Kate Waterson is zazen Water's resident Nutritionist – she shared recently her personal and powerful story at an Expo, we have recapped it below.
I was born with Eczema all over my body. If you have ever seen a child suffering from Eczema you will understand how red and raw it looks and I can tell you it is incredibly uncomfortable and even painful.
As a little girl my mum would put mittens on me to stop me scratching my face. My eyelids would flake and my skin would bleed from scratching – I was either flaking everywhere or weeping.
My beautiful mum used to come into my room in the morning and rub steroid cream all over me (as recommended at the time by our family doctor) to help stop the itching – steroid creams by the way make your skin extremely thin and actually suppress your immune system.
I remember getting ready to go to my first day of school - I went to bed that night and prayed so hard that I would wake up in the morning and my skin would look normal. When I woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror and it wasn’t, I cried. You can imagine how hurtful at times children can be – you get teased and asked why you look the way you do!
I discovered more recently that Eczema is actually an auto-immune disease and can be triggered by an imbalance in the gut. Poor gut health is linked to an epidemic proportion of allergies, autism, ADHD, anxiety, IBS, depression, coeliac disease, auto-immune disease, asthma plus other conditions.
Let’s quickly look at why good gut health is so important in keeping us healthy & well, and where the link between poor gut health and disease comes from:
- Your gut is your 2nd brain and actually has the largest amount of neurons in your body.
- The gut makes up over 75% of your immune system and regulates metabolism and digestions.
- Over 100 Trillion bacteria call the gut home.
- Gut health is linked to mental health; it is responsible for almost every biological process in your body.
When it comes to microbes and our brains the science is quite clear – microbes in the gut manufacture our brains most important chemicals known as neurotransmitters within the gastrointestinal tract – up to 90% of them in fact. Some of those neurotransmitters are:
- Serotonin - important for helping with depressive symptoms.
- Dopamine - important in helping you feel happy.
- Melatonin - to help you fall asleep.
The production of these are all dependent on gut microbes and your diet.
Your diet can quickly alter the composition of your gut flora. Eating processed foods, sugar, chemicals, additives & preservatives and food low in nutrients is a sure fire way to decimate the beneficial bacteria / gut flora in your gut, allowing the harmful pathogenic kind to thrive and for disease and illness to present themselves.
Hippocrates (the father of medicine) said some 2400 years ago; “all disease begins in the gut”, and this is now proving to be very accurate!
My Journey into the Beauty & Health Industry
I became interested in beauty as I wanted to use the best possible products on my body and skin; I worked in the beauty industry for 10 years and it helped my eczema, but only a little bit. I was doing everything that I possibly could from the outside-in. I became very good at hiding any eczema break-out.
The more I read and researched, I began to understand inside-out first. I learned that what I ate and drank had a direct impact on my skin and general wellbeing! I began studying Nutrition and learning about the affects that foods have on health and wellbeing as well as vitality and even aging.
In 2011 I became a qualified Nutritionist.
I cut gluten, dairy and sugar from my diet; I started taking the best supplements to support my health, I realised I needed to heal my gut and detoxify my body. I tried to be as Alkaline as possible by eating alkaline forming foods as Eczema is a highly acidic conditionBUT this was only part of the solution, my eczema was improving but I was still having random flare ups.
Bringing Alkaline Water into the Equation
I always hated drinking water as a child and into adulthood, to me it was like drinking out of the pool. I was sensitive to it, almost having a reaction.
As an adult I only drank bottled water (before I discovered zazen) – I thought it was better than tap water... and have since found out it may not be!
2 years ago I discovered zazen Alkaline Water, I was drinking bottled water at the time. At zazen Water, the philosophy is to keep it simple – your body actually knows what is good for it and it has the innate ability to heal itself. Every cell within your body wants to be alive and vital, but the key is to support it with principles of life and wellbeing so that it can perform the way that it needs to. At zazen Water they talk about Water (the right quality and quantity) as your foundation nutrient!
What a paradigm shift for me as a Nutritionist to understand and think about “water” being a “nutrient”! You know what – that was a complete revelation for me – as a Nutritionist, I had never considered water as a nutrient! We never discussed or were taught about water as a nutrient or even discussed hydration through my Nutritional course and training!
What I learned from zazen Water was that all water is not the same. Water that actually supports your body’s hydration and wellness needs has very different properties than the tap water and bottled waters most of us drink!
