As you learned from our blog “Embracing the Season,” the Autumn of life is about refining or re-defining yourself and what matters to you. All transformations start with the most basic elements and nothing could be more basic that the foods you eat. So let’s start at the beginning and take a look at the eating habits you have developed throughout your life.
Did you start out as a picky eater and never really develop an adventurous palate?
Or did you grow up eating what your family grew or had access to but fell into the trap of quick, convenience foods over the years?
As our culture has become increasingly more hectic, the three things that drive our food choices are the convenience, cost, and taste. Unfortunately, processed, ready-made foods tend to be devoid of nutrients and ultimately lead to expensive doctor bills.
In the Autumn of life, we are offered a chance to renew our responsibility for taking care of ourselves. First by understanding the relationship we have developed over time to our food and then by making choices that improve our health and our overall sense of wellbeing.
The BYG philosophy recognizes that we all have a very personal connection to our food and that connection has developed into behaviors that ultimately influence the health of our digestive system. We will begin by identifying the type of digestive system you have cultivated over the years and how it drives your cravings as well as any bad habits you may have around eating. Our quick and easy quiz will identify your digestive type.
We have outlined the three dominant digestive types and placed them into categories based on their tendencies and habits. Learning your dominant digestive element is essential to understanding why and how you have developed certain dietary habits and more importantly, how you can improve those habits to enhance your overall health. Each digestive type has been named for the natural element that best suits its tendencies and habits: Air, Fire, and Earth.
The Digestive Elements
- Air: If you have an airy digestive system, you tend to have a gassy or noisy stomach. Your appetite is irregular and your stool is often dry and hard. You crave healthy, cool foods like salads or smoothies and will often undereat when stressed.
- Fire: A fiery digestive system, means you have a strong appetite and don’t like to miss meals. You may experience frequent acid reflux or indigestion. Your stool is often loose or frequent and you crave spicy or rich foods.
- Earth: If your digestion is earthy, you frequently feel bloated or heavy after meals. You might have a sluggish metabolism and tend toward “emotional eating.”
Once you have taken your personal digestive system assessment and learned which element best fits your digestion, you will be able to explore more in-depth information about your type. Meanwhile, let’s delve more deeply into how an imbalance in your digestive system can have some unexpected results.
Like Feeds Like
It is a strange truth in the natural world that the foods you crave when you are out of balance are the very things that will perpetuate the imbalance. The theory of “like feeds like” is in place here. For instance, when your digestive fire is too high, you tend to want spicy and/or rich foods that actually feed the flames.
So, if like feeds like then opposites must balance. Going back to our example of a fiery digestion, the best choice for taming digestive fires would be foods that are cooling in nature.
Knowing your specific tendencies can be eye-opening as well as empowering as you listen to your body in new ways and begin to make informed choices around food and how you relate to it. But we all know that making changes can bring about challenges. Let’s face some of those head-on.
Barriers to Making Healthier Choices
Same Old Same Old
Are you just plain tired of cooking? Your feelings are understandable but if you don’t cook you are giving up any control you have over ingredients in what you eat. Eating most of your meals out means more fat, salt and sugar. So why not make it easier on yourself? You can have groceries delivered or order them ahead online and pick them up. Click here to learn more about the best grocery delivery services or take advantage of the meal service options discussed below.
Travel and Leisure
Does travel and indulging in the finer things make it difficult to stay on a healthy plan?
When traveling, some preparatory actions can have a big pay off on your energy levels and digestive comfort.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! This can be tricky if you struggle with frequent urination so pack more punch to your water intake by boosting your electrolytes. Add natural electrolyte-rich powders to a liter of water and drink throughout the day. Or grab coconut water instead of plain aqua for an extra boost of potassium.
- Pack some food for the drive or flight to avoid making poor choices. Almond butter and banana wraps, clean bars or plant-based protein/nutritional shake powders, plantain chips, fruits that travel well (apple, berries, pears, banana) and nuts are great choices. You can also whip up a quick meal like a chicken salad wrap and no-cook date balls, if you want to make something for the road.
- Cool it. Try to stay somewhere with refrigeration or look into electric coolers. Having healthy snacks and drinks on hand in your room helps to cut down on junk food binges.
- Think local. Choose restaurants that focus on local cuisine. Ask your server what items are made in house and fresh.
- Veg it up. Ask to add vegetables to whatever meal you are having. Choose from whatever the menu has on offer in the salad and sides sections.
Do you feel intimidated by learning a new skill like cooking? Or maybe you are just tired of the same old tired meals you’ve made for years. Take advantage of the healthy, ready-made meal delivery services offered these days. Here is a link to guide you on choosing the service that is right for you.
Being honest with yourself about the barriers or challenges that have driven you off the healthy path either in the past or now in this season of life is a great starting point. Some of your challenges may be due to your unique digestive tendencies. Others may be a result of time constraints or convenience.
Either way, the knowledge you will gain with the BYG program coupled with an honest look at your habits will lead you to a strategy for overcoming your barriers. We are looking for lifestyle changes here so, embrace the concepts that feel comfortable for you and work at a pace that feels natural. Although it’s important to challenge yourself and create discipline around forming new habits, it’s the slow and steady changes that meet you where you are in life that have more success in the long run.
Now you are ready! You know your season of life and your natural tendencies so the next step is to take the actions that are right for you and enjoy the journey! We at BYG will be guiding you every step of the way.