Written by Dr. Nat Kringoudis TCM…
“Many have accepted that the mid afternoon slump is just a part of everyday life (along with period pain, PMS, bloating, gas – which we’ve shown you doesn’t actually have to be the case at all – check out our other blog posts). Yawning at the desk and nicking out for a coffee at 3pm isn’t actually a solution if it continues to happen day in and day out. You see, signs and symptoms are your body’s own unique little honing device. They are your key guide to what’s not working so well and where you need to dedicate some attention. So with this in mind, just why do we experience three-thirtyitis?
You may have wondered why you frequently feel like you could curl up under your desk pretty much the same time every afternoon and why perky Penny that sits opposite you is like an energizer battery day in and day out. We want to tell you, it doesn’t have to be this way and give you some tricks and tips to move you toward being the healthiest version of yourself.
We’ve spoken about digestion many times, we now know it is the pivot of our health and our gut is the master controller of the body. From a TCM viewpoint we look at the role of the spleen when it comes to digestive wellness. The process of assimilating your food requires your spleen to be in tip top condition because first it must heat the contents that arrives in the stomach to 37 degrees to actually be able to begin the digestion process, to break it down to be used as fuel. If the spleen is sluggish, it will certainly tell you so by a host of symptoms including bloating, belching, irregular bowels (constipation or diarrhea), weight gain, difficulty concentrating and tiredness. The tiredness is mostly a result of the body being so engrossed in the intricate task of digestion, it leaves little energy for you to go about your afternoon.
You may also wonder why this happens mid afternoon. After a big lunch that possibly contains foods that are hard to digest, this will occur but also, your body gets more taxed as the hours tick by. But mostly, it boils down to the types of foods being consumed – because some place more load on the gut than others. Raw and cold foods, for those with weak spleen’s find it the hardest to digest (remember digestion occurs at 37 degrees) as opposed to warm and blanched or slightly cooked foods that are ready to be digested as soon as they arrive by anybody – no matter the state of their digestive system. Too many raw and cold foods will further impair the gut for those who already have weakened systems. It takes way too much energy and for many, the body just can’t too the job adequately.
So you might wonder what to eat – what snacks can help pick me up? This is where the ground work comes in. Think snacks like dried fruits and activated nuts, protein balls (homemade is always best so you know what is in them), chia seed pudding (literally made by soaking chia seeds in warm water or nut milk), stewed fruits with yoghurt (be sure to leave it on your desk for a little while before eating so it isn’t a cold shock to the gut), healthy home baked foods, dips and crackers and of course a warm tea! You may also consider slightly blanching your veggies or opting for more warmer dishes like soups and stews for the best benefits.
If you’re wondering if this is for you, I encourage you to give it a go. Commit for 2 weeks and see it as an experiment to really be able to gauge how you feel and if your body thrives by using the principles I’ve outlined. Remember your gut likes to take on easily digestible foods and in doing so, you place less load on its inner workings to allow it to work well. And of course, it’s all about deciphering what works best for your own self and why – and once you get some education around all the intricacies of your own beautiful unique body, you can then make informed decisions as to what works best and why”.