My Health Journey — "Chattanooga Chew-Chew"

By Jim Lamb

 I can’t even tell you how many times when I was a kid that my Mom said, “Chew your food!”

 She also said things like, “Sit up straight!” “Get your elbows off the table!”  “Pick up your feet when you walk!”

 When I was 17, I smart-mounted my Mom, saying, “I don’t have to listen to you anymore.” Then I made the mistake of turning around and walking away. Before I’d gone two steps, she’d taken off her shoe and smacked me on the back of the head. Never mouthed off to her again.

 Moms. Ya gotta love ’em.

 My Mom was a great cook. I loved eating. Always cleaned my plate. Because, you know, all those starving kids in China—and who wants that on their conscience? Not me, that’s for sure.

 But back to Mom’s “Chew-your-food” mantra.

 According to Mike Adams, founder and editor of NaturalNews, “Chewing is the single most important step in the digestion process.”

 Who knew?

 Apparently Mom did.

 I mention this because deliberately and consciously chewing food is a key tactic in my Health Journey.

 How so?

 With smaller portions and fewer full-scale meals, I’m trying my to get the most out of eating—extending the experience, savoring each bite.

 The reason isn’t digestion, though. It’s taste.

 Here’s what I figure: Taste sensations last about 20 seconds, then they fade. So, after chewing and tasting, I sip some water to clear my palate. The result: Short flavor bursts followed by meditative pauses—Chew, taste, pause. “Hmmmmm.” Chew, taste, pause. “Hmmmmm.” Chew, taste, pause. “Hmmmmm.”

 By breaking up my meals into a series of distinct taste-bursts, two things happen: First, I avoid shoveling food into my mouth in a frantic food-frenzy, which creates (in me, anyway) anxiety. Second, it helps make the meal memorable and reinforces the fact that I’ve eaten. (That also helps keep my anxiety-level low.)

 Well, I hope this little chew-chew trick helps you—it certainly helps me.

 Until next time, take care, God bless.