For me, it’s been a long journey with my digestive health! Swopping to a raw, plant-based, whole food diet and lifestyle, has definitely been my best decision and has certainly changed my life and improved my health immensely.
There have been times in the past when I experienced desperation from the physical pain that goes with what was then diagnosed as stomach ulcers and colitis, which recurred at different stages in my life. This tended to happen most often when I was extremely stressed, not taking care of myself, not eating healthily or staying hydrated, not sleeping well and not exercising, which proved to be a very harmful combination for me. To top it all, I later developed elevated blood pressure too, but I’ll leave that bit for another time, but know that it’s all related.
On this journey to a healthy digestion, I have tested several different types of treatment, starting with pharmaceutical medication prescribed by my doctor, and later on to a one-month juice fast with guidance from a professional natural health practitioner. Interestingly, these protocols have all worked in terms of relieving the symptoms, but it was from the point that I began to change my entire lifestyle that those debilitating symptoms never returned, as they had done previously when I relied on pharma medications.
For me this means that what has been highlighted, is that when I overload my body with certain types and combinations of de-natured cooked food and don't take care of my entire health, eventually my body can’t preform the required digestive process thats needed. My body then becomes bunged up with hard to digest, or indigestible content and if that undigested waste material gets backed up, I become bloated, constipated (not going to the loo after each meal), and it begins to stagnate within me because it’s trapped inside, which is gross!
If waste material is stuck inside your body, it is also being absorbed into your blood stream, causing inflammation within you, while starving your organs and cells of the vital nutrients needed for a their healthy functional flow. I’m sure that you’ll understand that this is a situation that can be ripe for disaster, an internal environment in which disease can be cultivated and even take hold if nothing is done to undo this situation.
Most people would rather not think about that part of your body’s function, I know I didn’t want to at one point. However, you need to know that a healthy digestive process is vital for your good health. Over time, ustilsing an holistic approach to my digestive health has enabled me to develop and deepen my awareness of what works well for my gut wellness. It has also helped me to address any disharmony caused between focusing solely on my physical needs, by not also considering how my emotional and physical health are also an integral part of the equation. Taking care of all of you creates a better sense of balance and promotes the holistic healing principle of 'looking after the person and not the illness'.
A few helpful facts you need to know -
- For every foot of colon in your body (it is as long as we are tall), you can store
approximately 5-10 lbs. of feces
- a healthy person will have 2-3 bowel movements per day
- the degree to which your colon is clean is the degree to which your blood stream
- your ascending colon controls the aging process in your body.
- Therefore keeping your colon stimulated with nutrient rich, easily digested food is
key to good health.
Stress has a direct impact on digestive health also, it can slow down your digestive process, along with any stress caused from eating unhealthy foods. In my time at HHI I learnt that the physical conditions usually associated with stress include obesity, insomnia, heart disease, chronic pain, cancers and autoimmune diseases, which in turn are also affected by your digestive health, since how clean or unclean your blood is, it feeds every part of your body’s functioning capacity! A healthy gut bolsters the body’s immune system and the body’s innate ability to resist disease.
You Can Support Your Gut Health by -
- Mindful living
- Opt for clean and green cleansing raw plant-based foods, herbs and spices
that support gut health and aid digestion
- Completely chew your food before swallowing (chew each bite approx 37 times)!
- Have your meals in a calm and relaxed manner and environment - be present
- Add digestive nutritional supplements
- Adopt food combining methods
- Activate your nuts & seeds
- Stay well hydrated
- Start Juicing & having healthy smoothies
- Create a routine of daily detox activities
- Introduce stress reduction strategies to reduce fear and lifestyle anxieties
- Fast for one day a week
- Incorporate colon cleansing protocols (enemas, colon hydrotherapy) in your overall digestive health plan.
- Spend time moving your body in nature
Incorporating these healthy digestion tools into your healthy lifestyle is easy when you know how. They are not transferable, meaning that you can't choose to adopt in some of them and ignore the others...you need to do them all over time, at a steady pace and get support with the ones that feel is a bit more challenging. It's best to leave behind any sense of pursuing superior health, a better body, and longevity, as this focus and hamper your process and progress. Be easy with it and whatever you do, don't stress about it either.
My healthy gut regime includes using food-grade essential oils, yogic gut exercises (Satyananda), weekly fasting, organic raw whole foods, coconut water, probiotics, digestive enzymes, green juices, dancing and walking, meditation and reflection, relaxation...to name a few.
Whenever you decide to get started, that will be the right time (but get started as soon as you can). Remember the lifestyle combination that works best for you, is totally unique. Your attitude and perspective are paramount to your achieving optimal eating, as is the atmosphere you create within which you engage with these tools for healthy living. Your health is always in the here and now, not somewhere down the road, so pay attention your health needs, make smart choices and work on cultivating healthy habits.
Be aware that all Sistahintheraw programmes include a connected mind-body-spirit approach, to a healthy plant-based, raw food lifestyle; with clean, cleansing, nutrient-rich recipes, plus accompanying practical guidance and mind-set tools. You can check them out here:
Colon hydrotherapy may not be suitable for people with certain conditions. Please check with doctor or health care practitioner.
Try out the raw food for a healthy gut programme over three days. Take a look here.
Want to know more?
Resource and Research:
Living Food = Vibrant You - Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register here
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