By Mansai D., Lifestyle Consultant Edina and Missy O., Lifestyle Consultant Coon Rapids
Health, lifestyle, and weight loss are all hot topics in our modern world, with food being at the center of these themes. By virtue of development in science and technology, as it pertains to health practices, we are continually discovering new aspects of not only the food that we eat, but also how our bodies interact with different foods. When discussing nutrition, at Livea, it goes without saying that it is important to have a well-balanced diet, consisting of nutrient-dense foods, but it is also crucial that we give our bodies the best chance to properly digest our food and reap the benefits of their nutrients. Oftentimes our focus is on the former more than the latter, but it is equally as important to concentrate on digestion. Let’s take a moment to shed some light on how to eat to better assimilate our food with our bodies, using the three “S” model as our guide: Sit down, Slow down, and eat with our Senses.
It seems that the pace of our world is getting faster and faster with every generation. Our lives tend to be scheduled far in advance and we feel the need to occupy ourselves with a variety of activities. We are always in a hurry to get to the next meeting or the next event, so many of our meals are on the go. In fact, many companies market their products solely on the convenience of eating “on the fly” just as your Livea Meals are convenient grab-and-go options. Although it may not be realistic to sit down and savor every meal of the day, it is important to literally sit down when we eat, as much as possible. Sitting down relaxes the abdominal muscles, making digestion easier and more efficient. It also helps our minds focus on the foods in front of us, which triggers a response from the brain, preparing our digestive system to receive the meal.
Again, with the craziness of our schedules, the second S may be a tough one to adhere to. Slowing down seems simple enough, but as it relates to eating, it’s a practice that takes some mastering. When we slow down the eating process, we allow our digestive system to work efficiently throughout the process. This means taking smaller bites, chewing the food longer, and pausing between mouthfuls. Chewing smaller bites for longer allows saliva to mix with our food properly. Saliva has magical benefits for our digestion and immunity. Not only does it contain enzymes that help the breakdown of fats and proteins, but it also has microbial properties that keep harmful pathogens from entering the digestive system.
When we sit down and slow down to eat, we are better able to focus on the 3rd S…
Eating with our Senses
We have all experienced the correlation between food and our brain. Certain foods can affect our mood and our mood can affect our desire for certain foods. Eating is not simply chewing and swallowing; it is an experience for all the senses and should be treated as such. Looking at the colors of different foods, enjoying the aromas, feeling the texture in our mouth, hearing the crunch, and obviously tasting the different flavors, are all part of the sensory experience of enjoying a meal. A hot, steamy bowl of soup on a chilly night or a cold, refreshing salad on a hot summer day can make us feel much more than just satiated; they trigger a response in our brain that make us feel fulfilled and happy, but also lets the digestive system know that it’s time to start working. You can also try adding different herbs and spices to your Livea Meals to increase the sensory experience!
Food is the fuel that our bodies need to function efficiently; without proper nutrition, we cannot thrive. If we put forth the effort to fuel our bodies with balanced, nutrient-dense foods, then why would we not ensure that the food is properly digested, and the nutrients are absorbed? Following the 3 “S” model will help our bodies use the nutrients that we have planned and prepared and help us function at the highest level! For more information you can always discuss with your Lifestyle Consultant at your next weekly visit with Livea!