How long does it take you to eat a morsel of bread?
Do you focus on your food when you eat? –the color, shape, taste, consistency of every mouthful?
Meal times are no longer sacred or truly celebrated. The office table for some doubles as the dining table, we eat on-the-go, we are always in a hurry, and end up gulping down the entire meal. When we decide to go to the restaurant we are there talking the entire time and some topics might come up that might just make your stomach churn or make you lose your appetite completely.
Indigestion is a very prevalent symptom now because we do not allow enough time for our meals and we are not chewing properly.
Back to the morsel of bread. The setting is a Detox Retreat, far away in the mountains, and its Lunch time.
The tranquility in the restaurant is unbeatable. The crockery, very impressive. I am sharing a table with a French lady. You cannot hold a conversation, speaking whilst eating is forbidden. No mobile phones allowed, so how I am supposed to let everybody on my social network know what I am doing right now and send them interesting pictures? No 42” LED TV on the wall to catch up with 24hour news channel or follow your investments in different financial markets.
And now for the real deal, one piece of stale bread is to be eaten in thirty minutes!!! Yes, by Chewing, Chewing and Chewing!
I am supposed to take a little at a time, put in my mouth, and slowly start chewing. 15 counts to begin with and with practice, gradually build up to 30 then 40! The food must be totally disintegrated before it is swallowed. I could actually taste the sweetness (of stale bread!).
You would, if that is your portion/lot for the next 10days and there are no stores in the vicinity!
The real taste sensation of your meal can only be achieved after extensive chewing. It actually takes a while to get used to it, since old habits are difficult to break.
When you begin to chew your food properly, you will eventually begin to eliminate processed foods or foods laden with chemicals – think about how many chews can be taken on your favorite chocolate, biscuits, polished rice, etc. You begin to crave organic, healthy fresh foods that taste good. You begin to make healthier choices.
Mastication or Chewing is the process by which food is crushed and ground by teeth. It is the first step of digestion. We cannot afford to ignore this important process in the energy cycle.
The digestive tract is known as alimentary canal, it is over ten metres long, from mouth to anus. So let’s get it right, digestion starts in the Mouth.
When you chew your food properly for the right length of time, your body is able to absorb the nutrients in the food.
A wise man said ‘forgetting to chew in your mouth and expecting your stomach to chew your food instead is not an option”.
Chewing food properly is a key overall health and well-being. It would also help achieve your weight loss goals because you would be eating fewer portions.
Some mothers would pre chew food for infants to make the consistency easier for the baby to eat.
Let us begin to unlearn our bad chewing habits.
Let us use our teeth to grind food mechanically in our mouth. It is not how quickly we get the foods into our stomach by that should be our focus when we eat, we must chew properly.
Horace Fletcher says “Nature will castigate those who do not masticate.”
I am learning to chew all over!
A lady humorously said “just as a woman can never be too thin or a man too rich, you can never chew too much.”
30-40 Chews anyone? Let us imbibe this healthy lifestyle.
I wish you Optimum Health and Well-Being!
MsArinola Adeniyi is a Corporate Wellness Coach and CEO of Venivici Health Club & Urban Spa.
IG @Arinola Adeniyi