HAPPY FRIYAY! <3
As you all know, eating disorder recovery entails an array of weird, bizarre, crazy, sometimes-kind-of-gross bodily situations that can last anywhere from up to a few weeks to a few months into the re-feeding process.
& LORD KNOWS, I have experienced LOADS OF THEM. I know, too much info, whatevz. I’m being open & stuff.
Two of the many issues I’m referring to are BLOATING & DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS. And since I’ve been so open with you munchkins about experiencing these issues, a lot of you have been asking me what I do to cope with & handle what I like to refer to as the “BLOATING SITCHS” (Might as well have some fun with it, right?!).
So, here is a little summary of the tips & tricks that have worked for me throughout my journey towards recovery & that have helped the bloating subside in the moment & some of which have even produced long-term benefits & become a daily routine for me!
LEMON WATER (WITH HIMALAYAN SALT) EVERY MORNING!
Okay, so as you guys know, I did a whole post on this months ago when I first started my blog, so if you want to know about all the benefits doing this entails, use the search bar at the bottom of the front page to find the post! (OR, because I love you SO MUCH, click here!). BUT, basically, I will tell you one thing & one thing only: Doing this will change your life, yep, as dramatic as it sounds!
People tend to think that when they’re bloated, they’re holding onto water & that therefore, they should cut back on drinking it. BUT, that’s not the case! Water retention is actually the body’s way of holding on to fluid so that you don’t dehydrate. If you’re bloated, YOU WANT TO PUSH FLUIDS, not restrict them!
ALSO, it’s crucial to drink plenty of fluid when you’re bloated so that you can keep food moving through your digestive tract! ANYWHO, all this to say, by mixing sea salt with lemon juice & room temperature water, you can help push waste through the body, release toxins & improve your overall digestion!
NOW, I get these questions ALL THE TIME. So, I’ll take the opportunity to answer them here so it’s permanent!
(1) How should you drink it?!
Lemon water should always be ROOM TEMPERATURE. Why?
If it’s TOO HOT, the heat destroys some of the enzymes in the lemon juice.
If it’s TOO COLD, it can hinder the digestive benefits of the lemon. ALSO, as funny as this sounds, if the water is too cold, your body has to work HARDER & dispense more energy to “heat up” the ice cold water, which can be counter-productive to the energy-boosting effect (one of the million benefits, BTW) of the lemon water.
It’s best to drink it at room temperature in order to retain the most health benefits & for the full enzymatic & energetic properties of the lemon to be kept.
(2) Do you really need to add the salt?!
I know, it doesn’t taste great, but yes, YOU DO, for many different reasons!.
Basically, the sea salt helps stimulate digestive enzymes (CRUCIAL FOR REDUCING BLOATING), destroy bacteria, hydrate, energize, alkalize the body’s pH levels (which is necessary especially for those who eat a lot of processed foods, which cause acidic pH to the body) & reduce inflammation.
CAN’T STAND THE TASTE? No problem! Add the sea salt BUT also add a bit of raw organic honey! & BAM!
Fennel seed capsules, FTW! You can get them at most health food stores.
You can also just take a tsp. or two of fennel seeds if you are able to stomach the taste but it’s not great!
Basically, scientific studies have shown that the fact that fennel seeds are rich in volatile oil can help provide digestive benefits & gives them the ability to clear intestinal gas very effectively. Sorry for the TMI, but I’m just trying to help guys! Basically, certain compounds in the seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that help relax contracted intestinal muscles & allow trapped gas to dissipate.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!
Try slowly incorporating 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar into your day (whether it be taking it straight, diluted with juice, or incorporated into sauces, marinades or dressings!). Always make sure your ACV is organic & “from the mother”.
Apple cider vinegar is just fermented apples. When you add this fermented liquid into your stomach, it helps regulate your digestive processes & relieves any painful gas & bloating!
This helps with the inflammation due to curcuma’s natural anti-inflammatory properties. Basically, turmeric protects from the formation of intestinal gas & due to its hot potency, it can serve as an anti-flatulent, digestive & stimulant. It has the ability to counteract the effect of toxic elements or substances in our diets & protect us from their after effects! It also stimulates digestion by improving the action of intestinal lipase (he enzyme that breaks down fats) & sucrase & maltase (the enzymes which break down carbs).
