I have seen countless videos and posts where people admit to having issues with their digestive system. The most common ones are extreme bloating, acid reflux, or constipation. A few months ago I went through a phase of extremely painful bloating (I looked like I was 7 months pregnant, constantly). I also got to experience acid reflux for the very first time in my life. Right after that, I contacted a doctor hoping to figure out what was going on.
Stress can cause more issues than you can imagine.
Right from the bat, I was told that stress is one of the major triggers causing people to have issues with their digestion. It did not surprise me that stress is a major culprit. However, I really didn’t come to think that this could potentially be true for me as well. It didn’t feel like I was stressing out, my lifestyle was really calm at that point (especially, because of the global pandemic). I didn’t, however, think that the uncertainty and being away from my family would silently influence my body this much. So I made a conscious decision to stop stressing out and allowed myself to sit with whatever feelings would come up each day. I told myself that if there is anything in my life that I have no power over, I would stop letting it bother me and I would stop overthinking it. Stress is the very first thing you need to address if you have any issues with your digestion.
Check out my plant-based breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for those wanting to control bloating and acid reflux.
These are the 3 rules I follow to help me control bloating and acid reflux.
Do not overeat. Stop whenever you don’t feel hungry anymore. Do smaller portions and eat more frequently. At the end of the end, you can eat the same amount of food. However, make sure it is nicely apportioned throughout the day. This will keep your tummy feeling strong.
Do not avoid certain foods.
Unless you are allergic or if even a small amount of a certain food makes you feel nauseous, bloated, constipated, etc., do not avoid foods your taste buds enjoy. After reading countless articles that showed what foods tend to make people bloated or what foods are highly acidic, I became a little TOO careful. The obsession with avoiding certain foods became unhealthy. As I did not want to have an unhealthy relationship with food, I decided that I will enjoy everything in moderation. This worked for me very well and I no longer feel trapped.
It’s all about the combination.
In my experience, it’s all about your combinations. For example, if I choose to eat pasta with gluten drowning in tomato sauce and mushrooms, I need to be extremely careful. Gluten and mushrooms can cause painful bloating, while tomatoes are highly acidic. Simply be smart with the dishes you choose to create.
A few other things that I did that helped me relieve bloating and acid reflux:
- I stopped skipping breakfast. For the past few years, I have been following the 16/8 intermittent fasting for about 4 years. I don’t strictly follow it all the time, but if I am not on a holiday or not operating a flight, I really enjoy giving my digestion a rest. During quarantine, however, I would always skip breakfast. I would do my workout first, then make food. This basically meant I would not eat for the first 4 hours of my day. Now my window has completely changed and I ALWAYS grab something to eat first thing in the morning. Essentially, this gives my stomach something to work with and stops the possibility of me getting acid reflux.
- I continue taking vegan enzymes before bigger meals and went through a course of probiotics. I wouldn’t take enzymes with every single meal because I want to make sure that my body doesn’t get used to a constant ‘help’. Nevertheless, I do take them before my lunch and sometimes dinner (depending on the heaviness of the meal).
And, guys, remember that whenever your body is struggling, it is giving you a signal that there is an underlying issue. Let’s be grateful for our beautiful bodies.
I am proud of you.