5 Key Steps To A Morning Routine For Healthy Digestion
Have you ever noticed that some days your digestion is totally on track - healthy bowel movement, good appetite, no heartburn or bloating - and other days it's totally off, even though you eat close to the same thing every day??
That's because it's not just about what we eat, it's also about what we do aside from our food choices to improve (or hinder!) digestion.
And the morning is the most important time of the day for setting the stage for optimal digestion.
It's all about a healthy morning routine!
Here are the 5 steps to create that morning routine that will cut down on bloating, gas, heartburn and indigestion...
Step 1: Wake up as naturally as possible.
In an ideal world this would mean no alarm clock...
Now I know that this is not possible for most of us....
But being yanked out of a deep sleep by a loud abrasive sound does not start us out on the right foot.
Healthy digestion is all about being relaxed.
So what if you just have to get up early?
For starters, you can get to bed earlier, so that you have a better chance of waking naturally before your alarm.
If part of the problem is that you suffer from insomnia, you will want to see a naturopathic physician or functional medicine doctor to work on these sleep issues. Sleep is crucial to your health!
Something else that can make a world of difference, is to invest in an alarm clock or app that wakes you with a light that slowly gets brighter and soothing sounds that slowly get louder.
This is so much better than waking with the jolt of adrenaline that an old school alarm clock gives you!
Step 2: Drink a glass of warm lemon water as soon as you get up.
Do this first thing! Maybe even while you’re making your tea or coffee.
Just squeeze a quarter or so of a fresh lemon into a about 16 oz of warm water.
The amount will very according to the size of your lemon and your taste preference.
This will kick-start your liver and digestive system as a whole – and it even gives you a jump on hydration. :)
Step 3: Build in 10 minutes of quiet "you time".
This can be challenging with a job and kids and the busy lives we lead, but try to sequester 10 minutes in the morning for you!
You might do some stretching, sit and meditate, go for a short walk, read something pleasant or anything else that is peaceful and relaxing.
This is your time for self-care ... And it's important enough to prioritize!
Slowing down and doing relaxing activities stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system – which we refer to as the “rest and digest” nervous system...
The more we get this part of our nervous system activated, the happier our bodies will be!
Step 4: Avoid Stress.
This step ties into the last one...
Stress and morning time are so synonymous in some households that the idea of avoiding it might seem laughable...and it might not be the easiest of these steps to implement...
But rushing around like a mad person, yelling at kids and partners with one shoe on and half-eaten bagel in hand is not helpful for your digestion!
Get organized and plan out your morning so that you don’t have to feel frantic.
And if you’re sensitive, don’t start off the day listening to the news...
Anything that makes your breathing more shallow and your stomach feel tight is hindering healthy digestion.
Step 5: Eat breakfast without distractions.
The goal is to eat your breakfast sitting at a table, with the TV off and your phone and reading materials out of sight.
Yes, even your phone...
When you are distracted from our food, there are all sorts of sensory cues that you are missing out on - like the smell, taste and sight of your food.
And those sensory cues are important in stimulating your digestion to do its job!
Plus, when we aren't paying close attention to our food, we're more likely to overeat and chew poorly...setting us up for digestive issues and weight gain.
This is all a part of mindful eating and it really will help you digest your food fully and optimally.
This recipe for a morning routine is just one piece of overcoming digestive issues like gas & bloating...