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Restore your balance: 9 holistic health strategies to optimise digestion

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As a Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Energy Healer, I tend to naturally attract individuals with compromised digestion. I am frequently asked for ways people can heal their digestive systems naturally.

I decided to write this blog because I strongly believe that our digestive systems are truly our personal power centres.

Most modern day diseases correlate to diet and lifestyle behaviours that hamper digestion and are primary reasons for low self-esteem and powerlessness.

So for everyone who has ever wondered about the foundation to optimal health, vibrancy and longevity, yes, it is, in fact the proper digestion and absorption of one's food.

In other words, food that does not properly digest, accumulates in the body over time and causes toxicity — the root cause of various diseases.

Furthermore, the accumulation of toxins leads to heat imbalance, also known as inflammation. A good analogy is that the stomach is like a cooking pot, and energy from the spleen is like the flame that cooks the food in the stomach.

Essentially, a strong spleen equals strong digestion.

Here, I share some holistic strategies, that are inspired from eastern medicine to empower you to live in accordance and balance with the rhythm of nature and your own precious body to maintain health and most of all prevent disease.

1. Take a moment of mindfulness
When you sit down to the table, say a prayer over your food. Give yourself a moment of mindfulness before you dive in. This prayer will set you up to eat more slowly, enjoy the meal and be conscious of your food choices.

A suggested prayer, "Thank you, Universe [or God, or whatever you believe in], for reminding me to enjoy this meal. Thank you for helping me eat slowly, make conscious choices and stay in gratitude for all that I have."

2. Eat when truly hungry, drink when truly thirsty
A strong appetite signifies a strong digestive system, which is required to digest food completely. Eat when hungry (avoid social and emotional eating) and do not delay eating when hungry.

Furthermore, consumption of cold beverages with your meals can chill the stomach and put out the digestive fire, which is integral for optimal digestion.

3. Connect with your food
The simple tip is to chew your food well. That helps you become more present with your food and mindful of your meal.

Since digestion begins in the mouth, chew 30 times before you swallow and you will instantly feel more connected to your meal and you'll actually taste your food!

Make it a habit to eat in a relaxed and happy environment with people who love their food and grateful for it.

4. Eat a balance of foods in harmony with its energetic quality and the four seasons
Generally speaking, eat more cooling/alkaline foods (apples, lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers, seaweed, spinach, celery and buckwheat ) during the warm months and warming foods/spices (cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic, green peppers, walnuts, meats and coffee) during the cold months.

5. Incorporate fresh spices and foods
Ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper enhance the digestive fire and aid with absorption and elimination processes.

Incorporate fresh foods in daily meals as opposed to frozen, processed, canned and microwavable because they are de-natured and lack energy/life force — the goodness of your body needs to come alive.

Whole foods are loaded with fiber — a must for food to move smoothly through the intestines without clogging them.

6. Improve bathroom posture
Research shows, squatting helps with "complete evacuation of the colon and digestive toxins…". It also improves digestion disturbances (as severe as hemorrhoids) that our modern day bathrooms can cause.

You can use a 'Squatty Potty' or if adding a bathroom furniture does not work for you, a regular stool will work beautifully.

7. Move more
Exercise is important on all levels and it certainly aids with proper digestion by helping food travel through the digestive system.

Walking and certain yoga poses (child's pose, knees hugged and twists) compresses the abdomen, massages the colon and aids with digestion.

8. Eat more fat!
For any society obsessed with low-fat, this can be a challenge. The truth is, there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.

Good fats (like avocados, nuts, nut butters, cold-pressed coconut and olive oil, desi ghee, flax seeds) enable to heal the gut, improve digestion and restore balance.

9. Cook your food with love
Acknowledging the blessing it is to have access to healthy ingredients to prepare your food. Bless your meal, your body for the work it does for you and the planet for providing the goodies.

Most importantly, always enjoy what you eat as eating is one of life's greatest joys.

Happy digesting!

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