9/28/13

Kona prep: the puzzle is complete!

22 weeks is a long time. 140.6 miles x 2 is a long way for the human body to travel. 
My journey of training for two Ironmans is now complete.....and now I anxiously await the day when I can stand at my 7th Ironman starting line. 
I am so very grateful to my body for allowing me to train for 2 Ironman distance triathlons (with the second round being 100% injury free) within 6 month time span. I trained for 10 weeks specifically for Ironman Lake Placid and after a 2 week unstructured bike/swim routine from training (with only 1 run/walk at the end of that 2 week period) I dedicated 12 weeks to preparing for the Ironman World Championship. 
Aside from needing to clean my car (My triathlon bag explodes in there almost daily), I am very excited to be approaching my active recovery week and then race week which will be my official "taper". Active recovery week allows my body to recover from many weeks of structured, quality "train hard, recovery harder" training and to rejuvenate my body. Taper, on the other hand, will include high intensity efforts w/ plenty of recovery to prepare my body for race day. Through experience as an athlete who has struggled with tapering and peaking at the right time, over the past few years Karel and I have learned that my body does the best with a heavy load at the end of my training cycle (keep in mind - I did not do over 17.5 hours a week of training for the IM world championship so my typical weekly load was more intense and race specific than high in volume) and then following that with an active recovery week. As you may have experienced, after a hard training load the body needs to repair and that can bring heavy legs, altered sleep (body wanting a lot more sleep), perhaps a change in appetite (my appetite stays the same with IM training so I never get super "hungry" or cravings with training - thanks to proper sport nutrition and daily fueling) and mood changes (nerves, excitement, highs and lows). These are things that no athlete wants to or needs to experience on race day so to ensure the body feels 'hungry' to race on race week, I allow the 2 weeks before a race for total body and mind recovery and I welcome active recovery to help flush things out and to keep the body active without a lot of training stress. Then on race week, I get to wake the body up with a few bursts and keep with my motto of saving my best performance for race day. 




One of the best parts of our training style is seeing all the pieces of the puzzle come together when they need to come together. With MANY 3-4 hour "IM rides" behind me, my body was set to put it all together for my last long ride last week. It was raining and I was in a 11-mile loop for the ride but all things considered, I was not going to let excuses get in my way for my 2nd 5-hour ride during Kona prep (the other ride was 99.1 miles with Karel).

5 hour ride + 30 min run
Bike main set:
45 minutes at IM Pace watts w/ 3 min EZ in between for 5 hours.
(yep  - that's it! Put all those pieces together and all those 3-4 hour workouts were coming into play for my first solo 100 mile ride in the past 22 weeks).

Run off the bike was great - averaged 8:12 min/miles w/ 30 sec walk in between each mile as usual.

I switched over my Garmin to my main page (from my interval screen) and I couldn't believe my eyes. Holy cow....NEVER have I held 20 mph alone and finally I could fully experience how this quality training approach pays off! Karel was just as happy as I was for you never know how the body will adapt to training stress and I'm so happy that we have been able to put the pieces together very nicely with my 3rd time training for the IM world championship.

This past week was one of the hardest weeks of training (Mon - Fri) that I have ever put in and I could not be more proud of my body. It was a lot of commitment, dedication and mental strength and as usual, I do not let excuses get in my way. Trying to keep everything balanced, I focused on the controllables and did waste any energy on things out of my control. 

Oh - speaking of uncontollables - I must mention that I did have a mental break down on Thurs as I was doing my "planned" workout which was modified thanks to a power meter that decided to malfunction just 24 hours before I needed to drop off my bike at the Trek Store for Tri Bike Transport to pick up. But as usual, Karel saved the day just like he did at Branson 70.3 and IMWI when I had two mechanical issues the day before the race. 
When people ask Karel about what gadgets/bikes to buy, Karel is always honest in terms of quality gear but he also focused on customer service. I am so grateful to Stages for sending Karel (and me) a new powermeter overnight so that Karel could do his magic and install it, sync everything and tune-up my bike within 2 hours of sending my bike off to Hawaii. THANK YOU KAREL and STAGES!!!


As for this weekend, a glorious well-deserved gadget free 2:45-3 hr-ish ride on my road bike (yes - no gadgets not even a bike computer) followed by a Campy walk in the rain. I could have ridden forever on my road bike but the focus today was to ride like a kid and stop when I wanted to stop. I figured my ride was over when it started pouring but I really enjoyed today just riding for fun. Tomorrow I will enjoy a day off from training and cheer for Karel who is racing at the local HOT olympic distance triathlon at camp blanding (with Campy).


