Monthly Archives: April 2013

From Marc David- The Psychobiology of Chewing

Several months ago when I read Marc David’s book about  his “Slow Down Diet” I started to eat my food more slowly and with more awareness. I have remained more conscious of my pacing and  chewing even when I have little time to eat.
That being said, I was amazed when I read this article.
The information about every aspect of chewing seems so comprehensive and compelling to me that I know it has already positively impacted my whole approach to eating.
I will be  dining much more often than reverting to my old habit of simply eating food most of the time.
Hopefully you too will find this article to be fascinating.
Enjoy and Mange!!!!
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The Psychobiology of Chewing

Posted on April 10, 2013 – 6 Comments

The Psychobiology of ChewingThere’s more to chewing than you might think. It’s arguably the first digestive activity that we bring to a meal, and unlike the chemical processes that occur in our gut, chewing falls under our conscious control. Except of course, when we go a bit unconscious and inhale our food. But chewing is more than a digestive aid. It also has a potent psychological function that helps keep body, mind and emotions in balance. Consider the following:

Have you ever wondered why crunchy foods are so popular, why advertisers promote products on the basis of crunchiness – “super crunchy,” “extra crunchy,” “stays crunchy even in milk”? Have you noticed that whenever you eat your favorite brand of potato chips, pretzels, or crackers, they each have a similar degree of crunchiness? What advertisers understand and capitalize on is that crunching and chewing are primal activities, inborn urges dating back to the first life-forms that ever “crunched” on each other.

So important is the level of crunch that many years ago, potato-chip manufacturers developed a sophisticated apparatus to measure the perceived level of crunch that consumers hear in their heads. The most pleasurable decibel levels were deciphered, and potato chips were subsequently manufactured to these standard orgasmic crunch levels.

From a psychophysiologic perspective, chewing and crunching are natural outlets for inborn aggression.

Throw a piece of meat into a lion’s cage and the lion will likely roar at it, attack it and tear it apart as if it were still alive. The lion must do this because its nature is to be aggressive. But aggression here isn’t meant as some mean, vengeful act. A lion doesn’t attack a jackrabbit because of hate. Quite the contrary, the lion attacks because it loves the jackrabbit.

Like the lion, human beings have a distinct measure of innate aggression, and developmental psychologists often see this energy as first experienced through the infant’s desire to bite. Psychologists call the original oral-aggressive act the “hanging-on bite” to the breast. This is a biting that establishes confluence with the mother. The baby must actively hold on for nourishment and will often keep holding on even when mama has had enough. The tension it experiences when separated from the mother before it’s fully satisfied is typically expressed through crying, screaming and facial contortions.

In the many body-oriented disciplines and psychologies, the jaw is associated with anger and aggression. When these emotions are habitually withheld and left unexpressed, they may become “frozen” on the face as a perpetually clenched jaw or tightened musculature resembling a scowl. Just as a dog clenches its teeth when angered or challenged, so too do human beings channel aggression through the face. From an evolutionary perspective, the process of biting and chewing allows for the release of what psychologists call dental aggressive urges.

Many people habitually fail to chew, swallowing their food almost whole.

They tend to derive pleasure not so much from the taste and texture of the food as from the velocity at which it’s eaten. In such instances we deny an important, natural outlet for tension and fail to experience full satisfaction from a meal. In an effort to free the unreleased tension, we may continue to eat past the point of satiation, turn to other oral based habits like gum chewing, or simply internalize the tension, allowing it to build over time and eventually express itself in chronic emotional or biological symptoms. For many people, TMJ is the result of unexpressed anger that’s looking for an outlet.

On another level, by swallowing food whole, we make a statement about the way we approach the world. We want our hungers in life satisfied but aren’t fully willing to take the necessary steps. This need for immediate gratification is reflected in our refusal to chew. Ironically, a side effect of the short-cut method of not chewing is more hunger. Chewing and tasting are basic to hunger satisfaction. When we limit these simple gustatory requirements, the brain screams for more food. Taste, texture, and satisfaction are literal nutritional requirements.

In one fascinating experiment, scientists deprived a group of test rats the sensation of taste. This group of “tasteless” rats, along with a control group, were placed on a normal rat diet. Both groups ate the same amount of food, and in a short time the taste-deprived rats all died. When the rats were autopsied, researchers could only find one cause of death – clinical rat malnutrition. The scientists could come up with only one explanation – that there are important yet unknown physiological connections between taste and health. Similarly, hospital patients fed intravenously or through feeding tubes that bypass the mouth often report a nagging hunger for taste, and can experience digestive, immune and other health issues. Though the mechanisms that govern these phenomena are little understood, this much is certain: to be fully nourished by food, we must experience it through tasting and chewing

In a comparable manner, to be fully nourished by any experience, we must “taste” and “chew” it thoroughly.

