These rules may sound simple, but I invite you to check how many of them you truly keep. I strongly suggest you to read these rules and then, when having your next meal, try to notice how many of these rules you really keep and to what degree. You may be surprised!

The first rule could be “Determine Whether You’re Really Hungry”, but since we already discussed it in the previous pages, I will skip it.

Rule no. 1: Sit when you eat! This is especially important to those of us who tend to eat when they are standing up, and even worse, running around, talking, and working. Treat your eating time as sacred: sit in comfort, be present with your meal, concentrate on it and fully enjoy it!

And by the way, did I mention that you better put away your device? Also, it's better not to do anything else while you are eating, except one thing: eat with family or friends and allow yourself to talk and laugh with them between the bites.

Rule no. 2: Bless your food. That doesn't mean you have to be a religious person who pray to God or saying any kind of religious blessing! Just take a moment right before your first bite to look at your food and appreciate its smell, colors, beauty, and nutritional value. Be grateful in your heart for the wonderful food that you are having and bless it. You may bless God, the universe, the light, the divine – however you name it, showing this little appreciation for having this great food in front of you will already make a positive change. Use this blessing moment to relax your body, especially your belly muscles, which some of us tend to hold tight often.

Rule no. 3: Chew your food well. We tend to eat fast, without thinking and without taking the time to truly enjoy each and every bite. So go ahead and chew more! I don't recommend counting how many times you chew each bite or using a chewing timer, as I feel that those actions may take away the pleasure of the whole eating experience. However, I do suggest chewing well, until you feel that the food is ready to go down your digestive tract. Simply be aware of it.

One more thing: it is recommended to use smaller forks or spoons while eating in order to make sure that you eat less with every bite, so you get to chew your food better and feel satisfied with less food.

 

Rule no. 4: Lay your fork or spoon on the table between bites. So, instead of waiting with a full-of-food fork to get into your mouth, why don't you lay the fork on the table while taking the time to chew your food well, breath and relax?

This rule is not easy to follow but it is so beneficial! It will allow you to get full faster and after eating less food that what you would have eat if you would to eat faster!

 

Rule no. 5: Love your food. Do not eat food that you dislike just because it is “healthy”, or because it may contain specific nutrients that you need. Or because this is what everyone else are eating. Eat only foods that give you pleasure; otherwise, it is pointless.

This does not mean that I recommend foods that may cause you trouble! You better eat only foods that are truly healthy for you, but only those of them that makes you happy.

And for those of you who tend to dislike anything healthy, let me tell you something about myself: when I started eating healthy, I tried to eat quinoa, as I heard that it contains lots of healthy nutrients, and I simply hated it! For a while, I didn't touch quinoa. But then I got to taste a truly fantastic quinoa dish that was made by one of my friends, and I immediately fell in love with it! So, never judge a food before you get to try more than one version of it. There are great recipes out there for many healthy dishes! If you like to cook, that's even better as you can try different recipes and even create some new recipes by yourself. And if your new healthy dishes are good, you may invite family and friends to enjoy them together and believe me – nothing is better than seeing people enjoy truly healthy food that you made for them! (Not to mention asking you for the recipes and starting to eat healthy food after getting the inspiration from you!).

One more way to love your food is to invest in how your plate looks like. Setting the food nicely on your plate, using nice plates and nice utensils, setting the table – when you do all these with special care it will add great new energy to your food and to the entire eating process.

 

Rule no. 6: Control your food portions. We live in a society that sells the notion bigger is better. Most restaurants serve a meal size large enough for two or three adults, and most of the 'normal' size plates are too big for one person's meal, even an adult. A 'normal' dining ware set contain 2 sizes of plates: One smaller for the appetizer and one bigger for the main dish. I strongly suggest you to completely ignore the big plates and only use the smaller plates.

 

Rule no. 7: When you are eating, don't wait until you are completely full. On the contrary, follow the ancient Hindus’ recommendation, which I found very helpful: eat until half of your stomach is filled with food, a quarter of it is filled with water and a quarter of it is empty. In other words, you don't have to eat until every last bite is cleaned off of your plate.

Please note that the feeling of satiety is not caused by your stomach being full. Instead, feeling full is a result of your brain reacting to chemicals released when you put food or drink in your stomach. Your brain takes around 20 minutes to register these chemicals. After your meal, the levels continue to rise over 10 to 30 minutes. They stay elevated for three to five hours following the meal, keeping you sated. As the chemical levels fall, the feeling of hunger returns. If you do not feel full directly following a meal, wait.

 

Rule no. 8: Use eco-friendly wooden plates and even cutlery. I added this as the last rule as it's not the most important and may only be adopted with time. It is not crucial for your health or for your well-being, but it will definitely be great for you to do this.

When it comes to choosing cutlery and tableware there are very limited options in terms of materials; melamine, ceramic and plastic. Due to these materials themselves and over the top processes, these materials have known side effects not only on health but also on the environment.

Wooden cutlery has the clear advantage over melamine or ceramic as wooden bowls, plates and other stuff doesn’t show scratches, whether you wash them with scotch bright or washing them. The reason for this is that wooden cutlery is soft and in some cases can heal itself.

Secondly, wooden utensils such as spatulas and serving spoons don’t scratch surfaces of your non-stick pans and other items. This can help in preserving the life of the cookware, as it will help retain the coating (and obviously, you don't want any parts of the coating in your food as may be harmful to your health!).

Also, keep in mind that it takes considerably less time for wood to biodegrade: 49 days versus, oh, about 10,000 years. Wood is also lighter and stronger.

Rules for smart eating

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