guest post: digestive health with laura maddenby Guest Post
Even as a nutrition enthusiast and self-proclaimed “healthy eater,” I struggle with digestive troubles at times. I’ve come a long way, but I consistently dance with the effects of stress and emotions on my digestion. If you’re still struggling with digestive troubles too, worry not, you may have a few more rocks to overturn. Just when you thought you’ve tried everything, there’s more. You may even be able to improve your digestion without changing what you are eating. What we eat is only half the story. How we eat takes care of the rest. Intrigued?
If you’re like me, you’ve tried it all. You’ve gone the elimination route- no gluten, no sugar, dairy, grains, processed food, beans, meat, etc. True, there are certain foods that don’t agree with us and we can’t digest, and we should do our best to abstain from those. Eating according to our bodies’ needs is an important first step- definitely. If you are confident you have a fairly decent diet for you, improving your digestion and even your metabolism may not be a matter of changing your diet, but changing YOU.
Eating while in the stress response downgrades our digestive fire. Stress floods the body with stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Scientific studies have shown that stress chemistry, or the fight or flight response, can occur from real or imagined stress, such as the negative thoughts we think or even imagining a stressful, dangerous scenario. Hmmm.
Blood is shunted from the digestive organs to the extremities to prepare us for action, to outrun a wild animal, for example. Digestive enzymes are decreased, and water-soluble vitamins and minerals are excreted, therefore we can not use them for optimal digestion and metabolism. Chronic stress can also wipe out our healthy bacteria, vital for healthy digestion as well. When our digestive energy is weakened, we can not receive the complete nutritional value of our food. Result= our hunger is not satisfied, metabolism is low, and we likely grow tired and cranky.
If you’re like me, you spend a small fortune on organic, whole foods. You may be eating the healthiest, most nutrient dense diet in the world, but if you are stressed, worried, or upset while you’re eating, you can not receive the value of that high-quality food. It’s like feeding your body McDonald’s vs. Whole Foods. Ouch.
Moment of truth: Are you stressing yourself into digestive distress!? Before eating, take a few deep, belly breaths, relax your shoulders and jaw, and think of how grateful you are to be sitting down to a lovely meal. Stress is not only lowering your digestive fire, but also drowning your life force & metabolism! STOP worrying in order to get healthy, fit, and happy today! Enjoy your experience with good food. It is truly the best gift we can give ourselves!
Try Laura’s Gluten-Free Blueberry Coconut Pancakes (originally published on Mind Body Green)
For those mornings when you want a little something special for breakfast, but don’t want to put a lot of time in. This is a huge crowd pleaser- young and old alike! This flour-less wonder is not only gluten, grain, and refined sugar free, but it’s low glycemic index, Paleo and GAPS approved. What’s more, this breakfast treat is higher in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and lower in carbohydrate and calories than conventionally made wheat-based pancakes. Coconut flour is a healthy, gluten-free alternative to highly processed, nutritionally devoid wheat flours. Chow down and feel great about it!
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/4 cups coconut milk or water (almond milk also an option)
5+ drops liquid stevia
2 Tbsp. blueberries*
coconut oil or butter for cooking
*used freeze-dried blueberries
Beat eggs in a bowl. Add coconut oil, vanilla extract, coconut milk or water and stevia. Mix dry ingredients. Add dry to wet ingredients and mix. Add additional coconut milk or water by Tablespoonful if batter seems too dry or stiff, or add additional coconut flour by teaspoonful if too soupy. Heat coconut oil or butter in pan over medium heat. Drop batter by spoonfuls. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles start to pop on surface, flip pancake, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until firm and lightly browned to your liking.
Serve hot with organic butter or coconut oil on top.
Laura Madden is a certified holistic health & lifestyle coach, Chek practitioner, yoga instructor & founder of the True Food Detoxfor beginners. She helps women who have struggled with their weight & relationship to food find more pleasure, play, & creativity in their life, so they can reach their weight loss goals & love the woman they see in the mirror. Learn more at www.laura-madden.com, or follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter. Lauren can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.