Written by John Immel,
Routine meal times are essential for health. The mind loves freedom but the body loves stability. Digestion is demanding on resources. The body schedules blood to make sure enough is available for digestion. Eating off schedule not only causes indigestion, but also confuses the body's biorhythms. Vata may eat smaller meals more often. Kapha can eat fewer meals and skip breakfast altogether.
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Breakfast is the spiritual meal. Lunch is the joyful meal. Dinner is the gentle mealGenerally, eat breakfast at 8am, lunch at noon, and dinner at 5pm. Try to eat within an hour of these times. If you miss a meal, or have to eat off schedule, eat light, easy to digest foods so that you will be hungry on time for the next meal. Here are some tips for healthy snacking.
The morning is the best time for prayer and spiritual practice. An austere meal complements developing spiritual awareness. Vata people should include simple proteins such as 10 almonds with their breakfast. Eat the biggest meal of the day at lunchtime when agni is strongest. Finally, by 3pm our organs are as tired as we feel after a long day's work. Dinner should include gentle foods only. Kapha should never eat heavy foods after sunset. Generally, eat early enough to ensure food will completely digest before sleep. Baby the digestive tract after 8pm. Overnight, undigested food becomes stagnant blood provoking Kapha and mucous.
Late Night MealsAs the night wanes, dinner should be simpler and simpler according to the following:
Do Not Eat Until at Least Two Hours After a MealThe stomach processes food for approximately two hours while slowly releasing it into the duodenum. Wait until the stomach is empty before eating or snacking. Avoid water after meals. Sipping water slowly is okay.
Preparing the Stomach and Taste BudsBitter, pungent, salty and sour tastes help kick start digestion. Bitter neem or dandelion stimualtes peristalsis. While Europe stimulates digestion with alcoholic aperitifs, Ayurveda recommends lime for sour taste. A ginger, lime, salt appetizer refreshes the taste buds, stimulates saliva, and brings blood flow to the digestive tract.
Do I have to spend all day in the kitchen?Are you too busy to cook? We find that eating out, fast food, and even making a sandwich takes more time than cooking soups. Here's a way to cook soups that's fast and easy.
When I wake up in the morning I cook all three meals at the same time. First, I start a soup. Next, I start a pot of rice. Next, I cook my oatmeal or fry an egg for breakfast. The rest of my day is kitchen free. This method of cooking is fast, easy, and healthy.
The Fundamentals of a Good Routine