08 January 2008

Chew on this

Teaching myself to change my eating habits has been a long and difficult task. While I have made great strides in improving the way I eat, I am still challenged not to scarf my food down like an underfed street urchin. Have you ever seen the way a hungry man eats? Multiply that image a few times and you’ll have a pretty clear image of how I treat my food…very much à la pie eating contest. Sometimes I can’t stuff it down my throat fast enough; it’s like instant gratification, right? Wrong! It’s bad, bad, bad!

One of the key tips to healthy eating involves taking the time to properly chew your food. By chewing an extra 5 to 10 bites more, you’re body will feel fuller and more satisfied. More importantly, it will have the time to absorb the nutrients that it needs without craving more food.

To be honest, until I started researching nutrition further, I never really thought about how chewing (or sometimes lack thereof) could be affecting my health. Being the busy and high energy gal that I am, I’ve always sped through mealtime on autopilot shoving food down my gullet in a haphazard fashion: open, stuff, swallow and repeat until my plate is clean and I can return to more important matters. Meanwhile poor hubby will have completed only a quarter of his meal, while I’m racing to the sink to see to the dishes.

After doing some reading on the matter of ‘chewing’ (very riveting stuff by the way), I soon discovered that I am not the only one with this perverse problem. Turns out there’s a huge boatload of others out there who also like to inhale their food. Researchers believe that this aversion to mastication is due to the fast-paced, on-the-go, lifestyle that so many North Americans practice: work, cook and eat quickly in order to get to the gym for an hour or two before bed…oh the irony!

As strange as it sounds, one of my resolutions for 2008 is to chew my food properly and to take more time to enjoy my meals. It’s quite an amusing scenario for a girl who can linger over a single glass of wine, swirling, sniffing, sipping and sighing contentedly. I’m sure hubby will be equally thrilled to finally share his table with someone resembling his wife, rather than a hungry and ill-mannered Neanderthal.

Jenny’s “learn to chew” program for beginners:

  • Take smaller bites of food...
    i
    t isn’t a damn race after all

  • Chew each piece of food slowly for 20 bites...
    even if you feel like a cow chewing its cud.

  • Take time to talk during meals...
    preferably without food in your mouth
  • Stop multitasking...
    get away from the T.V. or computer and actually focus on your meal (ignore the fact that I’m eating while typing this)
  • Food is our friend...
    indigestion is not!

    To all my fellow chew-phobic readers, I highly suggest that you take my tips to heart and “learn to chew for a better you”. Sorry, I’m copywriting that phrase!


  • 1 comment:

    HamiHarri said...

    Excellent tip! I wasn't going to make "resolutions" this year other than to be thankful for everything in life - but chewing more seems like one that I could accomplish - and one that would aid in my health ;)