What if I told you we digest more than food. Along with carrots and potatoes, we also digest feelings, experiences and ideas. Well, we should but sometimes this is difficult to do. If your favorite grandfather has just passed away - this can be a hard feeling to digest. Or, as a child experiencing abuse this can also be hard to digest. You see, our stomach is also here to help us digest our reality, our ideas, our experiences, our thoughts and our feelings. This article talks about how we digest on the physical and mental level.
The stomach is meant to nourish us and fill with all life has to offer good or bad. When our system is working properly we can take in, digest and discard (poop) - full circle. If we only take in and have a hard time digesting it slows down the discard rate as well making it hard to have room for taking in something new.
This applies on the physical level with our bodies AND on the mental level with our emotions. If we don't process/digest our emotions, our realities, then it will sit, like food, bloating our minds with fear, worry, or anger. Never running its course to the end, not going with the flow, not pursuing its intended purpose.
Up until recently I had no idea my unfelt feelings and worries were the cause of my bloating. To be honest, I started to accept my constant full tummy as normal. It wasn't until I went on an organ nourishment cleanse led by Nirete Llopis (https://www.niretellopis.com/) and her 6 month soul nourishment program where we reset our organs to maximum nutrition. I had no idea I could feel so good, or that I was that clogged up! Getting the body in order I still suffered from constipation/bloating (HOW COULD THIS BE IF I'M ONLY EATING VEGGIES & DRINKING A LOT OF WATER!??). After consulting Nirete she recommended I turn my attention to my mental. Was I not digesting some bad experiences? Was I not processing many feelings? Did my worries take over at times? Yes, yes annnnd yes! Since this discovery I have been exploring new avenues to let life pass through me including: guided meditation for emotional release, emotional release yoga, calling out how I feel every hour or so, and briefly journaling the day so I can process it.
Get to know your physical body
Everyone talks about diet as the leading cause of a "gut." Low and behold everyone has a gut and it is actually called the gut microbiome/gut microbiota/gut flora/microbiome. Inside of every human there exists a plethora of bacteria, fungi and archaea that lives in our digestive tract (long intestine) - some are helpful and some are harmful.
What the gut does?
Stimulates the immune system
Breaks down food compounds
What you feed grows (Prebiotic vs. Probiotic)
TLDR: Feed your gut HEALTHY FOOD that will help it if you want to feel better and not get sick.
Think of the food you eat as fuel. Are you putting in regular or super? If your body is your temple and driver of everyday life experiences why would you feed it crappy, bottom of the barrel food to only run "regular."
A high fiber eating habit positively affects the microbiome. Dietary fiber can only be broken down and fermented in the long intestine (aka colon). Short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are released as a result of fermentation, which lowers the pH level in the microbiome (makes it acidic). The lower pH limits the growth of some harmful bacteria like Clostridium difficile.
A low fiber eating habit negatively affects the microbiome including:
The more sugar you eat, the faster the bad bacteria grow. Try real fruit instead.
Fried foods are harder for the body to digest. People often cook them in oils rich in saturated and trans fats that may further irritate the stomach, causing diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. Fried foods may promote the growth of harmful gut bacteria as well.
And for good measure, maybe cut back a tad on the dairy products. Just a tad.
Prebiotic - Food for gut's healthy bacteria / Food that supports increased Short Chain Fatty Acid levels (Remember we want our microbiome to be more acidic)
Highest amount of prebiotic
Probiotic - Living microorganisms (bacteria & yeast) that are good for your health
Highest amount of probiotic
Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
Addressing the physical, as well as the mental, digestion has helped me feel more whole, more human and more calm. There is still so much to learn and release, but every little step gets us to the top of the mountain.
Peace and be well,
Amber of All Trades