So when you first feel a twinge of pain, ate too much, ate something you know your sensitive to but just couldn't resist (it happens!) here are some tricks you can try to bring your tummy back into balance.
1. Digestive Enzymes- I don't always suggest digestive enzymes as I have seen a lot of individuals dealing with digestive troubles begin to rely on them and get hooked on them. This leads the body to think that it doesn't have to work so hard producing digestive enzymes so getting off of them can be difficult if you're eating multiple at every meal. But, this handy supplement can support a troubled digestive tract for a short amount of time or an evening. When you find you have eaten a large amount of food or something just isn't sitting quite right, digestive enzymes can be an aid to boost your digestive power to break something down in your stomach that is having a hard time digesting.
2. Apple cider vinegar- ACV really just is a cure all for so many ailments. I have read so many articles recently on just how wonderful ACV truly is for our body. Often times, acid reflux or difficulties digesting a high protein meal can actually mean that you need more acid in your stomach to break down your food (not less, throw out those Tums!). Putting a 1 tsp-tbsp. of ACV diluted in a glass of water and sipping it before or after a meal can add some acid power to your stomach to help break down a meal and diminish any pain. You can even add a few drops of liquid stevia to it to make a refreshing drink. Yum!
3. Ginger- Ginger tea, ginger root, ginger capsules, ginger syrup. There are many ways to get your ginger in. Ginger stimulates the digestive system to produce more enzymes to facilitate digestion. It also helps stimulate more bile production, which can aid in making any digestive pain go away by increasing your ability to break down your food. When I travel abroad I take ginger capsules with me and they work fairly quickly in helping with a digestive woe. You can also make sure you have some ginger tea with you or if you're home break out some ginger root and start chewing. I would just suggest to stay away from ginger chews with the added sugar; the sugar takes away from the benefits of the ginger.
4. Deep breathing- Much of the time digestive pains can be due to trapped gas from possibly eating too fast. When I was going through the worst of my digestive troubles, you could often find me face down, lying on the carpet breathing into my belly. Deep belly breathing can begin to relax the muscles of your stomach switching your whole body into a relaxation response, which is what is needed to turn on digestion. When you're going through any kind of digestive upset, try to remember to breath through it. The added thoughts of "Ow, this hurts, I wish this would go away, why is this happening" causes the body to tighten even more which can in turn worsen the pain. Try lying on the ground, placing your hands on your belly, and just focusing on watching the rise and fall of your belly and feeling the support of the floor beneath you. This too shall pass.
5. Activated Charcoal- Speaking of trapped gas....activated charcoal will be your little miracle worker. It will bind and absorb to any chemicals or gas or whatever it is that is upsetting your stomach thus diminishing the stress being put on your digestive tract and decreasing pain. Just make sure that if you're taking any medications to take this away from your medications as it will decrease the efficiency of your medications being absorbed as well. Its powerful stuff!
Just remember to add in some extra self love when you're going through any digestive pain. Loving yourself up through the process of learning what does and does not work for your body will help you to move forward from any digestive and eating experience with so much compassion and patience for your unique journey living in a body.
I would love to hear from you! What have you found has worked to help you when you're having a digestive upset?