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Realistic Optimism at a Crossroads RE: Digestive Health

Realistic Optimism

Meaningful change is achieved through mindfulness and co-creative efforts. Corporate Leadership Coach Andrzej Smiech argues there isn’t a need to choose the dichotomous optimistic or pessimistic perspective. Through a realistic optimist lens, the negative aspects of a situation are not ignored. A realistic optimist accounts for all circumstances and proceeds from a place of hope. Smiech defines realistic optimist as:

[Realistic optimism is] the ability to balance out negative and positive things in

situations, circumstances and people. It is the courage to explore opportunities, where

others are blocked by risk and failure, with the belief that the future will be better than

the past. (


There are negative conditions that have created the need for gut healing, but an exploration of the opportunities that exist to re-balance the gut and have digestive health allows a positive/additive approach to healing - rather than a negative/restrictive one.

Discovering the conditions that have led to pervasive unwellness could lead to anger and sadness regarding the systems of the collective. Consideration of how large and intertwined the collective systems are, thus how difficult they are to change, can lead to apathy. Staying stuck in anger, sadness and apathy are the opposite of what the body needs to promote healing. The intention is that through the discovery of how the body can be detoxed, the gut lining can be healed, and implementation of holistic lifestyle changes can create improved long term wellness - not only hope for a better future, but embodied change occurs.


Western diet, lifestyle and pollutants are contributing to increased non-infectious degenerative diseases:

Over the course of 6–8 generations, but especially in the last 2–3 generations, there has

been an epidemic of obesity and non-infectious degenerative diseases known as

“civilization diseases”. While infectious agents were the major causes of disease at the

beginning of the 20th century, infectious diseases were replaced by type 2 diabetes

mellitus (T2DM) and diabetic complications, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer

as major causes of death by the 21st century. At present, westernized populations are

plagued by a plethora of chronic degenerative diseases, including obesity, T2DM,

atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, autoimmune diseases, essential

hypertension, cancer, osteoporosis and other more, and the number of these diseases

is also rapidly increasing in developing countries.


Western diet and lifestyle are linked to metabolic syndrome (metabolism is the way the body accesses or makes energy from food). Furthermore, toxic load is impacting the general, and reproductive, health of humanity:

  1. Widespread exposure to toxic environmental chemicals threatens healthy human reproduction. Industrial chemicals are used and discarded in every aspect of daily life and are ubiquitous in food, water, air, and consumer products. Exposure to environmental chemicals and metals permeates all parts of life across the globe. Toxic chemicals enter the environment through food and energy production, industrial emissions and accidents, waste, transportation, and the making, use, and disposal of consumer and personal care products.

  2. Rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes are increasing (…) These trends have occurred in a timeframe inconsistent with a much slower pace of changes in the human genome, indicating that the environment has shaped these disease patterns.

  3. Healthy food is powerful medicine. Policies and practices among patients, healthcare providers and institutions, and societies that foster a healthy food chain should be encouraged.

  4. Health professionals should actively engage in partnerships within their communities and nations, and across the globe to advance policies that effectively prevent exposure to toxic chemicals.

  5. Professionals should learn about the toxic chemicals and other harmful environmental exposures common in patients' communities and workplaces. (...) Health professionals who practice in high- and low-income countries should recognize that segments of their patient population likely bear a disproportionate burden of exposure to toxic chemicals, and they should champion policies and practices that secure environmental justice on a global scale.

Humanity has made great strides in decreasing infectious disease and child mortality. By reversing non-communicable disease rates, humanity could achieve status as the healthiest in human history. Addressing environmental toxicity, diet and lifestyle are paramount to making this shift. Earth and the human body are designed to heal. Repare, restoration and regeneration are built into the cellular process. A concerted effort to limit exposure to toxicity, detox the body, and modify diet and lifestyle choices can offer the body the support it needs for its intrinsic healing mechanisms to rebalance from disease and maintain homeostasis with more ease in the future.

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