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Key Ideas

* Learn how to swallow in the healthiest possible way to feel full from less food and for other health reasons.

* Learn how to use the Zen Eating Sipper as a 5 second warm-up to a meal so that you will swallow less food each swallow during the meal.  Do use your tongue and throat.  Don’t use your jaw or cheeks during the dual motion.  Tip: open your lips so you can’t suck with your cheeks at all. It’s a good idea to practice drinking a half cup of water using the Zen Eating Sipper until you get used to the motions.

* Be more mindful of your mouth during a meal. Take a couple sips of water using the Zen Eating Sipper if you notice you are eating in an undesired way such as eating too fast, too much or not eating in a relaxed manner.

* Before a meal, anticipate the great feeling of being in control of how much you eat and the relaxation you get with Zen Eating so that you will not slip back into poor eating habits.


Key Ideas

* Notice how the red tongue stays as completely up against the entire palate as possible.

* Notice that the object isn’t to drink a lot, it’s to exercise the correct swallow muscles and to relax the incorrect swallow muscles.

* Notice that the tongue still stays up when you let the bulb open in order to suck water through it.  The tongue holds up the bulb against the roof of the mouth the entire time whether the tongue is pushing it flat or keeping it in position for sipping water.


Key Ideas

* Notice how the tongue always goes back to pushing up towards the palate.

* Note a baby uses 3 of the 5 soft palate muscles to create the suction to extract and swallow the milk. These soft palate muscles and the tongue are also all the exact oral muscles needed to keep the airway fully open during sleep. Zen Eating activates the exact same oral muscles for better eating and better health.

* Look how incredibly active the tongue and soft palate muscles in their mouths are!  We all know that baby’s get a lot of relaxation and satisfaction from relatively small amounts of food. Notice when your mouth is very active how you feel when you eat.


How do I know if I am using the Zen Eating Sipper right?

If you use it to drink half a cup of water, you should feel your tongue wanting to shoot up all along the roof of your mouth after you use it.  That’s a great sign you are using it right.  If your tongue doesn’t want to shoot up along the roof of your mouth, make sure you are pressing up against the bulb with your tongue ONLY and not using your jaw to help.

It’s OK if it takes a little time to get used to feeling what it’s like to you use your tongue vs. your jaw, etc.

Another sign is that your throat (specifically your soft palate) feels a bit worked out after doing it for 20 seconds.  If your throat doesn’t feel tired, you are probably sucking from your cheeks or sucking using the sides of your throat.  To stop sucking from cheeks, try leaving your lips open to feel the difference.

When you’re lips are open, you cannot suck from your cheeks. To suck from the middle of your throat and not the sides, focus on sucking along the middle of your tongue going straight back to your throat.  A way to practice this is suck your tongue all the along the roof of your mouth.

How do I know if I am swallowing better?

The easiest test is that eating should become one of the most relaxing parts of your day.

It should feel a lot like using the Zen Eating Sipper with the key difference that your teeth are touching together when you swallow. If you are swallowing less at once, that is a great sign.

If you taste the food more, that is a good sign you are pressing your tongue more against the food and/or eating slower.

When should I work on chewing more?

We recommend working on chewing more after at least a few days if not weeks after using the Zen Eating Sipper and applying the Zen Eating techniques to eating.

Remember that even mash potatoes require chewing 5-10 times because chewing is needed for salivation, not just breaking down food into small pieces.