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  • Emlen Miles-Mattingly

Nutrition and Your Future: Do You Need to Make Changes?

Heard the podcast episode yet? No? Don't sweat it: I've got you covered.

As you know, we are continuing our journey in health and fitness this month. Today the topic is food and nutrition.


I recently sat down with an old friend of mine, Summer White Suski. She is a certified nutritionist, and CEO and founder of Soma Nutrition. They operate a full-scale concierge Kitchen in New York City. Their goal is to help their clients commit to a dietary plan.


She is also the founder of Soma Speaks, which is a wellness series that she started in California and expanded to New York. Her business, which she hosts with other practitioners and entrepreneurs, focuses on topics of self-care.


One of the questions we’re going to answer today is:


Is it true that you are what you eat?


Why Soma Nutrition?


What is Soma Nutrition’s mission and vision?


Summer stated that Soma means “body” in Greek and she explained how she works with clients on a nutritional level. Her goal is to create a dietary program that's unique and bio-individual for her clients.


Summer’s concept for her company was a holistic way of looking at environmental exposures, the things we consume, and our unique metabolic and biochemical needs that impact our health.


It all starts with getting your blood work drawn.


Specific tests can be done through your primary care physician, internist or OB/GYN.


Summer looks at certain biomarkers so she can understand the individual’s nutritional deficiencies.


Summer decodes the information in the tests, and it gives her an idea of how a client is digesting and absorbing foods.


She’s able to understand what’s going on inside.


Focus on Health


Summer has personal experience between the appearance of health and real health.


She participated in bodybuilding competitions.


Her body fat was between 10 and 13%. She admits that her body was aesthetically pleasing at the time; however, she wasn’t healthy.


It was during this time that she noticed a change in her sleep quality. Because she was under a lot of stress, her cortisol levels were high. Then she was diagnosed with Crohn's.


She had never had any problems before, but as her health changed in a very short time, she realized it was due to her diet.


That’s when she started researching nutrition and creating recipes. Her diet is now alkaline, high fiber, anti-inflammatory, and low allergen.


Summer wants to help her clients lose weight, but she is also interested in maximizing their long-term health through nutrition.


She states that long-term inflammation can create cancer--the dreaded disease that everyone wants to avoid.


Which brings us back to how your individual body is breaking down food and recognizing any immune responses to your diet.


It’s very useful information to know!


Gut Health


Summer lays it on the line.


You are what you digest and absorb. She points out that we can eat a whole lot of things, but we may not be getting any nutrition out of what we're consuming!


And most of it comes down to gut health.


"Gut Health = Immune System." - Summer White Suski

She reports we have over a trillion types of bacteria living in our bodies. It’s our gut bacteria that produce many of the neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which affect our mood and brain health.


Gut health is fundamental to our overall health.


Summer looked and felt well, so it was a surprise when her health problems started. She remarked that they were expressed through various symptoms that she needed to decode.


Which she did!


I talked to Summer about the conversations I’ve had with other people about how your gut is similar to a second brain. Your gut doesn't work well if your body is not absorbing the right nutrients. It can cause all kinds of health problems.


That led me to be more conscious of what I was eating. I’ve tried several different types of diets. I began to track how each of them made me feel.


That led me to notice how my body responded after drinking dark or light alcohol. It wasn’t that I had consumed too much or was drunk.


It was an increasing awareness of how different foods or alcohol made me feel.


After I brought up alcohol consumption, Summer said that it can destroy the microVilli that help us digest and absorb food. In fact, chronic alcohol consumption can actually paralyze our hippocampus (a structure in our brain that's linked to memory and learning).


The bottom line is how damaging things are to the gut!


Gluten


How do you know if you’re having a reaction to gluten (or any food)?


You’ll start to see the damaging effects of a food allergy when you have an inflammatory response to it.


Do you have eczema, yeast issues, or brain fog? Your body is trying to tell you something.


These are all body cues that you're having a reaction to what you're eating.


Gluten is a structure in protein, which can be found in various grains. While it’s not inherently evil, it can be abrasive to the gut.


There are people who can tolerate it, and for others, it can be really damaging.


But what happens if you continue eating these foods and look past the inflammation?


Unfortunately, chronic inflammation can cause cancer and other health problems. When your body is telling you something--listen.


Start keeping a journal and notice any patterns.


Summer points out that we have the ability to change our future narrative by noticing which foods are causing us damage and making changes.


How is your gut health?


Have you made any recent dietary changes for the better?


Leave us a comment below!

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