Epigenetics - aka NOT a victim!
I love to study the faces of my children… Where did Grey get those amazing eyeballs? (totally my husband!) Where did Nash get that defined chin? (that would be me!) Where did Knox get his everything? (he is Grandma Jan’s twin) Jude and Wren are the only babies we have that truly look alike and they are the blendiest blend of my husband and I. It’s all just so stinking fascinating.
Then there is the stuff you can’t see on the surface, beyond their physical characteristics is their DNA… one allele from me and one allele from my husband to comprise the estimated 24,000 human genes they each have. Among those are genes are the ones that factor into Autoimmune disease susceptibility. Like who will get Grandma or Grandpa’s Type 2 Diabetes? Who will get Dad’s Ulcerative Colitis? Who will get Mom’s Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Will any of them suffer the pain of infertility like we did for ELEVEN years!? Talk about depressing thoughts! But, wait! That is where epigenetics give us hope!
To simplify epigenetics, they are the biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off. When I did my first Whole30, I read the book “It starts with food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and they shared the loaded gun analogy. That made total sense. Imagine that you are the gun and the issues you are predisposed to genetically are the bullets… well, your lifestyle, your diet, your nutrition,etc. determine whether you pull the trigger OR keep the safety on. I want the dang gun locked up in the safe. I don’t want my children to suffer the pains and frustrations of their parents and grandparents. So, we have been working HARD to discover what is the key to keeping the safety on!?
So, I’m going to give you a simplified list of things you can start doing RIGHT NOW to put the safety on your gun and do the same for your family!
Learn what gene mutations you might have. Check out my MTHFR post HERE for the websites where you can plug your raw DNA data from either Ancestry or 23&me and learn which significant gene mutations you might have and how they are affecting you. It could give you some major “Aha”! moments where your struggles are concerned. Knowing is half the battle!
Eat REAL food!!! A new study confirms the obvious… eating ultra-processed foods is killing us! LITERALLY! We may be sacrificing years of life for convenience foods. Not so convenient, really. Eating food that we prepare fresh has a number of benefits, including that we end up with a meal our body can actually benefit from, much lower in sugar & sodium, and higher in nutrients ,vitamins, & fiber.
Avoid GRAINS… why? aren’t they wholesome? Not usually! You will be hard pressed to find any grain that isn’t “fortified” with synthetic folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic version of Folate that our bodies actually need for a MYRIAD of processes. Folic acid will actually inhibit the absorption of folate from the real food you should be eating and can lead to all of the fun symptoms you can learn about in my MTHFR post.
Eliminate toxic substances from your personal care and cleaning products. Check your labels and if there are words ending in pthalate, sulfate, or paraben (just to name a few) then you are putting dangerous chemicals on or around your body’s largest organ, your skin. Your skin is a carrier, NOT a barrier, and will allow those toxic substances to penetrate right into the bloodstream. The bio-accumulation of these toxins will pull the trigger on that genetic gun in a heartbeat. When you realize that just about every product you were using before is damaging your health, it can feel overwhelming to work towards a toxin free home. Our family has done this one step at a time. We use Young Living’s Essential rewards program (our favorite subscription box aka monthly wellness box) to bundle all of our Essential oil, personal care, supplement, cleaning, and even toxin free make-up needs at wholesale price. For instance, we use amazingly effective Thieves household cleaner to replace every toxic cleaner we once used for pennies on the dollar! For information on how to have me guide you through a step by step process of ditching and switching, Go HERE
Get more sleep and less stress! The body’s detox pathways require adequate sleep to rid the body of the junk that accumulates. the body has to be able to sleep to take out the trash. Inadequate sleep leads to increased stress. Stress has been proven to create epigenetic changes - meaning it pulls the trigger on that gun we really want to avoid firing! Sleep deprivation and Improperly managed stress levels are both tied to chronic illness = BAD NEWS. So, sleep more and stress less to keep the safety on!