- Do you wake up in the morning with a flat belly but by evening time you could pass for four months pregnant?
- Are you having trouble with mood swings and sustaining energy levels?
- Are you frequently constipated, have diarrhea, gas or tummy ache?
- Do you notice an increasing amount of headaches, sore throats, nasal drip and an inflamed sore body?
- Are you starting to dread choosing what to eat as you never know what will bring you pain?
If this sounds like you then the remedy could be way simpler than you imagine. You may have tried digestive enzymes, going gluten and dairy free and attempted to get more sleep, but none of these gave relief for long. Here I provide 4 solutions for you to try. Experiment with it…don’t tell yourself you have to adopt these changes for ever…only do that if they work for you!
Try these steps. Try one a week, making sure you apply it to as many meals as possible. In this way you will get a true evaluation of beneficial effects for you and know whether to continue. Regain your sense of pleasure with food, a flatter tummy, and heaps more energy.
1 - Careful what you are drinking with your meals.
- Firstly say no no to alcohol and caffeine as they will only irritate the lining of the digestive system.
- Drink only water spacing it at least 20 minutes before a meal and at least 20 minutes after. Extra fluids at mealtimes will dilute your digestive juices making them much less effective.
- If you drink with meals, make it sips, being kind to digestive juice!
2 – Calm down before you eat.
We often squeeze meals in between errands or eat when we are still feeling rushed, angry or upset with someone. When there is stress, the body does not focus on digestion, so you get a poor result which could mean that you don’t absorb all the potential nutrients that were available.
Calm down before eating by taking 5 long slow deep conscious breaths all the way out and in of your abdomen. This will relax your mind and your internal organs, giving more space for receiving the goodness in you food. Chances are the food will taste better as well!
3 - Mindful Chewy Eating!
- Can you remove all distractions from eating? This is often the most challenging step for many women. It means closing the laptop lid, turning off the TV, putting down books and magazines, pausing the podcast, turning off the radio and definitely pulling over if you are driving. If you’re eating with the kids then how about sitting and eating rather than getting up down up down to meet everyone else’s needs? If you have younger kids then can you feed them first and take ten whole minutes for your own meal afterwards, or while they are napping?
- Now you have way more focus to count the number of chews you take. Notice first and then increase to 20. For some foods you can even get up to 40! Digestion starts in the mouth where digestive enzymes are released to start breaking foods down into the nutrients your body can use. Chewing more breaks the foods into smaller pieces, so when it gets to your stomach, the acid and enzymes it encounters there can do their job much more easily.
4 – Finish eating 3 hours before bedtime.
If you have your dinner 3 hours before sleeping then you shouldn’t be hungry at bedtime. Eating close to bedtime is linked to reflux which can increase your risk for esophageal cancer. Digesting late at night diverts your body from other essential repair processes such as liver detox and adrenal recovery that are innately scheduled for sleep time!
If you are hungry at bedtime then try a protein based snack such as a hot cocoa made with protein powder, or a few nuts with yogurt. When you’re tired you can and will crave carbs – don’t be fooled; it’s just a craving. Protein will save you every time!
5 – If none of this helps you, then it’s time to try:
We have covered the real basics of how to eat for a healthy digestion. If you really have tried each of these for a week and for no results, then use the Lazy Girls Guide to Detoxing, to once and for all identify which food is causing you bother. There are many other strategies that could help too, such as a balanced diet, apple cider vinegar, stress reduction, probiotics, movement, yoga, glutamine supplements and anti-inflammatory foods. Enabling the support of a Health and Nutrition Coach really cuts the angst of trying to demystify what your body is trying to tell you, and supports you to discover the surest path of practical remedies for a happy, healthy body and mind.
This article is not meant to replace the advice of your medical doctor where appropriate. These strategies could help relieve symptoms of IBS but are not meant as an alternative to any medical advice you have received. If you have severe discomfort, prolonged constipation, diarrhea or pain, or blood in you stool then please seek medical advice immediately.
Yogasync Me! A Yoga Class for a happy tummy: