You're running late for work and don't have time to sit down and eat breakfast.
You take your meal in the car, and eat while driving.
There is traffic that is heightening your thoughts about being late.
You are hitting every red light, and increasing your heart rate in fear that you will be even later.
All while this is happening, you are eating your breakfast.
Shoulders tense, scarfing food down your pipe hole, screaming profanities (let's be real, it's probably happening)....
THINK ABOUT IT:
If you are eating in this state of mentality, this state of being, do you think you are setting yourself up for optimal digestion? Do you think you are creating digestive issues with the way you eat?
It is a known fact that Stress has NUMEROUS effects on your body causing any and all of the following areas to have problems arise:
*Sex Drive/Reproductive System
In a world where we are always rushing, and time seems to never be on our side, how in the hell do we overcome Stress so our bodies can function optimally? I am here to tell you, from someone who uses time as an excuse ALL the time... It really is simple. It didn't happen for me overnight, but it definitely happened over an extended period of time. It requires work, it requires the effort to make time for Y O U R S E L F, it requires that you "stop and smell the roses"... literally stop. Stop and slow down.
So let me break it down to you the simplest way possible - speaking only about the Digestive System (because usually in tackling H O W you eat, the other systems and changing habits to support them fall into place naturally). There are 7 F R E E steps I am going to share with you to slow down while eating and relax your brain, your body and your digestive system.
7 Steps to Improve Digestion:
1. Schedule 20 minutes to eat your meal
2. Emotional Brain Training
3. Put your fork down
5. CHEW, Heighten Your Senses
6. Eat Until SATISFIED, Not Full
7. Break Free, Act Naughty -and- Do Some FUN, Crazy Thing
To quickly touch on each, The 20-Minute Rule comes into play because it takes about 20 minutes for your body to feel satisfied and full. Gradually increase your meal times to 20-minutes. What I found very helpful was to schedule 20 minutes in my calendar for food, so I had no excuse not to eat. You can extend the time by putting your fork down (good rule of thumb is at least 3 times in 1 meal sitting) and to BREATH between each bite. Did you know Oxygen helps aide in digestion?? It is the key nutrient that actually speeds up digestion!
Chewing your food also helps increase the time it takes to eat a meal, and it also helps release Leptin which interacts with Dopamine to create P L E A S U R E. Indulge in the FULL sensual experience of eating - chew, take your time, and add color. Heighten every sense you can - smell, sight, touch, taste. Get it A L L going :)
When you eat slowly, again you are allowing your body to recognize when it is satisfied and doesn't need any more food. Paying attention to that trigger is extremely important. We do not want to eat each meal stuffing ourselves to discomfort, but rather fueling and filling up to about 75% on your personal Fullness Scale. The other thing to take note on is when you feel hungry and never letting yourself dig too low on your Hunger Scale.
It's always a good practice to check in with yourself and how you digest your emotions - so before each meal, walking through the process of Emotional Brain Training helps to work through digesting your emotions to get into a relaxed state of being before each meal. You are working through negativity to get to the positive emotions and feelings that are underneath.
Lastly, doing things that are out of the norm for you and feeling "naughty" always helps heighten your life by adding a little excitement :) I dare you to try it!
The fun thing about all 7 steps is that these practices, alone, can completely change your life - your health, your mind, your body - even if you NEVER change the way you eat. Think about it, your digestive system and your metabolism work most efficiently when you allow yourself the entire process and sensual pleasure of eating. SO - enjoy what is in front of you. Enjoy the time, enjoy the process. Stop. Relax. Unwind.