And lastly....how about those taper blues and concerns about the diet/body composition before race week? 


Putting things into perspective if you struggle with your relationship with food as an endurance athlete, it's important that your mindset does not change throughout IM training....even if you are still training despite lowered volume. The entire focus of training is to put all the pieces together for race day and I could not be more excited to see what my body can do on October 12th, 2013. I did not put in all this work to stand around in spandex and show off my body. I trained to use my body, to test my limits, to overcome obstacles and to thank my body for the gift it has given me to swim-bike-run for 140.6 miles.

14 days until the Ironman World Championship and I will continue to eat the same foods that have fueled my workouts, have kept my immune system strong and have helped me recover. I will still love every day as triathlons are not my life, but instead my lifestyle.
My body will perform on race day based on how I trained it to perform and not based on a number on a scale. 
And most of all, my "reward" food will continue to keep me healthy until I get to the starting line.

A yummy post workout meal:
Local fresh whole grain bread
Scrambled eggs (1 whole egg + 1 egg white)
Sauteed kale w/ olive oil, goat cheese, leeks and red peppers
Sliced peaches


Thank you to all who have continued to follow and support my IM journey! Keep dreaming big!

9/26/13

Trimarni Tip: Inside-out sandwich


I'm sure you can only imagine the fun I had at the grocery stores in Czech Republic during our trip in May. And oh did it all taste great too!


Have you been adding to your "off limit" food list over the past few months/years?

How about rethinking your meals as you learn how to develop a healthy relationship with food?

It's time to free yourself from food rules and "bad" food.

Trimarni Tip (from the Sumbal household who always has a loaf of fresh local bread in the house at all times):

Pics from our Czech Republic trip in May

I find many people are all or nothing. Either you LOVE bread and eat it all the time or bread is bad and it is off limit. I think the same is true for any food or food group. People hear low and they think no and if they hear something is good, it is consumed in excess. Since when did our society become so extreme with everything?

The key is balance for any meal but hopefully you are looking for easy ways to create more plant strong meals to provide your body with lots of vitamins and minerals to reduce risk for disease and to support your immune system.....but you also need to feel satisfied. Whereas a plate of lettuce and veggies is not going to satisfy you or fuel your body, the same may be true for two slices of bread with veggies and a few slices of meat in between.

Since I do not have any bad, off limit food in my food vocabulary, I welcome any opportunity to enjoy real food. Eating time is always a happy time for Karel and myself. There is no food critiquing but instead lots of yumming.

Consider turning your sandwich inside out and use your veggies as the base and then top with your choice of protein, whole grains and heart healthy fats. Keep in mind that you can only stuff a limited amount of plants between two slices of bread and a plant strong meal may require the use of silverware and a table (instead of eating with your hands or behind the steering wheel). As a side dish, no need to give up bread. Enjoy an open face sandwich with cheese/yogurt spread, avocado or hummus or enjoy your bread as a pre/post training snack with nut butter. Tweak your diet to find what works best for you.

Here is a creation I made to help you get excited that you don't have to have an off limit food list when it comes to enjoying plant strong meals to fuel your active and healthy body.


In case you missed this post, here is a blog on our experience to a vegetarian restaurant in Czech. 



9/25/13

Kona prep mind over matter: Train the brain




Well, it's finally official. 
MARNI SUMBAL (30-34 age group): BIB NUMBER 1933



With this week being my last week of Ironman training before an active recovery week followed by race week taper, my body feels amazing. With our approach to Ironman training being enhanced every year, I really feel Karel and I nailed my training for my 7th Ironman and 3rd Ironman World Championship. Every go-around we reflect on what didn't work and then we stretch the boundaries on how much I can get my body to adapt with the least amount of training stress. With this "less is more, train hard, recover harder approach" I have experienced bitter sweet feelings before my last three Ironmans. Absolutely I am ready to taper and rejuvenate from all this Ironman Kona specific training and I am excited to experience the normal "hunger" I experience on race week to get out there and let my body do it's thing. But my body and mind feel healthy. They feel strong and confident and it saddens me that this training is coming to an end. I still do not dread any workout and I continue to look forward to what my body can do with every workout I am given from Karel (and oh boy does he push me!). What's even more amazing is that instead of experiencing burnout (which I never get - ready for the season to end, sure, but never a loss of motivation), I continue to see big performance gains. I have off workouts but not as often as the great workouts. Although I pushed my body to a whole new level to qualify for Kona at 2013 Ironman Lake Placid, I challenged myself to training my brain just as much as training my body - with the help of Gloria, my mental coach (who will also be my roomie in Kona).



