I have made it a rule to give every tooth of mine a chance, and when I eat, to chew every bite thirty-two times. To this rule I owe much of my success in life.
Ever since I remember my grandmother she has been a slow eater. When I say slow, I mean REALLY slow! When we are well into our main course, she is still sipping her soup. Every bite is delivered to the mouth in slow motion, and chewed, very slowly. Maybe this is the secret to longevity. (Actually, maybe the secret is the chocolate... but that is a different subject.)
I must admit that I sometimes find myself eating in a hurry and with no awareness. Periodically, when under stress or unhappy I swallow without really chewing. A totally different eating experience is when I sit at the table, music playing in the background, giving thanks for the food and for my life, and then taking a bite and really chewing. A day of aware eating and chewing is a totally completely day than one of hasty eating and swallowing with no presence.
I certainly experience that chewing calms me, elevates my mood and influences my life.
Is there a chance that peace in the Middle East can begin by all of us chewing? Each person will chew ... and slowly relax. Then the family will chew and relax. The street, the neighborhood, the city, the country... everyone will calm down and be happy and it will all begin by chewing the food in our mouths. How simple is that!?
When it comes to increased health, it's not just what we eat but how we eat. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we're putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted-working, reading, talking and watching television-and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. No wonder so many people have digestive problems.
There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food. Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don't crave those after-meal sweets. Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food. More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings. It is also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full.
The power of chewing is so great that there are stories of concentration camp survivors who, when others could not, made it through with very little food by chewing their meager rations up to 150 times per bite of food. For most of us 150 chews is a daunting and unrealistic goal. However, you can experience the benefits of chewing by increasing to 30 chews per bite. Try it and see how you feel.
Try to honor the meal: turn off the TV, no computer, newspaper or noisy company. Instead, give thanks, appreciate the abundance in your life. Most importantly: be with the food in your mouth, not anticipating the next bite or the next helping. Pay attention to your chewing and breathing. Kind of like practicing yoga with our food.
We actually can take a break from the race of life at our meals and practice breathing, chewing and observing, three times a day (or for some of us even more).
This kind of quiet can at first be strange, since we are used to a steady stream of advertising, news, media, email and demands from others. But as you create this new habit, you will begin to appreciate eating without rushing.
Since we have to eat every day-why not learn to savor and enjoy it?
Food Focus: Brown Rice
Brown rice, with its sweet nutty flavor, provides four times the amount of insoluble fiber found in white rice because it is a whole grain that has not been stripped of its natural bran covering. It contains an impressive number of vitamins and minerals such as concentrated B vitamins (which help the nervous system and combat mental depression), minerals and small amounts of high-quality protein in the form of the amino acid lysine, which helps boost the body's ability to fight viruses, especially those which cause cold sores.
In each grain of brown rice exists a matrix of whole, unrefined energy and nutrition. It is a complex carbohydrate and therefore burns slowly in the body, providing a steady stream of long-lasting energy while increasing the brain's levels of serotonin, the chemical responsible for the feeling of well-being. Those who consistently eat brown rice report steady energy and an overall feeling of calm and balance in their daily lives.
For brown rice and for whole grains in general, the majority of digestion occurs in the mouth through chewing and exposure to saliva. For optimal nutrition and assimilation, it is vital to chew your rice well and with awareness. A great meditation is to find a calm place, without distractions and to sit down for your meal. Make it a habit to chew each bite 20 times or more. See how this simple practice can help your digestion and overall focus for the rest of your day.
Recipe of the Month: Brown Basmati Pilaf
It is recommended to soak all whole grains (besides quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat) for approximately 8 hours before cooking.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients: (I recommend organic if possible)
1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
pinch of organic sea salt
1. Rinse rice in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear and soak over night.
2. Poor out soaking water and re-rinse.
3. Put rice in pot, add 2 cups of water and salt and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat.
5. Cook for about 30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
6. Remove from heat, add parsley, cranberries and walnuts, fluff with fork,
cover and let steam for 5 minutes and serve.
Chew for peace in the Middle East!
Holistic Health Counselor
A true wish comes true
A new project: Intention Creates Reality
By Nov. 29th 2008 - Gilad Shalit is Free, Healthy and Safe
Please watch the explanation film: Free Gilad
(Hebrew version: Free Gilad1 Free GiIad2)
Then watch the Hebrew films that demonstrate simple and easy application of the principle
Please participate in this collective energy project!
First, define intention for Gilad Shalit followed by one for yourself.
Write and declare out load, both intentions .
When defining your personal intention, use this structure:
By Nov 29th
I (your name) am free to... (define your freedom by the positive, not by the negative)
Tape both intentions to your door, whether or not you film it.
"Be the Change you wish to see in the world" (Gandhi)
Health Food Store Tour
Do you ever wonder what they sell in health food stores?
And what do you do with all that healthy stuff?
Please join me for an informative and fun tour in my favorite store
Where? Teva Sport Castel - Hamanofim 5, Herzliya Pituach
When? Wednesday, November 27th
What time? 18:30 - 20:00
How much? NIS 25
Please book ahead
For information and reservation: 054-4670239
For all Chocolate lovers!!
What is the connection between: Health, Chocolate and Love?
Answer - on November 30th
Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get. Forrest Gump
I make the healthiest tastiest chocolate on the planet
and I would love to teach you how to make it too.
No sugar, no milk products, no guilt,
just pure cacao, health and love!
Where? Omega – 10 Marzok Ezer St. (left duplex)
Kiryat Ono for arrival instructions:
When? November 30th
What time? 20:30 - 22:00
How much? NIS 150
Please book ahead
For information and reservation: 054-4670239