“Drink Your Food and Chew Your Drink”

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“Drink Your Food and Chew Your Drink”

If you ask my husband how many times he hears this in a week, you’d laugh. I am constantly reminding my sweet man to slow down and enjoy his food. This is an issue I will venture to say most Americans have. Why is this such an “issue”? Let me explain…

When we feel hungry and are ready to eat, many physiological things begin to happen within our body that we have no idea are going down {unless you are a science nerd…ahem}. Our brain talks to our digestive tract and begin a whole lot of movin’ and grovin’ to get our food properly broken down and absorbed. For example, we produce more saliva which contains salivary amylase that helps breakdown carbohydrates, our stomachs begin producing hydrochloric acid {HCl} which helps break down protein in the stomach and the coolest thing, in my opinion, is that our bodies turn over to a “rest and digest” mode when we are ready to have a meal.

The digestive tract, minus the mouth and esophagus...and brain.

Let’s stop here because we’ve gone too deep into la-la land. The above is how digestion should work, but let’s be real here my friends. Most of us are in a constant state of go-go-go stress which means our bodies have a difficult time switching from “fight-or-flight” mode to our “rest and digest” mode. Since we don’t have time to stop, we eat when we are driving, working, watching TV, rushing, stressed, moving, nervous, etc. making it extremely difficult for our bodies to properly breakdown and use our food. So, while we are speeding down the freeway chompin’ on a PB&J and stressed about some nonsense, we chew three times and swallow leaving large food pieces for our not-so-prepared tummies to deal with. This can lead to many, many digestive issues and even food allergies.

So, how can we work on this? How can we make sure that all the money we spend on healthy food doesn’t go to waste? How can we avoid that ugly burping and gasing…{just made that up} we often deal with after meals? Let’s start by slowing down. Slow. Down. Life is short my friends, enjoy the ride! And shoot, enjoy your food! Take your time and savor each bite. Not only will this help with digestion and absorption of your delicious and nutritious meal, but it will help signal your brain when you are full and help keep nasty pounds off.

7 steps to help get you to digestive bliss!

1)     When getting ready to eat, turn off the TV, your computer or any stressors around you. Use this time, even if you only have a couple of minutes, to focus on calming your body and enjoying your meal. Relax, say a prayer and slow your crazy mind down.

2)      Try taking a tablespoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of clean water {plug your nose, it’ll go down quick} about 15-20 minutes before your meal. This will help with the production of vital HCl. {If you have stomach ulcers, skip this step.} Also, eating small amounts of lactofermented foods {i.e. sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, beets or carrots, kefir, etc. etc.} with your meals can be very beneficial for digestions and overall health. I hope to post more on this soon.

3)      Chew, chew and chew some more. Count to 30-40-50-60 bites if you need to. Practice chewing until your jaw is tired. Ha, that sounds crazy, but do it until it becomes natural to you. This step it very important. CHEW!

4)      Avoid drinking large amounts of water or other beverages with your meals, especially cold ones.

5)      Avoid stressful conversations while you are eating.

6)      If you are able, take a few minutes after your meals to just relax.

7)      Remember that the quality of the food we eat plays a role in our digestion as well. As much as possible, avoid processed grains/sugars, trans fats, dangerous oils {canola/vegetable/cotton seed, etc.}, soy products, soda, fast food and boxed/canned items. That leaves you with real food my friends!

Enjoying a meal at the pool...Wouldn't this be awesome at every meal!? {I know this photo is random, but I thought it encompassed the whole "relax, then eat" idea well.}

I know, these steps seem easier said than done for most {especially if you have a busy schedule or little ones running a muck with you all day}, but I encourage you to work on one step at a time. Simply being conscious of what your meal habits are can be eye opening and even alarming. Healing and repairing can take months, but the pay-offs are life long! {Wow, is this an infomercial or what!?}

May your next meal be an enjoyable and relaxing one!

And don’t forget…Shine bright my friends!

J

By | 2016-11-09T21:25:06+00:00 February 13th, 2012|Food, Health, Healthy Body for baby, Nutrition|5 Comments

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5 Comments

  1. ksmahoney February 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the blog. I recently started having a few pickle slices before meals because I know the garlic and vinegar are healthy and can potentially aid in weight loss.
    Sara from http://www.losingtogether.com

  2. Christy March 12, 2012 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Such a good reminder, I definitely need to slowdown and relax when I eat! Thank u 🙂 -christy killeen

  3. That’s such good advice! You can have the best diet in the world but if you eat it in the wrong way, with stress and chaos, it won’t do you much good.

    I gave your blog an award to thank you for the wonderful things you share. You can check it out here: http://www.laurawestkong.com/gff/2012/liebster-awards/

    • Justine August 10, 2012 at 3:15 am - Reply

      Thanks Laura!! That’s awesome!

  4. GF & CF LIving May 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    I need to remember to slow down when I am eating! I break almost of all these rules unfortunately! Thanks for the hints

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