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Mindful Digestion March 03, 2022 Alternate Text

Truthfully, most of us are running from one appointment to the next, hitting deadlines, with filled schedules be it at work, at school, and running a household. We often end up compromising good eating habits so as not to be late. We don’t always feel the effects of rushed eating and a rushed life right away. It can even take years to feel the adverse effects and when it happens it can literally hit us overnight. 

Mindful eating is essential. What we eat is crucial. Food combinations are crucial as well for better digestion and helps avoid digestive discomfort. But how about our style of eating? How is this important? When we are hungry or our minds are thinking about what we must do next, mealtimes can become just a function. We literally inhale our food, feel “stuffed”, gulp down our drink, and rush off to our next thing. Gas, bloating, cramping, upset stomach, to name a few, happens after. Then maybe we reach for the ‘pink stuff’ to settle our stomachs.

But what if we tried another route? Conscious eating – being mindful of what we eat, HOW we eat, and even how we sit while we eat. 

Most misconceptions are that digestion begins after the food gets to our stomachs. However, our mouth is part of the digestive system. How so? Because this is where our saliva is produced. Saliva is designed to break down our food. So, our digestion begins in our mouth. 

Chewing well is essential to healthy digestion. By breaking down the foods in our mouth properly we turn solid food into the types of enzymes, minerals, proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and EFAs that our bodies will easily absorb when swallowed. It prevents our organs from also being overtaxed and work overtime to break down these solids. 

It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that you have eaten food. Chewing and taking our time prevents us from overeating. By eating in a rush, we many times literally inhale and shovel in food before the brain realizes what was just done. And then we groan feeling ‘UGH’ and gross and cannot breathe.

Eating uses every single one of our senses. We were created and designed to enjoy life … to enjoy sound … to enjoy colours … to enjoy scents … to enjoy touch and feel …. to enjoy taste.

Remember how our parents would tell us to sit up straight while we are eating? Sure, it is proper manners. But essentially by sitting up straight and opening our chests, we allow oxygen to flow properly. Oxygen flow permits alkalinity within our systems and prevents inflammation. As well, sitting up straight prevents us from squishing our organs. That doesn’t bode well for our system within and would affect our digestive process, to name a few things.

Let’s all try next time when we prepare our meals to enjoy the whole process. From prepping, to cooking, to plating, and finally sitting down peacefully and eating. Make your environment peaceful and calm, leaving aside negative discussions. Keep it light and happy. Breathe deeply before you eat and let your body and mind relax. Savour your food!

We owe it ourselves to live happily and healthily. It IS within your power. Get iHEALTHe!

Wishing you the best in health,



6175 Hwy 7, Unit 2A Vaughan, ON L4H 0P6
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