For many years I had digestion issues, post meal bloating, gas, etc. Not only the after large meals, but after most meals. I didn’t know that was causing low-level inflammation, mental fog, lethargy, and much more than I can remember now. Was it debilitating? No. Was it annoying? Absolutely. Do I still experience it today? Only when I don’t pay attention to the points I will explain here.

1. Meal spacing / eating in rhythm

I was always overeating. I was working in a kitchen and grazing like a healthy animal on a pasture all day long. Looking back on it, the only time I gave myself a half decent amount of time between meals when I was surfing. If it wasn’t for that time spent burning ridiculous amounts of calories in the water I would have had much more body weight.

Now I am very strategic for when I eat, and how frequently I do so. I eat dinner around sunset and don’t snack between meals. Of course it isn’t perfectly executed every day, but I do my best and can feel the difference in every cell of my body.

2. I limit my intake of packaged food products.

There are many ingredients found in processed food that seem ok to eat. Even by doing a quick search in the handy-dandy google they might seem perfectly acceptable. When in fact these ingredients are very disruptive for your digestive system and gut microbes, they in some cases can be neurotoxic, and also contain residue of chemicals used to farm and/or manufacture them. These ingredients include vegetable oils, preservatives, sugars, sweeteners, and syrups, and the many chemicals in the packaging. I know. As if the highly refined ingredients weren’t enough to navigate we even need to think about the material of the packaging being transferred into the food.

This is why I limit these all together. Again, everyday is not perfect. Health is a journey, not a destination

3. I include digestive activating spices and herbs daily.

This was life changing for me and so simple. I didn’t know how connected my digestion was to the daily brain fog I had, until I began to burn through it with these spices and herbs. These plants are used  the ancient medicine practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and easily found today in grocery stores.

My gateway herb, as I am sure it is with many was ginger. My mom would make a pot of fresh steeped ginger root tea and keep it out for ease of access. Later on I explored the traditional blend coriander, cumin and fennel from Ayurveda. Today I continue to go deeper into other herbs and spices that have an activating effect on the digestive system and warming effect on the body. I do this to help burn through accumulated gunk and keep my body healthy. These include clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, fenugreek and cardamom.

I believe it is one of the reasons we have pumpkin spiced everything this time of year. Although I don’t recommend choosing most of those pumpkin spiced goodies, the spice blend itself is very good to use this time of year to keep the digestion strong because of the warming qualities. So I will put it this way. When I know I will be feasting, I use a combination of the previously discussed points. I make sure to not eat for at least 4 – 5 hours beforehand, and I will include warm tea during that time with some of those spices to awaken my digestive system. I also focus on the nourishment from the food rather than the old me who would eat as much as possible. Sometimes less is more.

What is nourishment?

“The food or other substances needed for growth, health, and good condition.”

It is imperative to understand that the quality of each ingredient you use effects your health, has a direct relationship with your physiology and therefore, influences your overall experience.

When you feed you mind, body and spirit high-vibe ingredients, things begin to shift. When you body is nourished, the mind can feel supported. This is a subconscious relationship, facilitating the potential for deeper connectivity with friends and family. Helping to create a deeply nourishing environment for all levels of your being.

So here is a recipe that is nourishing, satisfying, and won’t be overly taxing on your digestive energy bank account.

Pumpkin Spice Buckwheat & Mochi Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup smashed, cinnamon roasted pumpkin*
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mochiko rice flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1Tbs baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1Tbp pumpkin spice
  • 2eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond butter


  • Mix all the dry together
  • Mix the oil into dry
  • Whisk the eggs, almond butter and milk together
  • Stir in egg mixture
  • Add smashed pumpkin
  • Oil your loaf pan or baking dish
  • Bake 350 for 45 – 55 minutes

* For the cinnamon roasted pumpkin. Grab your favorite roasting pumpkin, mine is the Japanese kabocha pumpkin. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Oil the inside and outside of the pumpkin, sprinkle with a little salt, and a generous amount of cinnamon. Bake at 350 skin side up until it is soft, not mushy. About 25 minutes.

I use a loaf pan. You can get creative with the style and shape of loaf you would like to make! Muffins work too.


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Published by Alec Hurley

Alec Hurley is a Yoga Health Coach, yoga teacher in the San Diego area and a life long surfer. He is the founder of Higher Self Wellness and an avid practitioner of ancient wisdom and spiritual practices which he infuses into his public yoga classes and group program “The Art of Connection”. He is professionally trained as a Chef and incorporates the ancient wisdom of “food as medicine” into his culinary creations. Alec infuses the practices of personal and planetary alignment into his modern healthy lifestyle toolkit to help shift the collective into deeper states of connection.

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