Never assume you know what is happening because as soon as you do, some new information will come to light that changes what you know.

The news this week is that we have a new organ in our body. Now despite what you may think about conventional or alternative medicine, I think most of us could agree that anatomy is anatomy. How many cadavers have been dissected in the name of research to determine exactly what makes up the human body?

Okay, so they did get the whole bacteria thing wrong for years but in terms of the body, a body part should be a known thing, by now, right?

Well, the anatomy books are being re-written (literally) with the determination that there is a new organ called the mesentery. It twists around the gut and helps anchor the small intestines and large intestines to the abdomen so that it stays in place.

Previously, it was thought to be a number of distinct membranes but now it has been determined that it is one continuous organ.  Leonardo Da Vinci knew about back in the 15th century but no one paid any attention to him.

Whether it belongs to the intestinal, immune, circulatory or the endocrine system has to be determined.  More importantly, researchers will now try to figure out what role the mesentery plays with intestinal diseases.

The adventure of life never ends.

Which brings me to my next discovery. I hope you all had a good holiday. I did for the most part but I had this crampy feeling for a number of days and a somewhat sharp pain on the right of my abdomen. I have this from time to time and every time I think I have the solution, it comes back. My last idea was that bone broth was the answer but over the holidays it did not seem to help.

Now if I posted this in any forum where holistic nutritionists post scenarios like this, I would have received helpful suggestions about removing gluten or dairy or grains or night shades or high histamine foods or whatever other foods are being blamed for issues.

But, as it turns out, it was olive oil, something I am sure no one would have suggested. I do not consume a lot of olive oil – I do love it – but I usually use it when sautéing or making a dressing. But over the holidays, I was consuming large amounts of orange salad which has olive oil drizzled all over it.

My gut does not like polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils that are, shall we say, not at their best. They do not have to be rancid for this to cause me a problem, just not as ideal as they could be.

The olive oil I was using had been open for a month and let’s just say that people in my house like to use and abuse the bottle, leaving the lid off, keeping it near the stove and generally do not respecting the process of keeping the oil in it’s best condition. Normally, it does not last long but for some reason, this bottle has been around much longer than normal.

My gut also does not like nuts and nut flours that are not the freshest so I am have to be careful about what I buy.

And I knew all this – I just did not think of it. Instead, I tried every healing supplement and food that any one might ever recommend, which of course, did not work.

With this story in mind, I would like to suggest, that for 2017, we all stop assuming. Stop listening to what other people are saying about anything and approach each situation and each person or client with an open mind.

There are too many people out there, working very hard to convince us that they have all the answers. But what the discovery of the mesentery tells us, is that no one knows every thing and that everything, even our understanding of the human body, evolves.

The recent research on gut bacteria has certainly taught us this in ways we could not imagine just a few years ago.

This may seem like a daunting task. We all know it is much easier to blame gluten for everything – bloating, car accidents, hurricanes – when in doubt, blame gluten or dairy or soy or any other poor food, minding its own business just being a food.

But does this help anyone? If I had seen a health care professional, conventional or alternative, I would not have found an answer to my problem. Only I could have figured it out and that is what we all need to do – gain information and through trial and error, figure it out. Because it is better to know the truth than to assume.

If we have clients, this is how we must work with them. Listen to them, help them analyze what they do and give them the knowledge and confidence to trust what their instincts tell them is true, even when no one else has thought of it. Our job is to help them figure things out. After all, we are all different and what gut research has shown is that we all react differently and develop different conditions as a result.

I think 2017 is just the beginning of a new understanding of how we work. This will unfold gradually in the years to come so let’s embrace this and stay open to all possibilities. I think we may find this works very well.

And for your enjoyment, try these delicious muffins. Extremely light, moist and flourless.