical day includes: 

Oatmeal with dates for breakfast (1 cup dry plus 2 Medjool dates, for 10-11 grams fiber, depending on the size of the dates)

About a pound of beans, usually worked into a recipe (17-25 grams)

5 teaspoons chicory inulin supplement, available locally as Benefiber (15 grams)

And the rest has to come from fruits, veggies, and breadstuffs.

Killing Me Minty

I think I may have found the reason my blood pressure is up even though I’ve gone vegan, and it is the some reason my teeth were so badly strained at my last dentist appointment: 

Mouthwash. 

I started using off brand Scope, the green mint alcohol mouthwash, earlier in 2016. I thought it would be good for my mouth and my breath.

I was still thinking in terms of “killing bacteria” being a good thing.

But in doing the research for my self-care resolution this year, I learned that our good bacteria are a vital part of our systems, and that killing them off en masse is like burning down your house to kill a spider.

By the way, I like spiders. They eat mosquitos, which I hate. I try not to kill spiders if I can avoid it.

Apparently, research has shown that these “healthy” mouthwashes can raise blood pressure and increase heart attack risk. I do NOT need that at my size!

They also apparently make your bad breath come back worse after their smell wears off, they increase yellowing of teeth, and they can increase the chance of gum disease.

It seems the best way to fight bad breath is to keep your mouth’s microbiota well balanced, not to burn down the house.

So, yeah. I won’t be using any more of that stuff.