Beth's Ponderings Ever wished you had more energy? I'm sure we all have a time or two, or every morning before we get out of bed and start our day! I read once that one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your daily energy is to chew your food more. Yep, that's what it said…chew your food. You could also blend up your food before eating it, but you’d lose out on the incredible sensory details that make eating so enjoyable. The entire digestive process requires tremendous amount of energy. By chewing your food more, you help the process by breaking down the food before it enters the main digestive tract. By chewing your food more, you eliminate some of the stress and strain on the rest of your organs. I'm pretty sure at some point in your life you've heard the following phrases at least once: "Slow down and chew your food" or "chew your food, don't swallow it whole" or something along those lines. Rarely does our food get chewed the recommended 25 or 27 or 54 times, or whatever the latest recommended number is. As kids (and even as adults) we can have a tendency to inhale our meals. Especially if it is food we really enjoy. Yet, it can also be due to eating on the run and not actually sitting down to eat. This is something that I need to work on myself, because right now I can use all the energy-boosting I can get! So how many times do you have to chew each mouthful to see results? I have no idea. But chewing each bite one or two times more than you do now should, over the course of a meal, a day, a week, a month, a year, start making some difference. Small tiny actions do add up over time. But that’s not all that will happen. As you chew your food more, you will slow down and really be able to taste the food. As you taste the food, you’ll probably end up eating less. As you eat less you will enjoy what you do eat more. As you enjoy it more, you will relax more. And as I said last time, when you relax, you become healthier overall.
Beth's Ponderings It’s rare that I read a book that I then think everyone else could benefit from reading. That said, I recently read “Goddesses Never Age” by Christiane Northrup, M.D. While the book is aimed at women, particularly over 40, the information presented by Dr. Northrup is applicable to all ages, men and women alike. She devotes a large part of the book towards dispelling many of the health “truths” we’ve all just accepted and never questioned, such as the when vaccines are effective, why we should add or delete foods from our diets, what health really is, what cancer really is, and more. Now, if you don’t want to read the whole book I can summarize what she says into a single word...Relax! Because it doesn’t matter what changes you make, or lifestyle choices you make - and, yes those choices are still very important - if you are stressed physically, mentally, emotionally, or all three. Bottom line, if your body, mind and spirit are experiencing any stress of any nature on a continual basis - occasional stress that dissipates doesn’t count - from your job, home, family, finances, or any other area of your life, it will negate any positive changes and choices you are making. Reducing the stress by relaxing is truly the only real way to restore yourself to a state of health in all areas. And believe me, I know, it is much easier said than done! Just because you aren’t doing anything, it doesn’t mean you are relaxing. Just because you are getting a massage, exercising, fishing, doing a hobby, walking a dog, playing with children, or any other activity that we think of as relaxing, it doesn’t mean you are automatically reducing your stress levels. One quick and simple way to determine if you are relaxed - no matter what you are or aren’t doing - is to notice if you are smiling. We’ve often heard that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, but few of us realize that the most relaxing thing any of us can do is to smile, and if you want to really boost the relaxation benefits, laugh.