                                  
                                                                           SOURCE

One thing I have learned with my journey as an endurance age group athlete, is that the mind must be as strong as the body. You can put in all the hours and miles as you want to make it look good on paper that you did the work but if you want your body to perform, your brain must be tough and ready for the challenge.

Training the brain is not easy. And this is why I rely on Gloria to help me for when I experience doubt, I know she has a toolkit to guide me in the right direction.

For example, whenever you start a training plan, for most people the first 3-4 weeks seem to fly by. Endorphins are flowing, the body feels great and everything goes as planned. But then there are the moments here and there were workouts are challenging and the doubt comes about. Looking ahead 4,8,12 weeks down the road, you think to yourself how will I ever be able to finish the race with my goals accomplished. Then, suddenly, with a balanced approach to training. Everything suddenly comes together. The puzzle pieces make more sense and although it doesn't necessarily get easy, the mind knows that race day is coming. So no more excuses, what if's or doubts but instead, confidence that the body CAN do what it was trained to do. However, for many people, the excuses, doubts and what if's continue until race day and that can be very draining and negative for a body that is primed to perform.

This week has been tough. Putting in those final workouts to my Ironman puzzle has been time-consuming and challenging. But, what's keeping me positive is that my body and mind are strong. I do not doubt my fitness and I feel very confident about my race (3rd time is the charm as they say :) Of course, knowing that I just did an IM about 12 weeks ago, I do not fear the distance and I have trust in myself that I can race smart in Kona with the notorious wind/heat race day conditions (among 1500 of the best IM athletes around the world). More than anything, I am not focusing on getting faster but instead, building confidence for race day. Learning how to overcome obstacles that occur in training is just as important as nailing a fueling plan or having several long workouts in the bank.

This morning I had a tough brick.
First off - 4500 swim.
Then a 6 mile run.

On paper, my physically trained Ironman body was ready for the distance but it was the sets that challenged my mental strength.

4500 swim:
2 x 1700 swim w/ 1:30 rest in between
1100 swim
All Ironman "steady" pace



With the pieces coming together very nicely, this set allowed my mind to wander. I had plenty of time to think about anything and everything but I was forced to stay in the moment. In an Ironman, it's very easy to think about mile 20-26 of the run.....when you are at mile 1 of the swim. But with 140.6 miles to cover, what's the point of thinking ahead when you can stay in the moment. Why direct your thoughts to something that has not happened yet when you can direct all your energy to what's occurring at that moment in time.

Although good on paper, I struggled mentally with this swim because it felt easy....but on my watch it didn't look fast (relative to me). But I felt SO good in the water. It was just a mental mess going on this morning in the pool and only I could figure my way out of it. So I had two choices - be grateful that it feels easy now and it once did not feel easy 8 weeks ago (because I wasn't "trained" yet for this set) OR get frustrated and upset and throw in the towel.

I choose the first option.

I finished the swim feeling happy and confident. Confident that I did the work in the pool, happy that I still love to swim. I will not bash my body for not giving me faster times for I put in the necessary work and this was all that my body could tolerate alongside my bike and run training...and balancing life, sleep, diet, traveling, etc. I am excited to start the Kona swim with a body that loves to swim.

Next up - 6 miles of running.




I remember back in June that my endurance was not where it is today. I was getting my body back into shape after 90 days of no running and running just wasn't fun for me. I was not able to push and let my mind be my only limiter. With an amazing 10 weeks of injury-free training behind me and a great foundation from recovering so well from IM Lake Placid, I have enjoyed every run and I constantly thank my body (and continue to do all my hip/core/back exercises and stretching/foam rolling/110% Play harder icing, epson salt baths, massages 1-2 times a month).

So today, I put another workout in the Kona bank that brings me confidence for my mental tool kit.

