Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Wisdom for the New Year!

 Amy Rachelle

The Wisdom of Beauty is back again after a unscheduled sabbatical. My apologies, after an embarrassment of riches and opportunities it took a while for me to manage my time again to start up the blog but I feel starting up again in the first week of the new year is fitting.

Our topic this week is going to be about getting fit which seems to be on most people's minds after the holidays where you were force fed food (perhaps I exaggerate a bit here) and maybe packed on a few pounds or at the very least do not feel like your "best self". People kept waving delicious food in front of my face (especially sweets, my kryptonite) and I didn't want to offend anyone so I ate. And drank. And didn't go to yoga. And slept. And ate again.

Not feeling my best self I was trying to remember when I was at my best physical shape in my life.  I then remembered a summer about eight years ago where I had time off from work and my intuitive massage guru diagnosed me with an allergy to wheat, dairy and gluten. She advised me to avoid these foods and after figuring out what was left to eat I went on a dairy/wheat/gluten free diet. Since I had the summer off I also went to Pilate's and yoga at least three times a week.  That is when the miracle happen. What I had thought was physically impossible happened to me. I developed a six-pack of abs! I couldn't believe it! Also the rest of my body became incredibly toned but the six pack left me in a state of wonder. I had always had throughout my entire life a soft stomach. I had even learned to embrace it as my boyfriend told me it was his favorite part of my body (liar!). I never thought my body was capable of developing such great muscles but apparently my abs (like the sun) are there all the time, it just took time, a proper diet and exercise to get the fat (like the clouds) away. 

I am tempted again to try a diet free of wheat/dairy/gluten and also free of sugar, possibly wine too as I feel if I am going to be proactive with my health and fitness I should avoid these foods and beverages as much as possible. Becoming a vegan is a goal of mine so it makes sense to start entering this phase of my life. Going to Pilate's and yoga at least three times a week is also a goal of mine now that I am managing my time better so we shall see if the abs decide they would once again like to make an appearance in my life.

My intuitive massage guru for any who would like to know is Amy Rachelle. She has gained over the year some popularity as a raw foods chef and musician. She discovered her connection to nature and healing from living on a boat, living without electricity and indoor plumbing for two years, traveling extensively, and life experiences of living among native people. She became aware of her gift for vision and massage when she took over a pregnant woman’s practice in Lake Attila, Guatemala. She has been developing her intuitive abilities and healing skills since then, over the past 15 years of session/bodywork with clients that range from everyday people, to artists, to celebrities, to business executives, to other healing practitioners. 

Amy has been developing her personal practices of diet, meditation, cleansing, and yoga since 1990 - her spiritual evolution grew exponentially when she became a vegetarian at that time. She's been on the raw path since '96 and lives a lifestyle of daily practices that she considers to be a foundation for freedom. It's her intention to share these practices through her work - and life - with all those seeking self discovery and purpose on the planet. Amy's personal journey of self-healing, and witnessing many other people heal, discovering Vipassana (a 10 day silent meditation - dhamma.org), years of internal cleansing, raw foods, and practicing Ashtanga yoga have created a basis from which Amy passionately learns and teaches from.

Amy's website is www.amyrachelle.com and though she is constantly traveling around the world healing people from within I recommend you contact her and set up an appointment next time she is in your area as the intuitive massage she gives reveals not only your physical well being but your emotional and spiritual state of mind, body and soul. She isn't a psychic but her readings go deep into what is really happening in your present and past life. She can also diagnose your mental blocks and help you get out of unproductive life patterns. After a session with Amy she gives you "homework" which are questions to honestly ask yourself and work on to create a better you from the inside and out.

Whatever path you decide to make yourself a better person this year I wish you great success and discipline. Let me know what is working for you!

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Benefits of Natural Sweetener Xylitol

When I was a little girl visiting my elder relatives in Puerto Rico, I have a memory of being by the beach with my relatives. My Great Grandfather Cesaro was cutting down some sugar cane stalks with a machete and then he proceeded to cut it into smaller stalks, handing it out to all his prodigy to suck on like a candy cane. I really didn't want to put the stalk in my mouth as it looked more like a green tree bark but once my tongue and the cane met, it was all over for me. My sugar addiction had begun. Thanks Abuelito!

