Chewing slower actually starts a whole digestive process that begins with your saliva. It releases chemicals in your gut to prepare digesting the food, it triggers hormone indicators, and insuline response. Saliva even protects your teeth from decay.
Your body's response time is 20 minutes to realizing that you're eating. How many of us are done in under 10 on a regular basis? We are conditioned to eat quickly do we can move on to the next "important task." Studies show that people who chew their food longer and slow down, are able to maintain a healthy waistline. Also, when eating with others, we tend to put a little less on our plates or not get up to grab seconds. Maybe God is trying to speak to us. The evidence even shows us how He intended us to spend meal times. Slowing down. Talking. Building relationships. Chewing. Not scarfing. But savoring.
"When we stop everything else to gather around the table and eat a meal made by someone's hands, we honor our bodies and the God who created them. We honor the world He made and the beauty of creation. And in that moment we acknowledge that even though life is fast and frantic, we're not machines and we do require nourishment, physically and otherwise." Bittersweet by Shauna Niequest.
It's no coincidence that the physcial and spiritual intersect. It's not just what you eat, it's how you eat. I think God wants to bring wholeness into our lives through the foods we consume and the manner in which we consume them. The dinner table has the power to be spiritually formative in our lives. We develop practices that can set the tone and pace of our lives. From recalling about your day, to sharing your dreams, to feeling safe enough to share a struggle, to praying, to listening to your kids' hearts, and all the way to mending broken fences of relationships.
Some of the most enriching times of my life where at a table. I dare to say that they continue to be around a table. I have shared my struggles and celebrated exciting new things to come. I share communion at church every Sunday around a table with hundreds of Christ followers. I've built close friendships and had girl outings that bring bonds you don't get anywhere else, at a table. From MOPS to discipleship group, lunch with a friend, to dinner with my husband and girls. God invites us to the table. Why don't we start practicing it more? Let's invite the Spirit, enrich relationships, foster good conversation, and chew slower to create unity and wholeness in all aspects of our lives.