Balance and Harmony
When people taste a new food for the very first time, they tend to change the method of their eating. They adopt a more experimental form of eating---they "sample" the food more than consume it. This usually happens with just a small piece of the food, and then a rapid but shallow chewing follows. All of these are designed to test a food before a decision is made to go ahead with regular eating. And a special feature of this type of eating is that it is extremely mindful. When you try a new food in this way, all of your senses are engaged. Every detail of the food is important, from the initial taste and texture through the finish.
The small amount of food eaten this way requires chewing a lot more shallow than normal. After all, there's only a little bit of food in the mouth, so normal chewing seems a bit of overkill. This shallow chewing has a number of mindful benefits and becomes a powerful technique for the mindful eater.
When you change your chewing so that it is very shallow (that is, so that teeth move only a little), you maintain contact of the food with your tongue---much more so that with normal chewing. This extended and intense contact, in turn, heightens the sense of taste and brings about even more deep tasting.
Another benefit is that it makes a small bite seem like a much larger bite, because there's not a lot of room for that small bite in your mouth. Your mouth, and you, become tricked into thinking that you're eating more that you really are. The net effect is that shallow chewing helps you to control your portions.
Thus, shallow chewing will have a profound effect on the size of bite that you take, and will make you mindfully aware of the choices you have as you decide how big a bite to select.
Shallow chewing is powerful in that it brings mindfulness to your eating with each motion of your jaw for the duration of the bite. And it empowers you to make choices about the simple act of the arc of your jaw and its maximum angle.
1. Use shallow chewing with virtually any food that require chewing, during any meal or snack.
2. Use the Basic Mindful Bite.
3. Chew with the minimum action of the jaw---just opening the teeth enough to chew the food but no more.
4. Continue your shallow chewing until the food in completely chewed up. Stay keenly aware of maintaining the minimum motion throughout the bite.
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