A few days ago I had an article published on Mind Body Green about seven different holiday foods that can cause bloating, constipation and fatigue. I am talking apple pie a la Mode, pork roast with potatoes, cheesecake with fruit and other favorites.
There has been a very interesting response. Over 3000 people liked the article on facebook and more than 1000 decided to subscribe to my newsletter list. There has been lots of great comments and emails but about 10 people left negative comments. Negative comments were mostly accusing me of spoiling the holiday tradition and getting people overly health-obsessed. People said that I’m taking the enjoyment out of the holidays.
Another major comment was around the scientific proof that the food combining works.
I just wanted to respond to that because I think it’s really important to address the questions and concerns of my readers.
In my experience of working with women who are struggling with bloating and constipation, I have yet to see at least one person who has not felt better after using at least some of the food combining rules. Basically, simplifying the meals and making it easier for our digestion to process the food.
I have yet to see one woman who would tell me that she did not have less bloating after stopping fruit after meals or avoiding mixing dairy and meat or fish together.
Usually people say that they have more energy, that they have more clarity, that their stomach feels much lighter. In general, people who do crave mental clarity, who want to feel inspired, want to feel comfortable in their body, usually maintain at least some of the food combining rules in their day-to-day diet.
I’m not saying that food combining has to be followed strictly all the time. But at the times when we are stressed, when we are in a rush, when we are sick, when we need more energy, food combining rules are really helpful.
What Is Celebration For You?
To address the comment about taking the fun out of the holiday meals, a lot of us are very afraid of letting go of the traditions that might not be serving us anymore. The reason is because we have so many good, positive memories and emotions associated with foods. As kids that’s what celebration was for us.
As adults, we have a choice about how we feel, what our body looks like and the energy level that we experience in our daily life. We can shift our paradigm of a celebration to serve our new values and understanding better.
We can choose whether to stay in integrity with our body and what we experience and what we know about food, or with integrity with old traditions and family rules and memories, even if they’re not serving us.
The choice is 100% yours. I will never tell you to stop eating meat because I don’t eat meat. Or not to have bread in your house because I don’t have bread in my house.
I think you have to come to those decisions personally through your own journey at the time when you are ready, if at some point you decide that this is the right thing for you.
Every single person is very different. What we need is very different and our digestive strength is very different. The choice is always yours but whatever you choose, you have to feel good about it. You have to feel good about it now and later. If you are able, to make a choice staying in integrity with yourself and knowing that it serves your best, your best health, your enjoyment, your pleasure, your fun. Just stay with your choice and feel good about it. Everyone else has the right on their own choice.
Your Own Science Lab
When it comes to scientific evidence, while doing my Masters program at NYU, I had to read and write a lot of research papers. What I noticed over years is that, every research has lots of buts to it. It has lots of variables. You always have to look at who conducted the research, what was their point, what are their hidden interests, what were the variables measured, who was the population that was measured in that research and how many people were measured in the research?
By waiting for somebody to tell you that it’s not healthy to eat meat and potatoes together, or, that cheesecake with fruit is not necessarily the most belly friendly food, you are just fooling yourself because you already know the answer.
What you have at your own fingertips is your own walking laboratory which is YOU.
You can take tips from me, all that scientific research, all the ideas, all the doctors’ advice and experiment with it. Experiment while being very attentive to things that are changing. All the variables: your energy, your digestion, how often you go to the bathroom, how you feel after meal, how often you get hungry?
Conduct that research and make your own conclusion. Honor those conclusions that you found through the combination of external and internal wisdom. Don’t wait for somebody to tell you what is right for you because nobody knows better than you. You have to do the homework and your own experiments. You have to pay attention to what your body communicates.
Honor those findings because if your body tells you that, I feel like crap after eating a three course meal with a bunch of meat and potatoes and finishing up with cheesecake, but you think that it’s good because there’s no research proving that it’s bad, then you choose the life that you want to live.
You can’t complain that you feel bloated or fat because somebody didn’t tell you that those foods are bad. I’m sorry, but this is true. It’s a matter of taking responsibility and really choosing how you want to feel right now, choosing how you want to feel at the end of the meal and choosing how you want to feel in 10 years or 15 years. Honestly, don’t guilt anyone and don’t expect anyone to give you all the answers.
Ready To Experiment and Question Traditions That Don’t Serve You?
My friend and an amazing ayurveda teacher, Cate Stillman offers to help you to stand up for yourself and your internal wisdom during the holiday season. Evolve Your Winter Traditions course is a super-effective game-changer for families around the Earth. If you’re tired of the way your holidays have gone in the past… check out Evolve Your Winter Traditions. You’ll gain some major traction in your spiritual practices, your body wellness evolution, and in cultivating more consciousness in your relationships. Triple win. You can also listen to Cate’s FREE podcast From Hectic to Healthy Holidays.
Don’t forsake your inner wisdom that your body communicates to you and embrace change and experimentation. It is not as scary as it seems. It is much scarier to maintain a status quo that the society prescribes us.