Monday, October 29, 2012

Sit, Eat, & Talk [Part 1]

I have loved every portion and stage of parenting. My two M&M's (Morgan & Madison) are teens now, and I STILL love it! Being engaged is the key. And though I have a strong urge to blog about how to enjoy parenting, I'll stay on task. [Muttered repetitively: I WILL stay on task. I WILL stay on task.]

When M&M were 3 years old, and four, and five, and six... Okay. Every month of their existence as children, it seemed, they would be asked, "What do we do in a restaurant?" And they would reply with the answer I had taught them which was, "Sit, eat, and talk." At the park they would take a bite or two of food, dash off to a slide and come back for another bite, before running to explore more of the park's wonders. At home we were accustomed to eating for a few minutes, and then the kids would end up on the floor coloring, come back up to the table for a bite or two, then run to bring a toy back to the table. While this description brings me back to wanting to talk about parenting, "I WILL stay on task!"

Of course when we would go to a restaurant the kids assumed we had the same routine of taking a bite, playing on the floor, and racing around the table, but this behavior brought angry stares from fellow diners who had come out to enjoy a peaceful, adult environment. So, we started reminding them of the proper behavior at the table, most particularly at a restaurant, and eventually at all tables. All you are supposed to do at meal time is sit, eat, and talk. Even now, you and I as adults need to make sure this is our meal time habit.

Sitting should most definitely be our posture for eating most, if not all, of our meals. We should not eat lying down in a bed, or shove food in our mouths while behind the wheel of a car. A light stroll is easier on your digestion system, but it still limits its full potential. And the couch cannot be considered the proper "sitting" position for a meal either. We'll bring that up again later.

Our body is a learning machine and the brain of the entire operation is... well, the brain! Research has shown that people who are blind and cannot see their food are less likely to be obese. People who do not possess a sense of smell also tend to have leaner bodies. And just as our sense of smell and sight tells our brain whether or not our tongue is going to enjoy the taste of a food, so our brain tells our digestive system how much acids and enzymes to produce based on the position of your body. If your body is lying down, your brain gets all bossy with your hydrochloric acid and pepcide. They start trying to do their job and Brain asks, "What are you doing?" When Hydro and Pep try to explain that Saliva said food was forthcoming, your brain gets on the PA system and sends out the announcement, "This human is trying to sleep! Am I the only brain around here?! Can't you see he's lying down?! DUH! All you acids and gastric juices need to go to bed as well!" (The brain is quite sarcastic.)

With that, your food goes undigested, and your body gets "heartburn" because your entire digestive system is confused by your behavior. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a huge problem that is directly related to not only not consuming good fuels for your body to break down, but also to not relaxing in a seated position while eating.

Please continue to Part 2 of this 2 part series.

Le Muser; Denée Richardson

~Thanks to Lisa Velie for editing.

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