Operations Director & Certified Nutritionist, Canadian Place Endoscopy
Digestion plays a critical role in not only our physical health but our mental and emotional health, as well. “There’s a lot of research now suggesting that the gut and brain are linked, and whatever’s happening in your gut has a direct relationship to what’s happening in your mind, and vice versa,” says Baljit Rai, Operations Director and Certified Nutritionist at Canadian Place Endoscopy in Mississauga, who recently introduced a nutritional counselling program at the clinic with a focus on mindfulness and stress management.
Today’s eating practices and daily stresses cause digestive issues for many Canadians. “There’s a lack of education out there, so we feel the more people know about nutrition and stress management, the better decisions they’ll make on what, when, and how they should eat,” says Rai.
I believe in a holistic and preventative model of care for our patients when it comes to their overall health.Baljit Rai
Mindful eating helps to restore digestive health, a core technique taught at the clinic. “Mindfulness is about being connected to what’s happening in your body, with a focus on slowing down and bringing your attention to the actions, thoughts, and feelings going on without judgement,” says Rai. By paying closer attention to what we eat and how our bodies feel afterwards, we can make better food choices. “It may mean you need to skip that late-night snack, or that maybe coffee isn’t the right beverage for you, or simply that your body needs more water or rest,” says Rai.
Mindful eating is also about the way we eat. “Ideally, one should eliminate all distractions like the television, background music, and one’s phone. Take the time to slow down, properly chew, and really taste and experience the food,” says Rai. “Being present gives you a sense of control because you’re focusing only on the action, and that helps with stress management.”
Applying mindful eating techniques, along with nutritional counselling, and diet and lifestyle changes, gives patients more control over their digestive and overall health, and they begin to see reduction in overall stress levels.
Rai also plans to launch a line of teas in the new year to help patients manage their digestive health. “I believe in a holistic and preventative model of care for our patients when it comes to their overall health,” she says.