Alright, it’s time to talk about something really important.
Something no one really wants to talk about…
Your digestive health. Why is it so important? Because so many of your body systems are regulated through what is happening in the gut, or by what your gut absorbs, that the health of your digestive tract is central to your health overall. Before we start figuring out how to fix the issues with digestion, what does good digestion even look like? Every day in practice I see a number of people who tell me their digestion is great, but when I ask further questions I find there are a number of things going on, that they just assumed were normal!
What does good digestion actually mean?
Simply – we eat our food, we digest it, and then we eliminate.
Okay, let’s get really descriptive…
We don’t have heartburn or burping. We don’t feel abnormally full or have indigestion after a meal. We don’t get stomach aches, pains, or cramps. We don’t have excessive gas, or bloating. And we don’t have constipation or diarrhea.
What do healthy bowel movements look like?
Healthy bowel movements happen 1-3 times per day, and are well formed, usually a banana shape and size, and easy to pass. We don’t have to strain, they aren’t small hard pieces, and we don’t have urging that sends us running to the bathroom, or stools that are very loose or watery. We don’t see any blood, mucus, or undigested food in those stools either. Go on, have a look next time. As the health of your digestion is central to the health of your body, you should know what’s coming out, as it is the first step to figuring out what needs to be addressed.
One thing to help digestion – be in a state of relaxation.
Make time to sit down at the table for every meal, at a table that is clear and uncluttered. You might even consider lighting some candles, and then try to sit for at least 20 minutes afterward to allow your body to digest. We have to be relaxed (parasympathetic mode, not sympathetic fight or flight mode) in order to physiologically be able to digest, and therefor absorb, properly.
Addressed the basics, but there is still something going on? Watch for more posts to guide you, or consider getting some individualized help or joining a more specific group program. If you haven’t already, make sure you are signed up for emails, and get a free 6 day meal plan, Eating for Happiness, when you sign up.
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