Right, this sounds super weird and what do I mean??
Very simple, very easy. I am a FIRM believer that when we go on holidays the gut changes, and we digest better.
Not a new concept, because when we are on holiday relaxing, we enter the so much desired “Rest and Digest” mode, governed by the Parasympathetic nervous system.
In the more stressful life of these days we find ourselves:
- 1st: are barely on holiday
- 2nd: are always running around
- 3rd: are eating ON THE GO (which is a big no-no).
When the Rest and Digest activates, we heal, we make new cells, we recharge we rest and last but not least activate our digestion to the way it should always be.
Recently I have taken a couple of days to visit the beautiful town of Byron Bay in northern NSW, and when you approach this town there’s a sign saying something like “chill out and take it easy”. Truly every one behaves like they don’t know how to spell stress.
The town is relatively small but riddled with amazing food, cafes, shops to get lost inside for hours trying vintage sunglasses. Also, an amazing beachside great for surf and jogs on the beach, and a big lighthouse with a stunning walk.
In the evening the cafes shut down and the bar lights up, with live music and people dancing and singing together.
The vibe is cosiness that is unique to a little town where everyone knows each other! Even though there are travellers from around the globe.
As I get lost in reminiscing how cute the place is, I want to let you know why I think that our Gut goes on holiday, like ourselves.
I am gluten intolerant, figured it out several years ago, as well as lactose intolerant (and Italian, how lucky uh?). I eat gluten I get leaky gut, cramps and abdominal pain the whole night, sometimes so strong I can barely breathe.
With dairy foods (especially high lactose) I get the sniffles for HOURS, wheezy lungs and get very bloated. Probably due to my bacteria having a feast.
Basically, a Pizza is lethal for me, and always makes me look I am about 5-6 months pregnant.
During my weekend away, I decided to eat only when I was hungry and to truly enjoy every food I’d have. This seems easy enough, but it’s harder than it sounds.
As a result, I ate a brownie, a croissant and (heavy drum roll) a Pizza! On my own, accompanied by my fav red, Pinot Noir.
I have not had any cramps or bloating or any normal symptom, only some sniffles when I came home.
The pizza was absolutely awesome! Had capers, anchovies and olives!
Knowing exactly what I was doing, I was expecting the worse with the food I had. Happily, in the end, I was surprised and pleased at the same time. I have an explanation for this though.
The routine was walking for about 15k every day and moved my body a lot. I was always active and eating little portions. Yes, was a full pizza, the plate was like new! and had it sat at a comfy couch, listening to live music by people playing Hawaiian music. Finally, I CHEWED.
Took me probably double time than I normally would eat pizza.
I wind down, I relaxed and chewed.
The whole time I told my body “I crave this type of food, so we will have it in a few hours when hungry from the best place”.
There is something at a chemical level that happens in our body when we think about the food we will have. The body prepares very very well for the food that is about to come in.
I told my body “this is it, the food’s coming so I will enjoy it!” and the body prepared well, all the chemicals, enzymes required for me to accept and nourish and feel loved (who doesn’t feel loved in front of a Byron Brownie??).
My body received a message that I was happy, satisfied with the food eaten. It made me feel special and nourished which I think is as important as taking time to eat and chew.
Feeling satisfied, not guilty.
And there you have it, after a weekend of ocean and gluten I was fine.
I just wanted to add that I did not have a $5 Dominos pizza or a pastry bought from a supermarket aisle. All the food I had was local and freshly made from great restaurants.
Has this ever occurred to you? Have you been on holidays and had food that normally is a trigger but it did not do anything to you?? Let me know 🙂