A few years ago, when I worked in corporate America, I worked from 9 to 5 and I had an hour for lunch. Now in the majority of offices, the work schedule is 8:30-5 with a half hour for lunch. And in other jobs, they even have longer work hours with practically no lunch break. So, what’s wrong with this picture? In the name of productivity, does creativity and digestion go out the window? I think so. Don’t get me wrong, I know you are there to work. But I also know you need an adequate break to recharge and properly nourish yourself, for the creativity to flow.
Does this sound familiar? When lunch time comes around...you make a mad dash for the door in search of food. When you get to where you are going to buy it....you're stuck waiting in line..ugh!...you glance at your watch...then you look at the line...you look back at the time again...now you are looking at the cashier with daggers in your eyes, wondering what could be taking so long!...your blood pressure starts rising...you look at the time again...your breathing becomes shallow and you start wondering...is it worth it?...Do I even like this job?...Could I be doing something better with my life?...What’s holding me back from pursuing what really gets my juices flowing? In the middle of fantasizing what your ideal job would be...your number is called...FINALLY! You run back to sit at your desk or the lunch room and scarf down your somewhat passable food. If you are eating at your desk, one hand is shoving food in your mouth, while the other is holding the phone as you listen to your voice mail or answer emails...trying not to spill food on yourself and wondering whether you’ll have enough time to go to the bathroom before the meeting...which is in five minutes! C'mon! Really? You can feel the indigestion setting in and you reach for the Pepto Bismal or Tums. Who schedules meetings right after lunch? And why?!
So, how do I maximize a thirty minute lunch break?...I bring my lunch to work or I have it delivered. Before I start eating, I take a deep breath to center myself and slow everything down...slow down the thoughts racing through my mind...slow down my breathing. I resist the urge to chow everything down in a few bites. Instead, I slowly chew every morsel...savoring every bite. If you eat or better yet...swallow your meal whole, in less than three minutes, not only are you not going to feel satisfied but you'll have indigestion. You are also bypassing part of the digestive process that occurs in your mouth. The enzymes in your saliva break down starches in the food while you are chewing, making it easier for you to digest and assimilate the food more efficiently which is less taxing on your digestive system. You should be chewing your food until it’s liquid before you swallow. How many times do you chew your food before you swallow?
The next time you sit down to eat, notice how you are feeling. Are you stressed out? Are you holding your breathe? Is your breathe shallow? Are you distracted by the TV, the computer or the phone?
What can you do or stop doing, to be fully present while you nourish yourself?
in love and pleasure,
Certified Health Coach