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14. Lesson 3 – Chewing your food

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by aaremoval on 06-04-2009

Again, just like the breathing lesson, I am going to talk about something you have already known, or born to know, but yet still not doing it the best way. And yes, just like breathing that comes so naturally, many of us are doing it not the right way. Not really the wrong way, but it can be done better, just like breathing. However, I think that the way we eat our food nowadays, is being changed, or forced, by our way of modern life. Just like breathing, although you don’t mind or want to breathe in the way I have mentioned in my previous lesson, it is sometimes obstructed by environmental reasons. Our air is so polluted; you may have learnt the skill of better way of breathing, but you may not be always be at the right place to practice it, places that may be too polluted, smelly or crowded. As for chewing your food in a better way, it is the time factor rather than the location factor. What do I mean? If you have read any articles on chewing your food, this is what it normally tells you to do. Chew or grind your food, especially if you are eating meat, into tiny pieces, so that it is well mixed with your saliva and thus giving your digestive system less pressure, and blah blah blah. So, in order to “grind” the meat that you ate into tiny pieces, like into mince meat, how long does it take for you to do so? Almost all of the articles I have read stated the benefits of chewing your food, but they didn’t mention the disadvantages or obstacles. They didn’t mention how long it will take. For my experience, this is how long you will take to eat the various kind of food.

  1. A bowl of fried rice – estimated 10 minutes. Why 10 minutes? This is the break down. One plate of rice is about 20 spoon of rice. Take 30 seconds to chew each spoon. Therefore it will take 10 minutes to finish your bowl of fried rice.
  2. A bowl of mixed rice vegetable including a bowl of rice, one serving of vegetables, one serving of fried egg and one serving of pork – estimated 15 minutes. The break down, a bowl of rice about 10 spoon of rice, 5 spoon of vegetable, 5 spoon of fried egg and 5 spoon of pork, all at 30 seconds per spoon, except the pork. You will need more time to chew your pork, say 1 minute per spoon, therefore total up to 15 minutes.
  3. A plate of pork chop – estimated 20 minutes. The break down, 15 spoon of pork chop and 10 spoon of salad and French fries. 1minute for every spoon of pork and 30 seconds for every spoon of salad and French fries.


But, who in the world got 20 minutes for one meal!? Definitely not us Singaporean! May be for some tribes in Indonesia or Africa, but not people in Singapore! Or even most of the world, especially for most of the more developed world. You will be considered very lucky to have a full one hour lunch break, not to forget to include the walking distance to and fro, washing your hands, queuing for your food, or waiting to get a seat. Some people I know have to wait for their boss to leave the office before they can go for their lunch break. Pathetic, right? But this is the fact. Who has time to slowly chew your food for 20 minutes in this fast moving world of ours!

But ok, lah, you are not eating pork chop every day, may be most of the time you will eat fried rice. This is ok if you are following a low calories diet, which doesn’t work for me. But if you are a low carbo diet follower, like me, you will really have to spend a lot of time chewing the meat you are eating.

Ok, before I go on and make you think I am a negative person, I better tell you, it is not all that bad. I am just simply reminding you that there is a more proper way to eat and chew your food. It is only if you will want to change it, you will need some effort, just like the rest of the lessons, or may be in life, your life. Not many people can accept changes. But I like to quote here a word of wisdom from the movie by Keanu Reeve, The little Buddha. In the movie, when he decided to stop torturing himself to attain enlightenment, some of his peers and follower say he a quitter and left him. He said: “To learn is to change.” There is something here I cannot add is when he said it, it was with a very strong Indian accent. These words leave a very deep impression in me, which is my guide in many instances, where I need to give up my old habits and pick up new ones. As simple as it sound, just like breathing, it is not so easy to change the way you chew your food, sometimes due to the time factor. However, these are some tips that I have gathered throughout my years of practicing more proper chewing, and hope it can help you with a good start.

  1. You may want to practice with some snacks. My personal favourite is nuts. Not peanuts, but nuts like cashew or almond nuts. These nuts may be quite expensive, but if you can learn to chew them, it won’t cost you that much, when compared with the old way you were gobbling down your food. Just eat one at a time, grinding your nuts into paste before swallowing it. Take a minute or 2 for just one nut. So, even if you had eaten 20 nuts, it will take you 20 minutes and cost you probably only 30 cents. Just remember not to lose your patience, since this isn’t the usual way of you eating your food. You may feel a bit of anxiety because you will secrete more saliva than usual, just drink some water to reduce that feeling of anxiety. My second choice of snack is quite put off by some people, it is cuttlefish, honey coated, but not with sugar. Some can’t stand the smell, some just comment that it is of very high cholesterol. But for a low carbo diet follower like me, high cholesterol food is not an issue. The worst comment is from my mum, that is, cuttlefish, in terms of a Chinese description, is “toxic”, just like crabs and shrimps. Chinese physician will mostly warned you not to take all these “toxic” food, especially if you have a cut or wound, because it will intoxicate your blood for a long time, thus slowing down the healing process. But as according to my studies and some researches, it is that all these so called “toxic” food, are of high protein, and will cause some forms of allergy. So, of course for those who has strong allergy effects towards these foods, too bad, you probably even can’t follow a low carbo diet. And in order not to let my mum worry, and I won’t want to try to explain to her my findings of the “food with high protein” theory, every time when I buy my 1 kgs of cuttlefish, I have to hide them as if they were drugs or some porn video collections. Ha!
  2. Prepare some food to take away. There is a Chinese saying: “Breakfast must be nutritious, lunch must be eaten till full, dinner must not be too full.” The breakfast is the most important meal, as it is the time when you wake up with an empty stomach, thus having the best nutrients absorbing rates. But unfortunately, I think the breakfast, in most cases, are the ones that are poorly handled. Why? Most of the people can’t even wake up on time for their work, where got time for a proper breakfast. So, this is what I do, I pack my food and eat while I am driving to work. Huh? Many of you reading will want to ask me, isn’t this way of eating, even more unhealthy, to eat on the run? But we were taught from young that we should eat at the table, with no distraction from TV, computer games and even talking. I beg to differ. If compare with gobbling down your food in 2 minutes, I would rather eat and chew my food slowly with my 30 minutes journey to work. I will also eat in front of my television, since I am going to spend 1 hour watching my show any way. I think to sit down for 30 minutes on my table just to eat my food is even more torturing. So, just don’t worry about the indigestion you may get while eating, from watching a horror movie, which I seriously doubt so, unless the type of movie you are watching are those gut spilling type.

My conclusion, if you are a very busy person, so busy that you have no time to eat, or slowly chew your food, then do it on the run. You are better off chewing your food slowly while driving, than eating hastily on the dinner table. Spend your time eating and watching television at the same time. However, the only problem in Singapore to eat on the run is a bit restricted if you are travelling in a public transport.


Written by: Horse chicken dragon



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