6 x 1 miles with 30 sec walk in between.
Odd steady, even "faster" (I don't have a lot of speed in my body so I am not pushing my boundaries with my current lactic threshold).
48:48 time
6.11 miles
Average pace 7:59 (including walks)
Mile 1: 8:17 min/mile, 182 HR (rush of blood)
30 sec walk: 122 HR
Mile 2: 7:25 min/mile, 161 HR
30 sec walk 132 HR
Mile 3: 7:55 min/mile, 141 HR
30 sec walk 131 HR
Mile 4: 7:06 min/mile, 150 HR
30 sec walk, 151 HR (body was speaking to me)
Mile 5: 7:57 min/mile, 146 HR
30 sec walk 143 HR
Mile 6: 7:05 min/mile, 156 HR

What made this so hard? Once again - it all came down to mind over matter. As I ran the first hard interval, my brain instantly thought "There's no way you will be able to run the last one hard." Here I am not even finished with the first interval and despite my legs speaking to me, my mind was already trying to convince me that there was no way I could do 3 sets of these. But after the recovery walk and a steady interval (which was surprisingly "fast" compared to the "fast" interval), I decided to just give it a go and instead of making excuses, just make things happen. After the 2nd interval, viola. Just one more fast to go. Although it did get tough as the lactic acid was accumulating in my oxygen deprived body, never did my body tell me that I couldn't do it.

One thing I have learned with training for sports and racing is that you can never count yourself out OR think you have it in the bag until you cross the finish line (or finish a workout). When it comes to endurance racing, the best way to succeed is to slow down the least amount possible. In other words, you don't have to be fast, you don't have to be the best at everything and you don't have to get upset if things aren't going as planned at a certain moment. What you have to do is stay in the moment. The only way to get yourself to the next interval, mile or set is to be sure your mind is just as strong as your body.


Next time that you doubt yourself, give it a go. Don't fear the hard for it will get easier. And when it does, you will likely find yourself craving another challenge of seeing where you can take your body and mind. For me, I love everything that comes with training for an endurance event for my body doesn't have to let me do what I ask for it to do when I train it. I am so incredibly grateful to my body no matter how the workout unfolds.

Thank you body....and mind.

9/23/13

Traveling eats: Trimarni style


Who said it was hard to find veggies while traveling? 

Early Thursday morning, Karel and I headed to Pittsburgh for my brothers wedding. 


We traded our spandex for our bridesmaid and groomsman outfits and danced the night away.....well past our bedtime. 

Keeping with a healthy relationship with food and making sure I eat for fuel and for health, my body was extremely happy during my travels to and from Pittsburgh. 

Here are a few (of many) of my delicious traveling eats.....

My number one way to maintaining a healthy relationship with food and the body is to never give the body a chance to experience low blood sugar. In route to Pittsburgh  and there were two endurance athlete bodies on board feeling great before  breakfast in ATL: wasa cracker with PB and raspberries at 4:40am, long doggy walk and core/hip work (in place of cardio today) at 5-5:30am and a Trimarni bag of yumminess (and water bottle to be filled after security) including a 7:30am snack of my fav Greek yogurt and trail mix.


Yummy! Trimarni whole wheat pita sandwich with Smuckers natural peanut butter, plum jam, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and sliced apples and a side of banana.

I'm was so inspired by this amazing delicious wrap from the Pittsburgh airport. A whole wheat Mediterranean wrap  from Currito with tofu, brown rice, mango salsa, cucumber, feta cheese and balsamic. Karel got the same wrap but with chicken. Yum!

With no cardio on Thurs, a morning run on Friday (in 65 degrees!!) felt amazing and our hearts were beating hard on the hills! Elliptical warm up, then 3x8 min hill repeaters with 5 min downhill recovery (2 min walk in between each round) and then 10 min of core work. Karel and I loved the hills in Pittsburgh but oh boy were my quads speaking to me on Sunday!


Post workout, hotel cold breakfast buffet (not pictured - me eating Karel's eggs from his hot breakfast). 

After a very late bedtime due to a night full of dancing at my brothers wedding on Friday night, it was great to sleep in and then head out for a 15 mile run in the rain. 
Body happiness  in the rain and on the hills. Fueled from delicious wedding eats, I enjoyed a strong 15 mile, 2 hour run in Pittsburgh. 5 flat miles on the treadmill to warm up, then 10.3 miles outside (average pace 8:12 min/mile including walks). Main set outside: 3x3 miles RPE 7-8.5 (descending effort each mile) with 1 min rest in between. Saturday was the official, 3-week countdown,21 days til the Ironman World Championship!!!


