Protect yourself and your family against “optional” gastric illness

Poison upsets our stomachs . . .

No, I am not talking about food poisoning, but a more long-lasting poison that is brought about by emotional stress endured while eating. You know how it goes, you sit down face-to-face with family members at the dinner table, and the first thing that comes to mind is often a correction, a criticism or an actual put-down.  Each “downer statement” inevitably causes stress (probably in EVERY person at the table), and this comes at a vulnerable time when we are eating and beginning to digest our food.

Family meals should be a time for friendly chatter, sharing, laughing and enjoying each other. In families where the dinner table was a place of 2scolding, strife and punishment, children had a greatly increased tendency to develop gastrointestinal problems as an adult. All negativity (sometimes necessary, though) should be addressed AFTER a meal when everyone has adequate nutrition to their brains, are less reactive, and, therefore, more resilient. Preserve mealtimes as a time of peace, and a haven away from stress.  Also, when there is conflict during a meal, people tend to either overeat or refuse to eat (neither of which works!).

We know now that there is a correlation between stress, sodium retention, and inflammatory processes leading to chronic illnesses. When we are in control of the UNNECESSARY stress that might be injected into family meals, we can make the choice to no longer PAIR stress with eating. It sets up maladaptive habits, and it makes us (and our children) more vulnerable to chronic illnesses and diseases.

Do you remember, perhaps, as a child, dreading the dinner table because all “sins” would be laid out and addressed, taking second place to the healthy food that was served? Stop an old “family tradition” of misusing the dinner table.

Replace it with:

  • Healthy, single-ingredient foods
  • Laughter, jokes, recounting funny stories of the day
  • Intelligent conversations of interest to family members
  • Concern for the well-being of all at the table

Joe Kennedy made it a priority to provide stimulating, intelligent conversation at the nightly dinner table where Bobby and Jack Kennedy ate, even inviting diplomats and authors to the table to “educate” his children.

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”
~ Deepak Chopra

Dailey Grainger, PhD, ARNP, founder and CEO of Next Health Now, a Nurse Practitioner in the forefront of helping make America healthier.

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