Where does one begin when it comes to improving digestive health?

It can range from minimizing sugar in the diet to getting comprehensive blood and stool panels. For my guided sugar cleanse classes, we spend 21 days focused on: eating wholesome, colorful, minimally processed foods; avoiding sugar, gluten, alcohol, and overly processed foods, inflammatory, triggering foods and drinks; as well as sleep health, stress management,  time in nature, and movement.  That’s enough a place for anyone to get going.

For many, bloating, gas, cramping, and digestive issues are eased with these measures. If my clients need to dial in a littler further, here are my 12 tips for optimizing digestion I often recommend next.

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in water 15
    minutes before a meal, or;
  2. Try digestive bitters before a meal to prime digestion and release of needed hydrochloric acid and enzymes
  3. Do not drink with meals, just sip enough to get your food down
  4. Sit down, and eat when you eat; meaning, avoid being preoccupied with other tasks such as driving, working on computer, sitting in front of a TV, stressful conversations, etc.
  5. Take a couple of long, slow, deep breaths before your meal (also a good time to give thanks); take a breath in between bites too
  6. Chew well (a critical part of digestion); unchewed foods is harder for the stomach to break down
  7. Enjoy, savor, and engage your senses!
  8. Wait at least 10 min before a second helping to allow your body time to register satiety queues
  9. Eat until satisfied, but not stuffed (be mindful of portions)
  10. Enjoy cultured foods with your meal as well as after meal digestive aid teas like chamomile, ginger, peppermint, fennel
  11. Go for a walk after eating
  12. Avoid eating within 2-3 hours of bedtime, especially heavy or spicy meals