Following the healthy eating habits ensures the enjoyment of food not only during, but also after eating. How you eat your food is even more important than what you eat. Eating is one of the most essential (and enjoyable) experiences in our lives.
Eating healthy foods that taste good is important, but the other senses -sight, hearing, touch and smell-also need to be satisfied, in order to make your body happy. If you eat your food properly, with awareness and respect, your body will digest the food well. If you do not, your body has difficulty digesting it and this food causes gas and other digestive disturbances. The end result of poor digestion is toxins and this leads to disease.
Even food that normally causes problems will be digested reasonably well if these healthy eating habits are followed. Likewise, if you eat the healthy foods in the wrong way, your digestion will be compromised and gas, indigestion, and the formation of toxins will follow.
If you follow these healthy eating habits and choose healthy foods, your digestion will be maximized and you will experience optimal health benefits.
Major healthy eating habits include:
- Make eating a ritual. Begin meals with a grace or by simply taking 3-5 slow breaths with the eyes closed. This prepares the body to receive the food.
- Try to eat food prepared with love as often as possible. Avoid eating food prepared with resentment.
- Eat in a calm environment where there is little distraction. It is best to avoid having the television. Avoid excessive conversation and all conversation about emotionally intense issues. Avoid reading.
- Chew your food till it is of an even consistency. This requires that your attention be on the food in your mouth. There is no magic number of times to chew food. Chewing properly improves digestion and absorption of the food.
- Eat at a moderate pace and until you are 3/4 full. Overeating is one of the major causes of disease in our society. When you eat too much, digestion becomes difficult. When you finish eating, you should not feel heavy and you should not feel hungry. You want to feel satisfied. This is what is meant by 75% full.
- Drink only a little bit of liquid with meals. One half cup of room temperature water is average. Dry meals may require more and moist meals, like soup, require none at all. Take all water and drinks at room temperature or warm. Cold drinks destroy the digestive fire and decrease digestion. This is true not only at mealtime, but all day long.
- Wait 15-20 minutes for the food to digest. Following your meal, take the moment to let the food digest before going on to the next activity. During this time, engage in light conversation or read a light book. You can also go for a slow walk. If you are rushed, take at least 3-5 slow breaths to close the door on this sacred experience.
- Allow 3 hours between meals for your food to digest. For most people this means 3-5 meals per day.
- Eat your largest meal at lunch and the smallest in the evening. Digestion is strongest around noon when the sun is at its peak. Breakfast is very important and should never be skipped. If you are very hungry, eat a larger meal also for breakfast. If you are not too hungry, drink a ginger tea to stimulate your appetite and at least a small breakfast.