September 19, 2011

Secret Weapon: Chewing Your Food (REALLY Chewing Your Food)

I experimented yesterday with this "chewing until liquified" business and am very impressed. I feel a difference, enough to inspire me to try this mindful chewing for a week.  (And beyond, if it works.)

Yesterday, I deliberately chewed my way through breakfast, lunch out, and a dinner party.   I "forgot" twice -- when I snacked on a banana and while mingling at the get-together over a bowl of popcorn.   I am not chewing 100, 50, or even 30 times -- more like 15 times,  I am chewing about 50-70 times (I counted!) or until the food is pulverized into a slurry.

My GERD symptoms were dramatically reduced all day, even into the night after a late dinner.  This morning, I experienced some belching, but that's it.   Hurrah!

I am fascinated by this idea.  Why does excessive chewing help?  Is it because more saliva is being sent down with each bite?  Or chewing gives the stomach time to receive signals that "food is coming" and set the digestive tract in motion?   Does breaking down food help the stomach get a "head start?"   Health professionals agree that chewing gum can relieve GERD, so it appears something in the chewing action is responsible for relieving GERD symptoms.

So, I'll chronicle my week(s) of "mindful eating" here and let you know if this makes a difference!  

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