In this culture we can eat anything, anytime! A watermelon in December, almonds in May. We can eat too often: five meals a day when we are bored. We can eat too much: milk shake, fries, two burgers plus dessert. We can eat an impossibly large number of items and ingredients (up to 50) at a single sitting, i.e. salad bar, processed foods.
Ayurveda can help us make healthy choices within all this abundance.
1) Eat only when hungry, not by the clock or when bored; listen to your true hunger.
2) Bless your food by devoting your entire attention to the gift that it is. Do not watch TV, read, etc. Just “Be” with your food, chewing each bite into liquid before swallowing (20-30 times). This attention will ensure that you digest efficiently. Chewing is the first stage of digestion and most people rush through eating. Undigested food causes toxins and water weight buildup.
3) Eat foods in season. Notice what is being harvested locally (not New Zealand produce, etc.). Nature has a plan. Nature’s cycles of abundance/scarcity creates a varying rounded diet. Greens (Spring), vegetables (Summer), fruits (Fall), and starches and proteins (Winter). This changing cycle takes the human metabolism through cleansing and building periods. The carburator in your car engine changes the air flow and the richness-poorness of the gas mixture to suit different running conditions of your automobile. Nature has the perfect fuel for each season. Pay attention and emphasize local fresh foods in season.
4) Eat your largest meal at noon when your metabolism is the strongest; eat until you are full. Make your breakfasts small (grain or fruit) and skip dinner entirely (or keep it light with salad or vegetables). Your metabolism slows down at night. An old saying goes, “Eat like a peasant for breakfast, a Prince for lunch, and a pauper for dinner”.
5) Drink when thirsty. Drinking four quarts of water just because some “expert” recommended it can cause excess flushing of minerals or strain on the kidneys. For Arizona in the summer, four quarts might be appropriate. For Seattle in the rainy winter, two cups may be sufficient. Listen to your thirst.
Avoid cold food and drinks as they slow digestion and lower metabolism. Avoid alcohol with the exception of digestive wine; old red wine into which ginger, coriander, thyme, lemongrass, lemon peel, pepper, cumin, clove, cinnamon, rosemary, etc. have been infused for one month. Sold by Ayurvedic distributors or health food stores as Draksha.
Ayurveda is common sense. These choices make sense. By listening to your body, honoring your food, joining with natures seasonal cycles, and eating with your metabolic cycle, your body will begin to find it’s optimum weight.