It seems every year there is a "new" sweetener out that is better than sugar, more natural than sugar or has less calories than sugar. We buy it and gladly sprinkle it on all our foods. However eventually you start hearing the inevitable, "has been known to cause cancer in rats" or "may cause lupus or bring on MS" warnings. You feel betrayed and go back to sugar thinking, "Perhaps if I use organic sugar or raw brown sugar that would be my healthiest choice".

My confusion is increased ten-fold when I shop at Whole Foods as there is an whole aisle dedicated to sweeteners. I think I have tried them all; unrefined brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, barley malt, rice syrups, honey and agave nectar have all made their way onto my amaranth flakes. So when my mother excitingly called me to tell me about Xylitol as a natural sweetener I was a little bit cynical on finding out more about this "healthy natural sweetener".

She had been at her local health food store pumping the clerks for information as usual on what will give her better health when the clerk strongly recommended that she try Xylitol as a sugar substitute. After researching it online she related all the information she learned to me and thought it would be a good topic for "The Wisdom of Beauty".

After I did my research and the much anticipated "taste test", I am thrilled to report the benefits of Xylitol (not a very natural sounding name). Xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. It is a naturally occurring 5-carbon sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables and produced in small amounts by the human body. It is the sweetest of the polyols with the same sweetness as sugar (sucrose) but with 40% fewer calories and none of the negative tooth decay or insulin release effects of sugar so it is recommended to those on a diabetic diet.

Xylitol has been used in foods since the 1960's and is approved in the U.S. as a food additive in unlimited quantity for foods with special dietary purposes and is safe for use in any sugar-controlled diet. Over 25 years of clinical testing confirms that Xylitol is the best sweetener for teeth. Xylitol, unlike other sugars, may reduce the risk of dental cavities. Sugar free chewing gums and candies made with this sweetener have already received official endorsements from six national dental associations.  

Xylitol is not only a safe, natural sweetener without the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes, it's also good for your teeth, stabilizes insulin and hormone levels, and promotes good health. We humans were really not designed to eat large amounts of sugar in whatever form it may take whether it be white, brown, honey, maple, molasses, etc. Sugar is really "white poison" as it is not only unhealthy for our bodies, it also ages us prematurely. While sugar wreaks havoc on the body, Xylitol heals and repairs. It also builds immunity, protects against chronic degenerative disease, and has anti-aging benefits.

The only discomfort that some sensitive people may notice initially when taking large amounts is mild diarrhea or slight cramping. About one-third of the Xylitol that is consumed is absorbed in the liver. The other two-thirds travels to the intestinal tract, where it is broken down by gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids.

Xylitol looks, feels, and tastes exactly like sugar, and leaves no unpleasant aftertaste. It is available in many forms. In its crystalline form, it can replace sugar in cooking, baking, or as a sweetener for beverages. It is also included as an ingredient in chewing gum, mints, and nasal spray.

I have replaced sugar with Xylitol as I have always joked to friends that if there was a rehab clinic for sugar, I would check myself in immediately. Now with Xylitol I feel that as long as I am craving sweets as long as I use Xylitol I am not poisoning my body or prematurely aging myself.

In a family that has a history of adult on-set diabetes I hope I will be able to turn back the clock on my sugar intake and avoid this deadly disease with my new sweetener. Then there is the vain part of me that hopes that any aging I incurred from my sugar addictive behavior throughout the years will come to a halt. 

Now perhaps I will not feel so guilty making my Red Velvet Cupcakes!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Only Four Necklaces You Need to Own

Well, after a little time off for a summer holiday I have returned and with a "back to school" energy when it comes to "The Wisdom of Beauty". In honor of Fashion Week I will write about a topic I know like the back of my hand. Accessories. Particularly jewelry.

My little nugget of wisdom on using jewelry as an accessory is that you actually don't need to own very much jewelry to fit all of your wardrobe choices. I've been able to narrow it down to just owning four necklaces to cover your wardrobe.

If you have trouble deciding what you like in jewelry, think it's too expensive or don't want to be a woman with an large jewelry box of pieces she rarely wears then this is what I advise. As far as necklaces go which are the most visible pieces of jewelry, the four necklaces you should own are: a strand of red coral, turquoise, light green jade and white pearls.