So finally, the most important and profound “simple” thing I changed in my life was the quality of the water that I drink and shower in now every day. I was so impressed with zazen Water, the product and the company philosophy and mission I joined them!
zazen Water is a Social Business Enterprise focused on co-creating a Wellness generation of children!
Since then, I have not had a flare up. Along with continuing to heal and nourish my gut with healthy raw living foods and supplements and looking after my body.
So how is zazen Water better for Gut Health?
zazen Water is a living water - full of alkaline ionized minerals also found in nature’s spring waters. Water that is good for you is not just H2O! zazen Water is created in the same way Mother Nature creates beautiful natural spring water with all those same wonderful properties found in water taken from fresh mountain springs! I loved the taste and also discovered that for a water to hydrate you at a cellular level it needed particular properties and nasties (toxins and heavy metals) filtered out so that my body was not the filter. zazen Water has all those properties and actually emulates Mother Natures water cycle!
zazen Alkaline Water is designed for Peak Cellular Hydration to help flush toxins from your body, assist with detoxing, cleansing, nourishing and energising every cell in your body, which in turn supports good gut health and the prevention of and recovery from disease and illness.
So the final part of my journey was discovering the right water to drink – discovering that the quality and quantity of the Water that I drank everyday was actually FOUNDATIONAL to everything else I was doing!
How I use zazen Water as the foundation ingredient in making a variety of gut healing “living” foods and drinks
Aside from drinking zazen Water and using my zazen Shower Filter to shower in; I also use zazen Water to cook with, rinse my veggies and as the foundation water in making a variety of gut healing “living” foods and drinks such as Kombucha, Bone Broth, Sauerkraut and Kimchi.
DID YOU KNOW - you CANNOT use Tap Water to create Kombucha and cultivate live cultures! Tap Water has been disinfected with chlorine to kill anything “living” – this ensures of course we don't get diarrhoea or worse – die from polluted drinking water. When the tap water comes into contact with these “living” foods (bacterial like in your gut) & fermented drinks it actually kills the good living beneficial bacteria that makes these fermented foods and drinks so good for us!
Living vs Dead Food – Our choice of living versus dead nutrition actually impacts our GUT and therefore our overall wellbeing and optimum health.
We know (or are told) that raw & wholefoods are highly nutritious, but do you know why? Because they are alive. They contain living enzymes, bacteria (the good kind – because there is also bad bacteria), nutrients and minerals. Eating living food will help support health and longevity.
The same is for water. If you drink a ‘dead’ water*, how is this supposed to support life? You need to drink water that is alive with minerals, oxygen and energy. Ensuring that you have the right quality and quantity of water in your body will also determine how your body assimilates the nutrients in your gut. Poor water quality = contributes to poor gut health = poor assimilation of nutrients & hormonal imbalances = opportunity for illness and chronic disease to take root.
Kombucha is a fermented probiotic drink made from a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) sugar, organic black or green tea and filtered water. While it has some amazing gut health benefits, it is also good for helping to alkalise the body, kick start the metabolism, detox the liver, improve digestion and the list goes on!
Sauerkraut & Kimchi
Sauerkraut or kimchi is made by fermenting cabbage and other vegetables. As the product ferments it created a vast array of live and active bacteria (the good kind). Some reports now indicate that 3 tablespoons of sauerkraut is equal to a bottle of probiotics!
You can make your own at home by cutting up organic cabbage (white and purple) and adding some Himalayan salt. Simply start squeezing the juices out of the cabbage (add zazen Water as required so that the cabbage is fully submerged in liquid) and push it down into a glass jar with a weight on top and let it ferment. The longer it ferments the tangier it will be!
Is one of the most gut healing products you can have. It is made using grass fed & organic bones, veggies, seasoning (Himalayan salt, pepper and/or herbs as you please), apple cider vinegar and filtered water.
You can source organic Bone Broth sachets now and simply add zazen Water or make your own...
Making the above are just a few of the things you can do to improve or maintain your gut health and overall wellbeing.
Above all else Water is your foundation nutrient and not all water is the same. Remember poor water quality = contributes to poor gut health = poor assimilation of nutrients & hormonal imbalances = opportunity for illness and chronic disease to take root.
I would have never believed that simply changing the water that I drink, shower in and cook with daily would have such a profound effect on my Eczema. I am grateful every day that I now understand the true power of “water”; that not all water is the same and the impact that it has on the quality of our modern lives and that I get to share this important message every day with so many others, thank you.