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Cody@internalalchemy.org
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It's Not What, It's How

May 11, 2014

Here's a complaint I hear a lot in my practice:

"I don't understand. I watch what I eat, I don't really eat snacks, but I still have a lot of digestive issues."

We, as a society, obsess about WHAT to eat.  We forget about another - just as important - aspect of eating, which is HOW we eat.

When is the last time you took a real break for lunch? Not a "working lunch", not "eatting in front of my computer" lunch, a real quiet lunch?When was the last time your breakfast wasn't "on-the-go"?

Our body has two basic modes:

  • Rest and digest

  • Fight or flight

Similar to two gears in a car, these two modes cannot happen at the same time. We're either on the first or on the second. When we're at rest and relaxed, the body conducts its digestive process. This is when the assimilation of nutrients and separation of useful and not useful materials take place.

All these processes cannot take place when we are in survival mode.

True, we no longer live in a jungle where we need to drop our food and run because a lion is attacking us, but when we think of a deadline that has to be met - we are in that fight or flight mode. Stress, worry, and anxiety are a part of modern day survival. We don't allow ourselves to sit down and be present with the food we eat.

We have no time to chew, let alone the time to sit and digest. Therefore, the body is forced to either digest while its in "panic" mode, compromising the quality of digestion, or the body holds onto partially digested food (chyme) longer than necessary, causing indigestion.

Have you ever heard a car stuck between two gears.... ouch!!

Taking the time to acknowledge the food we eat, recognizing the flavors that stimulate our palet, and noticing every bite makes us slow down. In the process of slowing down our body has no choice but to relax.

Eating in a rush, out of concern for other things, make even the most organic, natural, seemingly "right" food - bad for you.

Taking the time to enjoy any food makes that food good for you. Your body will know what to utilize and what to discard. When we provide our body with the conditions to perform the tasks it was designed to do, it will process what's good and get rid of what's not.

 

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