Jeannette BessingerJeannette Bessinger, Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor and owner of Balance for Life LLC, is a co-author of the upcoming book Whole Life Nutrition A Simple Approach to Nourishing America's Busy Families, and the meal and recipe designer for the Dr. Jonny Bowden’s The Healthiest Meals on Earth 50 Recipes and Why You Should Eat These Foods (release: spring of ’08). A motivational speaker and health/nutrition educator, Jeannette regularly gives talks and classes to businesses, corporations, non–profits, wellness centers, hospitals, colleges and faith–based organizations with an interest in wellness and disease prevention. Jeannette has provided services in health education and prevention for individuals and groups in a wide variety of venues for fifteen years. Her professional specialty is the development and facilitation of unique, effective lifestyle change programs targeting complex health and wellness issues such as obesity, chronic stress, family balance and disease prevention. Creator of the Whole Life Nutrition™ approach to health improvement, she currently runs these successful lifestyle change programs in both hospital and holistic settings. Jeannette acts as a lifestyle health consultant to several public and private groups and coalitions working to improve the health of schools and cities. She was a lead investigator and strategist on a citywide assessment and intervention plan for obesity funded by the RI Department of Health. She also designed and facilitated an obesity prevention program for Head Start with a grant from the American Association of Pediatrics. A graduate among the first class of women at Columbia College, Columbia University, Jeannette has pursued an extensive, multi–modal education in teaching, health and wellness. As a very busy wife and mother of two children, she understands first hand how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle as a working parent. With a personal history of autoimmune disease and diabetes, she knows how vital it is to put your health first on your priority list. Much of the depth and practical nature of Jeannette's material arises directly from her own efforts to meet the challenges of balancing health, family and a lively career.
Host: Why is chewing food thoroughly so important?
Jeannette Bessinger: The more you chew, the less you eat because you are literally giving your body time to recognize the fact that it is eating. We eat so much of our food on the run. In the car, when we are watching television and we don t give a very important phase of digestion called as cephalic phase, digestive response time to kick in. In order for that to work, we have to notice our food, see our food, smell it and taste it. If we do that and we chew very thoroughly, we are sending our body the signal that we have actually eaten something and we will absorb it better because the food has been broken up. The particles have been broken up more finely and it will satisfy your hunger to a much deeper degree.
The digestion of carbohydrates happens primarily in the mouth. In this country, we tend to eat our food whole almost like snakes. We break it up just enough so that we can get it down our throat, but it isn t properly chewed. When you eat carbohydrates, the materials that are in your saliva help you to break them down actually in your mouth and especially the top cellulose fibers of plants and things like that will not be broken up anywhere but by your teeth. So, you need to crush that food with your teeth, mix it with your saliva and it will begin to turn into your body fuel which is glucose, which is a form of sugar, right in your mouth and if you want to try this for yourself take a bite of cracker or bite of rice, chew it very thoroughly and you will find that it becomes sweeter before you even swallow it.