Think digestion aids and you probably think about probiotics, ginger, and the like—specific foods and nutrition supplements known to help with digestion. Today, let’s look at three digestion boosters that are not nutrition-related. I’ve been well aware of these digestion helpers, but I felt them in action last night and I felt great. I met up with Nicole and we took a short walk to a nearby restaurant. We walked by the ocean and got to bask in the amazing view of the full moon. We go to the restaurant which was buzzing with people. We were talking and got talking about Gone Girl which we saw the night before. We ordered and while we waited, we chatted. Nicole’s roasted Brussels sprouts and my pumpkin soup came. We shared with each other and had a great time. A while later, our entrées came. We savored the meal, still chatting about Gone Girl (it’s a deep move that leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions), listening to the great music in the restaurant. When we were finished, we strolled a bit more, enjoying the fall evening. I felt great and it occurred to me that I was digesting super well. I just felt great. Here’s what was going on:
1. I ate really slowly. Because they brought us our appetizers first, then our entrees later, it fostered a slow approach to eating instead of “wolfing it down”. It occurred to me that I should do this more at home. I’m going to try serving salad first, savoring that, then having the rest of my meal. And consciously eating slowly, savoring each bite, and thoroughly chewing my food. In our busy life, we can often find ourselves eating in a hurry. This puts strain on our digestive systems as they can’t keep up with how fast we are shoveling the food in. Conversely, taking our time allows our digestive systems to do their work on the food we eat.
2. I had great conversation while enjoying great music. When we feel good, our parasympathetic nervous system really hums. This is our digest-and-assimilate nervous system. Eating in a fun, relaxed environment optimizes this state. Eating in a stressful environment, like watching the evening news, can keep you out of this state and hamper digestion. The best move is to eat in a relaxing place with family and friends.
3. I went for a casual stroll after. This works like a gentle massage for our digestive systems. It’s not intense exercise, or anything like it. It’s a walk in the park with family and friends. Some low-key dancing can do the same thing. The gentle movement and gentle blood circulation helps you to work on the food. Make sure to keep it real easy.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.