Eastern medicine says that the root of most diseases are related to problems in the digestive tract. Nourishment is anything we ingest that is digested well having no negative side effects. Medicine is anything ingested that enhances digestion, and poison is anything that hinders it. So you can see there is a lot of importance put on digestion.
I am reading an amazing book right now called, ‘Balance your Hormones, Balance your Life…’ By Claudia Welch
It is so fascinating. Here are some highlights on digestion from the book.
1. RELAX: If you are stressed out it is impossible to digest well. Stress hormones prepare you for fight or flight and the blood and energy are not focused on digestion. High Cortisol levels are linked to disease as well. For me, I have had a habit of eating on the fly so I am bringing awareness here and taking time to sit down to eat. Take a moment of gratitude and a deep breath before your meal. Really taste your food as you chew throughly. After your last bite take a deep breath before moving on. Enjoy a few moments of relaxation before cleaning or running off. A completely healthy looking meal can be poison if it does not digest well.
2. AVOID OVEREATING:
Too much of a good thing is poison too. It is best to stop before your belly is completely full. You need space to properly digest. So the perfectly healthy meal can be poison to your body of its not digested well due to overeating or stress. Avoid drinking too much during a meal as too much water makes it hard to digest as well. Wait 30 min before of after meal to drink much.
3. REDUCE MEAT CONSUMPTION AND EAT IT DURING MIDDLE OF THE DAY:
Meat is more difficult to digest so eat it when your digestive fire is the highest during the middle of the day. It is easily measured that our bile production is highest from around noon – 4pm. This means you can digest food more powerfully at this time. So eat your biggest meal or your meat during this time and go for an Earlier Lighter Dinner. If you only changed this one thing and ate the same food, but switched your bigger meal to the middle of the day, you would lose weight. This is more relaxing on your digestive system, helps you sleep better and increases your energy too. I also recommend you eat Organic Meat and Dairy as toxins are concentrated in meat products. The further up the food chain the more toxins delivered.
4. CUT BACK ON SUGAR, ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE:
Too much sugar hinders your metabolic system. It effects your hormones, cravings, insulin, fat storage, and digestion. Some sugars can decrease your bodies insulin sensitivity increasing chances of developing diabetes. In fact, it can hijack your brains hormones wreak havoc on your metabolism. ‘Fat Chance’ is a great book on this. All natural sugars are better than synthetic sugars or artificial sweeteners. I use maple syrup, local honey, fresh juices or fruits for sweeteners. Note on Honey is to cool the food or drink down to warm before adding it as hot can cause it to become slightly toxic. Use in moderation!
Alcohol has lots of sugar too, and though red wine has some health benefits, there are many more drawbacks. It interferes with your estrogen metabolism and taxes the hearth and liver. It increases the acid in the stomach and can cause acid reflux. It has been linked to leaky gut syndrome as well which allows toxins to leak into the stomach and nutrients do not absorb as well. Many people have problems with digestion, acid reflux, ulcers, sleep issues and weight gain that can be healed by cutting back or eliminating alcohol from their system.
If you depend on caffeine for energy consider how it may affect your digestion. Excess caffeine causes your stomach to release more gastric acid increasing chances of stomach irritation and acid reflux. It can also cause GI problems and elimination too quickly so that your body does not absorb all it needs leaving one deficient in electrolytes, potassium and sodium. See Article here for more details.
5. AVOID PROCESSED FOODS and TRANS FATS
Processed foods use substances that the body does not recognize as food and they are harder to breakdown. They may also cause a build up of toxins in the body. Stick to whole foods like fruit, veggies, and organic dairy/meat, and whole grains. Buy organic as much as you can to eliminate pesticides, hormones and antibiotics from your diet.
HABIT CHANGE TIP:
As with all changes you want to make in your life, it works best to pick one thing at a time and take small steps. Reward your achievements and be kind to yourself. Recognize when you have a trigger to eat something unhealthy and replace the behavior with something that will serve your better. Praise yourself when you succeed and see setbacks as learning opportunities.
If you are having problems with digestion or would like a FREE STRATEGY SESSION phone conversation with me to discuss your current health and wellness goals please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love listen deeply to where you are and where you want to go. I would like to help you figure out a plan to map out your vision for life the life you want to live and get your body and mind functioning at their highest potential.