Do you close your eyes when you eat?
During a conversation with a friend, the topic of ‘gentle eating’ came up. This is basically what your mum or granny told you about how to eat and how many times to chew your food before swallowing. It was 30 times in my household but I’ve heard varying reports from 20 – 50. This is all based on a very important aspect of digestion, that there are certain enzymes which are produced in the mouth and no-where else in your digestive system. Wolf down your food and there WILL be undigested bits in your gut – the goodness lost to you forever.
Many years ago I co-facilitated weight management programs with a naturopath friend. She did the food and digestive processes and I dealt with the emotional and mental elements. It was a great and very successful combination.
Given that the ‘gut intelligence’ is all about identity, self preservation and mobilisation of our resources, there are connections between how we eat and how we feel about ourselves. If you think of your gut and tummy as an intelligence (i.e. it can remember, solve programs etc) then it will respond to how you treat it. Give it junk food to eat and not only are you serving your body poor quality raw components to make energy, produce new cells and all the millions of things it does for you, but it also comes to some conclusions about how it is treated…and its worth.
The gut intelligence takes all this in and develops, in part , how respectful you are of this body you live in and therefore what kind of behaviour you will tolerant (or not) from other people. In essence we co-train others to treat ourselves and what we are willing to put up with.
You may have read the phrase, ‘The face you have at age 20 is the face God gave you. The face you have now is the face you have given yourself.’
I reckon that it’s the same with our gut. How we treat out gut, what we eat, drink and consume, becomes part of our construct of our core identity.
Are you someone who treats your body respectfully, feeds it yummy foods, blesses it with healthy liquids, and takes it out for exercise and fresh air? Then you are probably good at self nurturing, knowing what you need and organising how to get it.
There will be certain things you will allow to happen to you and others you will loudly complain about. You will have boundaries that can support and serve you.
Your gut intelligence is also about boundaries and it is guided (again in part) by how you treat yourself.
Here’s an exercise to do – (probably best at home unless you like to test boundaries in public place!).
The next time you eat, close your eyes.
Chew slowly. Taste each morsel of food. Welcome into your body, as it will become you – literally. Be conscious and present. Be grateful that food is so easy to come by in our society. Take a moment to notice the entire chain of people that bought this food to your house and your plate. There may be dozens, maybe hundreds.
Notice as you eat more slowly, your tummy can appreciate the gift you offer it. Now it can process ALL the goodness from your food. That means more energy, more vitality, more yumminess in your life…and that’s pretty cool I reckon.
What about you? What’s the quality of your relating to your ‘tum tum’? Would love to read your comments!