Where digestion really starts, and why it matters!

digestionIf you look up images of digestion, you’ll get see a lot of this…

The pictures show the digestive tract starting from the salivary glands.

But that’s not really where digestion starts.

The process of digestion actually starts in your brain!

Specifically – that process has a fancy name – it’s called The Cephalic Phase Response.

Cephalic means “in or relating to the head” and yes, that’s exactly where 40-60% of the action of digestion is!


It’s the first phase of digestion – and it happens before the first bite of food.

It happens when we stop and notice what we’re eating – when we see the beauty of our food (I’m hoping you are eating beautiful food!) – and smell the lovely aroma of our food.

The sensual exploration of our food – before we even put it into our mouths – is SO important, because it signals to the rest of our body what to prepare for.

You stopping and appreciating what’s on your plate broadcasts an important message to your body…


Now when your body does NOT get that message – because you’re looking at your computer or reading or driving or watching TV while you’re eating – there’s NO “HEY AMAZING BODY, GET READY!” message happening.

And then you’ve got problems. Your body has to kind of scramble to get all the digestion in gear and it doesn’t do as good a job. In fact, it does 40-60% worse job of digesting.

If your digestion isn’t functioning fully you might experience:

  • bloating
  • tummy aches
  • heartburn
  • acid reflux
  • constipation
  • and more!

Getting your Cephalic Phase Response in gear is crucial for ease of digestion!

So please, invite your digestion to start at the very beginning, by taking a mindful and sensual moment to prepare yourself for the feast you are about to receive.

Your body will thank you!

And, if you’d like to know how I get my Cephalic Phase Response in gear (and encourage my whole family to do the same) click here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Nina Manolson, MA, CHC, certified Health Coach and Psychology of Eating Coach believes that every women deserves to feel good in their own body. She helps women create a healthy and positive relationship with their food and body so they can love their body and life!  She’s the founder of NinaManolson.com and NourishedWomanNation.com 

She helps busy women look and feel their best. She specializes in working with women over 40 who have tried other diets and approaches but are still struggling with their body and food. She helps women step into a new wellness paradigm that makes self-care real and do-able and turns it into sustainable healthy habits that

She’s the author of “Feed Your Kids Well In A World That Doesn’t: an everyday guide to make healthy food happen in your home and beyond”. She’s also the recipient of the prestigious Health Leadership Award from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

To get your F.R.E.E. Video Series “What to do now, when everything you’ve done hasn’t worked” by mail and receive her healthy recipes and wellness tips click here.






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