Huh? Food hygiene? Does that mean to wash my veggies and fruits and be careful when handling raw meats? Well, yes, I suppose it could mean that. But that would be more like food safety in my opinion.
Food hygiene is essentially having and showing love and value for our food. It’s creating practices around preparing, cooking, and eating our food to allow us to have the most positive food experience we can have. Paying attention to our food hygiene leads to better digestion and absorption of the foods we eat, therefore leading to happier bellies and better health. It also helps create more value and understanding around our food choices and helps us appreciate what food does for our bodies. It can also help us to slow down for a moment in our busy and over-scheduled days.
Some examples of good food hygiene practices are:
- Putting your fork down and chewing thoroughly after each bite.
- Not drinking water immediately before, during, or immediately after eating. Wait 20 minutes. Drinking too much liquid while eating can disrupt digestion.
- Preparing a meal with a loved one and enjoying the process.
- Eating without external stimulants like your phone, the TV, or a tablet in front of you.
- Heating up your lunch in a pan on the stove and serving it on a plate instead of microwaving it and eating out of Tupperware.
- Eating your larger meals of the day during times when you are more relaxed and not rushed and saving your snacks for the times you are on the go or working.
I know the list can seem challenging, especially with a busy lifestyle. If you can pick one of these points and try it three times this week you will be making progress. Gradually add in more of these habits as you go. You might also find that you feel better after you’ve eaten. Consistent food hygiene practices can keep us feeling satisfied, develop healthy relationships with our food, and help us to get the most nutrition from the foods we eat.
If you have questions, let me know!