I think that so much of what has been created around food plans and diets are simply just band aids to a problem that is much deeper.
Some time ago it began with fats getting a bad rap. Then carbs of any kind were considered enemies. Next dairy and gluten issues have arisen for many. As a result, a quintessential confusion has occurred, not only for our minds but for our bodies.
Returning to some practical and grounded principles is ALWAYS a good thing.
With the wide range of clients that I see on a regular basis; from yogis to corporate women, moms raising children, from people who don’t cook to people who love to cook- the question of “what to eat?” continues to be a central theme.
Ayurveda’s understanding of our physiology, the six tastes, five senses and the four seasons offers a balanced approach to supporting our bodily functions, optimizing their energetic duties. Strong “agni”, or digestive fire, is a central principle in Ayurvedic philosophy .
Knowing one’s constitution, or mind/body type determined at birth, can be a true guide to who you are and what to do, while offering simple guidelines to pay attention to as you move through various stages of life, and the seasons.
This in itself is a “food combining” kind of path.
I find that this is the reason such a variety of people are seeking Ayurveda. Even if they don’t necessarily know what Ayurveda is, their body is telling them that a natural, SIMPLE and earth based approach is in need.
Anyway, who has time to spend hours cooking? Simplicity of food choices make it a whole lot easier and happier for the stomach.
Strengthening “agni” is at the core of Ayurvedic healing, as well as mindful eating with simple food.
Here are some tips to pay attention to make your stomach happy again.
Naturopathic knowledge of food combining offers this:
Eat fruit alone
Eat proteins and vegetables as opposed to protein and carbs
Eat a carb meal such as pasta by itself with veggies
Ayurvedic Eating Tips
Agreed, eat fruit alone, particularly melons as they are heavy to digest. Uh -oh cantaloupe and cottage cheese! Yogurt with fruit? Another stomach ache. Having cooked fruit in the morning like stewed apples is a great way to get the fiber needed to sweep the intestines and start the day moving. I like to put them in a crock pot overnight with a little ghee and cardamom, a few raisins and wake up to the smell of cooked apples. Eaten in the morning after a few glasses of room temperature water will definitely do the trick. For Kapha types fruit in the morning may be just enough breakfast.
Milk and bananas are a good example of “avoid” in Ayurveda.
Protein such as eggs are best eaten with vegetables, not beans, bread or potatoes. The enzymes needed to digest alkaline food and acid foods are totally different. They get confused, but do get used to what you give it. Sorry “Waffle House”.
Combining different types of proteins at one meal like shrimp and bacon is too heavy for digestion.
Eat the largest meal at lunch when “agni” is fired up and there are many daylight hours to digest the foods is optimal for digestion.
Have some fresh or pickled ginger before a meal to ignite those digestive juices.
Eat foods close to their natural state. When we were raising our children I would often say, “If it doesn’t grow, don’t eat it”. Our pantry was kind of sad in comparison to other homes, but our children’s friends marveled at the colorful fruit that was always on the center island for them, running to our house for some real food and then sitting down for a meal together. This was considered novel, but a simple Ayurvedic teaching.
Utilize the proper herbs and spices for your dosha and season to spice up life. Eating healthy does not have to be a just a kale smoothie. It’s about beauty, color, taste, smell, mindfulness and joy.
I hope these tips offer you a “way home” to feeling more satisfied after a meal, happier, lighter and energetic.