The longer leftovers sit, the more toxic they become due to fermentation by bacteria. Some of my Vata clients with weak digestion simply cannot digest leftover food without stomach upset.
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Once you cook food, the nutrients in the food degrade very quickly, within a matter of hours. Food that sits in the fridge for several days may have very little nutritional value left in it. Kids know this intuitively - that's why they don't like the taste. They complain when they have to eat leftovers. The taste buds of adults are dull, concealing this effect. Reheating food causes further nutritional degradation.
Eating leftovers is better than binging on ice-cream because there's no food in the house. Eating leftovers is better than fast food too. True, classical Ayurveda recommends against eating leftovers. However, there were no refrigerators in ancient India. So even though fresh food is always best, leftovers aren't so bad either, due to modern refridgeration. Three days is probably the absolute limit on leftover food. Here another good rule of thumb: If you can't remember when you cooked it, it's too old.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
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