When I was a little kid I was a very slow eater. After I started going to school, things changed. I just tried to eat as fast as I could so I could play during lunch break. Especially I was a high school student we needed to get court to practice basket ball during lunch break. Off course eating food was not my priority at that time. So this is how I became Miss black hole. In my twenties when I went to noodle shop with my boyfriend or taking my client to the fancy restaurant I finished my meal way before everybody finished. Because Miss Black hole just swallowed food without chewing even she was doing unconsciously. One of my boyfriends was health conscious he recommended me to chew 100 times. Off course I ignored his advice.
Miss Black hole got married and became mum in her late thirties but she was still Mrs Black hole.
When I was 40 I did yoga teacher training course with Nicky. Then after that course I learned to be conscious and do everything with mindfulness from yoga. That changed my life. I observed how I ate too. Then I realised I wasn’t conscious when I ate at all. I just put food in my mouth and thinking something else or chatting with someone then swallowed food without chewing. So I decided to eat food consciously with mindfulness. It means I needed to chew my food. First time when I tried I even couldn’t chew 10 times. I could hear my old boy friend’s voice “chew 100 times”. I thought it was impossible. I started analysing why I can’t chew. Then I was aware that I just kept pushing food into my mouth before I swallowed the food and never put my cutlery down. From that time I put small amounts of food in my mouth and put the cutlery on the table and started chewing with my eyes closed until the food become a liquid. I decided to chew at least 30 times. Also when I drink something I chew it too. Straight after I started chewing food I had awful muscle pain around my jaw. But I amazed that chewing changed my life physically, mentally and spiritually.
After first day I just realised
How sweet all foods are.
How less food I need.
How much saliva I can produce.
After I continued chewing for a few weeks I realised
I don’t want to eat soft foods as I can’t chew.
I don’t feel heavy after meals.
I don’t need any sweetness.
I don’t put on weight.
I don’t get angry as much as before.
So when I changed “how to eat” my body taught me how much food I needed and what food I should eat. For example I don’t want to eat soft food. So I choose whole foods such as brown rice, whole grain foods, nuts and etc. I am not interested in any white foods and any commercial foods. Nowadays, most commercial foods are made to be soft and sweet. Also when I cook I just need shorter time to cook most vegetable to keep nice texture. I read so many books about what we should eat. But if we start chewing our body will us the right answer.Also if we chew food with mindfulness eating time become meditation.
I am satisfied from my mind and my body. It gives me happiness. I can stay calm the rest of the day. Nowadays people are so busy it is difficult to find the time to put yoga mat sometime or sit for meditation. But we need to eat everyday. You don’t need to pay for it either. Why don’t you use your every day meal time as a meditation. What you need to do is put small amount of food in your mouth and put your cutlery down on the table then close your eyes and enjoy all sensation in your mouth. You will discover all new taste and texture of your food. You will be able to appreciate your food.
“Drink your food and chew your drink.”
Friend of mine gave me the name of it. Shoku means eat and Zen means meditation in Japanese. Let enjoy Shokuzen!!
I just write down the list of merits of chewing from some book too.
1 Mixing food with saliva in the mouth change food to alkali and it will be easy to digest.
2 Producing more saliva and we can get hormone for rejuvenating.
3 Chewing stimulate our Para synthetic nerve system and switch our mind to relax. It will get high immune system.
4 Saliva has effect to kill
Carcinogen. We can protect to be cancer.
If you would like to experience SHOKUZEN please contact me.