It’s no accident that many of the words we use to describe eating are the same ones used to describe the thinking process. When presented with an idea, the mind will first grasp it and “chew” on it. Our conscious mind breaks it down into its component parts, “tastes” it, then “swallows” it into the subconscious for final “assimilation”. When we accept something without “ruminating” over it or when we swallow something “hook, line and sinker,” or when “biting off more than we can chew,” what we say in our metaphoric language is that just as food works with digestion, so too do perceptions work with the mind. Improper chewing of food or ideas are equally disturbing to our system.

The mouth deserves our nutritional respect. It’s the first step in the digestive process. Here the chemical digestion of starches is initiated with amylase, an enzyme that breaks down the complex carbohydrate molecules in a well-salivated mouth. The mechanical digestion of food is also initiated in the mouth with the process of chewing. The surface area increases as the food is broken down into smaller and smaller pieces. When the food reaches the stomach, the number of molecules exposed to the stomach’s acid and enzymatic environment is maximized.

If we swallow something whole, such as a piece of meat, an abnormal series of events occurs. First the stomach must churn the meat with its own muscular movements to help break it down into smaller pieces, a function it’s not ideally designed to do. Next, we go through the lengthy chemical process of breaking down large pieces of food. Because we started with one large bite, only the surface of the meat remains exposed to the stomach’s digestive juices. To digest the meat further, the stomach may secrete more acid than normal. This irritates the stomach lining, which is the reason many eaters experience acid indigestion. The condition is exacerbated if the food is high in protein. The greater the protein content of the food, the higher the level of stomach acidity required to digest it.

Chewing is a “pacesetter”. Whatever speed and number of times we chew sets in motion a rhythm that our entire body adopts. By chewing rapidly and insufficiently, we initiate an unsettled frame of mind that is reflected in the body as uncomfortable sensations in the digestive system. Chewing at a moderate to slow rate promotes a relaxed, grounded demeanor and for many, a noticeable stronger metabolism

Full chewing need not be a discipline, but can occur spontaneously simply by eating with relaxed awareness, and settling in to an attitude of nourishment with our meals. Rather than concentrate on chewing food, eat your food, savor it, delight in it, and let chewing be a natural part of the eating process.

Can you see how chewing is more than just a digestive activity? Do you have your own personal story of how chewing food is a metaphor for how we munch on life?

Warmest regards,

Marc David

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Lee Harris’s April 2013 Energy Forecast

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It’s hard to believe that March has flown by and we are already in April!
There are three short items that spoke most clearly to me in Lee Harris”s April Energy Forecast.
Briefly stated, the first is his description of waking up some days feeling like the “walking dead” where it just seems so difficult to mobilize and sustain energy. I have really noticed that after several days of considerable activity I seem to hit a wall where I trudge through what needs to be done. Those days immediately after I make my bed I wish I could go right back into the coziness again.
The second thing is that I also  have noticed in the past week or two considerable energy moving from my feet upward into my root chakra and upwards. This feels somewhat new to me and different from  my past experiences of kundalini energy rising from my root chakra.
Lastly, although the varying experiences I have been having are more like a kalidiscope than a series of moving from one mosaic tile to another,  I simply do not feel the old tugs of getting sucked in to the dramas and energy of non-coherence around me.
In the midst of the grunge I feel grounded and secure. What joy!
I hope that you enjoy the forecast.
Happy April Everyone!
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*April 1st Update (written 3 days after recording the main April Message)***

The emergence of light is stronger than ever, and in this month’s energy forecast I mention how the Earth herself is activating now, pulsing energy waves upwards which we are feeling strongly in our bodies, emotions and actions. These waves are activating our personal internal Earths – root/base chakra and hearts. These chakras are pulsing, cleansing out all that is unwanted or old, and drawing in higher energies for you all of the time.
So the release side of this experience will be broad, but will have a focus for many on
–  anger, unresolved relationship energies, feeling unaligned with your life as a human being, a sense that change needs to happen internally and/or externally.  Then post-release, the activation and intake side will be heartfelt creation/action, feeling truly alive in your heart and senses, and an experience of softness, connection and peace that you had not known before.
So April is an opportunity to be patient with yourself (and the symptoms you may be experiencing) as it all moves through you, for April will power a lot of movement.
If you find yourself in mental resistance or fight (hearing thoughts such as “I don’t want/like this”), this is a mental contraction and unless worked with, it stops the release movement, and traps you in a circle of ‘dislike’. To work with thoughts like these in your head, simply counteract or talk back to those words with a sentence such as “I accept”. Two powerful words that allow the release to flow again, so that balance can sooner restore in you and your body. Saying them aloud will be beneficial to break the thought cycle.

