Food for Thought About Digestion

So many things in life seem to get better with age.  Cheese … wine … our financial portfolios (hopefully) … and our maturity – to name a few.


One thing that doesn’t age so well is food in our digestive tracts.  When we eat, the food goes into our stomachs and awaits enzyme release that begins the process of breaking down and removing the vitamins and minerals for our body to use.  Not everything is utilized; the waste passes through our digestive system.


When we eat a meal composed of the average American diet – one loaded with proteins and processed carbohydrates – we begin a distillation process.  However, the proteins are heavy and not quickly digested. Nor is the butter-laden potato of choice.  The petite salad and side of veggies are fairly good choices but not adequate to make up for the overwhelming load of protein and starch.


You may not realize that 12 hours later this meal still sits in our system awaiting breakdown. Before that occurs, you may follow up with a burger, fries and a milk shake. The combination of grease, salt and excessive calories now sits there and literally ferments in our digestive tract, causing gas and other uncomfortable side effects.  Folks, we are not meant to be distilleries.


The problem with this pattern is that our preferred style of eating doesn’t allow for the body to properly eat, digest and get rid of a meal before our gut gets loaded down again.  This results in food adhering to the walls of our intestines in the form of garbage.  This bogs down our system over time and results in lack of energy and a declining state of overall health.


What we should look to do is eat foods that travel from consumption to excretion in a reasonable time frame.  We should strive to eat foods that are quick exiting.  This can be accomplished with more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and modest amounts of protein.


This is not meant to be oversimplified, but we should strive for food combinations that help our digestive system. Everyone is uniquely created and what works for one may not work the same for another.


Here’s an easy one to digest! Please enjoy my easy recipe for Turkey Stew Osso Buco over brown rice.


  • 1 lb. turkey breast meat, cubed and dusted with seasoned flour
  • 6 oz. medium mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, diced
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, stacked and sliced into ribbons
  • 6 plum tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 5 cups brown rice


Heat oil in sauté pan. Brown floured turkey; add onion, mushrooms and tomatoes. Add beef stock, cover reduce to simmer.  As liquid reduces to a thicker, saucy state add cut basil, adjust flavor with salt and pepper. Cook brown rice according to instructions. Serve your turkey stew over the rice.



Executive Chef Michael Davis, CEC, is a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation. He believes that the creative innovation of wholesome foods is the best approach to eating. For more information, contact Chef Davis at


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