Self Care Saturday: Chew Your Food

The more I read, and the more I learn, the more it seems that a lot of our health problems start in the gut. Our gastrointestinal system does substantially more for our bodies than we realize. It is where food is digested but it is also where our nutrients are absorbed. It plays a role in our immune system. And how your system is “feeling” can make or break your day. There are countless stories about how when people transition to a cleaner diet – Whole 30, paleo, keto, etc. These eating systems that encourage and teach you to eat whole, natural foods, not the processed crap that most of America consumes. People often feel amazing when they start eating this way. They have more energy, they’re skin is better. They feel better. Their chronic fatigue improves.

f3aa3682d6a580154d639e5e44f3a3c7And it’s all a choice.

I listened to this wonderful podcast yesterday (listen to it here) that talked about this topic of how much our gut affects our life. Two things struck me that I want to talk about today. One, the importance of chewing your food. Two, that it’s a choice.

Chewing is the start of the digestive process. It tells your stomach to start producing those digestive juices that we need to break down food so our bodies can absorb the nutrients. However, in the go-go-go mindset of our culture, we essentially inhale our food, neglecting to chew. This results in overeating, malabsorption issues, and upset tummies after eating.

We are distracted when we’re eating. The tv is on, we’re scrolling our phones, distracted. We don’t take the time to eat and enjoy our food.

Growing up, my family sat around the dinner table. We turned off the tv. There wasn’t music playing in the background. We sat as a family, talked about our days, and enjoyed one another’s company. We weren’t distracted when we ate. We didn’t rush through our meals. We didn’t overeat because we took the time to enjoy our food and our bodies knew when we were full.

All that being said, we need to go back to that. We need to do family dinners or friend dinners. We need to set aside our phones and turn off the tv while we eat so we can be fully present to the plate of food before us and actually eat our food.

It’s a choice though. All of this is a choice. It’s a choice to make better food choices. It’s a choice to change the food you eat and the way you eat. A lot of people look at different eating plans and say “I can’t have milk, I’m not doing that” or “I can’t eat pasta, I’m not doing that.” But it’s a choice you make for your health.

I’ve looked the most into doing a Whole 30 and done like mini Whole 30s a few times. There are several things you don’t eat with this eating plan, for 30 days, and then there’s a reintroduction period where you add in some of these foods you temporarily eliminated to see if they make you feel sick.

Here’s the thing – any diet change is rooted in mindset. I can’t vs I’m choosing not to are two different things.

I’m choosing to not drink alcohol for the next 30 days. I’m choosing to not eat chocolate for the next 30 days. I’m choosing to not eat grain for the next 30 days. Compared to I can’t eat pasta, I can’t drink alcohol, I can’t eat chocolate.

So moral of the story – chew your food, choose to step away from distracted eating and see if it makes a difference. If you’re wanting to try a new eating plan to see if you feel better, be aware of how you’re thinking about it. Do you have an “I can’t” attitude or an “I’m choosing not to”? The choice is yours friends, and your health and well being can be in your hands.

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