Get ready for 21 days worth of fun food and nutrition facts…now that it is in the universe it has to happen (no pressure me)! Some will be long and lengthy and some will be short and sweet, fun and informative nonetheless. My CrossFit family has begun a 21 day challenge full of badassery aka eating real food and lifting a lot of heavy shit. In celebration of this I thought it would be fun to share amazing things I have learned in my journey of becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Yay “Real Food”!
Day 1 of 21 days of health bombs (don’t say bomb on an airplane)
Did you know that before you even begin eating the process of digestion has already begun? Well…. this is if you get your mind right. Digestion is a north to south process with the most important part beginning before you even put that first bite of delicious in your mouth. In order to begin the process of digestion we must bring our bodies to a parasympathetic state, our daily lives have become so sympathetically stressed we are not slowing down to enjoy the most important part of our day… giving ourselves nourishing food hugs. Below I have listed directions on how to take yourself on a little therapeutic food journey, practice this method with every meal and your digestive process will thank you.
Before you begin eating try to relax. Sit in a calm and quiet environment, unplug yourself and give respect to the food you have just prepared.
Take 3 big deep breaths and with each breath smell the food and breath it in.
Notice anything? Are you beginning to salivate…… of course you are! This is your brain bringing you into a parasympathetic mode and preparing your body for digestion. More evidence of innate body amazingness are that gastric fluids being stimulated by the stomach in preparation for the nom noms. Proper HCL production (hydrochloric acid) is imperative in digestion and overall health, without it you are leaving yourself susceptible to yeast, bacteria, parasites, and viruses. If you don’t have enough stomach acid, foods get all kinds of rancid and backflow up into your esophagus burning the living bajeebers out of you (heartburn). Guess what else?! Stomach acid is good for you! It allows the breakdown of food to occur and stimulates the proper southern flow of digestion, so think of this when you reach for that antacid. Antacids only mask the symptoms and can impair your natural production on stomach acid greatly, leaving you to rely on them because you’ve abused your own natural production. Big time stomach abuse!
Now chew, but take your time. Take it slow, show it you care. Chew your food for at least 30 seconds.
This also allows the brain to trigger the proper digestive response to the foods you are eating including more production of saliva. Your saliva contains a mixture of electrolytes, hormones, and enzymes and they are just hankering to breakdown the carbohydrates being consumed. If you don’t allow your body to produce appropriate amounts of saliva to break down carbohydrates these starches will enter the small intestine this way allowing undigested foods to enter the colon. This leads to all kinds of digestive disruption such as candida which is super no Bueno.
Swallow + Repeat
Now, wasn’t that nice? We are so busy and have very little “me time”, let this be part of it because nutritionally dense food is awesome, eating is awesome, and you are awesome!
It’s like taking your insides to the spa, FOOD HUGS!