Wanna digest your food? Absorb all those nutrients you work so hard to get? Avoid constipation or the hershey squirts? Prevent pH imbalances, heartburn, hiccups, and bad breath?
WELL LISTEN UP.
I once made reference to eating your food in a parasympathetic (rest & digest) state, rather than a sympathetic (fight or flight) state. By using all of your senses and paying attention to your food, you too, can take control of your gut.
FIGHT OR FLIGHT
When we are in a sympathetic nervous system state, we are in our instinctually human nature of preparing to defend ourselves or run away from danger. We are animals afterall. We put ourselves in this state when we are driving, arguing, stressed out, studying, watching TV, or playing croquet. The sympathetic nervous state puts us on alert: eyes dilate, heart rate and respiration increases, blood vessels constrict, perspiration, goosebumps, and increased blood pressure to name a few. Moreover, gut motility and urinary output are put on HOLD. So when you are not paying attention to your food, you are not digesting! Why even eat then?
Point being- stop eating fast food. Hold your darn horses. Wait til you're hungry and take your time. PLEASE, don't eat and drive. There will be consequences.
REST & DIGEST
When we are in a parasympathetic state, the more likely our bellies will function happily. Gastrin is a hormone that tonifies organ musculature and secretes HCl (acid needed in stomach) and digestive enzymes. Without proper stimulation and release of gastrin, many unpleasant symptoms can arise such as stool irregularities or reverse digestion... yeah.
SO HOW DO YOU STIMULATE GASTRIN????
- Think about your food
- Say a prayer. Give thanks to your food, to who picked or produced it, to whom made it possible that you are eating it. This 30 sec-1min allows your body to know that it is time to release necessary enzymes.
- Take 5-10 deep belly breaths before your first bite.
- SMELL your food
- CHEW YOUR FOOD - each bite should be chewed 31x until it is a nice, creamy paste. mmm. This is called fletcherization. FLETCHERIZE to health.
- Take time to SIT and eat your food. LOOK at your food. No TV, reading, or dramatic fighting roommates.
A few other tips about eating:
- Only light snacks after 8pm
- Avoid excess and icy water during meals
- Drink 2 liters of water in between meals
- Simplify meals
- Don't overeat.
- "Eat Breakfast like a queen, Lunch like a princess, and Dinner like a Pauper."
- REMEMBER THIS SAYING "Eat breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, and dinner like a pauper"