Before I began my yoga practice, I never thought about the importance of my internal organs or a digestive system that works optimally. I learned that the system of yoga, along with it’s sister science Ayurveda [this word translates to “life knowledge”] offer very practical ways to bring balance to your system through prescribed physical practices and seasonal food guidelines.
In honor of National Nutrition Month and with Spring on the way, I’d like to bring you not another fad diet, but top advice from what is thought by many scholars to be the oldest healing system extant on our planet (and if you don’t believe me…go see what Dr. Oz has to say about it!)
To Cleanse or Not To Cleanse?
Since Spring is in the process of Springing…are you hearing the words “cleanse” and “detox” a little more than usual? Does that make you want to run and hide? As a person who suffered through a will-remain-nameless-cayenne pepper-maple syrup-lemon cleanse in many a seasons past, I want to run too!
If you like to actually eat food, try incorporating some of these foods into your diet for Spring, as they’ll aid the body in elimination, clearing mucus, and detoxifying your tissues and organs: green leafy vegetables, spinach, fresh ginger, pears, pomegranate, rye, buckwheat, quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, red lentils, chickpeas, radishes, and if you eat meat, choose: organic chicken, wild turkey, and rabbit.
Need recipe ideas? One of my favorite websites is Joyfulbelly.com…you can learn more about Ayurveda as well as look up recipes by main ingredients…so grab some turnips and spinach and get cookin’!
Healthy Lasting Habits
Create routine around your meals…try to eat around the same time each day. The body likes routine and functions better when we can maintain discipline around that. I’ve known people to lose those few pesky extra pounds by simply regulating their meal times!
Are you on board? Here’s what Ayurveda recommends:
- Eat a light breakfast sometime between 7-8a
- Lunch should be your biggest meal of the day because your digestive fire burns the brightest then (meaning you can digest things much more efficiently & completely) and you should take lunch between 11-2p
- Dinner should be on the lighter side and eaten between 6-8p.
Spice Things Up!
Cook with digestion-stimulating spices. Spices like dried ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander pepper, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper enhance digestion, help flush toxins out of the body and help improve absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
Take Your Time
Remember to check with your doctor about introducing new foods into your diet if you have any special medical condition that needs extra care. Also remember to have fun and make small changes one-step at a time! Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you don’t have to revamp your entire life that quickly either. Remember that lasting change happens slowly, so pick a few things that intrigue you and SPRING INTO ACTION!
Meg Townsend, E-RYT 500