Eat Warm, Beat Bloat

If you are reading this you either struggle with relentless bloating that’s frustrating or you are just curious to learn more about gut health. You might even be confused about this idea of “gut health” and you just want some insight. I gottchew girl. 

 I’m going to share one little tip that was introduced to me while I was in the depths of my gastropareis battle that has stuck with me to this day. For those of you who don’t know, one of the main symptoms of gastroparesis is constant, painful bloating...fun times 😆...NOT!

 

Eating warm foods.  

I will say that I cannot take credit for this concept or idea, because it is a tried & true Eastern medicine concept  💁🏽‍♀️ Nevertheless my friends and other people I meet here in the West assume it’s my own little trick. Which in a way, it is? 👑

Brief Explanation. 

So as some of you may know, I dedicate my gut-health restoration to Chinese + other forms of Eastern medicine. I was introduced to those practices as a last resort to heal my gastroparesis when I wish it had been my first. 

Eastern Philosophy.

In a nutshell, most Eastern medicine and wellness practices belive that the temperatures of our food play a role in the health of not just our gut, but our overall health. I KNOW this may sound odd if you are American or simply have not heard this before but stay open minded 💁🏽‍♀️ Closed minds don’t make it very far ;)

The idea is, our digestive system is like a machine. Machines tend to warm up as the do their thing. Now imagine adding ICE COLD fuel to that machine and it will have to work harder to prevent its parts from being damaged or getting slowed down by the contrasting temperature. 

Same is true for our digestive tract except our digestive tracts are like machines with built in detergents of sorts—digestive enzymes & the like that are most easily secreted when the muscle holding them is not tense or cold. Your stomach is a warm muscle...it functions best when it stays warm. Ice-y cold drinks & large raw salads are rough on it to say the least. Hello bloat.

Western Philosophy.

Western philosophy in general disregards food temp. It operates under the assumption that food is food. Hot, cold, luke warm—it’s all the same. 

My experience.

So let me just say that I grew up as your average American kid gulping down ice-cold lemonades which then progressed to ice-cold coffees. I bought into the idea that cold water was the only  way to drink water because *duh* speeds up your metabolism right?  And big raw salads—the absolute bessst thing for health.  

...at the expense of gut health!  

When I was learning how to heal my gastroparesis, my Chinese medicine guru Christi Mendoza introduced the concept of eating in harmony with the body to help it heal.  

Logically, IT JUST MADE SENSE.  

So, slowly but surely I started to drink my water without ice, switched to mainly warm salads and was simply more mindful of the temperature of my foods.  I began drinking more herbal teas and choosing warm meals over cold when I could.

I can tell you for certain that a bowl of soup 🍜 just feels better than a raw salad during the winter & cooked veggies result in much less bloat than raw. Especially if you have a finiky or weak digestive tract.

 Currently.

I have been eating in this mindset now for almost 5 years and if you follow me on Instagram you will know that bloating is a very rare occurrence for me these days. And I used to be bloated everyday. Everrryyyyday gurl.   

How to Start & What to Expect.

 Like I said, this was a slow transition for me & a partial one at that. I personally started the transition with my beverages & then progressed to switching up my food habits. 

  • A great start is a simple “hold the ice” when you drink or order a water.  
This is a great example of finding an in-between. @Cava has great options to build a warm salad. The grains & protein are warm and the veggies are cooked aside from the lettuce! Small changes making the biggest difference... 

This is a great example of finding an in-between. @Cava has great options to build a warm salad. The grains & protein are warm and the veggies are cooked aside from the lettuce! Small changes making the biggest difference... 

Build the habit. 

Another great starting point is having a cup of hot water with lemon or herbal tea with your main meals to start. So for example if you are a salad girl true & true, try sipping warm lemon water or herbal tea before and after. Better yet, eat a warm salad! {game changer}

 

But note: this is not a quick fix and if you want a quick fix for your bloat, take a laxative tea 😆 {jk don’t do that, that’s no bueno}. The things that actually make a difference take a little while to  work their magic. Again—Build the Habit.

 I should clarify: I am not trying to demonize any of the cold foods that I mentioned above...in fact I’d be lying through my teeth if I said that I avoid them. Ya girl loves her a fresh salad 🥗 every now and again & her Freeze from Pressed Juicery. What I am saying is I am more mindful & intentional with the temperatures of my food because I know how it affects my digestion & thus everything else 💁🏽‍♀️


Overall.

I can honestly say that keeping this concept of warm foods over cold in mind has been a game changer for my digestion.  But even more important, I was forced to question everything our Western society tells us about health.

Raw salads, raw veggies, smoothies, ice water...it’s all very thought provoking honestly.  

The larger lesson for me here was that just because something is the norm, doesn’t mean it is right—like drinking loads of ice water for “metabolism” or eating only salads to stay healthy. 

 Question Time. 

 Now I want to hear it: does this concept sound strange to you? Is it making you question all that ice water you drink?? Are you willing to give warm water a try...?