Blessing Your Food Is Good for Your Health and Well-Being

If you are like most Americans, you probably sit down at the dinner table and quickly scarf down your food. And this is assuming that you actually sit down at the dinner table to eat dinner.  Many people are eating on the couch, at their desks, or wherever, while multitasking.

When I worked in hospitals, inhaling your food was actually a necessary job skill. If you didn’t eat fast, it was quite possibOur Meal Prayerle you wouldn’t eat at all.  Reversing this tendency to eat my food in about 30 seconds flat has been quite the challenge. I still have to work on it some days.

One thing I have found that really has helped is saying a blessing before meals. I wanted to teach my daughters gratitude and instill a sense of connection with God, so I created a little prayer that they could model until they felt comfortable coming up with their own words. You can read it on the right.

It’s a very simple prayer but it has worked wonders. When we say this prayer each night before dinner it gives us a sense of peace and calm. When you have life-threatening food allergies and autoimmune disorders, every meal that you eat can be a source of stress and anxiety, so this really is a special gift.

We also feel a sense of gratitude and connection with God when we say this prayer. Research has shown that people who measured high in terms of spirituality also measure high in their ability to cope with chronic illness [1].

Saying a prayer before your meal or just expressing your gratitude for your food allows you to slow down and actually leads you to experience the full benefits of your meal in more ways than one.

You get to notice the beauty of your food

Good food is like a work of art. Take a moment and notice the colors on your plate, the textures, and the smells. Don’t be afraid to smell your food and really take in the aroma. This will wake up your salivary glands and get them primed to do their job. Your salivary glands actually help you to digest your food, so you want them ready to go.

You get to savor the taste

Have you ever bitten of more than you could chew? Ever swallowed a big hunk of food and felt it go down like a lump in your throat? If so, you’re not alone. Most people don’t take the time to chew their food properly. Take small bites and chew each bite for about thirty seconds or until it starts to become liquid. This mechanical breakdown of your food helps it to travel smoothly down your esophagus  and into your stomach where it is broken down further. Don’t stress your digestive system more by not chewing your food well. This is especially important if you have any digestive issues. I can’t remember who said it, but I heard a quote the other day which said, “Drink your food and chew your beverages.” In other words, move them around your mouth enough to let your enzymes and digestive system do their jobs well.

You get to listen to your body’s needs

When you eat at a slow calm pace and really experience your food, you eat the perfect amount of food. People tend to overeat when they are rushing through their meal because they have stuffed themselves with so much food before their bodies could tell them that they’ve had enough. It’s also possible to not get adequate nourishment if you are always rushing through your meals. Lastly, people also tend to overeat when they are multitasking through their meals or watching television because they are not mindful of what is going into their mouths. Slow down and your body will tell you what it needs every time.

I’m curious to hear how you slow down and truly enjoy your meals. Please feel free to share in the comments below.

 

1. Rowe MM, Allen RG. Spirituality as a means of coping with chronic illness. Am J Health Stud. 2004; 19 (1):62-67

About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

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