Have a happy belly

Thoughts on life & what matters  – December edition

December for a lot of us is a month where we often eat a bit more than usual. A bit more of the good stuff (and there is a lot of good stuff to eat). In our little family planning good food (& drinks) around the holidays is a must. Merging our different cultures and traditions, French and Swedish, and our personal preferences means that there will be lots (!) of everything LOL.

Often this is also a time when our digestive system (and our bellies) might not be happy happy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are some simple things we can do to keep the belly happy while we still allow ourselves to indulge. 

One of the biggest reasons our bellies (our digestive system) does not fully enjoy this time of the year is that we are changing our habits. The digestive system is actually quite sensitive, and prefer things to be like usual. 

We might find routine boring, but OUR BELLIES LOVE ROUTINE. Especially of course, if/when we have a routine that is good for the system. So for the sake of this email, let’s say that your normal routine is good, and that your belly most days is happy and functions well. 

If you struggle with your digestive system, and/or find it interesting to learn more about that amazing body of yours, consider joining me for the Better Digestion-course that will start on February2nd.

Digestive issues, such as regularly being constipated, having lots of gas, being bloated, pain or cramps ‘for no reason’, not managing to lose/put on weight, not going to the toilet daily, are way more common then we think. Issues such as these we often prefer not to talk about with our friends, so we tend to think that we are alone having problems. A lot of issues can be helped by understanding what the system needs, and where we ourselves can create more balance in the system. 

Here are SIX SIMPLE THINGS to focus on, especially during this month when we often ‘give into temptation’ more often then the rest of the year (or perhaps that is just me??!)

Drink enough water

We still need about 2 liters of water every day, even in December. So despite you drinking some other stuff like gluhwine, champagne, beers and sodas, you still need your water. Start your day with 1-2 glasses of water. Have another in the late morning/around lunch, before your dinner, and a glass of water before bed. 

raw vegetables at least one meal a day

Preferably vegetables that you actually need to chew, they are the ones containing fibers which gives your intestines something to work with. Super simple is to have a carrot. Needs very little preparation. Other suggestions can be to make a coleslaw using some (red) cabbage. Or, if you haven’t tried it, sweet potato. Yep, you can eat it raw (peel it though).

Chew your food properly

Good digestion starts already in your mouth, as you chew your food. You want the stuff you swallow to not be in pieces, but more the texture of a ‘thick soup’. A bonus is that this often takes a little bit longer time ‘than usual’ which gives the brain more time to register that we’ve actually had enough. 

Continue to move

The human body is designed for movement, so do your body a favor and continue to move it. Take it for daily walks (brilliant way to be able to release gas without too much embarrassment). Maybe do some gentle movements to wake up the body & your digestive system in the morning. Don’t make it crazy complicated. 

Obey when ‘nature calls’

One common reason for people to have problems with their digestion is that they don’t go to the toilet when they need to. Or never allow themselves to fart. That can become a vicious cycle. Suppressing the signals from the body in the long term is not beneficial. So obey your body when it tells you to go to the toilet to empty the intestines. 

Take your time

When I was young(er) it was common that you had magazines and such in the toilet to provide with some easy reading while ‘waiting’. Stressing and rushing things to happen (to come out) is not helpful for a happy belly and well-functioning digestive system. 

I hope you find these tips useful.

Wishing you & your belly a happy December

Biggest reason we’re unhappy

Thoughts on life & what matters  – June edition

Recently I saw this quote that resonated so well with me. And I guess I am not the only one ‘over-thinking’ things & life… Wanted to share with you a technique that I am using regularly that I find very helpful. My hope is by sharing it with you that you too can find some much needed inner peace. 

“The biggest reason we are unhappy is that we think too much.” 

It’s now been a couple of months that I’ve regularly been brain-dumping my thoughts down into a notebook. In the beginning it was something I started doing because I had read that it might be a good way to become more aware of all the thoughts running on repeat in my head. In periods of my life I have wanted to be one of those people who journal regularly, and I’ve made attempts, buying fancy journals and started, only to rather quickly stop. 

I also had a period writing so-called ‘morning pages’ which I have to say I really enjoyed but in the end it felt like it took too much time. I just didn’t want to start every morning writing for half an hour (I will share about my current morning routines in another ‘newsletter’). Instead it has become my weekend morning routine. 

Every day begins for me with a cup of coffee, weekdays and weekend alike. But in the weekends I sit on the floor (yes literally on the floor in our living room, with my back against the sofa), and I light a candle. And while I drink my coffee I brain-dump. I write three pages in my notebook every Saturday & Sunday morning, literally dumping the content of my brain onto paper. I very much like the act of writing by hand, pen on paper. It is not about writing fancy or clever things. It is about putting the pen to paper and letting the thoughts come out, forming words and sentences. 

Lately it’s mainly been about me not feeling ‘good enough’. Letting the thoughts come out from the darkness, and onto paper, into the light. What is hiding in those thoughts of not ‘being good enough’ or not doing enough. How come those thoughts are there, what is it that they are really trying to say?! (If I’m brave enough, this too might become part of a story to share in the future, time will tell.)

I write these pages for myself, without the intention of ever going back to what I’ve written, or for it to be read by anyone else. They are thoughts & feelings, put on paper. And almost every time, at the end of my three pages I feel lighter. Sometimes having understood myself a bit better, sometimes coming up with a little ‘action-plan’ of how to handle certain situations. 

If you too feel that sometimes there’s just too much going on inside your head try putting pen on paper, and just write. Write what comes to mind, without worrying about the sentences making any sense. Just allow all the thoughts, feelings, emotions, worries, frustrations, sorrows and whatever else is filling up your brain to just ‘see the light’. Make yourself a cup of coffee (or whatever you prefer), find a quiet spot and just write. No corrections, no going back to make a better sentence. Just write.