A few weeks in and I’m really laying out my panoply of Ayurvedic instruments already.
Healthy digestion is the foundation of healthy bodily tissues. From proper food assimilation and the elimination of toxic impurities the layers of our body are built one on top of the other – plasma, red blood cells, muscles, fat tissues, bones and cartilage, marrow, nerve tissue, connective tissue, reproductive tissues.
Not only that but on a more basic level supporting healthy digestion means freeing tons of energy otherwise mobilised in over-work.
So this week I want to focus on your digestion again and offer a few simple suggestions for looking after it day-in day-out. How you eat is nearly as important as what you eat.
1) Eat in a calm & quiet setting. This might surprise you but experts in my field reckon this is one of the most important principles for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Make sure to create a harmonious environment around your meals. Turn the TV off. Try and make an attractive table even. Put your attention fully on eating and the flavours of your meal to support your digestive system and extract the intelligence from the food. If your awareness is distracted your power of digestion weakens.
2) Take your meals at regular set times every day, your system will get used to the routine and digestion will automatically improve.
3) Always sit down to eat and try and sit upright even if snacking. You will digest more thoroughly, firstly because it helps relax your digestive track and again as a result of your awareness being fully engaged. Focus on the taste, sight and aromas of the meal.
4) Don’t eat when you’re anxious, upset or disturbed in any way. Just pause and resume eating when you are calmer and fully present with it. Eating when you’re emotionally upset can trigger IBS and related symptoms. If under stress try closing your eyes for a brief moment and noticing where uncomfortable physical sensations might sit in your body. Fully experience the sensation and it should pass. When you open your eyes you might notice your emotions have lifted too.
5) Don’t overeat or you won’t leave enough space for your stomach to function properly. Eat to three-fourth of your capacity or in other words only until you get to a point of comfortable satisfaction. This leaves space for digestive enzymes to function effectively and for the food to be fully metabolised.
6) Avoid ice-cold foods and drinks which quite literally freeze the digestive fire and are a known culprit in the accumulation of ama, toxic residue clogging the system instead of being eliminated through the digestive process.
7) Don’t talk while chewing your food, you’ll avoid swallowing too much air and diluting your attention.
8) Eat at a moderate pace, eating too fast makes good digestion difficult. Take time to chew thoroughly.
9) Don’t stack your meals, that is don’t eat anything until you have fully digested your last meal. It’s the principle of adding cold water to a dish cooking at boiling point. The cold water will slow down the cooking process. Only eating when you’re hungry is a good sign that digestion is complete. Fruits are the best snacks inbetween meals, being light and easily digested.
10) Sit quietly for a few minutes after your meal to allow digestion to begin and avoid a nervous stomach.
Changing habits is a big deal and you don’t want to feel so overwhelmed that you don’t follow through so may be start with the suggestions that seem the easiest for you. You may think these take some excitement out of your life but you’ll reap huge benefits for your digestion and energy levels if you try them out.
As always I’d be delighted to hear how you get on.
I realise I’ve been lashing out tons of resources and other blogs, professionals, inspiring peeps for you to look at and probably spilling out but I can’t help share this delightful post from Dillon at Oh Holy Basil about chocolate pie and Diwali, total bliss right there. Dillon has put into words exactly my thoughts about The Festival Of Lights and Oh Boy, that chocolate pie recipe!!!