My soul is most in line when I remember to slow down, connect and ground myself in each present moment. I’m not always perfect at this life giving practice and while I’d like to think that I have all the time in the world to get lost in my kitchen bathing in the joy of food, photography and dance parties, life reminds me that I gotta get ‘er done and before I know it I’m off to the races. Relate?
Slowing down and giving yourself an opportunity to connect is so integral to your digestive health. Do you ever find yourself standing and eating, driving and eating, walking and eating, talking and eating, I could go on really. We do just about everything else but focus on eating. Why does this matter?
When we cook, our senses are naturally aroused and our body subconsciously prepares itself for food. Digestive juices are kicked into gear and our body becomes ready to break down, assimilate and metabolize nutrients. Similarly, chewing is also a cue to the body to fire up digestion. Chewing your food signals your body to release amylase, a digestive enzyme that assists in the break down of your food. This shines a whole new light on being mindful while eating and remembering to chew thoroughly.
When I first integrated smoothies into my life, they naturally took over the roll of my breakfast. They were quick to make, tasty, I could switch it up each day and they were the easiest to grab and go. Over the years I ran out the door and mindlessly gulped down my smoothie. It wasn’t until my partner Eric reminded me to slow down and interestingly as I began to become more mindful I realized I wasn’t putting love or care into the making of my smoothie. As I started to become more mindful I realized that even worse, I didn’t care what they tasted like either because I wasn’t really paying attention when I drank them.
What a nightmare, no pride, no care, no love, no taste, no CHEWING and no nutrients being optimally digested or absorbed in this girls body what so ever!
And the smoothie bowl was born.
My love for the smoothie bowl was real. Just as diverse, but this time they were going to taste delicious and be adventurous. I started adding delicious super foods like goji berries and cacao nibs then mixed it up with anything from shredded coconut, mulberries to hemp hearts to make my food beautiful and nutrient dense.
A real shift began as my breakfast smoothies became ceremonial and because of the added crunch sitting on top of my smoothie no one was going to be gulping these babies down. I began to sit, be mindful and CHEW my food. As a result I felt less bloating and more fulfilled to start my day.
While the smoothie bowl was just an avenue to invite myself to become more mindful, it reminded me to take pride in the food I created, to make it come alive on my plate as a work of art. To eat for the sake of nourishing, not just for the sake of eating and to focus on the task at hand, chewing!