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Gut Feelings: Listening to the Messages

We’ve all heard about gut feelings — those incomparable physical feelings that can feel like a definite knock-knock in the pit of our stomachs when we have “a-ha” moments (good or  bad).  These feelings are distinct from  the purely physical (and bad) sensations of slouching over the toilet because we’ve eaten something rotten. 

We are firm believers that our guts bring us valuable info — news we should use.  Called our second brain by some (Michael Gershon wrote a book about it), the fact is that the neurons and  neurotransmitters in our GI tracts rival (or even exceed) those in the brains in our heads.  In other words, they process our reality and give us data that can help us adjust our behavior.

To wake up to the larger impact of what we are eating, we need to pay attention not only to what our brains tell us (that ice cream looks delicious) but to the more subtle messages in our bellies.  If we start noticing and listening, we can hear a lot.  “I’m full.”  “This food is making me sick.”  “I’m hungry… but not for food but for [fill in here: love, safety, reassurance, etc].”

Though at first it may seem difficult, everyone can get in touch with these messages and discover how to live … and eat … better.