The Art of Chewing

Rhendachewing“When our pleasure is fulfilled, we are fulfilled and stop eating.  If we aren’t getting pleasure from our food, we keep on eating (searching) to find that pleasure.” (Melissa Kelly, Mediterranean Women Stay Slim, Too pg 25-26)

Good food is artwork. It is a pleasure to make, a joy to eat, and fills the body and soul with energy to accomplish the rest of life’s desires. Good food brings satisfaction and peace. 

The first activity of our lives is nourishment from mother’s breast. Often, the last activity is someone spooning broth into the mouth to give nourishment. Between the first sip and the last is a lifetime of tastes, decisions, mistakes, experiments, indulges, and sheer enjoyment. The mouth begins it all.

Chewing begins digestion

Chewing is a science, a job, a necessary pleasure that is overlooked. Chewing is the most important part of digesting. Chewing is the step we have control over, the conscious step that we have to give our bodies the nourishment they require.

Stop and eat. Do not drive and eat, run from place to place and eat, eat while you work, eat while you watch TV, eat while you play. Give eating its own time and place. I fought this for years. While at a community college I took a behavior modification class because it looked like an easy credit. My assignment was to eat without doing anything else. I told myself, “I do not enjoy eating; I do not have time to eat, so I have to eat while doing something else or I will not eat at all”. Pretty arrogant!  I learned nothing that semester in that class, but I do remember the assignment to this day because I was so against doing it.

Food as fuel

It was not until I started understanding food as a fuel, nourishment, and necessity that I began creating my own meals, taking pictures of them and enjoying every bite. Unfortunately, my children were grown and they had reaped the bad habits I had taught them. Therefore, I hope I can find some cord that will blend together with your desire, thoughts, and taste buds so you can understand the joy that can come from eating. The pleasure and fulfillment of eating the correct foods and taking care of the beautiful bodies we have been given is a lifetime stipulation to health and vitality.

Choose a place to eat

Choose a place to eat where your meals will take place.

 In the morning it may be on the patio or deck to feel the morning sun. In winter it may be in front of the fireplace where it is warm and cozy.

At lunchtime find a place in your work environment that is conducive to eating. Some suggestions are in the lunchroom, on the patio somewhere, or on the steps of the nearby church. When I worked in New York City, I often ate on the steps of St Patrick’s Cathedral which was across from my office. Find a warm place that is inviting and away from your work. Do not use the desk because it is filled with work, others will find you to interrupt you and you seldom can you let go of work when you are sitting where the action takes place. Find your place, your niche, your getaway to relax, to eat, to dine.

For suppertime, gather round the table with no television on. (This is the beauty of DVR, or TiVo.) The show can wait until you can give it your full attention.

Food must appeal to us to eat it. The smell and sight of food activates juices to get ready because something is coming. So truly enjoying our food helps us digest it. Trying smelling, seeing and chewing and see how much better you feel.

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