How often do you pay attention to the food you’re eating? During meals do you pay attention to other things? TV, podcasts, scrolling through Facebook? How would things be different if you paid attention to your food? Healthy digestion is the most important aspect to achieve a healthy body.
Have you noticed the smell of your food? The colour? The taste? Does it look appetizing? How does the texture feel on your tongue and in your mouth? Is it easy to chew? How big or small of bites do you take? How many times do you chew each bite?
When I made the decision to pay more attention to my food, I had to make some significant changes:
- I take pride in plating the food in an attractive way so it’s visually appealing.
- I take smaller bites and chew more.
- I buy and provide a variety of colours for my family. Ever notice how hard it is to get blues into the mix?
- We eat at the dining table. Pretty much the only exception is the occasional bowl of popcorn during a Netflix night.
- The TV is off.
- Making our bedroom a “no-food” zone.
What do these changes accomplish?
- When food looks attractive on a plate, it wakes up your digestive system and initiates the first step in digestion, saliva production.
- Eating in a calm and positive environment is beneficial for the digestive process. The digestive system is affected the most by stress then any other system in the body.
- Chewing properly allows more of the stomach acids to reach more surface area of the food, in turn, allowing the body to take more nutrition from each bite. This is really important. Chew each bite about 30 times. I used to think that number sounded unreasonably high, however, although I certainly am not counting during every bite, I do once in a while to check-in, and “about 30” is about right.
- Not watching TV and avoiding other distractions gives time for conversation and connection with others in my household.
- It’s easier to feel the signals when your body is full, when you’re paying attention to your food. When things are calm and relatively quiet, you may notice what signals your body gives when it’s full. Mine is a simple sigh, which is pretty easy to miss when eating with distractions.
Take care of your intake, physical and mental. Be careful what goes in…. Your body is your country and there are many ports of entry. You should put immigration officers everywhere.”~Swami Satchidananda