I came by this conclusion by observing paintings in the many museums I have visited over the years (the art world was my first career). I started to notice besides the grand heirloom jewelry you see in portraits of aristocrats from another age, the jewelry painted on the women of yesteryear were simple but attractive. I also started watching what women wore for jewelry in movies depicting women one or two centuries ago. That is when I was able to narrow it down to the fore mentioned four necklaces.

Me at my birthday party with my favorite red coral necklace
Red Coral Necklace
I first noticed the red coral necklace in a Masterpiece Theater movie where an eighteen century woman wearing a canary yellow dress was wearing a simple strand of round red coral beads. I found it very striking and it popped nicely against her skin. I own a magnificent seed beaded red coral necklace that I get stopped on multiple occasions every time I wear it. The red coral goes well with bright, primary colors such as yellow, blues, oranges, pinks, etc. The red coral also comes in so many shapes and formations it is a very fashionable stone to wear.

Megan Fox wearing turquoise against her skin with a black dress.
Turquoise Necklace
My second discovery was how great turquoise pops against your skin and looks great against black, brown and dark items of clothing. Turquoise to me always use to connote American Indian jewelry and I really had no desire to wear it. Now jewelry designers have started using the stones in contemporary designs without the silver and it definitely makes a statement as I feel turquoise is one of the most beautiful colors especially since it matches the color of the sky.

Naomi Watts holding her son with a light green jade necklace whilst wearing white.
Light Green Jade
My choice of light green jade came after seeing a picture of the actress Naomi Watts in a beautiful white eyelet dress holding her toddler son. She was wearing a light green jade necklace and I loved how soft it made her look. White is always a good backdrop for colorful necklaces but the light green made a new statement. I now love wearing light green jade in the summer with my white dresses.

Jackie O wearing her iconic white pearl necklace.
Pearl Necklace
My last choice is the of course the classic white pearl necklace. It's iconic and goes with most outfits whether formal or semi-casual. Although it can be read as conservative, many designers these days are making bold, fun statements with pearl necklaces. My favorite is Kenneth Jay Lane who made pieces for my favorite pearl necklace wearer and style icon, Jackie O. KJL still comes out with pieces that are not only very fashionable but affordable too as he also works with faux pearls. Try a triple strand, or a pearl bib. The little black dress and the white pearl necklace will forever be a fashion do as it reads simple elegance.

Maybe after owning these four necklaces you will start being inspired by gold, silver, diamonds and other precious or semi-precious stones but I guarantee you that if you possess a strand of red coral, turquoise, light green jade and white pearls you will feel completely covered in the "jewelry as an accessory" department. Then it's onto rings, earrings, bracelets, etc!

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amaranth, A Tasty Source for Energy

Early last year I was complaining to a friend of mine about how lethargic I had become and how although I wanted to be active in all areas of my life, I seemed to have low energy and wasn't accomplishing all the tasks I had set out to achieve on a daily basis.

I felt I was slowly sliding into a middle age stupor and all would soon go to pot. That is when she recommended I try to enhance my diet with more high protein foods that would fuel my energy. I was up to her suggestions especially since I am a vegetarian and really need to watch my protein intake. My friend recommended I try a grain called Amaranth.

Now Amaranth has an usual history. It is a very attractive plant with a beautiful flower that blossoms from it's stems. It was believed to have supernatural powers by the Aztecs who used the plant in religious ceremonies. Before the Spanish Conquest amaranth was associated with human sacrifice as the Aztec women made a mixture of ground amaranth seed, honey or human blood then shaped this mixture into idols that were eaten ceremoniously. Because of this tradition the horrified Spanish forbade use of the plant which caused it to drop in popularity and become obscure for hundreds of years. Small pockets of communities in the Andes and Mexico continued to use Amaranth otherwise it might have not been known to us.

Today in South and Central America Amaranth is mixed with a sugar solution to make a confection called "alegria" (happiness), and milled and roasted amaranth seed is used to create a traditional Mexican drink called "atole." Peruvians use fermented amaranth seed to make "chicha" or beer. In the Cusco area the flowers are used to treat toothache and fevers and as a food colorant for maize and quinoa (another high energy grain).

In both Mexico and Peru the amaranth leaves are gathered then used as a vegetable either boiled or fried. In India amaranth is known as "rajeera" (the King’s grain) and is popped then used in confections called "laddoos," which are similar to Mexican "alegria." In Nepal, amaranth seeds are eaten as gruel called "sattoo" or milled into flour to make chappatis. In Ecuador, the flowers are boiled then the colored boiling water is added to "aquardeinte" rum to create a drink that "purifies the blood," and is also reputed to help regulate the menstrual cycle.

