Eating begins with the pure art of chewing. Chew thoroughly to polarize the food with your system and to make smooth digestion possible. If under pressure at meals, merely chew, and let the chewing relax you.
Then you can be grateful and enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal. Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth.
Thorough chewing turns grains and other complex carbohydrates into satisfying sugars and makes oils, proteins, and minerals available for maximum absorption.
Whole vegetal foods, especially whole grains, must be mixed with saliva and chewed until liquid to release their full nutritional value.
Without adequate chewing, you will feel heavy and dull, develop gas, and be undernourished. Meats, fats, sweets, and processed foods satisfy the immediate desire for taste but soon dull the taste buds
Dry bread, common dry “rice cakes” found in most food stores and whole grains without sauce encourage one to chew. Because digestion becomes so efficient, the body begins to feel wonderfully light.
Photograph by Saudia Chila
Other Concerns About Eating and Nourishment
Do not be so rigid or self-righteous about your diet as to annoy anyone. A bad relationship is more poisonous than one of Grandma’s sugar cookies
Set aside a particular time and place for meals in a clean environment, surrounded by pleasant sounds, aromas, colors, and conversation. Avoid emotionally charged subjects and confused, scattered talk or thoughts.
Avoid eating while tired, too hot or too cold, worried, angry, standing, watching TV, reading, or before bathing. These activities make the food hard to digest. Relax and get comfortable.
Perhaps undertake self-reflection about your condition. Eating is a time to receive offerings in the form of food to nurture and revitalize your body. Nurture your thought as well. Consider your manners insofar as they represent your intention toward others.
Give attention to the unique qualities of each food and the work involved in bringing it to you. Relax after eating, but do not fall asleep or into a stupor. Relaxation helps you digest your food and sleep well at night.
Give thanks before and after eating. Choose the majority of foods from local growers. This improves not only your health but your local economy and also the environment by using fewer resources for shipping and refrigeration.
Eat according to your health and constitutional needs. Liquids and food should not be too hot or too cold. This is especially important for infants and children. Heat debilitates the stomach and creates acidity. Cold paralyzes it.
Drinking with meals dilutes the digestive juices/enzymes. However, a small amount of warm water (four ounces or less is acceptable). In general, drink water or herbal teas ten to twenty minutes before meals and at least half an hour after fruit meals, two hours after a meal rich in starches and plant proteins such as grains and legumes, and four hours after a meal containing meat, eggs, or dairy products.
Photograph by Roderick Green