What is the proper or best way to eat? How big of a bite should we take, how many times do we chew, how do you breathe while you're chewing/eating, when do you swallow (that's what she said--sorry for the immaturity), should you drink liquids before/during/after a meal, should you eat raw foods before cooked foods, etc.
i recommend starting with foods that start with vowels. this includes your oils, avocados, artichokes, oysters, eggs, and of course, oregano. you should cut each food into cubes of 1cm per side. using a food-grade tape measure, take the length, width, and height of your grass-fed steak. notice that "grass-fed steak" doesn't start with a-e-i-o-u or even -y-. but, that's ok. you are going to build a steak tower. for instance, if you have a steak that is 7cm3, then you cut it into exactly 7 equal pieces and pile them on top of each other piece by piece. use a small dish for this. it is important to stack your food as this prevents oxidation by reducing the surface area that is exposed to surrounding air. you can sprinkle supplements on the steak, oil of oregano as this prevents the need for tower making by preventing oxidation (which is sometimes worrisome to onlookers when in public, or in a work environment).
after eating, digestion rituals call for standing on your head as many believe that blood rushing to the head prevents postprandial insulin resistance. sip water every 3 bites to ensure even cortisol levels throughout the meal.
this protocol has been sited extensively in the online version of human epigenetics weekly.
I'm working on just eating mindfully. For various reasons, as soon as I left home I let myself eat in front of the TV, the computer, or while reading a book, driving a car. I still do sometimes.
But a practice of mindfulness around food has grown sort of naturally from a few years of eating Paleo, as if it wasn't enough to make all these hopefully science-based intellectual decisions around my food choices, but that it's also important to me to focus on the eating experience itself. When I can manage it, I find I eat more slowly, I appreciate my food more, I'm more aware of when I'm really and truly done eating and I stop when I'm no longer hungry. It helps me not only pay attention to portion sizes and matters of appetite, but I've also developed an awareness of some immediate effects of food on my energy levels and that elusive sense of how foods make me feel. Some effects of food we all feel an hour, a day, sometimes a week later, depending on how catastrophic our choices or how "deranged" our metabolism might be. But there's a more immediate (though sometimes subtle) reaction to foods that I easily miss when I eat thoughtlessly.
That said, it's not an obsessive practice. I just don't eat very much any more and like to enjoy what I do eat, when I eat it.
Take a bite sized bite, chew until you can swallow, breath when you need to breath, swallow when you can fit the food down your throat without choking, drink something if you're thirsty, eat whatever's on your plate and STOP THINKING SO HARD ABOUT THIS STUFF.
But for reals, it's just food, you're gonna drive yourself crazy thinking about stuff like that.
What triggered your question?
It would help to know who "she" is, but in general it's always good to take a bite you can easily handle in your mouth, chew thoroughly and swallow. Drink only to moisten your mouth; it's felt that drinking a lot with your meal can dilute your stomach acid and delay/impede digestion.
Not sure what you're really looking for--more details would help.
Chew your food thoroughly, but I wouldn't advise you to count the number of times you chew it, who could enjoy eating that way? The more you chew the more it's broken down due to the secretion of amylase in the saliva and the easier it is to digest. Don't drink much water with meals since it dilutes the hydrochloric acid you need to digest proteins which you'll be doing a lot of if you're on the paleo diet. Find a relaxed environment and setting while you eat and don't do anything stressful since stress raises cortisol levels, which impairs digestion since it sends blood to your brain and muscles and away from your digestive system. You'll notice people complaining of indigestion when they're eating under stress. Don't eat the way most Americans do, drinking soda or juice with meals, talking nonstop, not chewing, or eating on the run. We'd be a lot better off imitating traditional cultures who eat together but take time to eat peacefully and really enjoy their food. Some people think you should give no thought to eating, while others think you should get it down to a science. The truth, however, often lies somewhere in the middle of two extremes, as it does in this case.
It's not a crazy question, rather, it's genius to think different, and question things that we think we all know, when we've rarely stopped to ask why.
The short answer is the obvious one: take your time, chew your food well, relax after eating.
The long answer is if you chew thoroughly, you'll more easily digest your food. If you're stressed and rushing after you finish your meal, you'll release cortisol which turns off digestion in your gut (or at least make it less of a priority) as your body gets ready to run away from the tigers it thinks caused the stress response, so it puts all its energy into escape. This is why eating on the run is a bad idea.
If you're not starving and are rushed, or need to concentrate on a problem, project, etc. you're better of skipping a meal and eating later when you've got the time to relax. Maybe get some calories from coconut oil in some coffee/hot chocolate instead until you can sit down for a meal.
If you're rushed, you won't chew thoroughly which will make your stomach's job that much harder, and you'll tend to eat a lot more than you normally would. But since it's not broken down properly, it will be much more difficult to digest. Add in the stress response, and you've got a recipe for "Sits in my stomach like a brick for hours."
There's a Robb Wolf podcast episode where he's quoting someone with "It's a mouth, not a vacuum cleaner." -- And that's what HE said (drum roll) :-D
The idea of what to eat first is probably propagated, or at least hijacked by the vegan myth that meat rots in our guts for weeks at time, while veggies are quickly digested. Like "Meatless Mondays" this is an idea best reserved for the trash can. I say we counter it with "Meat Only Mondays."
Unlike meat, which is easily digested by the stomach, vegetable fibers can only be broken down by gut bacteria, and thus cause flatulence. Hence, we traded raw vegetarianism, large stomachs, large jaws, and small brains for cooking, hunting animals, smaller jaws, and larger brains. Since we do have smaller jaws than say, gorillas, we need to chew longer - at least the carbs.
Googling for "why eat protein first" returns a few raw food diet links saying you shouldn't eat them together, or eat protein first, but with no studies or references to back them up. These say protein requires acid to break down, while carbs require amylase, which works better in a more alkaline environment (hence, even more of a reason to chew well so saliva has a chance to kick start digestion of carbs).
The rest of the stuff Google throws is from workout forums and seems to be the same info rehashed in "I hear that" format, the same way that you might find "I hear the difference between like and love, is spit v. swallow." :-D
Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all week. Please remember to tip the wait-staff, and have a great night!
All for the mindful eating but also try eating with your non-dominant hand: http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2011/09/want-to-eat-less-try-using-your-non.html