Eat Slow

The slow food movement is underway. Now established in many countries around the world, the concept is simple: it’s not a good idea to rush through your meals. It’s actually much friendlier and much healthier to eat slower, eat relaxed and enjoy what you’re eating. To actually notice what you’re eating and appreciate it. Imagine that! For example, could you honestly recite what you had in your last meal? No? Why am I not surprised? Most people couldn’t. Or you got some of the details but not all?

So where were you that you don’t remember? You know there’s a really good reason why many convents and monasteries enforce a rule of silence at mealtimes, at least some of the time. You could take mealtimes as a meditation, concentrating on what you’re eating, appreciating it fully, with gratitude and a slight smile on your face. Now that’s a centring, grounding exercise.

There was an experiment done in a war-time setting, where the medics had to deal with a man whose stomach had been 1/2 blown away. Instead of repairing what was left of it completely, they installed a window on one side, just to be able to observe what actually went on inside the man’s digestive system – perhaps only for a short period, just in the interests of science. What they observed was remarkable. When the man was upset, the stomach looked like a storm sewer – everything was flying everywhere. No proper digestion was happening at all. They concluded that it’s not a good idea that you eat when you’re upset – at all!

It wasn’t that long ago that “slow down, take your time, chew properly.” was a frequent injunction. Doctors would actually advise patients to chew a certain number of times in order to achieve proper mastication and proper digestion.

I think in the interests of a friendlier, more relaxed world, we could all learn to eat slower, and enjoy it more. And if you’re upset – just go out and go for a walk and calm down, why don’t ja !

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