When was the last time you allowed yourself to relax in a way that left you feeling refreshed and

Even for just 2 minutes a day?

If you are like most humans on earth, we seldom really feel it’s OK to relax. And most experts believe that the bulk of us are in a milder version of the fight or flight state for most of our waking lives.

What if I told you that studies indicate that relaxing before eating a meal would help your body digest food more efficiently and lead to optimal health and potential weight loss?

OK, now I have your attention!

What exactly is ‘feed and breed’?

One study published in Nutrition noted: The parasympathetic system would appear to influence the thermic response to meal ingestion by modulating obligatory thermogenesis, i.e., the rate at which nutrients are digested, absorbed, and processed by the various tissues and organs of the body.

In layman’s terms, your body can only correctly process nutrients from the food you eat when it’s in a state of parasympathetic function. I like to call this state “feed and breed.” This is a calm body. A body primed to accept the life-giving nutrients it needs to stay healthy and alive.

“Feed and Breed” is the opposite of “Fight or Flight,” which is your body is in a state of sympathetic
function. This is a stressed body. A body that is not concerned with food but is constantly in a state of alert for danger. This body is not going to fully focus on perfect digestion and recovery. Instead, it’s in a slightly agitated and stressed state all the time, which is likely the case for most of the western population.

Is your body functioning in a relaxed or stressed state?

For example, you are probably guilty of eating in the car in a rush to get to work or an appointment. You have one crying child in the back seat and your boss on speakerphone. Yes, you got a meal in your tummy, but your body is not set up to process these nutrients in a way that benefits you.

So, even if you’re eating all the healthy foods possible, your body won’t be entirely breaking it down or using it properly, which leads to:
~ Constipation
~ Crohn’s Disease
~ Bloating
~ Gas
~ Ulcers
~ Leaky Gut
~ Nutrient Deficiencies

How to move from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘feed and breed’

There are simple steps to shift your body to the “feed and breed” state away from the “fight or flight” state of being. They are as follows:
~ 30 minutes of fresh air and sunlight minimum per day
~ Walking outside
~ Deep, mindful breathing
~ Eating distraction-free and fully chewing
~ Dealing with your stress and emotions properly

This week, make a goal to implement one of these behaviors and reflect on how you feel. Remember, small actions lead to significant outcomes.