Kristina Locke, MD of multi award-winning health food company, Conscious Food, shares the key ingredient to eating at work… Just Chew It!
According to a recent survey*, the average person spends just 23 minutes a day eating all three meals, so it is hardly surprising that 73% of us now suffer from some form of digestive difficulty; not to mention weight gain and malabsorption of nutrients. We need to reclaim our mealtimes and start eating more mindfully; savouring rather than wolfing down our food and enjoying mealtimes with our friends and family, as well as eating natural, unprocessed food.
Just Chew It!
Digestion starts with mastication, and that plays one of the most important roles in our evolutionary development and as a first line of defence against illness; chewing your food properly – and training your body how to do so – is an act of self-empowerment and enrichment; chewing has been proven to increase your core body temperature making you spend less on your heating bills, it alkalises your body making you more alert, less sluggish and combats toxicity and it also helps to control your metabolism making you less likely to put on weight. Best of all it is completely free!
But the majority of us do not chew our food properly and this compromises the whole digestive process before we’ve even started. Our digestive enzymes will not be sufficiently activated and our brain signals dampened. This leads to heartburn as the stomach produces more acid to try and break down the food; food intolerances, indigestion, constipation and, over time, because let’s face it, this happens on a daily basis over many months and years, will lead to more serious digestive conditions including inflammatory bowel diseases. In addition, recent studies have shown that ‘a calorie is not just a calorie’ and that food that is not chewed properly will lead to weight gain and diminished thermogenesis.
By chewing properly we activate the powerful enzymes in the saliva glands, which trigger chemical reactions to start breaking down our food. Amylase starts to dissolve the chemical bonds in starch and lipase starts to digest fats. But it also sends a message to activate the gastric juices, pancreatic enzymes and our gut brain.
The pace of our lives seems to be ever-increasing as do our stress levels, so the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet to combat and assist us is essential. Seasonal, non-sprayed fruit and vegetables; plain or soaked nuts; plus snacks made with millet or other easy to digest gluten free grains. Snack and fruit bars whilst easy to eat are often packed with sugar, bulkers, fillers and other additives. Millet in particular will be of benefit as certain heritage varieties help to prevent stress by blocking the adrenal stimulation of the liver, making you more productive and less prone to making rush decisions. Millet also is low GI, alkalising and naturally fat-free making a little go a quite a long way. I would also recommend drinking water or herbal teas throughout the day.
Top tips for mindful eating at work:
– Sit down – even if it’s only for 10 minutes and ideally away from your desk and computer.
– Turn it off – shut down the laptop, leave your phone behind and, if it’s not raining, do find a park bench and eat whilst enjoying open air. I advise you, if you can, to share your lunch break with your colleague, as eating has always been a communal act that not only nourishes your body but also your soul.
– Turn your senses on – Enjoy the taste, smell, texture and look of each bite.
Retrain your chewing – to educate your body on how to chew your food properly and discover the immediate benefits it brings you, we have developed an award-winning supplement called DMix… A blend of 8 key digestive botanicals to chew after meals. It is the first ever product to focus on the importance of chewing and to work the whole digestive system… ½ teaspoon is taken after each meal for an optimum period of one-two months. Results are typically seen across all types of digestive conditions within five to 2twenty-one days. Cumulative use of the botanicals helps to strengthen and tone the entire system: detoxify the liver and reduce inflammation in the bowel. Vogue magazine calls it “the ultimate natural digestion aid”.