The 12 Steps for Good Digestion

  1. Settle in. Decide on a ritual that will promote conscious and relaxed eating.  (Example: lighting candles on your table.)
  2. Eat at the table, not in your car, at your desk, standing at the counter, etc.
  3. Say grace, offer a blessing, or just give a conscious moment of thanks for the food you are about to consume; connect with your nourishment on some deeper level.
  4. Slow down.  Breathe deep and slow while you eat.  Remember to put your fork down occasionally in order to breathe, chew, swallow, take a sip of water.
  5. Pay attention.  Be conscious of how food affects you physically and mentally, and notice how you are affected by your environment. (Are there noises, lights or smells that are interfering with your experience?)
  6. Chew. Chew. Chew.  The first stage of digestion is chewing your food! It not only physically breaks down foods, but also signals the organs to secrete their digestive juices (pancreatic enzymes, stomach acids etc) in order to prepare for the incoming foods. Chewing is possibly the most important mechanism of digestion.
  7. Eat sitting down, with a straight spine, in a low stress environment. When we sit down to eat our stomach is in a relaxed posture and this will greatly improve the digestion.
  8. Wear loose and comfortable clothing if possible.
  9. Don't nap or lie down right after your meal or eat just before going to bed. Being awake strengthens digestive power. Alternatively, don’t exercise right after a meal, or jump up from the table to address the rest of your day.  Wait for a few moments with your feeling of satiety.  Relax if you can for 15 minutes to allow digestion to continue under low-stress circumstances.
  10. Don't eat when you are not hungry or when you are extremely tired. Under these conditions your body may not produce adequate digestive enzymes for efficient digestion.
  11. Limit your portion sizes and don’t overeat.
  12. Minimize toxins and irritants; eat organic foods whenever possible, and eat simple meals that taste delicious as well as nourishing your body, mind and spirit.
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