July 09, 2015 | | Comments 0
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Rock Your Health: How to stop feeling your stress in your gut

Many busy nurse leaders are dealing with digestive health problems and trying to carry on through the discomfort. Here are some simple action steps you can take right away that will help improve your digestion.

When your stomach speaks to you, LISTEN UP! Your gut is trying to tell you something. Did you know that about 80% of your immune system and half of your nerve cells and neurotransmitters involve your digestive system? Isn’t it time we gave our gut some love and respect?

Drink lemon water first thing
Start your day with the juice of half a lemon in a cup of warm water with a dash of cayenne pepper. Lemon can stimulate elimination of yesterday’s food, help destroy bad bacteria in the mouth and intestines, and does many other great things. My grandfather used to start his day this way, so it is both an old-time remedy as well as one used in Chinese medicine.

Eat in happiness and calm
The process of digestion starts with your brain so when you sit down to eat, take three belly breaths in through your nose and exhale slowly. This will engage your parasympathetic system that slows you down and disengages your sympathetic nervous system that speeds you up. Remember when the tradition was to say a prayer before you ate a meal? That is a practice that works in the same way.

Chew chew chew
Food starts digesting in your mouth as soon as you start chewing. There is a digestive enzyme in your saliva that starts to break down the food but you need to chew longer for that to happen. So chew 25-50 times per bite of food to prepare the food for its trip down to the stomach.

Protect the acid in your stomach
Your stomach contains hydrochloric acid (HCL), which is ready and willing to break down the food even more so it can be absorbed by the body. HCL also kills bacteria, viruses, and potential antigens from making you sick. Because of these two important roles, you don’t want to dilute the acid and prevent it from doing its job. Therefore, don’t drink water when you are eating.

Drink water in between meals
Consume half your body weight in ounces daily to aid your digestion, replenish your system, prevent dehydration, and detoxify your body. Consider adding a pinch of natural sea salt to each 32 ounces of water.

Need more advice? Email me at carol@carolebert.com.

Stay well!

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Carol Ebert About the Author: Carol Ebert, RN, BSN, MA, CHES, CWP, is a creative force for education and wellness and is a certified wellness practitioner and wellness coach, mindful coaching certification trainer, certified law of attraction facilitator, and certified nutrition advisor. She has been a bedside nurse, school health educator, college health service director, medical center wellness specialist, and mindful coach and trainer. She is now CEO of her own wellness business, www.carolebert.com. She can be emailed at carol@carolebert.com.

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