Ayurveda is a science that focuses on balancing the body’s life energies (vata, pitta, and kapha) rather than focusing on individual symptoms. Because of this, Ayurveda helps your body to arrive at its natural weight. It makes you feel calm, relaxed, and most of all, balanced. Ayurveda is also a very green way to eat because it works on the basis of seasonal eating.
1. The Timing of Your Meals Is Crucial
The biggest meal is always in the middle of the day. This is because the liver digests your food in the middle of the night and if you eat and drink tons of food at night then it will be overloaded. If you wake up groggy in the morning, it could be because your liver was unable to effectively digest all of your intake. You should ideally eat your last meal of the day before the sun goes down. This will obviously vary depending on the season, but it’s a goal to shoot for. The meals should be in the Slow Food style of eating without too many distractions. When you don’t eat as much at night, you’ll be shocked by how much your body just drops weight.
2. Eat with the Seasons
Ayurveda doesn’t say that you necessarily have to be a vegetarian, but meat-intake should be limited. In the winter, the body loves to use fats for energy so this is the heaviest eating part of the year and one of the few times where foods like meat and dairy are consumed. You can certainly enjoy them during the holiday season but limit your consumption to mostly when it’s cold outside. In the spring, it’s time to say goodbye to the heaviness of winter with a detox. This doesn’t mean a dramatic master cleanse but rather a simple diet free of alcohol, caffeine, dairy, meat, and sugar. Summer is naturally a very cleansing time with a mostly vegetarian diet. And fall is a mix, which includes heavier root vegetables. You can also fast in the fall if you like.
3. Only Consume What’s Available
The Science of Ayurveda is thousands of years old, which means that there wasn’t a global food market at that time. And even more important than that, the body naturally craves what it needs seasonally. You should eat mostly the fruits and vegetables that are available locally. There are a few exceptions including foods like rice, lentils, and mung beans which are staples of the Ayurvedic Diet that you may not be able to find locally. In that case just buy the organic variety.
4. Vices in Moderation
You don’t have to give up fatty foods and alcohol completely; in moderation they aren’t horrible for you. Alcohol is actually good for you in small servings. Ayurvedic practitioners say about 3 tbsp is a good serving (one small glass of wine will do just fine). But alcohol should be used as an aperitif best drank before meals. Going beyond a glass is when it becomes a problem. For those that tend to indulge in too much alcohol at the end of the night, it’s likely because your senses were too heightened throughout the day. If you are constantly moving and stressing, your body will likely compensate with heavy meals or alcohol to slow you down. Instead of eating fatty foods and drinking too much, indulge your other senses. Light candles, read a good book, meditate, or put on comfortable clothing. Most importantly work to keep yourself calm throughout the day so that you don’t need to decompress at night.
5. Go to Bed Early and Rise Early
A regular sleeping schedule is key. And it should be in conjunction with nature. Try and go to bed by 10 pm and awaken early in the morning by around 5 or 6. I know this seems early but it gives you a chance to get up without rushing, meditate, do some yoga, take a shower, and make breakfast. It’s the healthiest way to get the day started and the more time you allot yourself the calmer you can stay throughout the day.