05 August 2009

Do you ... Chew?

I read this statement some place, and I thought it was ideal, "Many grown people eat as if they ALWAYS have a train to catch." My motivation to write this blog on "chewing" stems from my frustration with my own son on this very topic. Since he was about 3 years old, he has not mastered the art of chewing his food slowly and efficiently before swallowing. I wish I could attribute this "habit" of his to my lovely cooking and the fact that he can't help but get overly anxious while eating, but he does it anywhere with most decent meals. I am at my wits end because I don't want to nag him about it, but I also know that it's my job as a parent to make sure my children are growing up with healthy habits.

Chewing food properly is very, very important. As a 10 year old, he may be able to "get away" with not taking this seriously since the digestive system of a child is usually at life's best and it does not start to deteriorate until we mature and become adults. Hopefully his maturity will kick in and my nagging words, "chew your food properly" ringing in his head will take effect!

All persons need to realize the importance of chewing properly, not just kids. There is a lot of truth in that statement about people eating like they have a train to catch. I worked on Wall Street for 22 years, and that was a way of life for those of us who worked on the trading floor. There was no lunch hour, and there was no dining "away" from your desk. We had limited time to get our food (breakfast and/or lunch) quickly and return to our desks where we would eat and continue to work (trade stocks). Back when business was booming, "eat fast" was the rule for everyone on the desk. I remember one trader (actually there were a few) who would gobble his lunch in about two minutes, and in fact, that guy ate so fast, shoving food and fingers into his mouth, I thought he would eat his fingers too. It's no wonder why these guys were always cranky and miserable, it was not only because they may have been losing money on trading/positions but they were also stricken with indigestion and heartburn DAILY.

So, here it is ... the truth. Chewing your food is EXTREMELY important because it maintains the integrity and health of your digestive system. Do you care? You should care!

Your body was built/created in a certain way and it was meant to be handled a certain way. When you go against this, you upset the entire body's functioning.

Many people eat and don't stop and think about what they are eating. Food has purpose. Sure there are some great tasting foods that just delight the palate and your taste buds and mind can't get past that ---- you believe that the moment each morsel connects with your tongue and mouth, and you "taste" that scrumptious bite, that you are experiencing all there is......

If this were the case, then our bodies should have been built with an instant "release door" so that we would not waste time with what comes after "TASTE." How many people actually stop and think about the EXPERIENCE they are having with any and everything they eat.... EVERY single time they eat???

Food has purpose, and that is a whole other topic for discussion. (Like why it makes no sense to overly indulge on highly toxic foods, fattening foods, processed foods, etc..... your body is a living being -- not meant to be working on such foreign matter). We'll talk about this another time!

From the moment you take that bite and the food connects with the saliva in your mouth, a very important PROCESS begins. It always does with anything you EAT or DRINK. Digestion is the process. Digestion begins in the MOUTH. In your mouth there are digestive enzymes and they do the PRE-digesting of your food. During this process, which should LINGER, you should chew your food -- a lot.... at least 25 times. Well, I know that is hard because often times, healthy foods breakdown in 10-15 bites. But, always consider 25 chews with everything and go from there.

So why all this chewing???? Because you are doing your STOMACH a favor. A huge favor. When you send down barely chewed food, you are OVERWORKING your stomach, which leads to having a faulty, not so efficient digestive system.

When the pre-digestion starts off properly in the mouth, and then the food is sent to the stomach, the stomach is able to disperse the NUTRIENTS of the foods to where they have to go. Which brings me to WHY it is important to have HEALTHY nutritious foods a few times a day. The food does not just go into your mouth .... yum yum... and then leaves the body. The food is being USED --- nutrients --- energy ---- sent through the blood to do real work to keep you healthy and strong.

Consider, what does a can of soda do once it hits the stomach??? What about a nice greasy philly cheesesteak? What do you think carrots or spinach do when they hit the stomach for digestion? Food for thought ....LOL!

The exiting of that decadent chocolate cake...... through the intestines.......and how about that colon?

Chew it up well -- you might just cut down on indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome -- otherwise, cut out the foods that are causing these problems in the first place.

A healthy digestive system helps to keep weight healthy, and body working healthy.

Keep chewing--- especially if you don't have a train to catch!

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