You may have heard that “you are what you eat” … closer to the truth is that “you are what you absorb”. While a lot of people think passing gas is a SIGN of extreme vitality and wellness I look at it different and as I work with a client’s digestion the toots decrease as wellness increases! Sometimes it isn’t the type of food that is eaten but it is the order it is eaten in (always eat fruit first for example), how it’s prepared (raw isn’t best for everyone especially vatas in ayurvedic medicine) and/or how stressed the person is. Here are some practical tips that increase what you get from your food. A lot of these suggestions are based on the fact that we digest better when we are relaxed and in the parasympathetic nervous system (as opposed to the fight-flight-freeze sympathetic nervous system).
Note for parents: ok, if you have little ones you may be looking at this list and be laughing (other option crying!) as some of this may seem like only a non-family scenario possibility but it’s not like you have to do them all and just bring curiousity to this and see what you CAN do - this can be a time of nourishing and connecting to your body and yourself (even for a wee time) and will benefit everyones digestion and mood. AND digestive enzymes can be another support if your digestion is off after trying what you can of these - we carry Digest Plus and Biogest at the office . (-:
Eat in a quiet, settled, comfortable environment. Lighting a candle at a family meal is magic!
Take a moment before eating to give thanks.
Never eat when you’re upset.
Always sit down to eat.
Minimize ice cold foods and beverages. Digestion happens at an optimal temperature and just like putting something in the fridge decreases it’s breakdown the same thing happens when we have super cold foods - breakdown (which we want) can be deceased.
Finish chewing and swallowing what is in your mouth before taking another bite. Eat at a comfortable pace: stay conscious of the process.
Have a tsp of something bitter before you eat to get the digestive juices going like Swedish bitters or Apple Cider Vinegar.
See if you have a tendency to overeat. Try stopping eating before you feel full and see how you feel.
Eat freshly prepared foods. Lightly cooked foods are preferable to raw or over cooked food.
Include all six tastes during the day.
Sit quietly for a few minutes after finishing your meal. Take a wee bit to focus your attention on the sensations in your body. Basically be present for a moment and savour the goodness of the meal before off to the next thing. Lingering in enjoyable conversation and laughs is very good for digestion!
Go for a short walk to aid in digestion after your meals.