Laura Holland has a lot going on these days: she’s just published her first book and next month she’s hosting a retreat in Sri Lanka. But right now she’s giving you five simple things you can do to help get your digestion working for you.
1) Chew your food
Your stomach doesn’t have teeth. If you don’t chew your food, this will cause heaviness and lead to health issues.
2) Eat calmly and slowly
If you eat in a hurry, or with stress, you are literally feeding your body that stress. Your digestion will shut down, so whatever you’re eating won’t get digested. It will get accumulated, and that will also create heaviness.
3) Limit raw food after 4pm
This is when your digestive “fire” starts to wane, just like the sun starts to set. So if you eat lots of crunchy, hard, raw foods, that digestive fire just isn’t strong enough to be burning them off and it can create digestive disturbances. If you can imagine jumping in a cold bath and how you tense up, that’s what happens when you put cold food in your body and you’ve not got the digestive fire to burn it through.
4) Never skip lunch
It’s the one meal that many people skip and yet it’s the most important one to anchor you, to nourish your body; when your digestion is at its strongest. Breakfast and evening are when your digestive system is most sensitive, so you want to ease your body in gently.
5) Listen to your body – and respond accordingly
Some people wake up ravenous. If you are, great. Eat. Some people wake up not so hungry, so having a big breakfast even when their body is telling them they are not so hungry is a mistake. We need to pay attention to our hunger. Never ignore your hunger.
• Laura Holland’s Your BeUtiful Body: A Guide to Eating and Loving Your Body Light can be purchased for Dh73 on Amazon. She is also hosting a five-day Be Light Retreat in Sri Lanka, at Sri Devi retreat near Galle from August 5 to 13. The retreat is priced at $900 (Dh3,305), based on single occupancy, and will offer Ayurvedic-inspired cleansing, yoga, meditation and massage.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.