Calming the Digestive Storms (Part 1 of 3)
Is there anything more uncomfortable than digestive issues? Diarrhea, constipation, IBS, pain in your belly, gas, bloating, heartburn, colitis, acid reflux… if you’ve ever suffered these issues, then you know how distressing it can be sitting down to a meal anticipating how terrible you might feel afterward. Certain foods might create a perfect storm in your belly.
What’s more, sometimes we take steps to improve digestive issues such as IBS, only to find they’re making matters worse. How do you know what’s going to help and what’s going to hurt? Finding a solution that works for you may seem a little tricky. What works for your best friend might not be the right remedy for you. When I work with my clients, we take into account their bio-individuality and look for the root cause of their digestive issues. Then we can take steps to calm their digestive storms and bring their digestion back into normalcy.
Over the next few weeks I want to introduce you to some of the steps you can take to improve your digestion so that you can enjoy your meals again and feel energetic afterward.
Today is Part 1 of a three part series I’m sharing with you. Take a look at these three simple steps below and consider exploring how they might benefit you.
1. Ditch the processed food. Here’s the thing: Digestion is a really big job. It requires more energy than any other bodily process, so let’s do our part to help the body out and not create extra work for the digestive system! One way to make digestion easier is to eliminate processed food. Anything that comes from a package, box, or bag and has a long shelf life is going to be difficult to digest. Why? Because the body uses more energy to digest these foods than it gets in return. Think of it this way: processed foods are stealing energy and nutrients from the body instead of replenishing them. Replace processed foods with more whole foods for better digestion and more energy.
2. Count your chews. When we are in a hurry we have a tendency to bite our food and gulp it down without chewing. This is what I call the “bite and swallow syndrome.” If we’re not chewing our food, then we are not absorbing the nutrients from it. There are beneficial enzymes in our saliva that mix with our food to help it digest. Think about it: when was the last time you chewed your food until it was entirely soft? Practice doing this with your next meal. Take a bite and chew 20-30 times or until that bite is liquid, then swallow. When we practice counting our chews we give ourselves a chance to slow down, to practice being present, and literally get the most out of our meal.
3. Get some probiotics. Did you know there are as many as 100 trillion bacteria living in and on your body? While that may sound creepy, it’s actually a good thing! Many of these bacteria are beneficial (often referred to as probiotics). They reside in our gut and help us out by boosting our immune system so that we can fight infections, reducing inflammation so that we might prevent disease, and helping heal leaky gut so that we might avoid developing autoimmune conditions. In other words, these microscopic little bugs are our friends and we want to increase these beneficial bacteria by consuming probiotic-rich foods. Some examples of probiotic foods are raw sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and cultured coconut water.
Take the next step: Pick one of these tips and put it into practice this week. Keep a daily journal to track how you feel before and after implementing the change. Then reach out to me and tell me what worked or what didn’t. I want to hear from you!
Stay tuned for the next post where we will explore three more tips to help tame your digestion.
Calming The Digestive Storms (Part 1)