RULE: Slow Down

No really. Sloooooooooow Down.

Do you find yourself eating while doing something else, like cleaning or while working?

A lot of times I’m eating while typing, which really isn’t that efficient (or hygienic).  I would probably consume less and more infrequently if I had to stop what I was doing and be seated and focused while eating. Novel concept. Plus my typing wouldn’t be so crumby (ba-dump- tshh).

Secondly, I find while gathering with friends socially, I eat quickly and with gusto; and usually eat off of my table mates’ plates. Sounds harmless enough, right? But it’s generally pretty early in the meal, like as the server is handing out plates, and per my “request”, armed with an already approaching fork. And it is frequent enough that my husband and close friends make a left arm wall, protecting their orders from my plate envy.

If I would just slow down, take small bites, maybe even finish chewing the wad in my mouth before loading the next bite, then I could truly appreciate my meal–instead of mine plus everyone else’s.  If I could relax in to it  and slowly savor each forkful, I’m certain I’d have a lower calorie burden (and more people would want to sit next to me).

Something else I should do, but don’t, is sip water or green tea in between each bite as a conscious move to slow down.  Because you have to come up for air when drinking, unlike eating.

An anthroposophic (look it up) doctor once told me I eat like “The Dog People”. At the time I had never met “The Dog People”, but was pretty sure I didn’t want to eat like them or with them, for that matter, not being a ‘dog person’ myself and all.

(I googled “The Dog People” just now and there were several links directing me to a Facebook page for “The D.O.G People” AKA the Dog Obsessed Group. Not surprisingly, I am not FB friends with any “Dog People”, or anyone that has a more than three profile pictures of their dog, for that matter. And I’m still not sure what Dr. Eisen meant by “The Dog People”….It is probably a very cool, fictional, prehistoric group of ravenous, wolf-like bipeds that he likened me to.


I remember once, playing in the woods, as a young girl with my dog, a wonderful German Shepard named Rascal. We were very close, until some wicked woman hit Rascal with her car when I was in the 4th grade. Prior to that devastating event, we spent hours roaming the 60 acres of woods and farmland on which I was raised. One day, while exploring said acreage, far from home, out of dire necessity, I defecated in the woods.  Not before I had pulled up my underoos, I saw something horrifying. Rascal was chomping down my fecal matter. Voraciously. Without pause.

She licked her chops and looked at me as if to say, “Now where to? The barn? The creek? I’ll race you!” not because I’m a German Shepard who is significantly faster than you are, but because I’ve just, thanks to you, noshed on a delicious snack and now, full-filled, I’m ready to tackle the rest of the woods.

I’m not sure how much time lapsed before I let Rascal lick my face again, as she had done so often (until that witch mangled her with her automobile). But lick me she did.

Perhaps that’s why I’m, now, not a dog-person. Because my little 4th grade heart was broken, by some wench, who was licensed to kill. (It could also have something to do with being mauled, years later, by a neighbor’s bull mastiff, but who knows?)  I’d gladly let that shit-soiled tongue bath me again to un-do that childhood hurt.

So maybe that’s what that sage, bearded old man meant, when he likened me to The Dog People. Someone who would eat their master’s poo, without compunction.

Frankly, now that I’ve just examined the comparison, I’m offended.  However, I have to admit, Rascal gulfing down my hot steamy creation is not dissimilar to me engulfing anything delicious in my path.  Weird.

I digress, where was I?

Oh yes, slow the heck down.  Eat consciously. Aware of what you’re gently placing in the moist dark cavern above your chin. Chew slowly, and completely. Ruminate on the savory selection you have chosen for your palate. Make each bite count. Food is Delicious.

Oh and slow down while driving too, maybe you’ll avoid decimating some little girl’s dog…. or worse.

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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