Hello from London everyone! How are we all doing? If you are asking me I am finally relaxed, and have time for myself to chill, and just do nothing really – well work related.
I myself thought I would have a lot more time to get on post of blog posts but turns out I did sort of miss England.. but shh don’t tell anyone. We have been really busy doing tourist-ish things (as tourist as an old local can be), and enjoyed a night out in London last night where we went to an authentic Korean restaurant followed by Winter Wonderland where I drooled over so many beautiful nick-nacks in the Angels Market!
(insert me being super excited to go look at awesome finds in this adorable market)
I’ll try my best not to get distracted here to lets jump right to the chase. As promised I want to list to you lovelies 7 of my suggestions for better digestion!
Digestive health used to be a problem (when I say problem I really mean I went 7 weeks without taking a shit one summer, and it felt like my life almost ended..) for me, but only when I was not in Canada.. so you could say I have basically become a non medically acclaimed digestive health expert! Please keep in mind that I am not a physician, and only speak from experience and research, so do what works for you, and take my suggestions on board as needed.
Let’s knock things off…
- Sleep like a log for that prairie dog. I have genuinely tested this theory many and many of times, it actually quite hard for me to get a lot of sleep as I am so busy and need to make the most of my days but when I do get 7-9 hours of sleep I promise you I got smooth moves. It just helps your body relax, digest, and get ready for the next days cycle. Things that help me sleep better are: shutting myself down from tech time 2 hours before bed, a nice smoothing ginger and peppermint tea, hot water bottle for my belly, and not eating too too much before bed (I always eat before bed, but it is what you eat, not when).
- Be as active as you can. When I say this I don’t mean go to the gym, or go for a run, I mean get the hell up after you eat and move. Your body does not want food to just sit there and lay about after dinner, your body wants movement and activity! Things like walking your dog after dinner are perfect, or even laying down and having a nice stretch, yoga, or swimming will help immensely. There is this huge thing in Greece where everyones Aunt, Cousin, Grandma, Wife and Sister say you should not be active after eating but I honestly say its the opposite (like I said I don’t mean going swimming in the deep end, or lifting weights…. just simple activity), and it has helped me a lot.
- Peppermint Tea and Hot Lemon Water. After each meal I try to have a nice hot cup of tea or lemon water. I don’t quite understand the science behind this yet, but it really seems to get things moving, and if you suffer with IBS like I do it really helps with soothing your stomach if any meals cause you bloating, uncomfortable gas or upper abdomen pain. You can also do this in the morning before any meals have been eaten. Additionally, I suggest an ounce of apple cider vinegar, and 8 oz of warm water every morning before breakfast…. once your body begins to adapt to all the digestive strategic changes you are starting to make this will just be the icing on the cake. It is a really good way to balance your blood, help kick start your metabolism and help coat your tummy for the day!
- Eating is not an olympic sport, chew your food! There are a bazillion reasons why you should chew chew chew your food before swallowing but one of the most important reasons is that your saliva contains digestive enzymes which aid in the break down of your food. So the longer your foods spends in your mouth the better! You should also chew your food properly so your body can absorb all the amazing nutrients your foods provide, it is good for you teeth, helps minimize intestine build up, and can help maintain healthy weight.
- Rub it, and roll it! Essential Oils are my go to after, before and during a moment of bloating, constipation, indigestion or even before my cycle. Peppermint, Liquorice, Fennel, Black Pepper, Roman Chamomile, Myrrh, and Sweet Fennel are all FANTASTIC oils for blending and creating your own “roll on” digestion remedy. I’m not being funny when I say this shit works. I roll it on after every meal, and after application (usually apply by my ovaries, upper abdomen, and left side of my belly- so your right side) I massage my stomach lightly using my right hands index and middle finger. I find the areas where I have a lot of pressure and pain and I push down till I release any gas. It sounds a bit witch-crafty, but it has been working for me!
- Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes. Probiotics – the live good bacteria for good healthy gut. It is hard for me to give a good suggestion here in terms of dosage, so maybe chat to your Doc, or Pharmacist, and see what they suggest in terms of type, and dose. As I do suffer from IBS I cannot ingest as many food form probiotics as I would like but you can certainly find them in foods like Kefir, Greek Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Miso Soup, Kimchi and Sourdough bread. For myself probiotic tablets have helped massively with my IBS, and PMS pains. Speaking of PMS, I know I’m not the only one who gets constipated before my period… it sucks… But PRAIRE NATURALS – FULL SPECTRUM DIGESTIVE ENZYMES have saved my life. I take two in the morning before my breakfast with 16 oz of water (over about an hour) and VOILA… smooooooth move!
- Don’t overdose on fiber. It is written and read every where in every health and wellness magazine “GET YOUR FIBRE”. Them damn magazies never tell you what happens if you get too much, and you would be surprised how many of us are. We try so hard to be regular, and we do everything right, but we forget that too much of something is not ok. When I first moved to London I was really really really struggling with my digestive health. It got the point where I was calling sick into work because my stomach was getting so big I thought I was preggers, but turns out it was just a curdled food baby. We went to the doctors, and I will never forget these words doc said to me “Maria, you have to eat something a bit bad, to help balance the good”. So at first I reacted by saying are you telling me I need to eat McDonals?! He laughed and said yes, but I knew that was not what he meant. He was simply just saying that I should maybe eat a bit of bread or more dense food here and there, and don’t over do on grains, nuts and seeds, and maybe reconsider that 20th serving of veg. It took me awhile to adapt to this approach but as soon as I found balance within my diet my digestive health improved immensely. The bloats went down, the gas didn’t- I don’t think it ever will with the amount of raw fresh product I consume in a day… but things change and for the better!
So there it is my lovelies a few of my suggestions of better gut health. I know the struggle, and I genuinely sympathize with each and everyone one of you when you say you say you want to be more regular. Please let me know what you make of these tips, and if they worked for you!
So much love from London!
Love your Greek Food Goddess Maria xoxox