My holiday season kicked off with a bang this week. My family enjoyed an amazing meal with good family friends, my older son returned from college and we spent quality time on a very wet hike on Thanksgiving day. Most of our Thanksgiving meal was lovingly prepared by my friend’s step dad and while it was incredibly yummy, I was beyond stuffed when we finished eating. With all the parties and merriment on the horizon, my goal for the rest of the holiday season is to remember these tips for good digestion that I have adapted from my nutrition program at the Wellspring School of Healing Arts.
- Avoid eating while angry, under stress, or with people you don’t like. Your food will not digest properly if you are angry or upset because your body is stuck in the flight or fight mode. Enjoying your food and being content when you eat allows our bodies to focus on digestion- not be distracted by negative emotions.
- Eat slowly and Chew your food well! Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with the enzyme salivary amylase or ptyalin. Challenge yourself to make a habit of chewing your food until it is all one consistency.
- Practice eating mindfully. Sit down, turn off the T.V, put down your book and avoid unpleasant conversation.
- Eat a variety, Eat Simply. This is not a contradiction. Eat lots of different varieties of food over a day or week, but make each of your meals simple and avoid complex combinations of foods within the meal itself.
- Eat until you are satiated, not until you’re full.
- When possible eat an early dinner, by 7 is ideal. Your body is less capable of digesting heavy or complex meals later in the day.
- The digestive process needs warmth, too much raw, cold, frozen foods or iced drinks will dampen the digestive fire.
- Give thanks for your food and the people who grew, harvested and prepared it. Prepare food with love and consciousness for yourself and your family.