If you're feeling like poo this week, boy do I have some facts for you!


Congrats, you’re in a relationship

Your body is a breeding ground for bacteria and micro-organisms, and that’s a good thing. Our existence is largely attributable by a mutually-beneficial pact our ancestors entered into with ancient bacteria. We agree to harbour trillions of them in our gut, and in return, they keep us alive. You might be surprised to learn that you have more bacteria inside you than cells. Most of them are good for you, and they live in something called the gut microbiome in your digestive system. They’re the ones doing the thankless task of breaking your food down into nutrients your body can use.

Bacteria is all about that gang life

These good bacteria don’t just stop there. They need you to live long and prosper (because you’re providing a nice warm home) so they’ll also deploy troops to fight bad bacteria on your behalf. It’s a bit like the Bloods vs Crips. You need the mandem occupying as much space on the block as possible so the opps don’t have room to pop up and catch you slipping.

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Be grateful for the fallen soldiers

In fact, up to 80% of your poo (excluding water) is the bacteria that devoted its existence to fighting spicy Indian food and kebabs after nights out, converting whatever it could into things that would keep you going. There’s about 100 billion of them per gram of poo. A moment of silence for the fallen soldiers. 1 share of this newsletter = 1 respect.

Watch what you eat

This was probably the least appetising segue to explain that I’ve decided to start taking more care with what I’m eating. I could go into this in-depth but this isn’t a biology lesson. The point is, eat good stuff, make more good bacteria. Eat bad stuff, bad things can happen - including Crohn’s, IBS, and Coeliac disease (responsible for many gluten intolerances). You should also be wary of what you consume from plastics. A small study showed that up to 9 different types of plastic can show up in your poo as a result of what you consume. At the risk of sounding like an ethnic auntie Whatsapp chain-message, I’ll leave things there for today.

But seriously, while most of us are stuck at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s never been a better time to start taking more care with what you eat.

Let me know if your diet’s fallen off a cliff since being cooped up indoors, or if you’re flourishing!

 A traffic on the street in Accra: A photo by David Elikwu
Photo: by David Elikwu, in Accra

This week on The Knowledge

The podcast is back and even better! Every week I’ll be speaking to incredible people about big ideas and pressing issues. This week I’m chatting with Lawyer and Digital content creator Jasmine Boadi. It’s a double-bill, because she’s amazing.

In the first episode, we’re talking all about food conspiracies and pseudo-veganism.

In the second, we discuss faith, science and positive vibes.

You can listen to both episodes now on ‘The Knowledge’ wherever you listen to podcasts!

Reading list

Books I’ve read/seen/will impulsively buy and add to my “to read” shelf on Goodreads:

  1. Gravitas by Caroline Goyder - impulsively bought. A really solid read on speaking and presence.
  2. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K Rowling - impulsively bought. Reading this made my week. I’m just waiting until enough people have read it that I can start yammering on about how great it is.
  3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - impulsively bought. The author’s name is very Harry-Potter-ish but this is an intriguing classic taking place in future ‘Utopia’.

Things I’m loving

Audio and Video:

  • The Knowledge - Another gratuitous self-plug? Ugh, so crass. However, Jasmine was an amazing guest so you should definitely check out the episode.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (series) is what’s currently keeping me on Disney+.

Apps:

  • Audible - because that’s the only reason I’ve managed to read 4 books this week. Personally, I think it’s the bee’s knees. Try it for 30 days and see how you find it - with that link you’ll also get a free book!
  • Daily inventory / Mental health tracker - this is coming in particularly handy during self-isolation. It helps you keep a daily inventory of how well you’re sleeping, eating, exercising, working and more, so you’ll know in advance when you’re heading towards a rut. You’ll get scores and charts based on your responses, and there’s now a daily journaling function as well!

Let me know if you have any suggestions for next week. Feedback is welcome too! Email me or drop me a tweet here.

Until next time!!

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