Love Your Food: 3 Lessons That Are Good for Your Gut
I love food and everything about it. The tastes, the colors, the textures, the endless possibilities and of course, all of those glorious nutrients. Most of all though, I love creating beautiful, healthy meals and sharing the cooking (and eating!) experience with others. In June, I had the chance to do just that with a wonderful coterie of participants who joined me and my colleagues at Kripalu for our Digestive Health 5-Day immersion course.
Each time a course begins, there’s always that palpable feeling amongst the participants of excitement, nerves and wonder about what’s to come. As the group starts to gel and the conversation begins to flow, I never cease to be inspired by the stories,struggles and victories the participants share during our time together. While everyone comes to the course intending to learn how to rehab their diet and lifestyle for digestive health and how to cook and eat healthfully, five days later, we all head back home with so much more.
Before the memory of the June course starts to fade, I wanted to share with you three of the many “magic moment” take-aways that resonated with our group, and may do the same for you! Here’s a little food for thought to inspire you on your healthy lifestyle journey:
1. Reframe how you think about food.
For many students, particularly those with gut problems like IBS, Crohn’s and other digestion-related issues, food has long been a source of physical pain and misery. One central idea in the course is the idea that the right foods heal. You do have to experiment to find out what works with your particular gut make-up, but ultimately participants realize that indeed, food is medicine.
2. Let go of kitchen-anxiety.
Many of those who have gut issues also have what I call kitchen-anxiety, hiding behind the idea of not being a good cook, or just not caring about what they’re eating all that much. With my June group, many participants were surprised to find that once they got the opportunity to get creative with dishes that would make them feel good, to “play” with food, the anxiety started to recede. The chance to have control over exactly what went into their bodies empowered them to make choices and dishes they might not have been open to before.
3. Tend your mind/body garden every day.
In other words, don’t let the weeds take hold. Living and eating clean for a week or two is good, but doing it for years is the way to keep bad bugs at bay and boost health in the long-term. It’s much easier to take out a few weeds than it is to take out a field full of them, so make a deal with yourself to do the things that make your body and mind feel good every day – not just on the weekend, or when you find some time, or when mercury’s not in retrograde, or when the kids graduate from high school. The time is now. Do as much or as little as you can every day---whether it is connecting to breath, taking a walk in nature, enjoying a yoga class, or cooking up a delicious, whole foods meal! Yes, we all slip up every now and then, we’re human. Other times we may go way off the rails, but the important thing is to get back on track as quickly as you can. Just tend your garden every day and keep moving forward.
For more information on how to join us at our next course, Digestive Health: A Holistic Approach 5-day immersion course, visit: http://healthyliving.kripalu.org/immersion-programs/rrdw and for additional ideas on how to create a healthier relationship with your food, kitchen and yourself, you can now pre-order my latest book, The Swift Diet: 4 Weeks to Mend the Belly, Lose the Weight and Get Rid of the Bloat, at these online retailers: