Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I was looking for a homeopathic, or holistic, or some-such doctor to help me with my acid reflux, and came across this great little article about eating mindfully:

This isn't just for weight loss, by the way! It's for everybody. Here is an excerpt. Good reminder, just in time for that Easter splurge of a meal! I thought it was quite humorous, too. Who ever starts out to eat to a level 10? Yet I bet every one of us has done it before, and for some it's a bad habit. As Thomas Jefferson said (it's one of his "10 rules" posted in my office), Few people ever repented of eating too little! Especially living here, when you can always have more food later.

The rule of thumb is to start eating at about Level 3 or 4 and stop eating at Level 6 or 7.
The Hunger Level Scale

Level 1 — Famished

Your stomach is completely empty; you’re weak and light-headed.

Level 2 — Starving

You’re uncomfortable and irritable and unable to concentrate.

Level 3 — Uncomfortably hungry

Your stomach is rumbling.

Level 4 — You’re slightly uncomfortable

You’re beginning to feel the signs of hunger and can’t wait to eat.

Level 5 — Neutral and comfortable

You’re more or less satisfied.

Level 6 — Completely satisfied.

You’ve eaten just the right amount of food and are completely comfortable. The key is to stop here.

Level 7 — Satisfied

At this point, you may be feeling a bit too full. If you don’t stop at this level on the hunger scale, you’ll soon feel ill.

Level 8 — Uncomfortably full

You feel bloated and are starting to feel uneasy.

Level 9 — Very uncomfortable and full.

You feel like loosening your clothes.

Level 10 — Completely stuffed and miserable.

You feel nauseated and need to take something for stomach relief. You can’t function, and you want to lie down.
This naturopath has some really simple and doable suggestions for better digestion. Here's one I will definitely try: don't drink a lot of liquids when eating a meal. Her theory is that it dilutes stomach acid and makes it harder for the stomach to digest food. Sounds reasonable to me!

Then, of course, there's the idea of pausing and taking some deep breaths instead of inhaling your food! This is one I need to work on. I am of the stuff-it-in school, always in a hurry, it seems. I like her suggestion of grazing throughout the day, especially since that is my natural style already. She seems to have a chip on her shoulder about dairy and lactose, and possibly also grains -- though it may just be that most Americans eat way too much starchy food, bread, rice, potatoes, etc. and need to cut back.

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