Without exception, we are ALL moving down this evolutionary energy tunnel so rapidly that the analytical mind can’t keep up or assess what is occurring. This is often why it leans to negative, because it is confused as to how to move forward. The JOY in this is to realize that if you don’t yet feel as free of your mind chatter as you want to be, these times are forcing you to surrender the reins of control back to your body and your senses. Meditative acts (meditation, yoga or your own personal way of calming mind and body), body balance through food and exercise and enhancing the positive energies in your life (people you choose to be with, places you visit, inspiration and heartfelt teachings and events) will all support this process.
If in mental doubt, remember; “I accept”. 
“I accept”. 
“I accept”.  If in a good space and riding the waves, words such as: “I live, I love, I create” will keep your surf supported! 🙂 Lee
Main Message: (Transcribed from video message recorded on March 29th)
Hello and welcome to the April 2013 Energy Forecast.
It’s a funny ‘forecast’ day for me today. I woke up feeling like ‘the walking dead’ and was not dissimilar yesterday. And yet because I’m having a week with my family tomorrow, (which is wonderful) I needed to record this today in order that it come out in time.
So I’m sure this will sound familiar to many of you. Both feeling like ‘the walking dead’ on certain days and just having to keep trucking through regardless of what impetus or energy you feel you do or don’t have.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all a fan of pushing yourself through suffering. I don’t think we need to do that. But I wanted to record the forecast today, so I came to an environment that would be supportive to both my own feelings, and in understanding my role as a conduit for some people, I brought us here so that we could all have the water energy and sound and also the shelter of the trees. (In Video Version Lee is standing by a creek, and you can hear running water throughout the video)
The phrase that came to mind for me many times in March when I wondered about the experiences we were having was “Energy Mosaic” – the idea that as human beings and souls we have been in an energy mosaic.
When you look at a mosaic, it is made of many individual tiles and together they make one whole picture. But each individual tile has its own color and its own detail.
The mosaic reference came up for me when I noticed within my own self (and in lots of the people around me and who I was working with) that the common phrase was, “Has anyone else noticed that the energy has been really weird lately?” When I hear that, I do get that on one level it’s a true statement. But having lived through the last few years of that kind of truth being reality, it’s always a little harder for me to go with the “lately” part of that sentence.
But, there has been a difference in recent weeks. In that this energy mosaic has had an effect of meaning in one moment we are very deeply in one tile, one color, one shade from our past, present, future. And then in the next moment we just shunt, often in an abrupt way, into another tile of our lives.
I referred in the March Energy Forecast to the speed that we are now going through. Meaning that we’re going through so many things in one day now, compared to years ago, and that it won’t make sense to our minds that have lived a certain way and speed for many, many years.
Our minds tend to reference the past, and they track the present based on how differently it feels to what went on before. Our minds don’t tend to be able to dimensionally grasp the future until we’re in the future (a.k.a the present!).
So, this mosaic feeling that some of you will have had will have meant that there has been a sense of disconnection within your day. And yet actually, at other times, you feel like you’re just breezing and flowing through a lot of it, whether it’s good, whether it’s bad. The disconnection is the newness of it all – new connections are being made within you.
Some of you will have had the experience that I personally have had. Which has been having many wonderful things occurring, inside me, outside me, very closely followed by a friend or a stranger at my shoulder in crisis or in need, and that the day just becomes a dance through all of those things.
So you go through the tiles. Tile 1 is perhaps a strange experience, Tile 2 may be a difficult experience, Tile 3 a good experience. But your own sense of center through all of it can be (and for most of you will be) stronger than ever before. You aren’t now being pushed or sucked into each of these things. You have a core of yourself that you are now maintaining, which is also why what’s going on around you can amplify and speed up. Because before, if you’d got very involved in what was going on around you emotionally, you would have left your center and gone into that and worked with that and processed that for those around you and of course, for yourself.
So for many of you it will now be a case of, “Well, things feel a little crazy around me but I definitely feel more peaceful and more centered than before.” This is your evolution.
I’ve also spoken in recent months about the rise of love and heart-felt energy on our planet.  It’s getting stronger and stronger.
Some of the things that we see in the media would try and have us believe otherwise. Don’t get me wrong here, for I do not believe we live in a perfect world nor a world that doesn’t need help in certain areas right now.
But I’m very conscious when I see images in the media, that sometimes it feels like I’m seeing truth and sometimes it feels like I’m being shown something to get me to think a certain way about a certain issue, or distract me from another issue.
And right now issues are everywhere. As the global issues rise for us, as we sign more petitions for things and as we focus on areas that need liberation in the world, so too does this have an effect on us as a personal individual.
So ask yourself, what petitions have you been signing in yourself this month? What are you re-writing about the areas of yourself that feel challenged or oppressed or suppressed by others around you?
The illusion of what we live in on Earth is here for a reason. You can fully buy into it, if you aren’t somebody who just lives in a completely Zen way. There are people on the planet that do that and who have no attachment to anything, ever. They’ve achieved that state and they are holding that energy for the rest of us who are going through a more human ascension dance. They are holding that balance on the planet for the rest of us.
The group that many of you are in and the group I would put myself in, is those of us who are awake and aware and wanting to bring more consciousness to the actions that we take as humans – the actions on our planet.
When our root chakra, our base, is strong and healthy and working – when you are not going through something or feeling pushed by circumstances – then you have a much stronger propensity to act, to create, to do.
One of the things that has changed in the last month or so is that the energy rising from inside the Earth is getting stronger.
So for a long time we’ve looked at solar flares, we’ve looked at energies coming at us from off the planet and how they are shifting the dynamics of everything on the planet. But when I spoke to my guides this morning, they talked about the Earth now heating up from inside and waves of energy coming up through the planet. This affects us all, and it pulses our base.
So, if you are managing to keep yourself in a healthy alive space, it will likely be because you are attending to the things that I talk about each month – body, mind and spirit – body especially, keeping it light, keeping yourself well fed, keeping yourself moving.  The body is often the piece that (unless you are a natural athlete or a natural nutritionist) many in the mind-spirit community can forget. But without it, we can’t use our higher awareness, so higher awareness without body balance tends to leave many feeling disempowered.
If you’re keeping your body clear, the mind and emotions will follow that lead and you will be finding yourself in better times than if you aren’t right now. So many energies are moving through and around the planet that it is a little like losing your balance or being encouraged to lose your balance faster than ever before.
If you have got the inner balance of your body working, then you will be finding that you will be getting a lot accomplished that you would like to get accomplished – whether it’s relationship intimacy growth, whether it’s a doing of some kind. But as to those things that you feel compelled to do and walk towards, it’s the body’s vibrancy that allows it all.  SO;

