Recently I wrote about detoxing and cleansing and whether there was validity in doing that to rid the body of toxins. You can catch that info here if you are interested.
There’s another way to help your digestive system ‘rest’ and ‘reset’ when it’s just been overloaded for whatever reason.
How? By choosing foods that are nourishing, yet gentle on your body for a couple of days and getting back to basics.
I’ve had an opportunity to try this out over the last few days as I have not been feeling my best. (Yep, nutritionists get off track too. Don’t believe all the perfection you see on social media feeds – we’re real people, with real human foibles and sometimes we need to take remedial action).
It’s been a stressful year, in particular the last few months, and I can definitely feel it. Not sleeping well, creeping anxiety, feelings of overwhelm, ‘rushing woman’s syndrome’ (more on that in an upcoming blog), too much screen time, and eating a crap load of …well, crap. Not necessarily junk food in the traditional sense (ie: drive-throughs, take-outs, pop, deep fried everything) but letting good habits slip.
Eating on the run, a few too many refined carbs and dairy products, skipping meals, letting myself get dehydrated and maybe worst of all, paying little attention as my barrel (i.e. ☺ body, mind, emotions) got closer and closer to overflow. Because overflow leads to illness and disease.
Suddenly I had all the symptoms many of my clients bring me: bloating, nausea, lethargy, indigestion in the evenings, cravings for sweets and other ‘comfort’ foods, and generally feeling heavy and blech.
A meal out last week was the tipping point – I think it may have been contaminated – and boom, I had a full-blown case of “I just can’t feel like this anymore”.
Cue the first step in my spring re-boot: a little digestive rest.
What does this mean? Well, I’m doing a few days of what I consider high nutrition/low impact eating. So foods that are simple and easy for my poor overwrought digestive system to break-down and assimilate.
Smoothies, soups, straightforward meals plainly cooked, that are smaller in volume and effortless in preparation are the order of the day for me for at least the next week, along with a boost in fibre and hydration in the form of more water and herbal teas and less coffee and ehrm…wine.
I have a few go-to soups when I am looking for something soothing and comforting where I can pack in a lot of nutrition. Many of them are hearty which doesn’t fit with the lightness I am seeking at this time of year. But this one – that I call Digestive Smoothie Soup – is light in taste and perfect for the springy weather. You can even eat it cold like a gazpacho.
I’ll be getting the nutritive and fibre goodness of green veggies, garlic and coconut oil (both anti-virals), lemon (to stimulate my own digestive juices), and hemp seeds (for protein) all in a quick to prepare and easy to digest meal. So good!
Food’s only one part of great digestion though – I’m also paying more attention to rest, calming activities, sleep and personal interactions over the next few weeks too to reduce my overactive stress hormones so my barrel doesn’t continue its pattern of overflow.
Recipe: Digestive Smoothie Soup
- 2 Tbsps Coconut Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion, (chopped)
- 8 stalks Celery (chopped)
- 3 Garlic (cloves, minced)
- 6 cups Water
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 3 cups Asparagus (woody ends snapped off)
- 1/2 cup Hemp Seeds
- 6 cups Baby Spinach
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- 1/4 cup Fresh Dill (chopped)
- Heat coconut oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add yellow onion and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes or until veggies are slightly softened. Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add water, sea salt and black pepper to the stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Remove lid and set asparagus on top. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes or until bright green.
- Add hemp seeds and baby spinach to your blender. Pour soup over top and puree. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!
- No Hemp seeds? Use cashews.
- Add Some Crunch. Set aside a few spears of asparagus, roast before serving and use as a garnish.
- No Spinach? Use kale, swiss chard or any leafy green.
- Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.