2011 is slowly drawing to a close and I want to ensure that all of you who have stuck with me through my ups and downs creating this Un-Diet plan finish off the year on solid footing. We have introduced so many different types of foods; skimmed the fat where it isn't necessary and added quality fats (by the measured spoonful, of course!) where they are. We have gotten up to our elbows in roughage and celebrated the harvest. So let's finish strong, with a focus on good food fundamentals.
Last week, we revisited the apple (or pear) a day challenge and I do hope you can keep going with it throughout the balance of the year. For this week, I want to introduce a habit that is also worthy of maintaining for the last 7 weeks of the year at the very least. Could it really be only 7?
Each time you sit down to eat, I am asking that you put your fork or spoon or chopsticks down in between bites. In our fastest-just-gets-there-fastest world, this seems almost ridiculous now. But what are we really rushing to accomplish? By physically getting in the way of hoovering your meal, you can stretch out the eating process for just a little longer. This is a good idea for your stress levels, your waist line and your overall health.
When the rest of our day is fast paced and stress filled, why not consider meal time as a break from the madness? If you are already making the commitment to nourish your body with food, why not go the extra step to truly nourish your body with a moment's respite from chaos? Doing so will actually help you maintain a healthy weight as well; eating slowly gives our body time to realize that it is full and satisfied before we over eat. A slower pace also helps promotes proper digestion and absorption of nutrients so that we derive all of the benefits of the food we eat and don't end up with an angry gas filled gut later on. We need a relaxed environment and state of mind for our body to do its best work.
So for the rest of the year, simply take a moment's pause. It's good for you. And if you want to be really bold, invite a friend to break bread with you. Use those pauses to reconnect.