top of page

Guest Post: YOU ARE WHAT YOU DIGEST: How to optimize digestion, the #1 foundation of health!

YOU ARE WHAT YOU DIGEST: How to optimize digestion, the #1 foundation of health! By Autumn Best, Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP)

In my Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner practice, digestion has my heart! Specifically, helping women find sustainable relief for reflux, bloat, gas, GERD, IBS, etc. I know what it’s like to suffer from these embarrassing and debilitating symptoms and I also know what’s it’s like to be free from them! Symptoms are our body’s way of telling us something is off. When we tune into our symptoms, we can truly begin to heal.

If digestion is out of whack, the rest of the body suffers as a result. We are what we eat, but more importantly, we are what we DIGEST and absorb. If we aren’t digesting properly, our body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to work optimally.


· reflux or heartburn

· bloat shortly after eating

· belching of gas one hours after a meal

· fatigue

· bad breath

· loss of taste for meat

· sense of excess fullness after meals

· feeling like skipping breakfast

· feeling better if you don’t eat

· sleepy after meal

· fingernails chip easily

· diarrhea shortly after meals

· undigested food in stool

· and so many more!


1. Eat in a Rested State – Digestion begins in the brain and when our bodies are in a stressed (sympathetic nervous system) state vs a relaxed (parasympathetic nervous system) state, they prioritize survival over anything else. Digestion certainly takes a back seat. Three ways to relax yourself before taking that first bite:

o Sit down. Standing to eat is not a meal!

o Take three deep breaths, or do a round of alternate nostril breathing

o Practice gratitude for the nourishment you’re about to consume

2. Chew Each Bite 20-30 Times – the more your food is broken down through chewing, the easier of a job your stomach and intestines have ahead of them

3. Avoid Guzzling a Large Amount of Water Before Meals – filling your stomach with water before you eat will dilute stomach acid. We want our stomach acid to be as potent as possible (pH ~1-3) so that food can be broken down at a proper rate

4. Instead, Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar Before Meals – Drinking a small amount of water (4-5oz) + Apple cider vinegar (1T) before meals can aid in proper digestion by introducing more acid into the stomach environment. FUN FACT: contrary to what we’ve been told, most people have TOO LITTLE stomach acid

5. Take Digestive Bitters Before Meals – Bitter taste triggers the brain to tell our stomach to begin producing stomach acid. Our modern-day diets are pretty devoid of bitter flavors. Tasting or smelling something bitter before you eat can drastically improve digestion


Come join me over on IG @pilatesandpapaya for more tips and tricks to healing with food.


Autumn is a certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP), health food guru, PNW native, essential oil enthusiast, and sun loving dog mom. Healing her own chronic reflux, bloat and gas are what drove Autumn to learn more about healing with food through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). Nutritional Therapy is all about getting to the root cause of your nagging symptoms and then using a bio-individual, nutrient-dense food-first approach to heal the body. Rather than slap a band-aid on symptoms, Nutritional Therapy’s goal is to help you take charge of and TAKE BACK your health by getting the body back to its natural, optimal function.


Nutrition, Digestion, Blood Sugar, Fatty Acids, Mineral Balance and Hydration

69 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page