Food is far more important to our lives than just a way to stay alive.
I mean, we need to eat. But it’s much more than that.
Sharing meals, cooking together, exploring new tastes – it’s an adventure for the senses and a bonding opportunity.
I have so many memories that revolve around a kitchen or dining room table. I’m sure you do too.
So when mealtime becomes a time of dread – when eating leads to pain, bloating, indigestion or worse… it’s more than just an annoyance.
It threatens a major part of our social lives.
I get a lot of questions from folks about why they experience pain or discomfort after eating. And while people have individual “triggers,” there are some fairly universal tips that can keep it from happening to you.
First, the basics. You want to eat a balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and ample water. Cutting back on sugar, alcohol and fatty foods is good advice, whether you have an iron stomach or not.
Still, there are some common culprits out there. Like fruit juices, which can be acidic if you’re not careful. Typically blending fruits so you get additional fiber, and slower digestion, vs. juicing, is a plus.
Certain foods can trigger trapped gas. Onions, beans, cabbage and broccoli among them. I’ve found that by roasting veggies like broccoli, they give me very little trouble. (And I like the taste better anyway).
I have no trouble with caffeine and I love a good cup of coffee, but for some, it can be an issue.
The point here is -- spicy, fatty, sweet or savory, triggers can vary from person to person. It’s hardly universal.
One tip is to start a food diary. Write down what you eat. Be precise. And record how you feel afterwards.
You may be able to pinpoint a pattern, and start to avoid certain foods, or eating at certain times of the day.
Certainly stress can contribute to digestive woes as well. That, combined with carrying excess weight, is a digestive double whammy.
A brisk walk after dinner will help speed digestion, and is a stress buster too. Plus, it helps burn off what you just ate!
For some folks, acid is an issue. There is a simple at-home test you can try, and in just a few minutes, you’ll know if that’s a problem.
If you’re having digestive issues, I encourage you to not just accept it. It doesn’t have to be this way, and there shouldn’t be foods on your “no go” list, if things are working like they should.
See my top recommendation for digestive balance (works in just minutes) here.