4 tips to help your gut be happier 😊 that have nothing to do with food!
Why your gut health matters:
It drives everything! Rather watch a video?
Mood, nutrient absorption, weight (even though I don’t focus on weight loss as a first line of defence in my coaching, the GLOBAL WOMAN CONVERSATION is about weight), immunity, and B vitamins. The gut seems to drive everything, even your skin!
We talk about gut health in terms of what to eat (fibre, fibre, fibre) and what not to eat.
What about a chat giving some ways to help your gut WITHOUT FOOD?
Here are 4 tips to help your gut be happier 😊 that have nothing to do with food!
But first a little nerd trivia:
Gastrointestinal supplement sales reached $2.96 billion in 2018, and are projected by Nutrition Business journal to reach $3.98 billion by 2021. (1)
This says a LOT about the health of our collective guts! It also says a lot about how we love to BUY things to QUICKLY AND EASILY reach a “better” health status. Don’t get me wrong, I do cycles of probiotics, and feed myself prebiotic food. There’s more to gut health than capsules and kale.
Over in my home, we aren’t just interested in our own microbiome. My daughter works in a health food store for pets, and owners are balancing their dog and cat guts, as a way to prevent future disease, help their pets live long, and prevent big vet bills! Fascinating!!
Ok, 4 EASY & FREE tips to help your gut, finally!
Stress is everywhere isnt it? We can’t avoid it. Our bodies REACT to the notifications on our phone, or bad news, even bad days, and too many “to do’s” on our lists. The response is this:
A tiger is chasing me and I am in danger.
You’ve heard of it, the fight or flight response.
This affects our digestion, because when we are stressed, the brain will STOP proper digestion. We are what we absorb, not just what we eat.
Let’s face it, when we are relaxed, we enjoy food and the company we keep MORE. NO? The last time you had a dinner with friends or a loved one, and you thought about the pile of work you had to do, or had guilt about doing something for yourself, were you all zen?
Probably not. Not at first anyways,
One way to help reframe your stress is to decipher what you can control vs. what you can’t. Stress affects so much in our bodies from nutrient absorption to bone density. We need to keep our bones dense in menopause and post menopause!!!
You are building your pre-meno bone health for when those hormones change, right?
When something threatens you, BREATHE (thats the next tip), and try to think of it in a different tone. Look for the lesson in what is happening to you. Tell yourself that this is temporary, you can get through this. Find someone supportive. Change your surroundings or put on music to change your state. Stress affects our hormones, sleep, relationships, happiness and well being. You can’t get away from stress, but you can look at it in a different light.
Using breathing techniques WILL HELP YOUR GUT HEALTH!
It calms the nervous system and let’s us get into REST AND DIGEST mode. This activates our parasympathetic nervous system. It also is a part of a MINDFUL EATING practice, as it helps us be in the NOW with our food, and not mindlessly gobbling, thinking about what happened before your meal, or what is happening after.
Breathing techniques & mindful meditation, even for a few minutes, may help increase your SELF REGULATION MUSCLE AROUND FOOD. In the Mindful Eating Miniseries I created, I give you tools to help you reframe that ALL OR NOTHING mentality. I share a breathing exercise that is simple, and got me on the road to a calmer nervous system. A calmer nervous system helps us digest and absorb!
Eating healthy food is only half the story of good nutrition. Being in the ideal state to digest and assimilate is the other half – Marc David, author of the Slow Down Diet and founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Optimize your SPIT.
Sounds a little wonky? I assure you, optimizing your spit, your salivary flow is NOT wonky.
Make sure you have optimal saliva! As we age, our salivary glands decrease their function. They also decrease function through the night. We need the glands to pump out spit. Your saliva contains salivary enzymes to get that digestion started in your mouth. The mouth is the beginning of the gut!
When you pause before you eat, and take in the smells and sights of your food, you will notice SALIVA FLOWING. This is your digestion getting ready to do it’s job for you! Pausing, before your meal, which is part of Mindful Eating helps you begin the digestion process. It also makes it easier to swallow your food.
My next tip, about chewing properly and slowing the eating, NEEDS some saliva to truly work.
Although I’ve said that Mindful Eating is so much more than eating slower, slowness IS a component of that practice and an IMPORTANT one. When we slow down and chew, we gulp less air. This can lead to less discomfort, bloating and TOOTS.
Bloating and passing gas, farting, whatever you call it, has some toddler funnies, but can be embarrassing, and physically uncomfortable, as well as socially awkward. Chewing properly is part of TASTING your food, pulverizing it so nutrients can be absorbed. When we truly taste what we eat, we can be more satisfied.
Isn’t that what life should be all about, ESPECIALLY in menopause? This is a stressful time for many of us, sandwiched between kids, career and care of parents. We deserve, YOU deserve to take care of yourself, your gut and your happiness.
After all, it is YOUR turn.
Be well, and Happy,
Sloan, A. Elizabeth, and Catherine Adams Hutt. “Getting Ahead of the Curve: Digestive Health (Gen 2): The microbiome and prebiotics have gained mainstream attention.” Nutraceuticals World, May 2019, p. 18+. Gale Academic Onefile.