Since the mid-seventies amaranth has started to become popular as a grain and is grown in the Midwest. The grain and it's flour can be found in most natural food stores. It can also be found in cereal form which is the primary way I eat my amaranth.

Amaranth seed is high in protein (15-18%) and contains respectable amounts of lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are not frequently found in grains. It is high in fiber and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C.The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat and its iron content, five times more than wheat. It contains two times more calcium than milk. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice results in a complete protein as high in food value as fish, red meat or poultry.

Amaranth also contains tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which have cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting period. Amaranth consists of 6-10% oil, which is found mostly within the germ. The oil is predominantly unsaturated and is high in linoleic acid, which is important in human nutrition.

Amaranth has been a much welcomed addition to my diet and I recommend it highly to anyone who has been feeling sluggish and suffers from low energy. Actually amaranth and quinoa have both been great additions to my diet as it helps me stay alert during the day and active enough in the evening to do my yoga and workouts. I find myself not trying to talk myself out of exercising especially after work.

Here is a amaranth recipe that has proven to be quite delicious:

Amaranth with Spinach Tomato Mushroom Sauce
1 cup amaranth seed
2-12 cups water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch spinach (or young amaranth leaves if available)
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned and coarsely chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons basil
1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 clove of garlic minced
1 Tablespoon onion, minced
Sea salt and pepper to taste (or use a salt substitute)

Add amaranth to boiling water, bring back to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes. 

While amaranth is cooking, stem and wash spinach, then simmer until tender. Dip tomatoes into boiling water to loosen skin, then peel and chop. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add garlic an onion. Saut̩ approximately 2 minutes. Add tomato, mushrooms, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and 1 Tablespoon of water. Drain and chop spinach and add to tomato mixture. Cook an addition 10 Р15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lightly mash tomato as it is cooking.

Stir the sauce into the amaranth or spoon it on top.

For more amaranth recipes click onto this link

More energy means being able to accomplish what we want in life and be able to take care of ourselves and our loved ones in the process.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adding Primer to Your Make Up Routine

  Wow! Last week I felt like I was at death's door with a viral throat infection that left me feeling the worst I have ever felt since childhood. I am wondering if this Pulling Oil had anything to do with it? I took a little break from Pulling Oil to recover and I am now going to start again and report to you my experience at the beginning of September but now I am fine and ready to blog again on the "Wisdom of Beauty".

A few years ago I was at a Laura Mercier event in Henri Bendel's and I let the makeup artist give me a very expensive cosmetic makeover. Whenever I let a makeup artist work on my face I either feel like I am wearing a mask or I end up looking like a hooker. That day I looked like a high class hooker but nevertheless a hooker. One thing the makeup artist introduced me to at that event was makeup primer. She explained to me that before I was to put any cosmetic on my face I was to smooth primer all over it the same way you would prime a wall before you were to paint it. 

I thought she was giving me the hard sell as I did buy the primer but it when I arrived home it immediately went to my makeup draw where expensive makeup goes to die and rarely be seen again.

Lately in the name of research for this blog and to save a little money, I have been doing makeovers on myself at Sephora before every event I attended this summer. I am actually a little shameless as I have hit just about every Sephora in this city multiple times (I am in danger of being put on Sephora's '10 Most Wanted List') to experiment with makeup from every brand they supply. It has been a very glamorous summer for me.

What I noticed with just about every brand was that there were cosmetic primers now featured in the displays and Sephora even has a "Sephora Favorites" display exhibiting mutliple brands of primer.

Even though I felt it was just one more useless product the cosmetic industry was pushing me to buy I decided to experiment and use the primer before I started my mad dash around the store sampling their wares. In the process I have discovered the primers of today are definitely a much more superior product that I had tried years ago. 

After applying the primer on the surface of my skin, my face felt so smooth and moisturized but yet not too dewy. When I placed some foundation on my skin it went on much more evenly than it usually does. I also noticed that I had less creases in my skin. I was very impressed!

Primer is encouraged to be put on right after moisturizing and before foundation. Because of the smooth surface your makeup stays on longer, it helps control shiny skin from oil and nourishes dry skin. 

Some of the benefits of adding primer to your makeup routine are:
  • Creates a perfect surface for your makeup
  • Smooths the skins surface
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Moisturizes your skin and keep it hydrated all day long
  • Stops oil and shine
  • Makeup primers fill in fine lines and wrinkles
  • Makes enlarged pores appear smaller and less visible
  • The makeup glides on smoothly and blends easily
  • Allows your skin to breathe normally as they don’t clog the pores and won't let makeup clog pores
  • Protect your skin from the harmful UV rays’ some primers have a sunscreen and SPF 15 or more

I am so impressed with primers that I might actually buy a tube instead of tricking the girls at Sephora for free samples. I highly recommend you trying a primer out at Sephora or your local department store makeup counter. You will definitely see a difference in the application of your makeup, the longevity of the application and a smoothness and evenness that gives you a photofinish. As a matter of fact, Smashbox named their primer Photofinish and it was one of my favorite primers. However I felt the best for me was Lancome's as they always seem to be the best brand for my skin type. Just click onto this link to research some of the most highly talked about primers and see if there is one for your skin type.

I know what you are thinking, "Thanks Natalie! Just what I need, another product to buy." Trust me I don't make money off of recommending products on this blog and I wouldn't recommend a product if it didn't give me that happiness of feeling as lovely and pretty on the outside as you feel on the inside. As a very old wise man said to me yesterday at the bar at Baltazar, "We should try to do the best with what we have". I am positive he was not talking about makeup primer but I am sure he would encourage feeling and looking our best.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Updating Your Style While Dressing Your Age

 Anne Hathaway representing the 20's
Last summer I saw this woman walking towards me on the Upper East Side. She was wearing a very elegant dress, beautiful Louboutins, was thin and fit and had a very up to date haircut and the right accessories. She looked like a very fashionable thirty-something. However the closer she came towards me I realized from her face that she was considerably older than what she appeared to be. Her face appeared to show she was in her seventies! To tell you the truth I felt that I was in a horror movie where the beautiful woman from afar turns out to be a skeleton.
 Joy Bryant representing the 30's
I was so shocked and surprised as she passed me that I stood and looked as she walked down the street with my mouth open. I had always tried to practice making my style as relevant as possible to not cubbyhole myself into looking a certain age the way your grandmother's hairdo would tell the world what decade she became fixed upon. Watching this woman walk pass me showed me that perhaps my practice was wrong. She kept up with all the latest styles and trends but the disconnect between her appearance and her face were much too great. All of a sudden I didn't know what was worse; trying too hard to stay young and relevant or getting stuck in a style rut?
 Kyra Sedgewick representing the 40's
I'm not advocating she should have had plastic surgery to match her appearance. I admire the fact that at her age she worked hard to put out a certain persona which reflects to the world she cares and respects herself. So when Harper's Bazaar put out their annual "Fabulous at Every Age" issue this month I finally understood the message they have been preaching about for years. You do have to update your style at every age. Before I had always resented when magazines came out with their "age" issue and the rules of fashion I now had to follow which usually meant giving up fun trends I had followed in my youth. No more minis, no long hair, no more red lipstick, sticking to less edgier designers. Who were they to tell me how I should look like? Sure I didn't want to look like I walked onto the set of MTV's "The Hills" (a show I am proud to say I never watched) but surely there has to be a happy medium between keeping your style relevant yet not look like you are trying hard to turn back the hands of time and compete with your daughter. 
Iman representing the 50's
This is when you stop and think; "What is it that I want to reflect to the world as I get older?" Do you want to tell the world you are confident? Elegant? Sexy? Refined? Conservative? Successful? Timeless? Find the words that you will be happy to hear when you walk into a room. I picked for myself, "Elegant, bohemian, sexy and classic". When I go shopping or try on different hair styles or makeup I repeat these words to myself and it helps me edit my style to personify how I feel on the inside yet not look like I am racing against the clock. I still have some wonderful dresses in my wardrobe that I love and represent a great time in my life but now I will probably save them for my nieces when they get older.
Carolina Herrera representing the 60's
I also have picked out some public figures that I admire and would like to emulate their style as I grow older. Penelope Cruz, Carolina Herrera, Monica Vitti (Italian 50's movie star) and Jackie Kennedy are some of my style icons for illustrating "ageless style". I love to look at images of these women and get some tips and ideas for myself. I want to make sure that when I am strutting down Madison Avenue when I am in my seventies that the double takes people shoot my way are of admiration not shock.
Lee Radziwill representing 70+
Check out this month's Harper's Bazaar on tips on dressing for every age from the pros. To constantly reinvent yourself is a sign of evolving as a human being, self love and respect. It's a wonderful role model for your children, friends and family to witness and follow.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Helpful Tips When Eating Your Food

