LOOKING AFTER WHAT WE EAT ,WILL IMPACT ON HOW WE FEEL...
Have you ever wondered how your meals and eating habits might affect your daily energy and performance?
Would you like to find out how you could choose your food according to your body type-Prakriti- and Dosha- the functional energies, according to Ayurveda?
Following on from our last blog on Daily ritual, in this blog we will share with you some practical tips to choose the right diet for you and a personalised nutrition plan to suit your body type.
How we can start changing our diet for a healthy body and mind, to maintain good nutrition and energy?...
According to Ayurveda, “our food is our medicine- “Ahar eva Aushadham” and we are what we eat, but also how and when we eat.
The skill to learn is how to understand our body in terms of the personal characteristics- the Dosha- physical and functional attributes.
Ayurveda advises us that our food should be prepared with fresh ingredients, contain six tastes- sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent- which covers all nutritional sources.
Meals should be easily digestible, nutritious and wholesome in order to prevent the formation of Ama or toxins in the body and so can promote repair, healing and energy.
Ayurveda sets some simple rules and rituals to follow around our meals.
Our meal should be the right amount, eaten regularly and at the right time, to correspond to our biorhythms when our digestive juices are high. We should also sit in a peaceful environment that is quiet and pleasant.
So how can we do it?...
Here are our 8 healthy eating Ayurvedic tips to use in your daily routine.
1.Stop everything and Sit in a quiet peaceful place and concentrate on your meal.
2.Eat at the right time and regularly.
3.Eat enough to leave a third of the stomach free so we don’t feel full and uncomfortable.
4.Eat slowly, chew well, and enjoy the food. Take your time.
5.Rest for 15 minutes after meals before returning to work.
6.Walk around after a meal.
7.Do not go to sleep straight after a meal.
8.Eat main substantial meal at Lunch time, a lighter meal in the evening for proper digestion.
Globally, we know that our main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner. This follows the biorhythms of the human body when the digestive processes and juices are active.
Any snacking in between, brunch or supper or late snacks should be carefully chosen according to the personal digestive capacity and body type.
Here are some healthy food tips for different body types (Doshas) based on ayurvedic principles.
Vata Body Type- lean, thin and hyperactive. Will be better with lighter nourishing meals that supply more energy like cornflakes, milk, eggs, cheese, pancakes, bread, fruits. While non vegetarians may eat meat and fish, vegetarians need mixed lentils, nuts, grain, dairy and cheese for nourishment. Use healthy oils like olive oil.
Pitta Body Type- muscular, strong, hot and fiery with a lot of drive. Require substantial meals to satisfy their energy demand. They often eat large meals with lots of protein. Non vegetarians get this from eggs and meat, vegetarians can eat cheese, milk products, lentils, chick peas, mixed nuts, and cereal. Porridge is a good breakfast for Pitta people.
Kapha Body Type- heavy, overweight, slow to start . This body type will prefer lighter meals like porridge, oats, fruits and vegetables, whole fibre grain. Avoid fried foods.
When should we eat and why?
Breakfast: The best time is around 7.00 am to 8 a.m. when our stomach is empty, we feel hungry and the digestive juices (Jatharagni) are being secreted from the stomach and the intestine.
We should eat after having a shower and getting ready. Sitting in a pleasant place. You may wish to chant a prayer or mantra, which will calm the body and mind.
The breakfast should be medium quantity, not light nor heavy, consisting of hot cooked food, cereal, milk, porridge, avoiding fried foods and cold foods.
As the morning has a Kapha predominant Dosha, one may drink Tea, Coffee, herbal teas which are warning like Green Tea, Chai, Basil and lemongrass, Ginger tea, Cinnamon tea or just warm water or fruit juice.
It is also a healthy ritual to drink Turmeric latte in the morning.
Lunch: Around midday, we start feeling hungry again. Lunch should be substantial and well balanced, followed by adequate fluid intake after the meal. This is a high Pitta time – so a good level of cooling soothing complex carbohydrates with the proteins helps to balance the fire.
It is a tradition in India to drink Chhash- yogurt drink with cumin, coriander and rock salt this is a great digestive drink after a meal, according to Ayurvedic principles.
A good digestive tea is also recommended after lunch in order to aid digestion and transit of food through the bowel.
A mid-day drink of herbal tea such as Ginger Chamomile or Mint and Cinnamon is for soothing the pitta and vata, to help relieve the stress factors.
Kapha people benefit from stimulating teas like Green tea, Chai or basil and lemongrass.
Turmeric Latte almond and cashew nuts at 4pm will provide us with great nutrition as we work through the day.
Dinner: We should have a lighter evening meal as this is a Kapha time, winding down time for all systems.
Digestion is slower during the night as we sleep and rest. Lighter meals consisting of rice and lentils, light grain chapatis or pancakes, mild pasta, light cheese, fruit and boiled vegetables are good.
Ayurveda advises Turmeric Latte before bedtime and you can drink turmeric with coconut and cardamom to help with blissful sleep.
How often should we eat?
This depends on individual body type:
Vata people tend to eat little and often.
Pitta people feel hungry often and can digest larger meals well and may need snacks in between.
Kapha people have slower metabolism and may be happy with one meal a day and two lighter ones.
Here is some science regarding the transit times for you to decide how often you should consume your meals:
Total emptying of stomach takes 3-5 hours.
Total emptying of Small Intestine takes 2.5-3 hours
Transit through large bowel (colon) takes 30-40 hours.
Hence, it is important to clear the bowels from time to time with fasting and effective herbs , fruits and fibre or taking Trifala as a maintenance ritual.
Ayurveda says we should not eat until we have emptied our stomach which is between 3-5 hours and do a fast once a week in order to prevent toxic build up.
Researchers tell us that these are estimates of average transit times, and there is a great deal of variability among individuals and within the same person at different times and after different meals.
This is perfectly in line with the ayurvedic recommendation for diet according to the body type and Doshas.
Hence, Ayurveda teaches us to understand our individual capacity of digestion known as Paachan.
It's recipe time! ...
RECIPE: GUJARATI STYLE BROCCOLI
This is a Delicious vegan Tridosha balance dish with all six tastes, suitable for all body types and Doshas.
|ONE LARGE BUNCH|
|TWO TO THREE TABLESPOONFUL|
CAYENNE PEPPER OR CHILL POWDER
|HALF TO ONE TEASPOONFUL|
DRY CORRIANDER AND CUMIN
Wash broccoli, chop into half to one-inch pieces of the florets.
Heat sunflower oil in a wok or saucepan, add mustard, cumin, fenugreek, hing-asafoetida powder.
Throw in broccoli when mustard seeds start to pop.
Stir well, cover for five minutes.
Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder (cayenne) and dhania-jiru (coriander-cumin), stir and mix, cover for five minutes, add gram flour, lemon and sugar.
Stir and mix well, cover for two minutes. Ready to serve.
Goes well with rice and chapati.
Ayurvedic potency- Reduces Pitta and Kapha, mildly increases Vata.
With a little bit of attention to understanding our body type and Doshas, setting up and following a consistent ritual of healthy eating and delicious healthy meals, that don’t have to be boring! You will soon experience a sense of wellbeing, a healthy lightness and alertness in the mind.
We hope you enjoy our delicious and nutritious Ayurvedic recipe!