The basic Ayurvedic nutrition guidelines below have a lot to do with how we eat, not just what we eat.
If you are unfamiliar, Ayurveda sees nutrition in a very different, refreshing way!
Based on the 'one size does not fit all' principle in Ayurveda, nutrition is not generalized, it is personalized. So while it might feel confusing, "Just tell me what to eat!" food is totally not totally black and white. And honestly, who wants to eat black and white food anyway?! ;)
Food should be full of rainbow colors, varied tastes, made from high quality foods, and most of all it is to be enjoyed!
So while there are foods that are "better" for you based on your dosha, don't let that confuse or frustrate you, especially if you are new to this perspective on nutrition.
Just try eating according to the guidelines below first and see if the process of eating is more fun. See if your mind around food is more relaxed. And see if you feel a little bit more free from the "rules" of eating.
Life is one big experiment (test-fail-test-fail-test-it worked-test more-this one works best for me!) and food is too. Just bring awareness (judgement free!) to your food and you'll have a much better time because, our emotions and thoughts are tied to how we digest.
If we are worried or freaking out about what we are eating, those emotions get digested as a "warning!" signal to the body. Then the body responds by not digesting it properly.
Food is a big topic, but it can also be so simple and so freeing, if we let it. We often over think it. We were BORN knowing how to eat. Then somewhere along the way we just got a little lost.
Let's go back to simplicity. Check out the guidelines below and choose 1-2 you will practice this week.
1) Eat according to your dosha. Not all foods are good for all constitutions.
2) Follow the daily routine: light breakfast, big lunch, light dinner
3) Eat what's in season. Seasonal vegtables and fruits are best, because it’s natural for them at this time of year...therefore it’s natural for us too. Macrocosm & microcosm.
4) Avoid stale foods and processed foods. If you eat foods that are close to the source, you will take in more prana (life!). Lifeless foods equals lifeless nutrition.
5) Avoid ice water. It can constrict channels and weaken agni.
6) Fill the stomach only 3/4 full. 1/2 with food, 1/4 with liquid and leave 1/4 for space so the food can mix and digest. Overeating causes so many diseases because the body cannot digest all the food we put in there!
7) Don't eat unless you have real hunger. If you are not hungry when it's mealtime, then skip it. Your body is telling you that it is not done processing the last meal. In Ayurveda it's OK to skip meals when you are not hungry.
8) Stay present, put your mind in the food. Focus on your meal and be mindful about eating. How often do you munch without realizing it? Putting your mind in your eating habits will help you realize real hunger and real fullness.
9) Don't multitask and eat. How can your mind be in your food if you are doing 18 other things? ;)
10) Eat happy and bless your food. Gratitude is the quickest way to a healthy mind. Be thankful for the food you are eating and give it a quick, sincere blessing of thanks.
Then! Put them into action. Choose 1-2 you will practice this week. Post what you'll work on in the comments below and I'll cheer you on!