  • The more you look after your body right now, the more your base energy can be supported. 
  • The more that base energy is supported the better it can alchemize the energies coming from under the ground and through you. 
  • Thus more flow and fluency will be present in both body and life and you will be better able to create with the energies of this world.
Things are getting faster in terms of physical manifestation and creation, which is wonderful.  But, we are ending today’s Energy Forecast where we began which is that when you have those ‘walking dead’ days, it’s really important to slow it down for a while and to recognize that you need the ebb and flow of life, and on certain days planetary energies will be stronger than others.  Also though, to understand the relationship you have on those ‘walking dead’ days to what you have just walked through in your life and where you’re going next.
The energy matrix on our planet is growing stronger and wider and more connected all of the time – empathically, telepathically, emotionally. Though don’t always believe that you are going to be able to successfully work out in your mind what’s going on on one of those ‘walking dead’ days.   Of course, our mind likes to try and give us a way of understanding how we’re feeling.
Sometimes you’ll be recovering from what you’ve just done. You’ll be bringing yourself into the new balance place that you’ve arrived at because of the changes you just walked through in the last one, two, three weeks. But a lot of the time now if you ask yourself on those days what’s going on, you’re going to be feeling what’s coming up ahead.
You may not mentally know what is coming. But if you track this and you measure this scientifically over your coming few weeks, it will be very interesting for you to see how on the days where you feel a little contracted, a little ‘walking dead’, energy outputs of significant size are about to come through you and into your life.
If your first thought about what I just said is a rise in fear within you, recognize you are on ‘fear-alert’ – believing that fear is always the thing you have to look out for first. This comes from the idea that bad might be coming. That’s a belief and a way of feeling about life that you need to work on. Because you can work on it and you can move it. 
It could be past trauma related, it could just be an old pattern – it could be to do with what you’re putting in your body and the chemical imbalance that that is causing for you.
But for most of you when you have these ‘walking dead’ days, be in rest as much as you can and open up to bright futures ahead. Not necessarily in a mental way, e.g. planning an intention (unless you feel to). But just allow those quiet days to rest, look at the trees, look at the sky, know that you’re alive in this moment and so is this Earth and this moment is all you need.
Breathe. Take it all into your body. 
And if your mind needs something to do, ask it to get curious about what’s coming next for you as a creator on this planet, and what you as a creator are going to do to help the shift that we as awake people are now beginning to facilitate.
Take care everybody; I’ll see you all next month.
Much love 
x PS

If you would like to experience daily energy/channeled quotes to inspire or uplift, we have a Facebook page. If you search for my name, Lee Harris, you will find the page there.