3. Please don’t drink while eating. This goes along with rule # 2, above. Fluids will DILUTE your stomach acid and all the digestive enzymes (amylase in the saliva to digest starch, proteases from the pancreas to digest protein, and lipase from the bile to digest fats). The best time to drink, and pure water is definitely the best drink available, is first thing in the morning, during or around work-outs, and between meals. Sure, you can have a sip or two with meals to lubricate your swallowing. But keep the fluids with food down to a minimum.
4. Try to eat sitting down and in a relaxed environment. Please don’t watch the news or have a heavy conversation during mealtime. Try to establish a “mealtime” pattern for yourself. Try not to eat within 2 hours of going to bed (4 is better). Make sure to “fast” for 12 hours daily. Give your digestive system a rest. It is enormously “expensive” (energy-wise) to digest food, especially protein. That’s why people usually lose weight on high protein diets. It takes almost all the calories in the meat to digest that meat. Extra digestion, over a lifetime, will wear you out sooner. To date, the only proven method of life extension remains calorie restriction. This doesn’t mean Draconian self-denial. But it does mean no pigging out, and, as a general rule, stopping before yofeel “full.” If you feel peckish between meals, try drinking water before reaching for a snack. If you are hypoglycemic, ignore that advice. Some people truly need to eat smaller, more frequent meals. You will need to determine for yourself whether “grazing” works better than a mealtime scheme. Either way, keep in mind that digestion is a parasympathetic (the opposite of “fight or flight”) function. You need to be calm and relaxed for the digestive juices to kick in optimally.
5. Aim to poop at least once a day. That is, evacuate a large, easy-to-pass, dark brown, slightly fluffy, bowel movement — optimally three times daily, but most of us can’t find the time for that kind of enjoyment! By fluffy I mean somewhat floating. If you have a “sinker” — just hits the bottom of the porcelain pronto — then it (the poop) has been in there too long, compacting and getting altogether too dense. My favorite poop fluffers include freshly ground flax seeds (1-3 tablespoons of the stuff in water or juice in the AM), or celery, or the good old apple a day. If you prefer to have sticky, foul-smelling BMs, then make sure to include plenty of refined carbohydrates (including candy bars) into your diet.
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