BUT, if I had to choose between the fennel capsules or the turmeric ones, I would definitely recommend the fennel ones in terms of digestive relief & the turmeric ones for its anti-inflammatory properties.
If you MUST, take digestive enzymes (I have the ones by Udo’s Choice).
Basically, digestive enzymes are proteins that help digest macronutrients (carbs, proteins & fats) in the foods that we consume. If our bodies cannot break down one or more of these nutrients due to inadequate amount of enzymes, this is when the bloat comes along! Taking the enzymes your body cannot produce helps prevent bloating & stimulate & ease digestion.
Do not make taking these a habit! You do not want your body to learn to get used to them & ultimately, you do not want your digestive system to stop functioning & working on its own. All in all, too much of anything is never a good thing!
REDUCE SODIUM CONSUMPTION!
Try to reduce your sodium consumption wherever & whenever possible! Don’t cut out salt completely, but when buying sauces, for example, try to always look for reduced-sodium versions or substitutes. For example, if you eat a lot of soy sauce, try perhaps substituting it for soy sauce substitute or coconut aminos.
If you eat a lot of highly-processed foods, they tend to be very high in sodium & low in fibre, which makes them harder to digest!
All this to say, READ YOUR LABELS! No product should have more than 500mg per serving.
DO NOT COMPLETELY CUT OUT EVERYTHING AT ONCE!
DO NOT COMPLETELY CUT OUT EVERYTHING AT ONCE because eventually your body will develop an intolerance to those foods if & when they are consumed after a long period of having not been. Many people self-diagnose themselves with conditions, such as being lactose or gluten intolerant. This leads to them unnecessarily eliminating healthy dairy & whole grains from their diets without really knowing if that is the main cause!
My loves, you need to LIVE & DO EVERYTHING IN MODERATION! If you find that certain foods bloat you every single time you consume them, then you will know that these are maybe foods you should consume less often or not at all. BUT don’t cut everything out at once because then you won’t be able to determine what the root cause of the bloating is.
LIMIT CONSUMPTION OF ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS (& even some natural ones!)
Try to stay away from or limit consumption of artificial sweeteners in foods & drinks!
Look out for ingredient labels that contain SORBITOL, which is an artificial sweetener that cannot be digested by our bodies.
ALSO, look out for FRUCTOSE, a natural sugar added to many processed foods, which is also difficult for many people to digest!
Obviously, I am not telling you to entirely cut out these sugars as they are found in MOST foods & it is pretty much inevitable, BUT do try to limit your consumption & always be wary of food labels!
IMO, you are better off with coconut sugar, maple syrup, raw organic honey, green leaf stevia or stevia extracts!
DON’T EAT TOO QUICKLY!
Don’t eat too quickly. It sounds crazy but if you eat too quickly & don’t chew your food well, you can cause air swallowing, which leads to bloating (This is the same logic applied to saying that you shouldn’t overdo chewing gum because as you do, you are letting air into your body & also engaging in air swallowing).
EAT SMALLER MEALS MORE OFTEN!
Eat smaller meals MORE OFTEN. Often, we get bloated simply because we had a LARGE MEAL. Try to have 5-6 small meals per day, all while making sure that you’re satisfying your food & calorie intake per day! It’s not because the meal is smaller that it shouldn’t be protein, healthy fat & carb dense!
Drink Kombucha daily or every two days (if you are starting out) &/or a daily probiotic supplement &/or foods rich in probiotics
One of the main reasons we experience bloating is because of gut bacteria imbalance. Basically, what this means is that you have too much bad bacteria living in your gut (due to things such as, bad diet or stress). Tackling unhealthy gut with live bacteria can help address the imbalance in our gut flora & stop the bad bacteria & yeast from accumulating too much in our intestines, which is what ultimately leads to bloating.
When buying a probiotic supplement, always make sure they contain strains of good microbes: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Other good probiotic foods are sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi!
I hope this helps my loves!!
PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME IF ANYTHING! <3