Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lesson #4 (Digestion)

THURSDAY, JULY 03, 2008 08:54 PM

This is a handout I got from Hippocrates. I am using it as an example to show you that we should pay more attention to our digestive system. Did you know that the large intestine is as long as we are tall (as shown in the picture)? Did you also know hat the small intestine is about 23 feet long? Man, that is a lot of space in your body. I think it deserves more respect.

I think I will do a colon health lesson in addition to this digestion lesson. Lots of good info.

Hippocrates Lesson #4
( I should say Hippocrates, books, nutritionists, classes, and all my other experiences lesson #4)

I learned a lot about digestion and I learned to respect and appreciate the energy my body uses to digest foods. Before learning this, I ate without thinking what my body had to do with food. Now I understand that the type of food I eat, how much you eat, the time I eat it, how it gets chewed and many more factors all determine how much of your precious energy you body needs to turn these foods into nutrition for your cells and turn the rest into waste. One of our speakers said "the less you eat, the less you need to sleep."

Tips to improve digestion:
No liquid 30 minutes before eating and no liquid 1 hour after eating – this is the hardest thing for me to do, because I always get thirsty when I eat. Plus we’ve all been brought up to drink and eat at the same time so it is an act of habit. Avoid drinking right before and after you eat is because it dilutes the digestive enzymes you have on your tongue and in your stomach. If you dilute these you compromise your ability to digest.

Eat less meat and dairy products which are difficult to digest. Or, go vegan and don’t eat meat and dairy at all.

Eat lots of raw living foods (like sprouts) – these contain to most enzymes that aide digestion. Raw veggies and fruits also have these enzymes, but not as many as the sprouts. It is also recommended to eat lightly steamed veggies because they are easier to break down. I think you can’t really go wrong with either option.

Chew food as many times as you can before swallowing – this gives your enzymes in your mouth more time to get to more of your food. When this happens it pre-digests the food for you, so your body uses less energy to break it down in your stomach. The macrobiotic diet tells people to chew 50 times before swallowing. Try this one time just to see how far away from 50 you are. Kevin and I do this once in a while and we feel pretty silly for chewing for so long.

Take a probiotic in the morning and the evening every day – this increases the good bacteria in your gut. Most people don’t have enough good bacteria and have too much of the bad bacteria. The good bacteria helps you to digest food.

Don’t talk while eating – it helps you chew better and eat a little slower. Sometimes when talk when you eat you chew less and swallow bigger pieces of food which are harder to digest.
Sit at the table while eating and focus all of your attention on eating

Do not drink coffee and soda (this kills the good bacteria in your gut that promote digestion and also blocks the enzyme, lipase, which can aide digestion)

Don't eat when you are upset or anxious - this is hard for all of us emotional eaters

Consume more predigested foods like juices, sprouts and algeas. This will bring your body maximum nutrition without using vital energy. The more you chose to get calories from these foods the less overall energy your body uses to do something with everything you eat.

Fast with green juice and wheatgrass juice one day a week. This lets your body and digestive system completely rest. If you fast one day a week, you will have fasted 52 days a year. That’s a lot of rest for your body. If you are interested in this email me so you make sure you drink enough juice to get proper nutrition. I’ll probably be doing a journal entry on fasting in the future.

Eat you main meal at noon. This is when your digestion is at its peak. This is another area where we have grown up always eating our largest meal in the evening, so it is hard to change the habit.

Eat less (Don’t overeat) – overeating makes you body work a lot more than it needs to. It’s not natural. You body is a balancing mechanism, so what it will do is steal energy from important functions like cleaning you digestive track and focus it on breaking down the cake and ice cream on top of the large meal you just ate. Our bodies need the repair time so lets try to help it find that time.

Allow 3 hours between meals before eating your next meal. This makes sure your previous meal is completely digested. This also gives your body a little resting time.
Try to not eat anything 3 hours before you go to sleep. This completes your digestion and your body can repair while you sleep. Also, if you eat before you go to bed, it will make it harder for you to sleep. Like the lecturer said once he ate less he needed less sleep.

Soak nuts and sprout seeds before eating. Here is the reasoning behind this…Nuts and seeds have an enzyme that acts as a natural insecticide that they produce that stops bugs from eating them. This natural insecticide (natural meaning it does not poison you or anything) also makes nuts and seeds very hard for our bodies to break these down. When we soak the nuts and seeds for 12-24 hours this enzyme gets released and therefore makes them 10 times easier for our bodies to digest. They don’t get really soggy from soaking them, but if you are like me, they have to be really crunchy and you would need a dehydrator to do this. Dehydrators are pretty cheap and easy to use. You just put the seeds on there and plug it in to turn it on. A day later you take them out and voila.

I think I had a couple other ones, but if I don’t throw this up now it might be a while before I do.
Have a happy 4th of July

Oh, and I have been really depressed lately (just the past day, but it gets to me.) Kevin and I decided I am going to make a 100 item love list, so I can focus on what is good in my life. It should be pretty fun to draft up. I’ll post it when it is complete. It’s a good exercise for everyone to do. Gets your creativity going while also stirring up all the good emotions we all so badly need to have more often.

We’re going up to the cottage tomorrow with Roger, Edie, Wendy, Kevin and Lauren. It will be nice to go somewhere else and spend an extended weekend with Kevin. I am also planning on doing a juice fast the entire time I am up there. I figure if I write it in my journal I’ll have to stick to the plan because you can all hold me accountable and say “how was your weekend fast?”

Lastly, I think I am going to guest blog in my friend, Jodie Wilson’s Detroit News blog. When it gets posted I will give you all the link. She has kept a blog about her whole experience with breast cancer on the Detroit News. I read it every time she updates it with a new one.
Anyone else have any digestion improvement tips please throw them up in the guestbook.

Lots of love and 50 chews : )


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