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Finish the first bite before inserting the second

By May 22, 2009May 26th, 2009How To


About seven years ago, when I worked at Kripalu, I discovered a book with a fascinating message (and a horrific title). The Power Eating Program is written by the son of a Holocaust Survivor who discovered that his father’s eating habits saved his life.

Given thin broth, scraps of bread or sometimes only freezing cold water to eat in the concentration camp, Stanchich noticed that if he chewed the food or drink thoroughly, even water – 50, 100, 500 times, it gave him vital energy and critical sustenance. He told his fellow prisoners and only two of them chewed alongside him – and they were the only three of their group to survive the war. Essentially, he maintains that it’s the chewing that stirs the digestion and supports the body. Didn’t someone once say we should ‘eat our drink and drink our food’?

And, I recently saw a data filled chart that documented that obesity goes hand in hand, across the world, with the speed in which people eat. For instance, the U.S. and Mexico eat the fastest and are the most obese, while France and Turkey eat much slower and are majorly un-obese.

Interesting. And a metaphor for so many other parts of our lives.

For instance, I tend to have a lot of tabs open…I’m simultaneously writing an article while searching for a picture for a blog post while creating project proposals while eating my lunch while answering emails while talking and listening on Twitter while answering my phone while responding to a text while

And oftentimes, at the end of the day, I feel obese – bloated with information and the enormity of all I have accomplished and still have to do tomorrow. It becomes a feeding frenzy and an assault to my brain. When I’m on to the second, fifth or tenth task, there is a nagging, a pulling at my pant leg that something isn’t done.

What if I, what if we, finished the first bite, and chewed it completely, before we took the second bite? How would that feel? What would be accomplished? Do you think we could become mentally, emotionally and physically…svelte?

(After I digested, I wrote a part 2 to this post…)

Image courtesy of hushed lavinia

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • B says:

    A real challenge. I’m always striving to do this but really struggle with it. It’s all about living the present, another thing I know I should do but have problems with. But I’ll try if you try! :)

  • Jen Halloran says:

    Wow — just what I needed to read this morning. When I was in high school, my mother adopted a Macrobiotic diet to help rid her of crippling rheumatoid arthritis. Although since leaving home I’ve never followed the diet strictly, I’ve adopted several of its tenets, including the importance of proper chewing. But not until reading your post did I realize I haven’t been applying that principle to my *life.* Thanks for the wake-up call.

    Now off to close tabs and finish docs — one at a time.

  • Thank you for this. I’m one to keep at least four tabs open during the few hours I’m able to work while the girls are napping each afternoon. I always feel as if I’m drowning under all I need to get done, and now I’m beginning to wonder if it’s my own doing.

    It does seem the more we try to do at once, the more we think we have to get done.

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