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LIVE LAUGH LOVE: April 2023

How you eat is just as important as what you eat


We all need nourishment in the form of food; we just don’t need as much of it as some of us eat. The one well-studied and proven technique you can use to turn back the clock is calorie restriction. All scientists and researchers who study anti-aging agree, based on the results of numerous studies.


I’m not talking about starving yourself – I am suggesting you stop before you’re full. There’s a Japanese practice called hara hachi bu, translated ‘belly 80 percent full.’ It takes about 20 minutes for our stomach to communicate its ‘fullness’ to the brain. Have you ever eaten until full, only to find yourself feeling over-stuffed and miserable twenty minutes later? This teaching is designed to keep the belly from getting too full. It’s practiced by the Okinawans, who are documented as having incredible longevity. So next time you sit down to eat, play with the experience of what it feels like to be 80 percent full.


Another way to eat sufficient but not excessive amounts of food is to take your time and chew thoroughly. By slowing down and chewing you get more nutrients than if you gobble your food, and your stomach has a chance to tell your brain that it’s had enough.


“Chew your food,” we urged our kids when they were growing up, “don’t swallow it whole.” Of course, their friends were waiting for them to finish eating so they gobbled it down just a tiny bit slower… Ever see someone inhale their food? They’re always in a hurry and so busy that eating seems like a chore. I have to confess I was one of them when I lived in New York City and worked on Madison Avenue. They had those ‘convenient’ places where you could stand at a counter and eat while watching people walk by the window.


Now I live in Taos County and enjoy life at a much slower pace. As I’ve researched the importance of mindful eating, I’ve learned that thorough chewing is important for good digestion, which is vital to good health and growing younger. Saliva is the only digestive fluid that is alkaline by nature. The more saliva is employed in the digestive process, the less stomach acids are needed. It is important to alkalize our systems, it is one key to longevity.


There are 30 million people in the U.S. who suffer from digestive and colon problems, and they could be greatly helped by paying attention not only to what they eat, but also how they eat. And remember: the best food is blessed food, so it helps to pray before you eat.


Como comes es tan importante como que comes


Todos necesitamos alimento en forma de comida; solo que no necesitamos tanto como algunos de nosotros comemos. La única técnica bien estudiada y comprobada que puedes usar para hacer retroceder el reloj es la restricción de calorías. Todos los científicos e investigadores que estudian el antienvejecimiento están de acuerdo con esto, según los resultados de numerosos estudios.


No estoy hablando de morirte de hambre —lo que te sugiero es que dejes de comer antes de estar lleno. Hay una práctica japonesa llamada hara hachi bu, que se traduce como “vientre lleno en un 80 por ciento.” El estómago tarda unos 20 minutos en comunicar su “llenura” al cerebro. ¿Alguna vez has comido hasta saciarte, solo para sentirte excesivamente lleno y mal veinte minutos después? Esta práctica japonesa está diseñada para evitar que la barriga se llene demasiado. Lo practican los habitantes de Okinawa, que, según la documentación existente, tienen una longevidad increíble. Así que la próxima vez que te sientes a comer, haz un experimento y trata de darte cuenta de cómo se siente estar lleno en un 80 por ciento.


Otra manera de comer cantidades suficientes, pero no excesivas, de alimentos es tomarte tu tiempo mientras comes y masticar bien. Al comer más despacio y masticar, obtienes más nutrientes que si engulles la comida rápidamente, y el estómago tiene la oportunidad de comunicarle al cerebro que ya ha recibido suficiente alimento.


“Mastica la comida,” les decíamos a nuestros hijos cuando estaban creciendo, “no te la tragues entera.” Por supuesto, sus amigos estaban esperando a que terminara de comer, así que solo se zampaban la comida un poquito más despacio… ¿Alguna vez has visto a alguien inhalar su comida? Son personas que siempre tienen prisa y están tan ocupadas que comer les parece una tarea a terminar. Debo confesar que fui una de esas personas cuando vivía en la ciudad de Nueva York y trabajaba en Madison Avenue. Allá había esos lugares “convenientes” donde podías pararte en un mostrador y comer mientras mirabas a la gente pasar por la ventana.


Ahora vivo en el Condado de Taos y disfruto de la vida a un ritmo mucho más lento. A medida que he investigado la importancia de comer conscientemente, aprendí que masticar bien es importante para una buena digestión, que es vital para la buena salud y para rejuvenecer. La saliva es el único fluido digestivo que es alcalino por naturaleza. Cuanta más saliva se emplea en el proceso digestivo, menos ácidos estomacales se necesitan. Es importante alcalinizar nuestros sistemas, pues esto es clave para la longevidad.


Hay 30 millones de personas en los Estados Unidos que sufren de problemas digestivos y de colon, y les sería de gran ayuda si prestaran atención no solo a lo que comen, sino también a cómo comen. Y recuerda: la mejor comida es la comida bendecida, así que también ayuda el hecho de rezar antes de comer.


Traducido por Teresa Dovalpage

Author

  • Ellen Wood

    Ellen Wood, born in 1936, is a prizewinning author, columnist and former management executive. After her youngest child began school, Ellen started an in-house ad agency and won 16 awards for annual report and advertising excellence, including 4 national awards. Five years after her mother died of Alzheimer’s, Ellen experienced early symptoms (she has the gene, APO-e4). At 68 she developed a program of mind/body/spirit techniques that proved so successful, she wrote and published “Think and Grow Young,” followed by “Joy! Joy! Joy!” (now retitled “The Secret Method for Growing Younger,” Volumes 1 and 2) and gave inspirational speeches. Since 2018 Ellen has been the ad agency for NorthStar Tire and Auto in Questa, NM. Ellen started painting in November of 2020, having dabbled at it in her 20s, and gave herself a new name: Maruška, her father’s middle name. She is overjoyed to be part of a big, loving, kindhearted family. You can find her paintings at www.northernnewmexicoartists.com/ellen-wood

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