You might look at the photo above and think "Mm! Yummy and healthy!" I look at that photo and think "Ugk. Digestion nightmare."
Food provides the basic building blocks for our entire physical and mental bodies. We feel better or worse depending on the quality of foods we've been eating. And because we are no dummies, we know that foods like fresh veggies and fruits are better nourishment for us than a pan of brownies. (I'm not here to take away your fun. In moderation, sweeties are to be enjoyed and savored. But if you eat the whole pan...yeah, that's not good.)
So! Whatever we put in our mouths is either proper nourishment or not. And we usually know the difference between the two.
In Ayurveda, there are certain food combinations that should be avoided. While an occasional brownie won't hurt you, the consistent practice of incompatible foods probably will imbalance your digestion (gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, etc.,) whether instantly or over time.
So many people complain of digestion issues—it's probably the number one complaint from my clients! Below are wrong food combinations, not because I want to be a huge downer, but because I want to give you proper tools to to healthify you!
• Dairy & Fruit. Fruit sours and curdles the milk in our stomachs. (when my daughter was 9 months-old she was consistently spitting up after daycare and I found out they were giving her banana or mango as a snack and then immediately milk. No bueno!)
• Dairy & Fish. No cheese on that Filet O'Fish! (*wink* I know you're not eatin' Filet O'Fishes) Salmon with lemon, salt and pepper, little rice, little veggies is a good choice.
• Dairy & Meat. Too heavy, murky, and way hard on digestion! Have meat with veggies.
• Eggs & Milk.
• Milk should basically be consumed by itself. You could have it as a snack in between meals or in place of a dinner if you're not very hungry. You can have it with non yeasty grains, like cereal. No banana or strawberries on the cereal.
• Fruit and fruit juice should be consumed by itself. Again, think of it as a snack.
• No yogurt unless you turn it into a lassi. Mango lassi (fruit + diary) may be Indian, but it's not Ayurvedic.
If you look at the list, it's not all that complicated and it's already pretty intuitive. I mean, drinking milk with fish just sounds...ew. If you really think about berries and milk or pineapple and milk, those combos seem a little strange too, right?
For us Americans, the biggest challenge will be not to combine fruit and diary because that combo is everywhere! Omg please stop eating yogurt with fruit. In fact, stop eating containers of yogurt. For the love of your gut, stop it! *shaking you* We also might be tempted by "smoothie" concoctions of fruit and milk/yogurt and maybe even of frozen yogurt shops with fruits. Unfortunately these don't go together. I'm sorry. Have caramel sauce instead. :p
But if you remain conscious of that and just remember that fruits are eaten alone, I think you will find it simple.
Challenge for you: Try omitting JUST the fruit & dairy combo for 2 weeks. See if you notice any of these things: less heart burn, less "burp-ups", better poops, sharper mind/focus, less gas or tummy cramps, stronger feeling of hunger.
What do you think? Does this sound impossible living the way we do now? Or, do you think it's pretty doable? Have you noticed any of these combinations irritate your tummy - if so, what are they?
And keep bringing Ayurveda to life!
If you never seem to have enough oomph for the day or are feeling burnt out, these are my tried and true ways to get your energy back!
They are easy, within your own power, and won't cost you anything but a little discipline.
Life is too short to go through our days energy-less. Regain your gusto with these practices.