Okey - so I have, as many other people, really bad digestion. I've had trouble throughout my teens and adult life with digesting food, creating good habits to try and work with it - and just actually sticking to it. A lot of us (big city residents or not) lives busy lives where food routines becomes second priority; breakfast often in a rush, lunch will be whatever's in the fridge and sometimes a pint will cover dinner (come on, we've all been there). This is a recipe for making your digestion worse. Often, underlying stress would take over and once the body has had enough - it will let you know. The symptoms are of course different for everybody; feeling bloated, stomach aches, stressed gut, heart burn, hunger gain or loss etc. We end up standing there thinking, "why am I feeling this way?". And unfortunately we get used to not-feeling-so-great pretty quickly.
Every since I was a kid I would have a noisy tummy before I went to sleep. I never knew why. My mom always thought I was hungry and was fighting against eating. That wasn't the case at all, I was just so used to my stomach doing it's thing and didn't really think about it. Later on I would get belly aches after I ate a certain food. I decided to go Vegan after a couple of years being Vegetarian, and the balance in my body got better. I wasn't as bloated as before and I found it easier to digest some food. Being Vegan works well for ME and my lifestyle. But it might not fit everyone, it's everyones choice to explore what works and what doesn't in their own body, in their own way. Keeping in mind that there's pros and cons with everything. My daily routine is me being up early eating a small breakfast, followed by a busy day, always pretty hungry for lunch but are often eating on the go. I normally get home at 10pm-ish, after practice or teaching. I'll be tired, so I end up making a raw sallad, eat it pretty quickly and head straight to bed. For those of you who knows me will know that I go through quite a few coffees throughout the day as well ha! I have just recently really taken control over my routines to really try to make a change in my body. With the help of my Nutritionist and friend Sally I have gained understanding of what my body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Exercise one - notice your habits! What really helped me was to keep a food diary for a week to begin with. Not to count calories!! But to notice where my habits are; What timings do I eat? How many coffees do I actually go through a day? How often do I snack? And what do I snack on? How often do I forget to take my supplements? What's the timings where my energy crash? What is the reason for the crash? etc etc. This will be the first step in understanding what the pattern is like. Once you know - then, you can look into changing it.
As we know, our body goes to resting mode quite quickly when we go to bed. So if you're like me, eating raw food before bed, makes it pretty tough for the body to digest. What happens is that the body will work hard to break it down and don't be able to go in to it's full relaxation mode. It takes way longer for the food to be digested and you can wake up still feeling pretty full due to the food not being digested as smoothly. Sleep is the time the body can undergo repair and detoxification. And if the body is busy trying to digest raw cabbage and kale there won't be a lot of detoxification going on!! Poor sleep patterns are linked to poor health. If you're interested in sleep and what happens during, have a read through this article. It's brilliant.
Here's five fast tips that might steer you to the right direction.
- It all starts in the mouth.
Chewing your food is half the point in eating and a big part of the digestion process. Make sure you chew properly to help your tummy break it down even more.
- Apple Cider Vinegar changed the game.
One table spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a small glass of hot water before every meal. It's enzyme-rich and will stimulate the digestive juices that help your body breakdown food.
- Hot ginger yeessss.
By starting your day with hot ginger and lemon water, will kick your metabolism into high gear and setting yourself up to burn calories and energise your body for the entire day.
- Flaxseeds to get things going.
They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and they contain soluble fiber. This is the type of fiber that helps your digestive processes along. The oils they contain contribute to digestive regularity by lubricating your system. Flaxseed is also commonly used to relieve constipation. So try to have a small glass of soaked flaxseeds and water before bed.
Water is suuuuper important for digestion! We need water to digest solid food and absorb nutrients properly. Without water, the entire body’s performance decreases which can lead to dehydration and decrease blood pressure which can cause constipation.
I am not a nutritionist and this is tips and tricks that I share from my experience. If you have got a lot of digestion issues I highly recommend you to see a nutritionist, work with a plan to reclaim your gut health and find out what changes would be needed for your body.
To keep the body in balance is key. Yoga Asana is one way of creating balance in the body. However there's so much more to it. If we can become a little bit more mindful about our digestion. The rest of the body can focus on all the other important bits. The potential of you is limitless. Only you can take control of your decisions. No one else. You are the one that takes action and that are in control of your own body.
Lots of love!