Intuitive Eating and Plant Medicine - Healing My Digestion

Happy Thursday friends!

My third youtube video is now live! Did anyone notice the ridiculous picture I used for the thumbnail? This month I'm also embracing not taking myself so seriously.  Today I want to talk about what I've learned about my digestion, what plant medicines I am currently taking, and what my plan of action is or the future. 

Over the course of the last week I tracked my digestion using my free template The 7 Day Digestion Tracker . What I learned wasn't too surprising, but confirmed my hunches. 

1. I am eating dinner way to close to bed time.

Most of my days are structured around teaching/practicing yoga, giving massages, and working online. I typically am busy starting anywhere between 7 and 9 to mid day, then have a 2-3 hour break before starting work from late afternoon typically until 8 or 9 PM. This schedule is making it difficult to take the time needed to eat well balanced meals. #doyouevenmealprep

I'm going to change this by making a soup and prepping grains, beans, starches, and greens on Sunday's so I always have access to a quick and easy semi or completely cooked meal in the evenings. 

2. Some days I'm not eating a well balanced diet.

This kind of ties into 1. Because I don't have commitments after 8 PM that's when I settle into taking care of myself and taking the time necessary to listen to my body before choosing what I eat. This means that breakfast doesn't always happen (even when my digestion is good), and lunch is more than likely going to be 2 chipotle tacos.

I teach my clients to utilize Dr. Michael Greger's app The Daily Dozen  to keep track of what foods they need to eat within their day to eat a balanced, whole food, plant based diet. I believe that if I want to help others be well, I have to actively pursue wellness within my own life (duhh). Tracking my nutrition will be one of the many things I'm going to create space for within my day, to make sure I'm taking care of myself to the best of my ability. 

3. The more cooked foods I eat the less bloating and gas I get. 

This is a pretty obvious one. When you cook plant foods their tough cell walls begin to break down, nutrients shift towards becoming more easily utilized (and yes you will lose some nutrients depending on temperature and duration of cooking), and basically starts to break down the food so your body doesn't work so hard to do it all by itself. Now I'm not saying that raw diets are good, or bad, and I'm also not saying that everyone with digestive issues should eat cooked foods. But for me, I know my body is loving cooked meals.  

4. Stress and anxiety has more to do with my digestion than I gave them credit for.

DISCLAIMER: I LOVE MY LIFE. I love the "ups and downs" the "hard times" and I even love when "the struggle is real" because I am always working towards shifting my mind to see all my experiences as opportunities for expansion, growth, and deeper compassion. THAT being said, stress is stress and it happens to all of us. Yoga has helped me deal with stress, but I also have experienced stress from feeling under prepared to teach a class, or having anxiety about being perceived as "just another yoga girl on instagram showing off her butt" not that I don't love my butt... but it goes beyond that for me. All of these sensations bring about a stress response in the body reeking havoc on your hormones, physical body, and you guess it YOUR DIGESTION. Perhaps I'll make a more in depth post about the effects stress has on our digestion this later this month. 

Anyway, here's my plan for letting go of stress. I'm going to practice yoga everyday (and no teaching a class isn't going to count anymore). I am also going to start meditating for 5 minutes every morning. Also, I think I'm going to start facing fears that are linked with me building my online presence. I have a hunch... that maybe, just maybe, the stress of being so vulnerable by posting youtube videos, blog posts, instagram photos of myself, an my life... that I might just be sitting in a puddle of stress and haven't really realized it until now. 

 

So on to what my naturopath has added to my regimen of botanical supplements! 

 From blur to clear: Ashwagandha, Triphala, Core Artimisia Blend, Sinus-Tone, Endopath-F, Lymph-Tone III, and my new probiotic Saccharmoyces boulardii . 

From blur to clear: Ashwagandha, Triphala, Core Artimisia Blend, Sinus-Tone, Endopath-F, Lymph-Tone III, and my new probiotic Saccharmoyces boulardii . 

 

So I go more in depth about what each botanical elixr does in my youtube video (I just love typing those words), but to keep this blog post a quick read I'll highlight just a few. 

Saccharomyces boulardii - probiotic

This guy is usually prescribed to patients on heavy antibiotics who are experiencing diarrhea, despite the fact that I don't have diarrhea, this is what my naturopath decided was necessary to help my gut biome have a "cleanse" of sorts. I chance to reset. 

Triphala  - aids digestion and colon clense

I've been taking Triphala, an Ayurvedic herb, on and off for over a year now. I took it daily when I first went vegan and started adopting healthier lifestyle practices, but fell off the wagon after my elixirs got to be time consuming enough. Thinking back to the days of beautiful digestion I remember feeling super regular and think that Triphala had a lot to do with keeping me that way. So I've added to two capsules daily, once with breakfast and once with dinner. Unlike the elixirs and probiotic, Triphala is something I would think is failry acceptable for anyone to take, especially if you aren't regular. I always recommend doing your research before taking any supplement or substance, (plant derived or not), and speaking with an Ayurvedic practitioner would be even better!

 

So thats all for now guys! Feel free to send me an email or direct message on Instagram to tell me about your digestion, what helps you stay regular, and if you have any stress relieving practices. 

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Kaitlynn Black