Looking for a great place to refuel at the Atlanta airport? I recommend Willy's Mexican Grill in terminal B. I had the Willy salad with cheese, salsa, corn, cucumbers, cilantro, jalepenos, black beans and marinated spicy tofu and Karel had a spicy chicken burrito with beans, rice and all the same toppings. What a great meal that totally hit the spot in the belly. I love a hearty salad that leaves me satisfied and happy.



Now back at home, it's nice to be back to the routine and in the Trimarni Kitchen. 
With a 2.5 hour recovery spin on Sunday (no long bike due to needing a good night of sleep and waking up at 7:30am AND enjoying Karel's bday together), this morning I was recharged for a 4500 yard swim. 
Main set: 5 x 450's
#1-3 steady, #4-5 strong. 
1 minute rest in between. 
Then hip/core work and stretching. 

Post workout smoothie "meal" for fuel and for health.

25grams whey protein, milk, ice/water, fresh ginger, 1 celery stick, 10 baby carrots, small handful raspberries and kale, 1/2 orange, 1/2 banana, 1tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 ounce dark chocolate and cinnamon. Topped with raisin granola (there's more in there but it kept sinking as I was taking the picture. I love my crunch in my thick creamy smoothie).

And what better than to get out the crockpot for a delicious stew to make the house smell amazing. 
12-bean bag mix, 1 white onion, 1 large zucchini sliced, 2 squash sliced, 2 cups barley, 1/2 pot filled with water, 1 carton sliced washed mushrooms, 2 big garlic cloves chopped, 4 red potatoes sliced, 1 small can stewed tomatoes (no salt added), seasonings - pinch of salt, turmeric, chili, paprika, oregano. 


Nutrition tips for food lovers

Farmers market shopping in downtown Znojmo, Czech Republic  (Karel's home)

Every day I am reminded of our trip to Czech and the lifestyle that we lived during our trip. The trip was life changing but it was even more enjoyable to live such a great lifestyle while in Czech. 

When it comes to "healthy" eating, there are many tips, suggestions, fads, thoughts, rules and styles that is can be very overwhelming. When it comes to disease prevention there are many research studies as to what people do consistently well that reduces the risk for disease and illness and what people do that increases the risk for certain diseases and illnesses. We can not avoid cancer but we can reduce the risk so when it comes down to following nutrition advice in a society that loves food, it's really not that complicated. 


Eat a plant strong diet, rich in fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Choose heart healthy fats and low fat dairy (up to 3 servings daily). Reduce intake of saturated fat, avoid trans fat and stay hydrated with water. Reduce intake of added sugar and salt and focus on portion control to maintain a "healthy" body composition. Stay active and move the body daily. 


 While traveling to Pittsburgh this past Thurs - Sat for my brother's wedding (thus the lack of  blogging for the past few days), I had a chance to catch up on some nutrition reading from various journals/magazines. As a food lover, athlete and a health and fitness professional, I really enjoy reading about food....beyond food for "weight loss". I love reading about the benefits of food, the science of food and anything that makes food special. I suppose I see food differently than many people and I think that is why my body allows me to do what I do on a day to day basis. With Karel celebrating his 37th birthday yesterday, I only hope that as we both age we can continue to travel, stay active and enjoy life with a healthy body and mind.


Hiking in Znjomo, Czech Republic


I wanted to share a few articles that caught my attention during our trip.

Food and Nutrition: Sept/Oct 2013
-Pg 16-17: Beans are a tasty, nutritious and economically efficient way to meet nutrition needs year-round. They are high in protein and soluble fiber and a good source of vitamins and minerals. They are also an essential source of protein, iron and zinc. Diets rich in soluble fiber are associated with improved blood glucose control and blood cholesterol levels and may help fight heart disease. Since they're often priced less than 25 cents per cup, dried beans are affordable. Types of beans: Black, lima, chickpea/garbanzo, red, great northern, pinto, kidney, fava, black-eyed peas, navy, soybeans.
-Pg 22: Oats: a trendy, budget-friendly food staple. At 150 calorie per -one cup cooked serving, oats resemble other cooked whole grains in their energy density. The soluble fiber in oats (B-glucan) consistently has been shown to lower the heart disease risk factors of total and LDL cholesterol. In 1997, the FDA approved a health claim for the role of B-Glucan soluble fiber, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, in reducing risk of heart disease. One cup of cooked oatmeal supplies 2 of the daily 3 grams of B-glucan soluble fiber necessary for these heart benefits. 

