8 - Eating Habits

Step #1: CHEW SLOWLY AND THOROUGHLY

Why: Digestion begins in your mouth. The more you chew, the less work for your stomach. Your saliva contains an enzyme that begins the digestion of carbohydrates (sugars and starches). So the more you chew, the more those foods are already partially digested. Plus slowing down and enjoying your meal, helps keep your body in a parasympathetic mode which is the digestion mode. Rushing through your meal and jumping up to tackle the next thing on your schedule switches you to sympathetic mode and turns OFF digestion. Why eat if you aren't going to let your body digest.

How: Some people like to count how many times they chew. I simply have learned to put down my fork between bites. Just that one act doubles the number of times you chew your food. Find pleasant people to share your meal. Savor every bite and taste sensation. You are now improving the quality of your food so it should be tasting better.

[TRADE] Trade in your large plate and dinner fork for a salad plate and fork. You will have to start with a smaller amount of food. Chew it slowly and then you have to get up to fill your plate again. This will slow you down and maybe you will decide you really don't need that second helping.


Step #2: DON'T EAT 3 HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME

Why: Give your body a good rest from digestion. By not eating after dinner until breakfast the next morning, you are giving your body an opportunity to do some daily maintenance while you sleep. If you eat just before bed, digestion is what your body will be doing. Some people find that they can lose weight just by sticking to this habit.

How: One key to success is eating dinner at a decent hour. Are you the type that is so busy that you eat dinner just before bed? Examine why. Can you push it back one hour and then two?   Another key is eating enough at dinner so you don't have the munchies all night. Eating enough protein and fat helps with this. Lots of vegetables help too. Then leave the kitchen. Do something that interests you so you don't think about snacking.

[TRICK] For some keeping their hands busy is a great trick. Take up knitting or cross-stitch or even jigsaw puzzles.


Step #3: LEARN TO COOK

Why: Learning to cook is the best and maybe only way to successfully cut your ties to the industrial processed food system. Healthy eating means knowing not only how to buy or grow your food but also how to prepare it. Cooking is a skill that rewards you daily and can become a real pleasure. For many cooks, it is their creative outlet.

How: Start small. Pick a favorite food or one you eat often. Find classes nearby. There are many offered throughout Bellingham and Whatcom county. Try the Nourishing Traditions cookbook listed below. Ask a friend to teach you one dish.

[TIP] Get a free cooking class by asking a friend who is a good cook and offering to pay for all the ingredients.


Ready for more?

Book: "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon (a must-have cookbook for the properly prepared nutrient dense whole food kitchen; available in Whatcom County Library System)

Online article (not an article but series of videos instead): Beginner Videos section of Weston A Price Foundation site

Website:Article: Real Food Media (now up to 23 bloggers featured)


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