Have you seen the viral video of the baby laughing on youtube?  After seeing it advertised on the Yahoo homepage, I then heard about it on the radio and took a minute yesterday to view it with my 90-year-old Mom.  It was pretty cute, but what was even  better were the links that took us to more babies, including laughing twins, triplets and quadruplet babies, and then to some singing cats … and then to some babies who were learning how to swim, and then to some puppy antics.  As we laughed, the cares and pressures of the day slipped away, and life was considerably rosier. 

Not only does a good laugh make you feel better mentally and emotionally, the expression “laughter is the best medicine” is no laughing matter!  The up-and-down movement of the diaphragm affects the internal organs much like wholesome exercise.  Think of laughter as internal jogging!   As a result of laugher, all digestive organs  function better, circulation improves and wastes are discharged more readily from the body. It also improves digestion as it increases the flow of bile and improves the functioning of the liver.

It’s an amazement that amusement can play such a vital role in our health.  You may want to check out www.laughteryoga.org for some fascinating information!

How do you know if you’re healthy?

1. You have a healthy heart and blood pressure- If you have your nutrition balance right, then you will have a healthy heart and healthy blood pressure. You should go to your doctor to test this.

2. You don’t get sick- A healthy diet is great for your immune system. If you get your nutrition right, you are less likely to get a cold or the flu. You don’t get sick if you eat the right foods.

3. You wake up feeling energized- Too many people start each day feeling tired. The start of each day is a struggle and their day doesn’t get any better. If you eat a healthy diet then you are more likely to jump out of bed and feel energetic from the get go.

4. You have no trouble with concentration Healthy eaters are less likely to procrastinate. They have no trouble concentrating, no trouble getting things done.

5. You have a healthy complexion- A healthy diet means that your skin will look healthy as it can improve your skin complexion. You need to eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.

6. You hair feels full of life and is shiny- Good nutrition means that your hair will also be shiny and it will feel full bodied.

7. You are a happy person- Healthy eaters are happier because a healthy diet produces hormones that regulate feelings.

8. You have good muscle mass- Good nutrition helps cell growth and regeneration. This means that people who eat a healthy diet are likely to have bigger muscles.

9. You don’t need glasses- A healthy diet can improve your eyesight. Those people who have good nutrition are less likely to need glasses or contact lenses.

10. You live for a long time- A healthy diet means that you have a great chance of living longer.

Okay!  So how are YOU feeling?  It has been said that the colon, where food is processed and nutrients from the food you eat are absorbed, is considered the “Mother of all Disease”, as reflex zones along the entire length of it correspond to everywhere else in the body. Strictures, expansions and accumulation of waste will not only affect that area of the colon but the related zones elsewhere.  (You may want to learn more about digestion at my website, www.MyMiracleTea.com)

Here are 10 Tips for good digestion.  Top them off with a good baby or cat video for a laugh, and you’re on your way to a healthier, happier you! 

1. Eat in order of digestibility.

You should eat the easiest to digest foods first in each meal and slowly move towards the more complex. Think of a highway, if the slowest cars are in front they’ll hold up the faster cars behind them, causing a traffic jam. The same goes for your food. Eat those fastest to digest first and save the tougher to digest foods for the second half of your meal.

Here are the time sequences for different food groups:

  • Water & Juices: 20-30 minutes
  • Fruits, Smoothies, Soups: 30-45 minutes
  • Vegetables: 30-45 minutes
  • Beans, Grains, Starches: 2-3 hours
  • Meat, Fish, Poultry: 3 or more hours

2. Drink warm or hot liquids with your meal.

Ice cold drinks can slow down the digestive process, think of it as putting ice on a muscle. The muscle stiffens and does not function as well. Warm or room temperature water, juice, or herbal tea will encourage proper digestion. (Just remember the traffic jam – drink liquids prior to meals)

3. Eat at regular meal times.

It is important to be regular with what you eat and the times of day you eat. Eating similar food groups and at similar times each day has a regulating effect on your digestive system. Regular in means regular out.

4. Be conscious of what you eat and your portion sizes.

Over consumption is the number one cause of indigestion. Our brain signals the feeling of fullness about ten minutes after we’re actually full. So stop eating before you are full. Odds are you’ll feel full ten minutes later!

5. Chew your food completely and don’t talk while eating.

Incomplete chewing and talking while eating can cause premature swallowing. Our digestive systems are not designed to digest large pieces of food, when we put large pieces in our stomachs it can lead to incomplete digestion (aka: digestive discomfort).

6. Relax while eating your meal.

Eating when you are rushed increases your stress and slows down the digestive process. Create a nice calming atmosphere when eating and make sure you can devote time to eating.

7. Practice good posture.

When you slouch or hunch over extra pressure is put on the digestive organs in your abdomen. This extra pressure can cause poor digestion. You should practice sitting with your shoulders back and your chin tucked in. This will allow more room for the digestive organs and will help improve digestion.

8. Don’t eat late at night.

Our bodies, including our digestive system, slow down in the evening hours as it gets ready to rest and rejuvenate. When we put food into our stomachs at these late hours there are not enough digestive enzymes to properly digest it. This undigested food sits in your stomach and will often disturb your sleep.

9. Take a brisk walk after eating.

Forget about not being active for 30 minutes after each meal. Increased physical activity actually helps jumpstart your digestive system and increases the production of digestive enzymes. This will lead to more complete digestion of your food and less digestive discomfort!

10. Try a spinal twist.

Spinal twists allow excess toxins in the digestive system to be released, which has a calming effect. While in a cross legged sitting position, slowly turn to the right and hold while taking 5 deep breathes then repeat this process on the left side.

And I repeat …, add a good laugh for dessert and you’re on your way to a healthier, happier day!

Carolyn Allen has been providing weight loss inspiration since 1999 both online and in community venues in the Washington, D.

C. area.  Her book, 60 seconds to Weight Loss Success, is available at Amazon.com  Her favorite food is steamed broccoli (lots of it!) with a little butter and lemon-pepper. Learn more about her herbal health tonic at www.MyMiracleTea.com