DAY # 3
CHEW, CHEW, CHEW.
Today I will chew each bite of food until it is the about the consistency of applesauce (approximately 20-25 chews based on the size of your bites!)
And yes, if you eat applesauce you still need to CHEW! It helps with digestion and here’s why…
When you chew your foods you release digestive enzymes in the mouth to help break down your food so your stomach doesn’t have to do so much work (and you absorb more nutrition from your food). Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth so it’s very important to chew your carbs well, including applesauce and smoothies. Chewing your food well also helps to break down large bites of food, decreasing the stress on the espohagus too.
Carbs are all the starchy things we all love like whole grain breads and pasta, potatoes, French fries, rice, donuts, cookies, cakes, pastries, etc and things you might NOT think are carbs because they are typically categorized as “healthy”. Think non-starchy veggies and fruits. Beans, legumes, lentils and peas are also carbs because anything sticky to the touch, when cooked, is usually a carbohydrate.
I love beans, legumes, peas because they are considered a “whole” food but also are the foods that some of the oldest living people on earth regularly consume. Not only do you have a wide variety to choose from, but also they are loaded with plant protein and belly-friendly fiber which keeps you fuller for longer periods of time.
What I have noticed for my individual digestive system is that beans, legumes or peas either in a soup, stew or salad keeps me satisfied for a longer period of time than meals with two pieces of bread (like a sammie). See what works for your digestive system and satiety level.
That being said, if I have a thick slice of Star Provisions sourdough bread, toasted with coconut oil and a nut butter like Georgia Grinders hazelnut butter (OMG) – I can go for a good 4 sometimes 5 hours before I’m hungry again. From a meal satisfaction perspective, I prefer a pretty thick slice of toast compared to 2 thinner slices. Ick, just reminds me of the ol’ diet days with wimpy bread!
But then some people prefer thin bread and would prefer eating 2 pieces of thin bread from a quantity perspective. No way is better than the other, your goal is to discover how to eat that feels satisfying and nourishing to YOU.
In full disclosure, coming out of diet culture and eating bread again took time and trust. The mental diet dialog was “if you eat bread you will gain weight.” Really, so if I eat a piece of bread, or two, I am going to gain weight? This is ridiculous. You have to challenge the diet beliefs and thoughts floating in your head.
Now if you eat half a loaf every day there’s a possibility that you might or would (and eating that much bread might feel like a heavy burden in your belly- we’re focusing on how does food make me FEEL). The important thing we are doing during this challenge is reconnecting to your innate belly wisdom. Unless you have the activity and workout schedule of Micheal Phelps pre-Olympics, I’m pretty sure your body would never ask for half a loaf, or more than several slices.
Today’s challenge is designed to help you build a stronger connection to your eating habits that will ideally help you SLOW DOWN at meals + snacks and perhaps reduce your portion sizes. Let’s get the most nutrition out of our food, help that digestive system and CHEW, CHEW, CHEW! It will thank you later 🙂