What are you digesting with your food?

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On Wednesday morning I gave a talk on Raw Food and in particular what Green Smoothies are and their benefits at the Women With Altitude networking event.  I had a great time sharing the information and answering questions.  One question related to counting calories.  I explained that I don’t count calorie as I am looking at eating whole foods, foods that haven’t been processed and by doing this I am feeding my body the nutrients it needs to repair and recuperate throughout the day.

I have found that if my body is ‘well feed’ and by this I mean it is receiving all the nutrients it needs then I am less hungry and I naturally started to eat less.  I am eating less because the body has the building blocks –  vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc it requires to perform it’s functions at an optimal level.

5 ElementsFrom here the discussion continued and I spoke about “having your cake” but not feeling guilty or angry at yourself afterwards. Why? In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory our emotions are digested in the stomach and then sent to the Liver to be dispersed throughout the body – grief goes to the Lungs, bitterness and resentment to the Gall Bladder, anger to the Liver, worry to the Stomach.  So when you have your cake or packet of chips and you then feel guilty or angry for eating it, this emotion is also being ‘digested’ at the same time and changes the way the body digests and absorbs the food in the stomach.  Perhaps this is why so many people eat more than they need to – to offset (stuff down) all the things they are worrying about?  Whole, unprocessed food is also affected by the emotions – there is no point eating something that is meant to be ‘good’ for you and not enjoying the flavour, texture or taste of the food. For proper digestion to take place it is important to enjoy what you are eating, to savour each mouthful.  This will also mean that the stomach has time to send a message to the brain to say “hey I’m full now, you can stop eating”. I have come across people who do not talk at all during their meal, they sit quietly, eating slowly, really being present with the food they are eating.

So the next time you are having something to eat – your meal, a snack, a piece of cake or a packet of chips, place your knife and fork down after each bite and notice the texture of the food as you chew.  Is it crunchy, soft or crisp?  What is the temperature of the food?  Cold, warm or hot?  Can you distinguish the different flavours – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and pungent? How do you feel with each mouthful? And then notice how your body feels after this meal. Enjoy each bite.

In good health, Vicki

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