By Sheree Clark
The digestive system takes at least two to three hours to process a light meal of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables that has been chewed well and eaten without stress. It will take the body much longer to digest a “junky” array of food or a larger more complicated meal. Meals that contain animal products can take up to 24 hours or more to get through the system. Many people eat well into the evening, and that is precisely why some folks have a hard time getting up in the morning. Instead of repairing tissue and resting, the body is working overtime to process the late-evening meal.
Thus delaying breakfast will allow the average person time to get caught up on the previous night’s transgressions. Try this: Pick three days in a row that you stop eating absolutely everything at least four hours before you go to bed. Thus, a 10 p.m. bedtime means no food after 6 p.m. (nonalcoholic beverages are OK). I can just about guarantee you’ll have much better rest and an easier time getting up. (Just resist the temptation to eat at 6 p.m. as though it’s your last meal!) Often, people who say they are not morning people are staying up too late at night. Go to bed at a reasonable hour—with your digestion mostly completed—and you’ll begin to embrace the morning hours.
Most people rush into the day with a “fast break” rather than a “break fast.” Coffee and a donut, processed, chemical-laden cereal, protein shakes made with pasteurized ingredients: These are not fodder for energy, especially for a body that has barely had time to wake up from its last challenge. Additionally, some of us—me included—actually tend to get hungrier during the days that an early breakfast is consumed. (I liken it to the phenomenon of “breaking the seal”—that first trip to the bathroom when you’re drinking a few beers with friends. Once you go, you have to go every half hour!)
Please remember, I didn’t say, “Don’t ever eat breakfast.” I’m also not advocating that children eat the same way as adults. I’m suggesting that most adults delay breakfast as long as possible or skip it entirely if they’re not truly hungry. Whenever breakfast is eaten, it should—like all meals—be eaten in a relaxed and enjoyable manner. (This precludes eating while driving, by the way.)
The above advice holds true for all meals. In fact, I promote these general guideline for eating:
Eat simply. Try to avoid consuming complex and elaborate dishes and meals on a regular basis.
Simply eat. Eat when you are doing nothing else (no driving, writing e-mails, watching TV…). Just eat and enjoy your food without distraction.
If you follow Guideline No. 2, you’ll be able to hear the voice inside say “I’ve had enough.”
Who is really behind us believing that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Worth considering….
To learn more about Sheree Clark and the programs and services she offers, go to www.fork-road.com.