YOU AREN'T JUST WHAT YOU EAT, PART 1
As the tagline of this blog, it feels important for me to give more of a back story here on why I believe this to be true. Let’s get one thing clear - I love food, and all things good food are going to be a large part of this space! I’ve come to really enjoy creating and sharing recipes, so there will be plenty of that.
The way we eat our food matters.
Do you put your fork down between each bite? Do you chew 20 times? Do you sit down to eat or are you often driving or busy doing other things while you eat? No? Me neither. But, I’m working on it. I try for a few minutes each day to chew my food well, or to just sit down, eat, and leave my phone in the other room.
What we think about when we eat matters.
Do you sometimes eat your food and think, “this is going to make my stomach hurt” or, “this is so unhealthy for me” ? Or, even worse, eat a meal and then feel guilty for hours about it? Really think about this one, and tune in the next time you eat a meal you don’t classify in your mind as healthy. I wholeheartedly believe that this guilt and shame we put on ourselves after eating food we classify as unhealthy is way worse than eating the warm brownie, crunchy french fries, or a tasty donut. The next time you eat something you don’t consider healthy, try this. Sit down, take a deep breath and tell yourself “this is really good for me. I am going to feel energized, well, and happy after I eat this.”
How well we digest our food matters.
We can go to a local farm and buy organic, fresh and nutrient dense food. We can spend hours preparing a beautiful and nourishing meal. However, If we’re in an anxious state, worried or concerned, the cascade of digestion and assimilation is not going to happen properly. As my teacher at the Nutritional Therapy Association always said, digestion works North to South - and begins with how well we chew our food and our mindset before and while we eat.
Let’s be clear - sometimes, I eat and drive. I eat while I am busy doing stuff around the house. I certainly do not chew every bite of food twenty times or put my fork down between bites. But, every day I try to have one meal (or even the first few minutes of a meal) where I am sitting, mindful, not on my phone or computer, not reading a book - just simply being, enjoying the meal I prepared for my family. Growing up in such a go-go-go culture, this has been a struggle and a serious work in progress. But, to change a pattern or a habit, we have to practice the opposite. Every time you sit down, take a few deep breaths, and consciously focus even on that first bite of food, and avoid hopping on your phone, you’re slowly shifting a lifelong pattern. And each time you focus on this even for a moment, you’re creating positive change. Remember, it’s all about progress, not about perfection.