What’s the key benefit of honoring the digestion zone?
Honoring the digestion zone = more energy…and you can do it without having all the other things on your plate pile up!
What is the digestion zone?
The digestion zone is that sacred time when our bodies are converting the food we already ate into fuel.
Once we eat, our food travels through the digestive tract to be converted into energy.
What do you think happens when we add more food on top of undigested food? Not a visually appealing thought, but so many of us (me included) add more food before we finish digesting what we already ate.
How can we avoid adding food on top of food? You guessed it—we can welcome in the DIGESTION ZONE!
As you finish your meal, you immediately enter into the digestion zone. Consciously honoring your body and the process it is undertaking to assimilate the nutrients and convert your food to energy.
Why wait to eat?
It’s sort of like when you have clothes in the dryer that are almost dry. Makes sense to let them finish drying before you add a heap of wet clothes- doesn’t it?
The digestion zone is that sacred time when our bodies are converting the food we already ate into fuel. And we wait for the digestion zone so we aren’t adding food on top of partially digested food.
How do we measure the digestion zone?
The digestion zone is a simple 3-step process. Simple does not always mean easy, but simple does mean do-able. Here is how you honor your body’s digestion zone.
Step 1: Categorize what you eat
Did you eat a snack, a small meal, a hearty meal, or a feast?
[Yes, if you would like to get more specific about what type of snack or meal you ate, you can. But to start, let’s keep it simple and build the habit of being consciously in a digestion zone. Then we can get more advanced later and elaborate on how long to stay in the digestion zone.]
Why wait different times for different meal sizes?
Similar to a small load of laundry vs. filling up the whole machine. In general, the larger the meal, the longer it takes to digest.
Step 2: Set the timer
You can find the digestion zone app in the itunes store, or calculate the time yourself as follows…
For the first 12 minutes: food and water fast
Regardless of what you ate (a snack, meal, or feast), the first 12 minutes of the digestion zone are a food and water fast.
Why wait 12 minutes to drink water?
You may want to consider separating your hydration and your eating.
#1 reason for this: you chew more when you are eating = better for digestion
If you need water to “swallow” your food or to help it go down, that’s your body letting you know that you have an opportunity to chew more at your next meal.
And, if you need to “trick” your body into being full by filling it with water during the meal, it may be an indication that you have some room to be in more harmony with yourself and your inner wisdom.
Why wait only 12 minutes to drink water?
You can wait longer than 12 minutes. Some sources say to wait 30 minutes so you can keep the pH in your gut the right balance for digestion. The reason the Digestion Zone is set up for 12 minutes is because it’s manageable… and it’s more important to incorporate a tiny habit that gives you most of the benefits AND that can integrate into your busy life rather than to try to ‘hit it out of the park’ with a big new commitment that will be more challenging to maintain for the long haul.
Then after that…
Snack DZ: 45 minutes total
After your 12 minute food and water fast, wait an additional 30 minutes before you eat any additional food. (which is actually 42 minutes in total, but 45 minutes may be easier to remember)
Small Meal DZ: 1 hour total
Hearty Meal DZ: 2 hours total
Feast DZ: 3 hours total
Step 3: Acknowledge how awesome you are
Why would we celebrate?
It is logical and obvious that we want to be good to our bodies. At the same time, it is challenging when we have such easy access to eating. We no longer have to get a rock to open the hard outer shell of an almond nut and pull out the delicious almond in the middle… we can simply grab a handful of almonds.
There are pros and challenges to our modern eating options. Which means, when you follow the digestion zone… you DO deserve your own pat on the back. Keep up the good work!!!
Have the energy to do the things that make you happy.
For more ways to BE WELL without having all the other things on your plate pile up, check out our Free Busy Woman’s Vitality Tool Kit.