Contemplative Dining

The Rabbit Habit

In matters of physical health and wellness, slow and steady tends to always win the race.  

brown rabbit

The tortoise wins the wellness race, and not the hare.  The practice of eating slowly is one of the simplest to comprehend, and for many of us (myself included) one of the most difficult to master.  Everything in modern culture is driven, fast paced, and hurried.  We must intentionally slow things down and plan to eat slower if we are to accomplish this otherwise simple task of chewing completely and taking our time dining.  Strangely, that impatient rabbit (otherwise used as a symbol of why the race is not to the swift when he lost that famous race to the turtle), is also famously known for nibbling on carrots at leisure.  This rabbit habit of stopping to chew and nibble may be a great example of how we too, can maintain a frenetic pace in life, yet still take a moment to slow down our eating, and properly chew our food.

Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate. ~Horace Fletcher

Horace Fletcher (1849–1919) was the American health food enthusiast and visionary of “slow food” and low protein diets who earned the nickname “The Great Masticator.”  Fletcher earned some prominent clients in his day (including Mark Twain, John D. Rockefeller, and Upton Sinclair), with his teaching that food should be chewed a hundred times times before being swallowed.  We remember this practice and honor him today, by coining the term “Fletcherizing” to describe this process of chewing until food is fully dissolved in the mouth.

Gleaning some modern truth from this hundred year old practice, we know that the thorough chewing of ones’ food will better enable the body to fully assimilate nutrients, and allow the satiety reflex to notify the brain that “fullness” has been reached, so that one can stop eating.  Better absorption of nutrients with less consumption of food could lead to better weight management so this is a practice that might be worth a try.  If you tend to eat quickly like I do, then try pretending you’re chewing gum.  I really don’t know how to provide many meaningful insights into this one because I’ve never managed to successfully do it…but I’m still fond of the idea.

DrDIY is a food-safety professional with an extensive sanitation background within the food & beverage manufacturing industry. He consults on food-safety - from hygienic-design to integrated pest-management through microbiology support, quality improvement audits, total-process management philosophy, CIP optimization, and lean-six-sigma project participation.

Overcoming an extended disability through a complete overhaul of diet and nutrition, DrDIY embraced traditional naturopathy and combined the wisdom of nature with the principles of modern sanitation to help build more sustainable systems within the food industry. He continues to study and practice holistic nutrition, food-safety, detoxification, and self-improvement and this site represents personal experience and opinion - and does not reflect the position of any employer past or present.

His posts have always been a 'stream of consciousness' montage with occasional ventures into Christology and pop culture, just to keep things interesting.

Please take note: Great conversation involves many ingredients - including disagreement or healthy-conflict. I may delete comments that are illegal, offensive or off-topic, obscene, fraudulent or misleading, deceptive or property of others. Respectfully articulated differing perspectives are always welcome.