Have you ever had the sneaking suspicion that the story being spun or sold to you wasn’t holding any water? You know… there were just too many holes in the plot. I’ve met a number of con artists and grifters in my lifetime. Many of them were people who attended church religiously, and some of them were even running “the show.” That being said, I am not so delusional or naive as to believe that the only snake oil salesmen in this world are people of faith. My spidey sense goes off almost every time a politician opens his or her mouth. Yet, people of faith do often make easy marks, and there are sinister people who gladly exploit those of the doe-eyed disposition. Even Jesus pointed out in Luke 16:8 that people of faith often lack shrewdness and instructed his followers in Matthew 10:16 to be “shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.” So, it is in our best interest to trust those inklings of our intuitions or at least follow their lead until disproven because, more often than not, those sinking feelings tend to be right on the money. We must train ourselves to be disciplined in discernment and to question the statements being spread far and wide because in this age of information, the bogus broadcasts are legion, and the number of leaking buckets are as innumerable as the stars.
During my weight loss journey, one of the more curious discoveries I made was on the matter of leaky guts. To my surprise, leaky gut syndrome was not only much more prevalent than I had ever imagined, but it was also one of the most titanic disrupters to losing weight. For those who may not know, leaky gut syndrome is where tiny holes in your intestines leak out toxins, undigested food particles, and bacteria into your bloodstream. This causes massive inflammation in your body. It also weakens your immune system, causes mental disorders, chronic fatigue, and a host of other maladies, one of which is insulin resistant obesity. For some people, the cause of their leaky gut is simply stress. At some point in your life, you just got too stressed out, and it caused the lining in your gut to thin and degrade until tiny perforations formed, providing these most unfortunate openings for just about anything to float into your lifeblood.
The good news is that leaky guts can be fixed. The easiest way that I found to help glue your gastrointestinal system back together is by drinking bone broth. Bone broth is rich in collagen, which happens to be one of the most crucial building blocks of your skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and your intestinal wall. Most of us simply aren’t getting enough collagen in our diets. In ancient times, people used every part of the animals they killed, and they would boil the bones to make bone broth. Over time, we lost the art of boiling bones. It took too much time, or it looked gross, and our modern sensitivities and lust for fast food gave way to food preferences that left us riddled with microscopic, unseen holes. In my personal research and experimentation, I found that chicken bone broth was the most effective in my path to healing. You can find liquid bone broth in most grocery stores on the same aisle as chicken soup. You can also find bone broth protein powder, a more concentrated form, at most health stores. And for my vegan friends, you can usually find plant-based collagen alternatives in those same health stores.
Sometimes I feel like our whole world has leaky gut syndrome. There are just so many toxic messages swirling about in the bloodstream of humanity. We are bombarded with fake news and entire systems of false information. And if some morsel of truth does find its way to the surface, it is often a word of malice spoken with cruelty concerning a fellow human being. As the gut of our society loses its hold, and our lives become marked by ignorantly inflamed responses, may we learn to glue our discernment back together with the collective collagen of brighter ideals.
PAUL MICHAEL JONES is an artist who currently dabbles in music, photography and creative writing.