A friend asked us recently how can he eat healthfully when he had only 15 minutes in the morning for preparing and eating his food.
Naturally, at first, we gave ideas about what he could do so in such a short time.
Prep some sandwich dip in advance, prepackage smoothie ingredients and freeze them…
Later that day, however, it dawned on us.
You never ever don’t have time for cooking and eating.
You prioritize not to.
What we eat determines our health and the state of our health determines our happiness. So, well, discarding food as a chore is, frankly, at best ignorance.
Ignorance that may cost us a lot down the line.
Food is the real wealth
Having the option to choose your food is truly a privilege for the chosen few
Let’s face it, our ancestors and much of the world’s population today cannot choose what to eat.
They do not have much food at all.
Historically, people did not work at a bank or a coffee shop for money.
They spent their time gathering their food in the wild or working the fields to produce the food for tomorrow.
Food came first, then shelter and nobody saved money for a car or a phone.
Nobody had ‘no time to cook or eat’.
Cooking and eating was the reward for all that hard work they did.
And they ate what was available with joy.
Hunger was, is and will be the motivator.
So, when you open your fridge or pantry and you see so many food options, feel grateful for what you have.
Every bean, grain or nut in that pantry is a gift.
The presence of fresh vegetables or fruit in that fridge is a miracle.
We must cherish the miracle of modern-day technology that brings at our fingertips foods that we would have to work hard to get before.
Preparing your food makes it that much more absorbable
We live in an unprecedented time when food comes to us with little effort.
It can take a few clicks on your phone and the delivery guy brings those calories in no time.
That (vegan) pizza may stay in the freezer, waiting to be defrosted in a couple of minutes.
It’s nice, no doubt about it.
Not that healthy, though.
We are wired to work for our food before we eat it.
Be it gathering fruits in the wild or cooking that bean casserole, we never got our food without some preparation.
There were no freezers up until quite recently, remember?
So, while we prepare or gather or food, our bodies prepare for digesting it.
The stomach acid levels adjust, the gallbladder and liver prepare the bile.
The intestines are ready to absorb nutrients.
Our mouths filled with saliva.
We are ready and when the food comes, it is digested properly.
So, in essence, taking time to prepare the food makes it even healthier.
Taking time to eat matters
How fast can the glands in the mouth secrete saliva?
Probably not fast enough if you devour a whole meal in 5 minutes.
Can that all-important for digestion saliva mix well with the food in the couple of seconds before you swallow?
We are meant to chew our food. Thoroughly.
Natural whole plant foods usually need a lot of chewing.
While we chew, our saliva mixes with the food, the cell walls are broken and the nutrition is extracted.
Carnivores do not chew their food and their saliva has no digestive enzymes.
Our saliva does.
And that’s because we need to chew. Well.
So, technically, you should not try to eat a meal in 5 minutes.
It also takes all the pleasure from eating.
And you disrespect the very thing that keeps you alive and healthy.
While you become less healthy in the process.
Instead, eat less.
Say you devour 800 calories in 5-10 minutes.
Can your unprepared digestive tract process the not-so-well chewed food well?
Of course not.
Not enough saliva entered the food to predigest it.
The cell walls were never broken well enough to release the nutrition inside.
The shocked stomach has not enough acid not had the liver prepared enough bile.
And even if it was prepared to accept the food, the stomach cannot have had enough acid to break through the cell walls that were never broken.
So you do not digest the food well.
You do not get all the calories or nutrition.
Simply, provide more time for preparing and chewing the food.
And eat less but thrive more.
It’s more economical even.
Healthier, no doubt!
And, always, seek health consciously.