In today’s fast paced society, it can seem hard to prioritize actually sitting down to enjoy our food. We often rush through meals without paying attention to the reason why we eat in the first place. Even if you are conscious about the foods you put into your body, it is also important to enjoy them.
1. Eat to nourish your body: This simply means putting high quality foods into your body. This is the first step to help your digestive function. The more natural and less processed a food is, the better it is for your body. With anything that you are eating, sit and ask yourself, how processed is this? How far did it come from being picked out of the ground, or from an animal?
As a rule of thumb, items with LESS ingredients will usually be better. When it comes to the morning, think high quality proteins and fats, even if just a yogurt smoothie, some hard boiled eggs or raw cheese and butter on sprouted whole grain toast. I like to enjoy raw whole milk as a snack throughout the day. Mid-day eating, think raw cheese and hard boiled eggs. Tuna salads, crispy nuts and sliced meat sandwiches made with sprouted whole grain breads. Dinner, order simple foods as steak or fish. All of these suggestions are items that contain one, or very few ingredients. Above all, AVOID vegetable oils because they are very hard to digest. Switch to real butter, instead of margarine. Bonus points, if it’s raw butter.
2. Relax. In today’s busy world, few people take the time to really enjoy eating. It’s common to skip meals, eat lunch on the run, pop in convenient prepackaged dinners in the microwave. Eating under stress or a in a hurry inhibits the production of hydrochloric acid and enzymes necessary for proper digestion. Do your best to avoid eating when under stress. Wait instead until you can take the time to eat and enjoy it.
3. Slow down and chew: chewing your food thoroughly begins the digestive process. The smaller the particles of food swallowed, the better it will be broken down in the stomach, and the larger the surface area for nutrient absorption in the small intestines. As you start to relax and enjoy your food, really focus on completely breaking it down before swallowing. Bonus points if you pause before taking another bite, and don’t forget to breathe!
4. Eat your enzymes: Enzyme-rich foods are great for digestion. Raw milk, cheese, and honey are excellent sources of enzymes. Bananas, pineapples and papaya are as well. Lacto-fermented foods are great too (sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass). Four ounces of beet kvass in the morning and before bed would go a long way in solving many digestive problems.
5. Don’t wash your food down: drinking too much liquids while you eat dilutes the concentration of hydrochloric acid and enzymes needed for proper digestion. So, to avoid drinking lots of liquids 20-30 minutes before and after your meals. Another digestive aid is real bone-broth. If you can possibly fit this into your schedule, learn to make simple chicken soup using a crock pot. Half a cup or so of broth sipped with meals is a great digestive aid.
In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to forget how important it is to slow down once in awhile, and refuel your body. Using those precious moments throughout the day to reconnect with yourself-your thoughts, your body, and the foods you put in it!
(This blog post was modified through an article found on the Weston A. Price Foundation).
In optimal health and happiness,
Dr. Brianna Salvia