Just this past week I learned two very helpful tips from my mother for when eating my food at the dinner table. The first is the French tradition of "partage" and the second is how important it is to chew your food properly (yes I know you think I would have learned this long ago as a child). Learning (or relearning) both these habits will significantly help you lose weight whilst having a healthy, delicious meal.

Partage is the French word for division, or the act of sharing. It is something that couples  do when they eat their meals together as in sharing one plate or a meal. This is a common tradition in France and the great benefit that arises from partage is eating reasonable portions and satisfying your taste buds so you don't feel deprived of food which leads to weight control. 

Not so much in New York City but I find when I travel around the rest of the United States that the meal portions served to me are just plain ridiculously large. It has been noted that in the last few decades since the Fifties the average plate size has gotten bigger and with that so have our portion sizes as I know they could feed whole families in Third World countries. I myself actually lose my appetite when I see a large plate of food coming to me as I know I will not be able to finish it (accept if it is pizza then my stomach seems to open up a few compartments).

When I discussed with my mother the concept of partage she confessed that she and her husband often share their meals when they go out to dine (I believe they have to pay a shared plate surcharge). Besides saving money (something he is happy about) it helps keep their weight under control (something she is happy about) as many of their friends and colleagues seem to be overweight which is a little ironic as they live in sunny Southern California where everyone seems to think that all Southern Californians are fit.

So now when I order my food out I immediately make up my mind that half of it will go into a doggie bag for lunch or dinner the next day. At home I consciously serve myself a small portion and now I have relearned to consciously go about properly chewing my food, my second tip.

I know everyone has been told from childhood to properly chew your food. There are even some guidelines as to how many times you should chew your food (it is recommended between 25 to 50 times for each bite!). Years of working and having my meals by a computer have taught me to scarf down my meals in record time. I am now relearning that chewing is the first step in the science of breaking down your food and the digestive process. Powerful enzymes in your saliva go to work breaking down the food as soon as it enters your mouth. The more you chew, the more saliva you will produce, the better the food will break down and be digested. If you can still determine what kind of food is in your mouth by texture alone (not taste), you haven't chewed it enough. So if you are having a sandwich and you can still tell the lettuce from the bread or meat, it means you have not chewed your food enough as it should almost be a puree in your mouth.

You should even chew thick soups and yogurts (not as much but they still need saliva to be digested). Enzymes are more effective with smaller pieces of food. Digestion is a complex process that extracts the nutrients and other useful materials from the food you eat, while discarding with the rest of it. Chewing your food properly helps your body get more out of the food you eat.

So a few tips for helping make sure that you have the right environment set up for chewing your food properly are:
  • Drink plenty of water to keep saliva levels up.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption during eating as it tends to dry up the mouth.
  • Set aside an ample amount of time to eat and a peaceful environment, try to avoid stressful environments while eating.
  • Avoid eating whilst working, driving or being on the go (another reason why Europeans are thinner than Americans, they respect their meal times).
  • Cut your food into half inch pieces (especially if meat or fish).
  • Chew, chew, chew. Enough so that you know you have created enough saliva to break down the food in your mouth and it is all the same texture.
My mother met a holistic nutritionist recently who drove the point of how important chewing is for our health, digestion and weight control. She decided to experiment with really consciously chewing her food till the saliva broke it all down and in just four days she was amazed with her results. She has lost two pounds, her portions are much smaller now as it takes her much longer to finish her meals, her hunger disappears much more quickly now, her cravings for sweets and coffee have disappeared and her digestion has improved so much she goes to the bathroom after every meal (what doctors say we should normally be doing). She also feels much more respectful of the food she is eating as she feels she doesn't take it for granted.

After a week of heavy socializing I am anxious to start consciously eating my food and I hope to share in my mother's results of better digestion and weight control. Please let me know your results should you decided to take partage and properly chew your food. Such an easy method to be healthy and lose weight which is what this blog is all about.