Do you work hard to be conscientious about what you eat, but still don’t feel quite like yourself?
The food you eat is literally that which you take in from the outside world in. But that’s only half the picture. Nutrition includes both your food and your digestion.
Digestion is the gateway to the body: it’s how you take in and adapt the outer world to suit your needs and purposes.
The digestive tract is actually outside the body – did you know that?
It’s a tube that runs through your body. Think about it a minute: it’s one long tube with an opening at both ends. Sure there are variations along the way, and valves to keep things contained in the right place at the right time, but it’s all one big tunnel.
The food you eat, substances from the outside world, go into the tube. Your digestive organs release juices and such out to break down those morsels, only then do the bits you need get absorbed into the bloodstream. Into the body to be made into whatever substance you need.
The function of your digestion plays an active role in how well you’re nourished.
We tend to think of digestion as an automatic process over which we have no control. Not true.
Who you are, your emotions, your attitudes, your approach to life, even your personality will affect your digestion and how you assimilate food. There have been studies of identical twins, who’ve been raised the exact same way, and yet one is fat and the other thin. One thrives and the other is sickly.
Other factors go into how well you digest: stress levels, emotional state, where you are, who you’re with.
Think about it: Have you ever eaten something, let’s say an oatmeal muffin, one day and have been fine, and the next time you eat the same muffin, you sneeze your head off or get a belly ache?
Have you ever had a big fight with someone you love and not been able to eat even though you were hungry 10 minutes before?
Do you try really hard to be conscientious about food choices, calories and portions sizes, with little or no impact on your weight, your energy levels, your skin, or whatever your weak spot happens to be?
Digestion is an expression of your soul.
Your spirit holds the blueprint for your most vibrant manifestation: your highest potential. Your soul helps to guide you towards that potential through your intuition, symptoms, images, dreams sensations and feelings.
Your soul guides your body to become what it is meant to be, in order to best steer you towards who you are meant to become. On a physical level, this means building the container (you might even call it the temple), the body that will best suit your purpose. Hence, your soul helps direct your digestive tract to absorb certain nutrients.
Digestion is a reflection of how you take in and digest life.
The way you digest food contains the metaphors for how well you savour, absorb and release situations. It harbours clues to where you need to grow and expand and what you need to release.
Do you have a hard time stomaching a certain situation?
Did your father always tell you to stop your bellyaching?
When do you have a hard time assimilating circumstances?
Do you have a hard time letting go of crap you no longer need?
When you learn to understand your digestive processes and see that you play a conscious role in its functioning, you take a pro-active role in getting the most out of the food you eat. Which then sets you up for improved health across the board.
Digestion is one of the doorways to your relationship with Life.
Because digestion is how you access nourishment, it’s the best place to start when it comes to healing your body.
You can’t maintain and repair the container until you get full access to the raw materials it needs.
Kind of like the shipping and receiving of a major corporation. Once that department is running efficiently, the rest of the company has what it needs to build its product and grow.
Through enhanced digestion you’ll realize your pot belly’s not here to stay. Your smelly pits and acne aren’t requirements of perimenopause. Nor is exhaustion and indigestion a criteria for motherhood. Depression and anxiety aren’t states you have to live with.
- Feeling at home in your body.
- Having the energy to fully enjoy your life again.
- Being present to your own needs, as well as to your kids.
I could write pages about this stuff. Instead I’ll leave you 3 simple fixes you can make to improve your digestion today and an invitation for more if you want it.
3 steps that will impact your ability to nourish yourself for life.
1. Sit and Savour.
Take a breath as you sit, this will engage your relaxation response. Give gratitude for what’s in front of you.
Enjoy the meal with all 5 of your senses: Give your body a chance to sensually and energetically tune into the food you’re eating for better assimilation.
Other than making things easier to swallow, the movement of your jaw sends a muscular message down the tract, telling the other organs that it’s time to get ready to receive and digest some food.
3. Include fermented food in your meals.
Things like yogourt, kefir, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and other fermented veggies.
These are your sources of probiotics, the micro-organisms that improve digestion and elimination, stimulate your immune system and provide you with certain nutrients, like B and K vitamins.
Better health is possible.
It starts with building the relationship to your body and taking an active interest in how it’s nourished.
Do you take your digestion for granted? What’s one thing that would improve in your life if your body made better use of the food you eat? When you share in the comments, you open the possibilities for others.
Are you ready to move beyond seeking the right food choices and deepen a relationship to your body and how it works?
I invite you to join a series called Spring into Celebrating You, in which I walk you through 3 rituals & explorations to (re)connect with that most fundamental relationship of who you are and how to feel at home within the needs of your body.
If there’s one place that you deserve to be comfortable, it’s at home in yourself.
Learn more about this basket full of essential garden tools right here.
Know anyone else who works hard to get the best out of their food? Send them this post using any (or all!) of the social share buttons below.
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What an eye-opening post, Cathy! It never occurred to me how important digestion was to absorbing nutrients! Thank you so much for sharing such important information! Your 5 week program sounds amazing too!!
“who you are, your emotions, your attitudes, your approach to life, your personality even will effect your digestion and how you assimilate food.”
this is such rich advice, cathy, and oh-so-true. i dealt with many digestive ailments in my late teens and early 20s and, looking back, i see all the connections that were weaving their way through my life. and now, as an aftercare recovery coach for women with eating disorders, i witness the link between food and emotions on a daily basis. holistic wellness – body, mind, and soul.
Love. this. post. Finally, someone talking about the bigger picture, with the ability to bring it into the little picture, and make it accessible for people to actually do something and understand what they are doing.
You are brilliant… I love your words, love how you teach, the way you write. If this post is anything like your course…it will be on fire… along with our digestion!!!! 🙂
i loved how you explained it all… Yes. Thank you.
Hi Cathy – this was so beautifully written. This is profound information and needs more attention. As a Medical Intuitive, I am seeing that there is so much gut dis-ease in the world. The information you shared will make a huge difference. Thank you xx
This is so cool. YOU are so cool, Cathy.
I always love your unique voice on health and nutrition.
Best wishes on your new course. It sounds incredible!
Beautiful! When we’re reminded that “digestion is an expression of our soul” wouldn’t we want to always be connected and nourished with our deepest self? Every meal is an opportunity to slow down, connect and savor what is right here.
“Digestion is an expression of your soul.” I have never heard it expressed this way, but it intuitively rings true to me. I know when I ma upset, I can’t even eat, my stomach is tied up in knots. I also was heartened to read that you share the viewpoint that digestion is more than just about food and food nourishment only.
I don’t use fermented foods, so that’s a tip I’ll take today from here.
Merci ! 🙂
Every little bit helps!
Great post. There is definitely a connection between our mind and our bodies. I really enjoyed your insight on digestion and a different look at ways that things could function in a more effective and efficient manner. This is definitely something that I try to keep in mind, remembering that there are always factors within my control that can be changed or looked at.
It often amazes me how we grow up not being taught the relationship between our body and our emotions. I love the way you’re not only teaching about good nutrition here, but you’re also helping people to consider the connection between the body, mind and soul when thinking about digestion. This approach also relates very much to mindfulness, and we all benefit from more of that!
I got goosebumps when I read ‘digestion is an expression of your soul’. That is so true. When I am stressed, my body holds on to everything. When I practice self care, everything works and feels better.
Much success on your course!!!
So much goodness here, Cathy, particularly the piece about really savoring the food we eat. Sometimes nourishment supersedes nutrition. This sounds like a valuable course for people who want to learn how to eat more consciously!