BiotiQuest® Gut Health & Probiotics Blog with Martha Carlin

Your Gut is Your Garden

Martha Carlin | Apr 13, 2021 | 4 minutes read

Each spring the first shoots of green start to emerge, offering hope for a new season of growth and renewal. This is the time we begin to think about planting a garden. Well, your gut microbiome IS a garden, and you are the gardener!

You must nourish your garden well to support your health. I talk to so many people with gut issues these days. How can you feel your best when your gut doesn’t feel quite right?

So let’s talk about your microbiome and how you are tending this precious garden.

We call the microbes that inhabit our bodies, including our gut flora, the human microbiome. There are twice as many bacterial cells as human cells in the body. In fact, most of the DNA in your body is microbial. Our microbiome generally plays a beneficial role synthesizing important nutrients and hormones that are essential for our health. These microbes perform many of the processes involved in digestion of the food we eat and breaking down and removing toxins. The microbiome is essential to our immune system and our mental health.

A garden that is not well tended can get overgrown with weeds. The more you abuse it the more likely that only the hardiest of weeds will grow.


So how can you best prepare your microbiome garden in this time of hope for renewal?

1. Consider your history (antibiotics, gluten & dairy allergies, processed foods, alcohol, etc.) and its impact on the current state of your garden. Are there specifics that you know you need to address from your history?
2. Evaluate your soil! Consider testing your microbiome* to find out where you are starting. Understanding the current state of your gut can be helpful but isn’t absolutely necessary for the common sense steps that apply across the board. You can learn by paying attention to how you feel when you take specific actions.
3. Amend your soil. Many studies have shown that a high fiber diet builds a healthy microbiome. Eat more high fiber foods and add a good quality fiber supplement to your routine. But before you go all out, start small and see how your gut reacts to the additional fiber. If bloating and gas are a problem for you, you may need to do some weeding before adding too much fiber.
4. Plant your seeds, add back good bacteria with the addition of fermented foods and a good quality probiotic like Sugar Shift. Sugar Shift is unique in its ability to shape the terrain by removing the food (glucose) that weeds (eg.Streptococcus) like and feeding a more diverse set of good bacteria.
5. Maintain your gut garden:
  • Eliminate processed foods, preservatives, emulsifiers and ingredients in packaged foods that can kill the good bacteria.
  • Drink only spring or filtered water. Chlorinated tap water will kill your good gut bacteria.
  • Triple wash any fresh greens from the grocery store, recycled water used in agriculture can plant weeds in your garden.
  • Buy your own food, know its source and learn to cook. Food is your fertilizer, know what’s in it.

6. Pay attention, trust your gut notice how you feel and learn from your mistakes.The best gardener is observant and vigilant.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be flourishing in no time.

*use the discount code poopqueen for 20% off at Nirvana Biome, to test your microbiome

With gratitude,


Martha Carlin, is a “Citizen Scientist”, systems thinker, wife of Parkinson’s warrior, John Carlin, and founder of The BioCollective , a microbiome company expanding the reach of science and BiotiQuest, the first of it’s kind probiotic line. Since John’s diagnosis in 2002, Martha began learning the science of agriculture, nutrition, environment, infectious disease, Parkinson’s pathology and much more. In 2014, when the first research was published showing a connection between the gut bacteria and the two phenotypes of Parkinson’s, Martha quit her former career as a business turnaround expert and founded The BioCollective to accelerate the discovery of the impact of gut health on all human disease. Martha was a speaker at the White House 2016 Microbiome Initiative launch, challenging the scientific community to “think in a broader context”. Her systems thinking background and experience has led to collaborations across the scientific spectrum from neuroscience to engineering to infectious disease. She is a respected out of the box problem solver in the microbiome field and brings a unique perspective to helping others understand the connections from the soil to the food to our guts and our brains.

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