In case you haven’t realized, we’re all about good digestion. How well your “inner tube” operates will make or break how you feel.
Is food sitting somewhere in your digestive stratosphere leaving you feeling full yet hungry? Do you often get that bloated feeling after eating? What about heartburn? Are you not going to the (ahem) bathroom enough?
If you’re not absorbing nutrients and are accumulating waste (think constipation), this can lead to toxic build up, weight gain and low energy. Do the words metabolic breakdown mean anything to you?
Let’s get your metabolism out of the gutter by upgrading your digestion. See if you have any of the following habits that you can begin to break . . . today:
- Multi-tasking while eating: Do you hold the plate in your left hand while your right hand: drives, holds the phone, surfs the internet, pays the bills – you know who you are 🙂 This habit typically leads to overeating, mindless eating, and most importantly, lack of proper chewing. Well-chewed food glides easily through the esophagus and into the stomach. There is no question that the longer you chew, the easier digestion is on the rest of your body. We are all for saving time and certainly do our share of multitasking, but for one week, make it a goal to only eat while eating.
- Forgetting the fiber. Fiber plays a crucial role in moving your bowels along, absorbing toxins and cleaning your colon. Aim to get at least 25 grams of fiber each day primarily from natural sources (not “fiber added” processed food). Want to see what a day with enough fiber looks like? Check it out here. One note – if you have more severe digestive issues (such as Crohns or Colitis) , you may not be able to digest fiber as well, so speak to your healthcare practitioner about that before upping your fiber.
- Drinking too much with a meal. If you follow our Facebook page or read our newsletters, you know that we stress the importance of staying hydrated. However, there is a time and a place for everything and the best time to drink water is not right before or during a meal. Drinking too much water can dilute your digestive juices necessary to break down your food. In addition, drinking super cold water also slows down digestion. Not only is it a shock to your 98.6 degree body, but think about what happens to food (particularly fat) when you put it in the fridge – it firms up and is harder to digest. So keep drinking: when you wake up, after exercising, in between meals, just not too much during your meals.
- Overeating or eating too fast. Overeating is extremely rough on your digestive system. It requires the body to use a lot of energy to break down the food, forces the body to use up too many nutrients all at once and adds stress on the system. It’s no myth that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is actually full. Just think about the excess calories you can take in during a 20-minute time period. This is especially dangerous when you eat too quickly. Only eat until you are three-quarters full. It’s okay to walk away a bit hungry than a bit too stuffed!
- Eating too many processed foods. Not only do processed foods lack fiber, but they are often loaded with preservatives and chemicals, making it more difficult for your body to extract the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat in an efficient manner. Processed foods also lack enzymes found in whole fresh foods, which aid the digestive process. Sticking to a clean diet of whole natural foods, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, is an excellent way to enhance the digestive process. Here’s a great way to get started.
Let us know – do you recognize any of these habits in yourself?
Jane and Stephanie help women over 50 create sustainable healthy eating habits so they can feel empowered heading into retirement.Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.