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The NOURISHED SOUL
18Oct2017

Transformative Nourishment: 5 Ways To Fix Your Digestion That Have Nothing To Do With Food

We talk about food so much in the health industry. And for very good reason. Good nutrition is crucial for our health and can even act as a potent healing tool.

But what we’re not talking about enough is that nourishment goes far beyond what we put in our mouth.

Nourishment is about the way that we see ourselves. It’s about how we move our bodies. It’s about finding out what we’re most passionate about and giving ourselves permission to pursue that. It’s about allowing ourselves to be exactly who we are without self abuse, constant self correction and self denial.

It’s also as much about how we eat as much as it is what we eat.

So how do we navigate these nourishing waters without it turning into our newest ‘self improvement project?’

Here are 5 Transformative Ways To Fix Your Digestion That Have Nothing To Do With Food:

  1. Sit down to eat.  While it might sound obvious, you wouldn’t believe how often we now eat on the run to accommodate our busy lives.  When we eat, our nervous systems need to be in parasympathetic mode in order to properly digest our food.  This is our “rest and digest” mode.  When we’re on the run or looking at our Facebook account or eating in the car we’re not in rest and digest.  And quite often, if we’re distracted, we’re in “fight or flight” mode.  This is when the sympathetic nervous system is active.  The problem here is that when the sympathetic nervous system is dominating, our digestion effectively shuts down. So sit down to eat.  Better yet, take 3 deep breaths before you take your first bite of food.  Slow down and allow your body to actually digest the food that you’re putting into it.  This can and does make a massive difference in your health.
  2. Allow yourself to be exactly as you are…always.  I like to call this Radical Acceptance.  It’s radical because most of us simply do not exist within this space.  We’re constantly attempting to control our thoughts, our feelings and our reactions.  What’s wrong with that, might you ask? What’s not wrong with that.  Every time we tell ourselves that we’re not enough, or we’re too much or if we could just be better at this or improve that…every time we say we’ll be happy ‘when’ or we’ll be be better ‘if’…we’re essentially telling ourselves that how we are right now isn’t good enough. What does this have to do with your digestion?  Wellllll….when we’re being hypercritical with ourselves our energy becomes contracted.  Clenched. Balled up.  Imagine your digestive system trying to calmly absorb, digest and assimilate food while contracted.  Conversely, when we’re open to everything about ourselves, our lives, our challenges (and perhaps even embrace the notion that our challenges might be the best thing that ever happened to us…even if we can’t see it at this time) our energy becomes expansive.  Expansive energy allows, digests, rests, relaxes and enjoys.
  3. Go for a walk after eating.  This one is kind of obvious but we’ve become a relatively sedentary society.  In fact, after a big meal we tend to want to sit.  Of course, it’s after a big meal where it would be most beneficial to go for a walk (a gentle one) to allow our digestive system to move around and do what it does best…digest our food!
  4. Do some yoga.  Very often in a yoga class, you’ll find yourself doing inversions, twists and simply lying down.  All of these things relax, tone and soothe the digestive system.  Yoga also puts us into parasympathetic mode which, as we’ve already discussed, is the optimal state for digestion and assimilation.
  5. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry.  While this might seem like an obvious one, you wouldn’t believe how many people hold strong to the belief that you need to eat three or four or even five times a day.  This simply isn’t true.  I normally need to eat pretty soon after I wake up in the morning.  But the past few weeks I simply haven’t been hungry.  So I haven’t eaten until lunch.  I drink my water with lemon or I have a fresh pressed juice and that’s it.  My body is clearly detoxing and I’m giving it the space to do just that.  When we force our bodies to eat when they’re not hungry due to some perceived notion of “how we should eat” we can suffer for it.  Listen to your bodies.  They always, always, always know what they need.

While the foods that you put into your body are unarguably important, the other rituals around food are equally important.  They can set the stage for great digestion, detoxification, relaxation and health.

 

 

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