Guide to Optimal Digestion for the Holidays!

By: Parry Sound Acupuncture, Dec 13, 2018
Healthy Eating for the holidays, Parry Sound Acupuncture

Do you dread the holiday eating?

Are You?

Gasy, Bloaty, Burpy… 

Do you experience?

Heartburn, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, Low Energy, Skin Conditions, Allergies, Sluggishness After Eating…

Do you?

Eat well but Feel Unwell. You may not be digesting food properly which means you not absorbing the nutrients needed to fuel the body or the nutrients to help mend the body.

Digestion + Absorption + Assimilation of food, thoughts & emotions = Energy “Qi”

Eating well is one thing if we cannot digest and get the nutrients out of those foods, or if there are consistent negative thought patterns, the body suffers leading to many health conditions, including impaired digestion. 

8 Digestion Helpers:

Chew Chew Chew Food and Drink (yes, chew your liquids!)

  • Digestion starts in the mouth with the enzyme in saliva. Have you ever noticed when you feel hungry you start to salivate? That is the body getting ready for food.
  • Chewing stimulates jaw activity and strengthens the mouth muscles.
  • Chewing allows the brain time to realize satiation.
  • Eating too much too fast leads to inflammation.
  • Typically, one mouth full of pasta needs 34 chews!

Avoid Drinking with Meals

  • Drinking with meals dilutes the digestive juices, tricking the stomach into thinking it has secreted enough digestive enzymes.
  • Drink a glass of water ½ hour before meals and approximately 1-2 hours after.
  • The exception is a bit of water to take supplements with food.

Drink Room Temperature Water

  • Cold temperature by nature constricts. Drinking cold liquids temporarily stops digestion.
  • In Traditional Chinese Medicine cold drinks slow the Digestive Fire or the Qi energy.
  • Consume water at room temperature.

Eat Within Capacity

  • Remember to chew and eat slowly, the brain needs 20 minutes to realize satiety.
  • It is better to eat too little than too much.
  • Think of the stomach like a washing machine, if it’s filled to the rim it can’t churn properly.
  • Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Stop eating three hours before bed. During sleep the body is in repair and rebuild mode, late night eating interferes with these functions.
  • If you have cravings, eat every 3-4 hours, that could mean 5-6 times a day. Choose wisely; high fibre, goods fats, protein. Tip: always have snacks on hand, such as, nuts, apple, clean ingredients bars, such as, Sunwarrior plant-based protein bars are high in fibre and protein  Canada: (use code VP at checkout for 10% discount)

Routine and Warmth

  • In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the digestive system thrives on routine. If possible eat at the same times each day.
  • Avoid too many cold raw foods. In TCM the organs in charge of digestion need warmth to transform food and transport nutrition to the cells, thereby, keeping the body strong and active.
  • In the cold weather months, warm fruits, heat up fresh or frozen berries in a pan with coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter). Top with cinnamon, and nuts.
  • Consume nutrient dense unprocessed foods, ‘if it’s not in the soil it’s not in the carrot’.
  • Increase fibre intake, it is recommended to have 25-33 grams daily. Fibre-rich foods: Hempseeds, ground chia seed and flaxseed, beans, lentils, fruits, whole grains.

Eat Lightly when Stressed

  • The digestive system shuts down when under stress.
  • Stress causes the colon to tighten causing constipation, diarrhea, tunnel elimination.
  • Stress puts a tremendous amount of strain on all body systems.
  • In TCM all organs are associated with different emotions. Over-worry, over-thinking, and anxiety deplete the spleen energy, therefore, affecting the digestive energy.
  • Relax your mind, reduce or eliminate stressors, learn to say no, take up a practice such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing.
  • B vitamins are critical for maintaining healthy functioning of the nervous system. Foods rich in vitamin B complex: leafy greens, beans, lentils, eggs, fish, whole grains, broccoli, asparagus, avocado, sweet potato, nuts.

Food Combining

  • Food combining warrants its own newsletter, here are a few basics.
  • Combining certain food groups together puts a lot of pressure on the digestive system.
  • Vegetarians/ vegans: be sure to make complete proteins from the plant foods.
  • General guidelines food combining chart:

Food Focus

  • Doing anything else while eating will take energy away from properly digesting.
  • Enjoy the experience, smell, chew, taste. Intention goes a long way to overall health.

The Doctor of the future will give no medicine but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air, and exercise. Thomas Edison

Disclaimer: This is for educational purposed only and is not medical advice and does not replace any medical advice. Please consult your health care provider for health concerns. 

 Parry Sound Acupuncture

Victoria Pumphrey is a Registered Acupuncturist, Certified Reflexologist, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Reiki/ Energy Worker. Helping clients with needs and goals using a combined approach for whole health.  The services she offers are Acupuncturist, Reflexology, Holistic Nutrition, Reiki, and part of the wellness programs she offers Herbal Supplements are available.

With close to twenty years experience in the natural health field from being behind the scenes working in natural health products distribution to working one on one with clients, Victoria Pumphrey Acupuncture is happy to be serving clients in the greater Parry Sound area.

New Location 54 River St., Parry Sound, Ontario

Call 705-772-2599 or email for an appointment 

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