Thanksgiving ... For A Healthy Digestive System
Did you know that poor digestion makes it harder for the body to develop and maintain good muscle tone?
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the many blessings Life provides, amongst the greatest of which is health; and good health is dependent upon a strong, chi-filled digestive system.
And because food is a prime focus of the Thanksgiving celebration, I thought it would be useful to offer some ideas about healthy eating that satisfy the tongue without sacrificing the stomach.
These tips will also help you improve the strength and overall health of your digestion throughout the rest of the year ... and the rest of your life.
Late Autumn Night
Cold, wet and soggy —
Pregnant darkness hangs waiting,
Moon rises slowly.
Be mindful as you eat. To be mindful while eating is simply being aware of how you feel, and noticing as you eat when you start to feel full. A good ‘starting point’ is to ask yourself at the beginning of the meal: “How do I want to feel when I finish eating”? If you answer to yourself: “satisfied, not stuffed and not feeling like taking a nap,” then as you’re eating, be aware of the imaginary dialogue between your tongue and stomach; where the tongue says: “Yes, give me more, it’s delicious! While the stomach says: “Eat slower so I have time to digest.”
If you want a healthy digestive system, and a slimmer waist, pay more attention to what your stomach tells you.
Chew well, eat slowly, enjoy the taste. Did you know that chewing is the first step in the digestion process? And the more you chew your food, the easier it is for your stomach to break it down further so that it’s easily absorbed into the small intestine, from where nourishment gets distributed to the rest of your body.
If you don’t chew well, your meals don’t get digested properly, and that’s generally the point where digestive problems begin. By chewing more, you’re automatically eating slower, which gives your stomach the opportunity to ‘feel full’ so you don’t overeat.
Wait to lose weight. Eating has its own momentum: The tongue enjoys the pleasure of taste, while the stomach and small intestine need time to digest and nourish the body. If you eat too fast, your digestive system doesn’t get a chance to let you know when you’ve eaten enough. When we don’t give the digestive system time to send this message - before going back for ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds’ - we ‘stuff’ ourselves. Then we not only feel uncomfortable, we’re also faced with a choice that the tongue didn’t tell us about: either start exercising to burn those excess calories, or be prepared to gain some unwanted weight.
Take a Walk. Whether you’ve eaten too much, or just the right amount, instead of sitting around after you’ve finished eating, grab one, two, three or more of your fellow celebrants and go outside and take a walk for about 15 minutes. You’ll not only feel good by giving your digestive system a boost ... you’ll also have room for ‘a little’ dessert.
Remember: While the Tongue is shouting with delight, the Stomach is saying: “Let’s go ‘lite.’”