When you think of healthy digestion, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Most people would naturally think of their digestive tract or the foods they are eating. But healthy digestion has a lot to do with our universal life force, the sun! In order to maximize your metabolism, also called agni in Ayurveda, it is essential to use our solar tool, which guides our solar plexus or 3rd chakra.
Let’s dig in a bit more how that works and discover the best times and ways to eat to maximize metabolism according to this philosophy. Eating with the sun means that we have our largest meal when the sun is highest in the sky, approximately lunchtime. This is when our digestive fire is at its highest as well. It is easiest to digest warm, cooked foods, so keep that in mind as you are selecting your meals for the day.
We want to stoke the digestive fire with some warm water and squeeze of lime or lemon prior to each meal. A well hydrated digestive tract does a much better job absorbing nutrients than a dry one. Warm water is more hydrating than cold, so skip the ice!
Be sure to eat a small warm meal for breakfast, otherwise your stomach will begin to make the juices to break down your food and without any food, your body will tell the stomach to stop. This means that there is not the proper amount of acid to break your food down if you eat too late or not at all in the morning. This could lead to poor metabolism, acid reflux or other ailments.
Lunch will be your largest meal and the time to eat any difficult to digest foods like meat, cheeses, cold foods, raw vegetables or foods high in fat. The life force or prana of the food matters too, also the way in which we prepare the food. Pick seasonal foods that are freshly prepared. Skip the leftovers, frozen, canned, microwaved or overcooked foods.
As the sun falls lower in the sky, our digestive fire begins to slow down. Choose a smaller meal for dinner that is easy to digest, such as soups, casseroles, porridges or stews. Stop eating by 7pm and be sure to hydrate before you go to bed!
6:30 am - Rise with the sun and start with a glass of warm water with lime to stoke the digestive fire and hydrate!
7:30 am - Eat a warm breakfast like eggs, having any fruit first or away from the meal.
10:00 am - Save your coffee for later in the morning, or have a small snack like a banana.
12:30 pm - Enjoy a glass of warm water with lime. Then eat a substantial lunch with lots of seasonal foods. This will be your largest meal of the day.
3:00 pm - Time for another small snack if you choose or take a hydration break.
6:00 pm - Start with a warm glass of water with lime. Dinner should include a warm, freshly cooked meal. It’s best to eat at a table, away from technology or stress. This is what your body craves at the end of a long day!
8:00 pm - Have another glass of warm water or herbal tea before bedtime.
Chew! Chew! Chew!
And one last tip: Remember to chew! Healthy digestion starts in the mouth. Food is easiest to digest when chewed completely and incorporated with saliva. Try for 20-30 chews with each bite!
Overall, it is important to recognize that we are all different and have different dietary needs. Our food is healthiest for us when we can digest it properly, absorb the nutrients and assimilate it into our bodies. And don’t forget to add in regular exercise and good sleep habits! If you follow these tips, your metabolism will greet you each day like the shining sun!
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Kellie is a Certified Ayurvedic Digestive Health Coach, Yoga Teacher, and an inspired foodie! After battling autoimmune issues, she found wellness through a gluten-free and vegetarian lifestyle. Her goal is to promote healthy living and inspire others to feel good. Thank you Kellie for such a wonderful article!