Let’s Chew On This (or How to Take Care of Your 2nd Brain)

Bread CrustDo you remember the mantra about taking time to chew your food?

Chances are, it was your grandmother who proffered this advice, the idea being that you chew thoroughly, at every meal. (My husband’s grandmother had a hard and fast rule to chew each bite exactly 33 times).

Do you scoff at the very thought? Do you also firmly believe that you don’t have TIME to chew every.single.bite – or you’d never leave the table?

Well, guess what?

It turns out your grandmother was right all along!

Chewing your food thoroughly is such a critical part of the digestive process, because it primes your stomach and your digestive juices for the task ahead.

Not only that, the entry point of your meal – your mouth – is also where the Gut-Brain connection happens!

What do I mean by that?

Your gut and your brain are closely connected – to the point that what happens in your gut affects your brain, and vice versa. 

For this very reason, your gut is often referred to as your “second brain”.

Cool, huh? (I bet you didn’t know you have 2 brains!)

In fact, proper chewing can do all of the following for your body:

  • Helps to eliminate gas and bloating (gluten sensitivity, anyone?)
  • Helps to eliminate abdominal pain
  • Helps to reduce the load on the rest of your digestive system

Are you curious about the last one?

Properly chewing your food can actually help with weight loss (and weight maintenance) for the simple reason that you’ll end up feeling a lot more satisfied on less food!

So, here’s the thing.

Many of us – myself, included – have the tendency to rush through a meal.

Perhaps you recognize yourself here, especially if your habit is to wolf down your food, because you’re always thinking of the next thing on your endless to-do list.

Maybe you don’t even take the time to sit down, opting to stand at the kitchen counter, instead, while you grab a quick bite.

Yet these decidedly bad habits don’t serve you in the long run!

Starting today, why not create a new habit?

If you’ve taken the time to prepare a delicious meal – go one step further by sitting down at the table, turning off the TV, and devoting 100% of your attention to your food.

With each forkful, notice that sense of anticipation before you bite into a juicy morsel.

(The very thought of something “juicy” also primes your taste buds).

Chew thoughtfully and carefully.

What do you notice?

What I’m sharing with you here is another key aspect for supporting your digestion, as you slowly figure out which foods are truly ideal for your body.

As long as you’re rushing through your meals, you’re not going to notice.

Instead, you’ll be adding another layer of stress to your body, when it’s probably already stressed from the rushed world you live in 24/7.

You also won’t have that level of awareness you want to achieve, one where you actually NOTICE how your food tastes, and how it feels in your body.

Does it agree with you, or not?

The end result, when you’re not aware, is that you won’t always make the connections between what you’ve eaten and your sudden fatigue, burping, gas or sluggish bowels (stress and the wrong foods can do that to you).

So starting today, try to relax and thoroughly enjoy the meal before you.

Pleasant dinnertime conversation is also encouraged.

Take pleasure in the stress-free environment you’ve created for yourself, and see what AHA’s come up for you.

Now it’s your turn.

Have you learned anything useful about your chewing habits, or meal-time habits in general?

Any AHA’s you’d like to share?





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