How many of us alter our natural routine to coincide with the daily grind?
When was the last time you felt toxic or rundown?
Some of the most common things I hear:
lack of sleep
weird hunger patterns (not hungry here, starving there)
lack of energy
bloated or constipated or gassy
not sure what to eat or not enough time to eat ..
Many of these symptoms can be side effects of over consumption of food and eating before our previous meal(s) have been digested. As we continue to follow this pattern, the body becomes over burdened and cannot process everything, leaving an accumulation of ama, the leftover waste, undigested food and lingering toxins that, according to Ayurveda, is the root cause of all disease. To learn more about ama, how to identify and remove, check out this blog post here.
Time to give our digestion a break.
Why? This allows time for our body to adjust the pH in the stomach, replenish enzymes and fully give the digestive muscles a break. When we fully empty out our body it naturally cleans itself. And, it is something we may forget, but our digestive lining is made of muscles, and just like the rest of our active muscles, we must give them a chance to fully rest and recover. Think to yourself, are your digestive muscles constantly running a marathon? Imagine how your legs feel after full active day, I bet it feels good to lay down and rest.
Our digestive system must also get time to rest. How hard is your system working over night to digest all the foods you ate during the day? Can you still feel yesterday roaming around inside when you wake up in the morning?
Our body needs time to:
Reset our hormones:
Like insulin for proper energy production.
Cortisol for proper stress management.
Reproductive hormones for fertility and desire.
Fully assimilate the food we consume:
Covert vitamins and minerals.
Actively use the nutrients and send them to the appropriate system in our body.
So what's next then?
Eat less frequently / give appropriate time in between meals. It takes 15 - 30 minutes for food to leave the stomach, then 4-5 hours to move through our system far enough to introduce consuming more. Heavier meals, with more fibre and long chained animal fats take longer, 6-8 hours.
Snack less, eat more. Actually consume food wholeheartedly and with purpose, and then let it digest! This expands our bloodsugar graph, preventing us from bouncing up and down in hunger spikes and dips.
From an evolutionary standpoint, it is important for our body to be able to survive a famine / or period of less, little or no food. This improves our body's ability to produce ketones, burn fat and protect muscle strength with reduced fuel.
How to fast
Everyone is different! I would recommend trying a fast along with some sort of activity. So perhaps get up and first thing in the morning go for a walk or run. I like to have a glass of water, cup of coffee or tea to improve energy, endurance and cognition. With a dinner at 6/7pm and a run or walk in the morning at 8am, that results in an overnight fast of 12-16 hours, which is perfect because digestion may of stopped around 2/3am leaving around 7-8 hours of complete rest for the system, time for it to clean itself out and do some repairs.
Some great results I have found from doing this in my daily routine is clearer skin, clearer mind, improved overall digestion, increased energy, endurance and the ability to go longer without food without any side effects. Definitely worth getting to know and training our body's to a more realistic response with real food, one that is more sustainable long term for us and the environment.