We make fun of gas when it’s out and about. But if you have had, and we all have, the trapped debilitating cramps that leave you laying in the fetal position for hours on end, you’re probably not laughing too much. Trapped gas is painful and it can literally take you off your feet and out of commission. When the intestines get twisted and start spasming, it fills you with air and pressure which can be difficult to release. You’d think, “Hey, just fart.” But it’s not always that simple. Trapped gas just likes to hang out and make you miserable.
For us sensitive folk, it is a complicated scenario to play with regarding our guts. Sometimes what once agreed with you will leave you curb side at your next encounter while what you once were once able to eat with reckless abandon tears you up just at the thought of it. It’s not, however, always what you eat. Often times it’s how the food is prepared, and how you are eating said prepared meal.
For example, and an obvious one at that….broccoli is notorious for causing bloating, gas, and distention. It can be very painful. But I have found that even steaming it doesn’t seem to work for me. However, if I roast or sautee it with some ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil, it goes down and stays down with minimal physical assault. There is something about the fats helping to break down the molecules within the cruciferous vegetables that helps to make them more digestible. For me, that goes with most raw vegetables. I have pretty much given up eating any raw food, including salads, as the “roughness” just doesn’t seem to work for my sensitive constitution.
Another thing we need to consider is how we eat when we eat. I have had the tendency to dine with my devices. TV on. Phone on one corner of my plate with my iPad on the other and barely an attention paid to what’s on my fork, how much of what I’m eating is on my fork, or if I even chewed for that matter. No wonder we all have such terrible digestive systems. I believe this is why they don’t allow social media in so many corporate businesses. If you’re off doing something else how can you possibly be focused on the task at hand.
Our digestive systems do so much more than just shuttle food around. They are the gateway of communication to all things possible in our bodies. If meals are not digested properly, chances are you’re going to experience some sort of undesired side effect.
My new thing is to put it all away. Perhaps the one thing that I needed to do all along was just be more present with my eating. Perhaps it isn’t so much the food itself, but how I eat the food. Slowing down, paying more attention, enjoying the meal—these are all emotionally how we relate to food. Having an appreciation for our digestive system and not overburdening it with too much food or eating too fast is another element when it comes to having a healthy system.
I’m not a big fan of lots of raw food to begin with. It takes a lot of work to break down all that fiber. Lightly cooking your vegetables and meals to take the edge off will dramatically mitigate the roughness of the roughage. If you’re experiencing lots of gas, bloating, or discomfort after a meal or even hours after a meal, slow down, pay attention, and enjoy your meal for once. You may see how just a few tweaks in how you eat will enhance how your body feels about what you eat.
Give it a shot. Shut down the extras. Sit quietly or with minimal distraction. Chew your food thoroughly. Don’t drink cold beverages with your meals. Focus on proper food combining—and by this I mean, don’t complicate your meals too much. Sensitive digestive systems do best with simpler meals. Cook your vegetables and toss the salad for a while. Stay away from floury and processed meals and have your starches come from sweeter winter vegetables and well cooked grains. And allow several hours between your meals so that your gut can be empty for a bit.
Eating is not something we are supposed to do mindlessly. It’s your body for crying out loud and it deserves just as much attention and care as your car, your job, or any external factor that takes much of your attention. So start caring for your innards as much as you care for what’s on the outwards.