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7 Keys to Eating Wisely
Most of us eat unconsciously. We gulp our food. We break up our food with the teeth and swallow. The problem is that digestion begins in the mouth. Your saliva breaks down starch into simple sugar. Food that may not be digestible for you becomes nectar by simply eating small bites, chewing consciously, mixing your saliva, and tasting the sweetness.
Guidelines for Good Digestion and Elimination
Most people eat like animals—chomp, chomp, gulp. The alternative is to eat like angels, small bites, chewed thoroughly, mixed with the saliva in the mouth, tasting the sweetness and only then swallowed.
Yogis have known for thousands of years that one of the easiest keys to health is slow conscious eating. It takes practice. You have to retrain yourself. Eating is something you have done for your entire life without thinking about how it is done. Changing this habit will take some serious reprogramming. It starts by counting your chews.
- If you can’t digest it, don’t eat it.
- Eat only what you can eliminate within 18-24 hours.
- Stop eating before you feel full.
- Rest after meals: nap after lunch, walk after dinner.
- Don’t eat after sunset.
- Chew more than you think you need to. The stomach has no teeth.
- Have regular eating times, and eat only when you are hungry.
- A great way to get relief from over-eating is sitting in Rock Pose (on the heels) for a few minutes after dinner. (It is said that one can digest rocks in this posture.)
Prepare the food you and others eat with love and care. An important ingredient of the yogic diet is the vibration that is put into the food. When you chant and have a positive projection as you are preparing food, you enhance the nourishment and healing power of the food.
Eat in a relaxing, pleasant environment. This helps with the digestion and assimilation of the food.
Serve food gracefully. The act of serving others instills a consciousness and sacredness to the eating experience.
Take a minute before you eat to be grateful. Blessing food adds prana, or life force. Prayers don’t always have to be eloquent and inspired. Remember the Giver.