Chewing is in some ways the most important of the seven steps to strengthening health. However, it is important to enjoy chewing and not to feel “This is labor. I have to do this to get well.” If you feel satisfied by your food and if you really enjoy it, naturally you will want to chew more. If you are satisfied, you will put yourself in the best position to chew well. If you are starved when you sit down to eat and you are not satisfied or you don’t really enjoy the food, then it is hard to chew well. If you do these other things, practice the other steps, you will feel more satisfied, your taste will have more sensitivity, and you will enjoy the food more. Then it is easy to chew, sometimes you may forget and then you remind yourself, gently. It all works together.
It is the same thing for people who have the habit of eating before sleep. This is a very difficult habit to break. Very strong, active people like to eat before sleep and at night they relax and want to eat more. You can tell yourself “I am not going to eat tonight,” and you might not on some nights, but it always creeps back again.
Appetite always wins. Food is our strongest desire. This is the movement of nature. It is like a tidal wave. You can’t go against it.
That means, if your food during the day is not satisfying, that is the problem. Eating before sleep is not the problem. What you eat during the day is the problem. If you make your meals more satisfying, then naturally you can change that habit. In this way, practicing the habits of Strengthening Health macrobiotics leads naturally to health.