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The Art of Chewing

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Sunday, February 28th, 2016
6 comments

How long does it take you to eat a morsel of bread?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5……10….20…30…and still counting!!!

Are you single-minded about your food when you eat? – the quantity, color, shape, aroma, taste, consistency of every mouthful? Probably not, if your smart phones and electronic gadgets are all ringing, downloading, or beeping every few seconds at the same time! I keep wondering how we coped before the advent of these toys – but that is a discussion for another day!

Meal times are no longer sacred or truly celebrated. The office table for some, doubles as the dining table, we eat on-the-go, we are always in a hurry, and end up gulping down the entire meal. When we decide to go to the restaurant we are there attending to our smart phones and you are wondering why two friends came out to share the meal together, or you encounter a large and ‘noisy’ group talking the entire time! Some not so appetizing topics might just come up that would make your stomach churn and heart sag.

Truth is we do not allow enough time for our meals, do not savor them and we are not chewing properly.

Back to the morsel of bread. The setting is a Detox Retreat, far away in the mountains, and its lunch time.  The tranquility in the restaurant is unbeatable. The crockery, very impressive. I am sharing a table with a French lady. You cannot hold a conversation, speaking whilst eating is forbidden! So how do I make acquaintance and add one more friend to my social platform? You are meant to be chewing your bread and not multi-tasking!  You cannot be chewing and talking at the same time. Hmmm! Then I am told mobile phones are not allowed! So how I am supposed to let everybody on my social network know that I am not in Lagos?, and  what I am doing right now! Oh, they are being deprived of knowing what is on my mind at the moment! I do not know what is ‘trending’ either! They must be longing to see the pictures of this beautiful place on Instagram! There is no giant LED TV on the wall to catch up with 24 hour news channels or follow your investments in different financial markets.

And now for the real deal, one piece of bread is to be eaten in thirty minutes! Yes, by Chewing, Chewing and Chewing!

I am supposed to take a little at a time, put it in my mouth, and slowly start chewing. 15 counts to begin with and with practice, gradually build up to 30 then 40! The food must be totally disintegrated before it is swallowed. I could actually taste the sweetness of stale bread. You would, if that is your lot for the next 10 days and there are no stores in the vicinity.

I now realize that as I begin to chew my food properly, I will eventually eliminate processed foods or foods laden with chemicals – think about how many chews can be taken on your favorite chocolate, biscuits, polished rice, and so on. You begin to crave organic, healthy fresh foods that taste good and make healthier choices.

It is not how quickly we get food into our stomach that is important, it is how properly we chew. As I unlearn my bad chewing habits, I am learning to chew all over.

A lady humorously said “just as a woman can never be too thin or a man too rich, you can never chew too much.”

30-40 Chews anyone? Let us imbibe this healthy lifestyle.

I wish you Optimum Health and Well-Being!

Arinola Adeniyi is a Corporate Wellness Coach and CEO of Venivici Health Club & Urban Spa. She can be reached at arinola@venivicispa.com, @arinolaadeniyi

 

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6 Responses

  1. It really can be difficult unlearning this long bad haibit. Especially in our world where we rush everything, and that ‘rush’ has propelled us to ‘swallowing’ instead of chewing adequately. Thanks for this,the Chewing Project has begun.

  2. I love this piece and i will definitely encourage my peeps to read and join in the challenge of Chewing not ‘swallowing’. Thanks Doc.

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