06 Feb Sunday barbeque gone bad
This weekend I had an unpleasant experience that I think is worth sharing with others because it has to do with our emotions and food. We were having a lovely time with friends who invited us (my husband and me) for a barbecue in their home. Everything was set for us to have a great afternoon: salads, veggies, good quality meats, deserts (one of them made by my husband in the barbeque) and of course wine and beer. We were all enjoying ourselves, listening to music and getting ready for the feast we were about to have. I was really looking forward to this lunch and so was my husband. We got served and we started salivating just by looking at the delicious food that was cooked for us. It smelled and looked so good! Plus, considering I changed my diet and I don’t eat as much animal protein as I used to, I was determined to fully enjoy the experience.
We started eating and enjoying our meals and 5 minutes later I look at my husband and he was very quiet. I knew something was wrong. He stopped eating and excused himself to the restroom. He had a piece of meat stuck in his throat. He could still get some air so he was not actually choking. In fact, the food was in his chest, he tried to push it down with some water but it didn’t work. Of course, we all panicked. He then proceeded to put his finger down his throat but nothing came out. I knew he was in total discomfort but because this has happened in the past, I was thinking to myself “he will get it out soon, I will not panic because he will get it out soon, and if I freak out, he will also freak out”. Unfortunately, a couple of hours later we were at the local hospital and he still had the piece of yummy beef in his chest. We were tired, he was stressed, unhappy and anxious and I couldn’t believe our Sunday afternoon had turned into a hospital visit. He did some abdominal breathing exercises to help relax his muscles but clearly he was going to need x-rays, an endoscopy, medication and a small procedure to push the meat down. Fortunately, as the doctor was about to start with the procedure, the meat went down his stomach and the problem was finally solved. 4 hours at the hospital and a medical bill that was everything but reasonable.
Clearly this situation can happen to anyone, anywhere (Lunch sitting in front of your computer, at a business lunch, watching TV). Unfortunately, it has happened to him more than once, which means it is worth looking at the reasons why these happens so much; the one and most obvious is that my lovely husband doesn’t chew enough. He is so hungry that he doesnt take the time to chew properly. I am convinced that many people have experience this feeling of anxiety towards food. When you wait too long for your next meal and finally it is in front of you, its common to feel you want to eat it right away. We forget that our digestion starts in the mouth. Every bite is necessary to facilitate the journey of the food to our gut. After all, the first part of the digestion process starts in the mouth.
Different studies around this topic show that most people do not chew more than 10 bites per mouthful. According to the ancient Ayurvedic principles, we should be chewing at least 25 or more to really help the process of digestion. Chewing not only will aid the absorption of nutrients, it will also help you eat less, reduce binge eating and control your weight. Also, it is part of what it’s called Mindful Eating, a concept related to mindfulness around your emotions and feelings and physical sensations. We get distracted with media, work meetings, conversations and our own minds (constant chatting). Its time we pay more attention to our patterns to avoid this unfortunate situations in the future.
The act of nourishing your body is an act of kindness from yourself to yourself. It should never be rushed, it should be appreciated it to the fullest. Ideally you want to smell the aroma of your food, feel the tastes in your mouth, pay attention to the details and enjoy the act of eating with good company. Since this issue has happened a few times in the past, it is likely that he also suffers from “Steakhouse Syndrome” considering it only happens with meat. We are yet to get more tests to determine if this is a real issue but in the meantime, nothing works better than eating slowly and calmly. If you find yourself too hungry and feel anxious (and angry) because you havent eaten anything, make sure you carry healthy treats with you: fruit, nuts, seeds, protein bars, to get your tank a bit full before the next big meal comes.
If you want to learn more about Steakhouse Syndrome check this link. And if you want to learn tips about mindful eating, subscribe to my site, I am constantly sharing information about this topic and I am sure I can inspire you to make some healthy changes.
In my corporate days, I remember having lunch in a rush many times just to make sure I was on time for my meetings. Of course, I felt awful afterwards, bloated, lethargic, and kind of moody. I didn’t appreciate the food, it was simply fuel, nothing else. My approach has changed a lot in the last few years for the better and I am always happy to coach and inspire other busy professionals and entrepreneurs to develop mindful eating habits.
If you think you are ready to create changes, do not forget to subscribe to my site and share your experiences whenever you are ready. I will be happy to help.