My body loves the Ayurvedic way of eating. Over the years I’ve come to understand the more more “in tune” I am with my tummy the calmer and more settled I feel. It’s true. Certain foods (like ghee) really relax my belly. Eating mainly warm food works wonders and sipping warm water is so much better for my digestion.
Sure I’ve ventured off, over the years, exploring other ways of eating such as raw food and vegan but nothing seems to work as well for me as the Ayurvedic approach. My body thrives on warm, light food with a good dash of ghee.
I encourage you to start “tuning in” to how your tummy feels after eating and drinking. Notice how it reacts to “that drink” or “that dish”. Notice how your body feels when you skip a meal or eat on the go.
For me skipping a meal is probably one of the worst things I could do. My body quickly becomes agitated and restless. My nerves are frayed. I’ve left my body.
So, for years now I’ve let my tummy tell me the right and wrong foods to eat – and its so closely linked to the Ayurvedic way its not funny.
This is where I stop writing and hand you over to the fabulous Ayurvedic expert on all things digestive, Nadia Marshall from Byron Bay, Australia.
Top 10 Ayurvedic Digestion Tips:
by Nadia Marshal Ayurvedic consultant, Ayurvedic cook, yoga teacher and writer, Byron Bay
Western medicine recognizes many of the top chronic diseases of our time being dietary-related. Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India, takes things a little further. It teaches that ALL diseases are dietary related; that ALL diseases actually begin in the digestive tract due to an imbalanced digestive fire.
So, gaining weight isn’t necessarily a big deal in Ayurveda but indigestion is. What we eat, when we eat and how we eat… matters. A lot. But what matters more is starting to notice how we feel after we eat and responding to that.
1: Drink hot water and avoid cold drinks – cold drinks and cold food (like ice cream) put out your Agni while hot water fuels it …. so sip boiled water or herbal teas throughout the day and you’ll feel like a different person! If its hot, room temperature water is fine.
2: Always eat fresh fruit on its own – we get this one really wrong in the West! Fruit is digested really easily. If you eat it with other foods, it stays in the stomach too long and is over-digested …… it ferments and turns into Ama! So always eat fruit on its own as a snack between meals.
3: Scrape your tongue – get a metal tongue scraper (preferably copper) and gently scrape the coating off your tongue each morning. This is your Ama. If you don’t remove it, it will be reabsorbed.
4: Have a ginger, honey and lemon tea every morning – add 1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger + 1 tsp honey with a squeeze of lemon to hot water and drink in the morning before your breaky. This mix is specially designed to strengthen Agni and remove Ama!
5: Eat a lighter meal for dinner and a bigger meal at lunch – our Agni is strongest in the middle of the day, when the sun is highest in the sky so eat more at lunch and a smaller, lighter meal in the evenings.
6: If you’re not hungry, don’t eat – If you’ve had a massive, heavy meal that you haven’t finished digesting by the time you’re supposed to eat your next meal, don’t eat ….. or have something really light instead. Give your Agni time to do its job!
7: Don’t overdo the raw food – raw food diets are all the rage but they are not great for your Agni. So, enjoy raw food in moderation but don’t overdo it. Cooked food is much, much easier to digest and supports long-term balanced Agni.
8: Don’t overdo the exercise – a gentle 20-30min walk in nature everyday for the rest of your life will be far better for your Agni than on-again-off-again bootcamps! Extreme, erratic approaches to exercise will affect your Agni, your nervous system and your mind… so do something you enjoy, at a pace you can sustain!
9: Don’t be afraid of oil – using a moderate quantity of good quality, stable oils in your cooking is great for your Agni… it is fuel for your internal flame! Organic, cold-pressed oils like sunflower and sesame oil are good… and ghee is fantastic because it specifically balances Agni. Olive oil is great too but don’t over-heat it.
10: Eat real food – take baby steps towards eating more real food… by ‘real’, I mean food that your great grandmother would recognize as food. This will involve learning how to cook a few dishes from scratch, using whole foods like rice, moong daal, spices etc. Sounds scary but it really isn’t if you have a good cookbook.
A little more info on the awesome Nadia:
Nadia Marshall is an Ayurvedic Consultant and Cook and Professional Writer. She is Co-Managing Director of the Mudita Institute & Health Clinic in Byron Bay and publishes their monthly online magazine, “Lifefood”.
Nadia has written and self-publishes an Ayurvedic Food & Lifestyle Course, “AGNI: Building a Strong Digestive Fire”, has co-authored two cookbooks. She also writes a blog and publishes regular videos on the Ayurvedic approach to diet and nutrition at www.agniblog.com.
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