Hey Food, Stop Shoving! Eating for Happy Digestion

One of my favorite quotes right now is from the fabulous Brenè Brown,

BE A LEARNER, NOT A KNOWER.

What I’m learning about my body is that

A) I freaking love fruit.  No news there.  We humans are born with a natural sweet tooth and for me, fruit is the bomb-diggity. (Spell check didn’t even touch that. It’s so hip.)

B) If I eat fruit throughout the day in between other foods, HELLOOOO FARTSVILLE!  Smell me for miles, folks.  It ain’t pretty.

Fruit digests fastest, followed by vegetables, followed by starches, followed by the stuff you don’t want to put in your gut (oils, meats, dairy, eggs, refined foods, etc.)  What happens when you eat a li’l of this, eat a li’l of that… the faster digesting foods start shoving in line, the slower foods shove back -it’s messy.  It’s stinky.  It’s just rude behavior, foods.

How to help them get along?

As a learner, this is what I’m finding works best -and it’s advice I’ve read in many books (plant-based or not.)

Fruit First

For breakfast I make a green+fruit smoothie and eat as much whole, ripe, luscious fresh fruit as I’m hungry for.  For me, that usually looks like several bananas, an apple, a big orange, my smoothie contents (usually banana, frozen berries, heaps of spinach, flax seed, soymilk.)  Whatever’s in season and is tempting.  (UhmaGASH, FRUIT!)

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Salad For Lunch, Keeping It Crunchy

When I’m done with fruit for the day and my tummy says, “Hey, what’s next?” that’s when the mean greens bust out.  I pile a (pretty ridiculously) large mixing bowl full of greens (me, I’m a spinach girl) and pull out all sorts of fresh items to pile in.  From pinto beans to pan roasted sweet corn, delicious carrots to blueberries, I usually put a combination of at least 5 different items that look good together.  Being pregnant, I am adding in 1 tablespoon of raw nuts or seeds -pecans, flax, hemp, walnuts, whatever looks good.

For dressings, I’m keeping with low-sodium, no processed oils and no refined sugars, so I’ve been dabbling with a few combos lately.  Warmed up frozen berries add a fabulous sauciness.  I also am a big fan of apple cider vinegar -just throw some splashes on and mix ‘er up!  Lemon or lime juice is good, too, depending on your salad combo.

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Starches for Dinner

Starches are the perfect before-bed food.  I feel full, satisfied; digestion kicks into gear and zzzzzzz… I’m ready to hit the hay.  This is the meal where I have most of my cooked food.  I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes, white potatoes, polenta (cornmeal cooked with water), rice -man, I’m ready for dinner now just thinking of these goodies.  Throw in some steamed greens, broccoli, diced tomato -Bam!  That’s me.

OR, I have “breakfast for dinner.” A bowl of cooked oats with cinnamon, a handful of raisins, topped off with soymilk.  If I’m feeling frisky, chop up a banana and sprinkle on top.

PST!

Sometimes, I like fruit soooo much, I eat it for lunch.  Then I have an early dinner of salad, and a second course of starches and cooked veggies a bit later.

Seems like a lot of food, right?  Heck, if you love food -like me- that’s the beauty of a nutrient-rich, fiber-filled diet!  You CAN eat a crap ton and it’s all good.  Now, I’ve pushed the boundaries.  I still stress eat if I don’t do some personal problem solving of stuff I’m dealing with.  Of all the foods to stress eat, these be the best, friends.  (Not that eating for emotional numbing is a good idea ever, but one step at a time.  If you’re eating these kinds of foods and avoiding excess salt, refined oils+sugars, processed food and animal products, MAJOR HIGH FIVES, Friend!  That’s a HUGE positive life change right there.)

I’m going to talk about my stress eating soon.  It’s a struggle.  And I’m finding some very helpful ways of dealing with my emotional eating.

To Recap:  Fruit first.  Have a honkin’ big salad.  Then, enjoy a snuggly starchy dinner and tuck into bed early for plenty of baby-creating sleep.

 

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