Oat definitions: The lease processed oats come in the form of groats - the husked whole oat kernel - and require the longest cooking time (40 minutes). Oat groats  can be substituted for brown rice, wheat berries or other whole grains in a dinner side dish. Steel-cut oats are toasted oat groats that have been cut into small pieces with a metal blade. Ready in 10-20 minutes, steel cut oats have a firm texture and nutty flavor. Rolled oats (old fashioned or 5-minute) are groats that have been steamed, flattened and dried and are typically less expensive and more readily available than whole and steel-cut oats. Quick oats are rolled oats that have been cut into smaller pieces to reduce cooking time down to 2 minute. Instant oats resemble quick oats in texture but have been partially cooked before drying so that they can be reconstituted with boiling water. 


Eating Well Oct 2013
-Pg 24: Several studies show that adding more produce to your diet can improve your mental health and sense of well-being. Celery and Parsley deliver apigenin, a compound that promotes the death of cancerous cells, according to new research from Ohio State University. Red cabbage and blueberries are packed with anthocyanins, which may help keep your memory sharp. 
-Pg 17: The apple is a powerhouse of polyphenols, potent antioxidants. eating apples may lower the risk of asthma, lung cancer, stroke and prevent blood sugar spikes. According to a recent Ohio State study, adults eating just one apple a day of four weeks reduced their level of LDL cholesterol by as much as 40%. The fruit is also rich in pectin, a soluble fiber effective in lowering cholesterol. Apples offer thousands of flavor possibilities. Once more than 16,000 varieties grew just in American orchards. As shelf life an uniformity became more important, most disappeared. Find out what's growing by you at localharvest.org. 

Remedy's Healthy Living Fall 2013 (healthcentral.com) - FREE pamphlet from the pharmacy at the hospital
-Pg 10: Gut reactions. The connection between the brain and the gut is a two-way street. Recent research suggest that the health of your digestive system - the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon - can affect your mood and well-being. The key to the complex interaction is the enteric nervous system, which experts sometimes refer to as the "brain in your gut." "Thousands of nerves line the intestines and signal muscles to contract to propel food along the digestive tract," explains David Wolf, MD, a gastroenterologist and University of Texas Health and Science Center in Houston. Like the one in your head, your gut's brain depends on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, the famous feel-good chemical. "Around 95% of serotonin is produced in the intestinal tract," says Dr. Chait MD. 

While the serotonin in your brain regulates mod, in the gut, it promotes the growth of nerve cells and alerts the immune system to foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria. Serotonin also keeps the two systems in constant communication, so when stress hits, it's no wonder your stomach starts to churn - or that GI problems make you depressed and anxious. New research is also highlighting the vital role of the healthy bacteria that exist naturally in the gut. Trillions of bacteria populate the gut and scientists are only just beginning to understand that unique habitat, according to Jack Gilbert, PhD, an environmental microbiologist at the Argonne National Lab in Chicago.
When these god bacteria are diminished by a poor diet or a course of antibiotics, your digestive health and overall well being often suffer. The best way to improve your digestion is to eat a healthy balanced diet, says Dr. Chait. Aim for plant based, fiber rich foods, plenty of veggies, fruits, whole grains and bran and lean sources of protein such as chicken and fish. Daily fiber recs - 38 g for men under 50, 25grams for women under 50 and 30,21 grams respectively for men and women over 50. 

Thanks to the enteric nervous system, the digestive system is very sensitive to emotional and psychological stress. Stress busters like deep breathing, yoga, meditation and massage can play an important role in alleviating GI disorders triggered or exacerbated by tension, such as IBS, whose symptoms include cramping, bloating and often alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea. A recent study found that women who practiced mindfulness meditation for 8 weeks had greater reductions in IBS symptoms than women who were assigned to a support group.
It's true: regular exercise keeps you regular. Activity improves motility.

-Gas: If you are belching excessively, you may be swallowing air - aeorphagia. Flatulence happens when bacteria in the gut ferments undigested food; certain foods are worse than others. Avoid carbonated sodas and chewing gum. Chew foods slowly and eat small meals. If you experience gassiness, limit artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol.