The Basics: Eat real food! Always favor organic over conventional, especially animal products like dairy and meat. Cook at home as much as possible. Avoid GMO’s and processed foods. Support your local farmers. Try to eat food as ripe as possible.
“Whatever can be digested is food, whatever enhances digestion is medicine” -Ayurvedic saying
Here is a link to Dr. Lad’s complete food guidelines chart listed by body type/dosha. Each doshic type has lists of foods to favor and those to avoid. It can be important to remember that this doesn’t need to be a heavy thing! Even getting it right 50% of the time will go a long way to enhancing health -and when in doubt, just keep in mind the basic flavors and qualities that are balancing (or aggravating) to your particular constitution. If, on the other hand you are actually experiencing a more serious condition or dosha aggravation, it is better to try to stick more strictly to the guidelines.
Joyful Belly! Here is a link to a great Ayurvedic site that has lots of recipes listed by body type/dosha, seasons, tastes and qualities.
Food Combining is an important concept in Ayurveda. Of most concern are improper food combinations that can reduce digestive fire/function, increase indigestion, gas and bloating and create undigested toxic food sludge called “ama” in Ayurveda. Here is the link to Dr. Lad’s incompatible food combinations chart. You may notice that some of your favorite food combos may be listed here! Yes, it’s true that many of the things we like to eat together are actually considered incompatible! Try avoiding the combination(s) and see if you notice any improvements in your digestive function. If you do only one thing -avoid eating fresh fruit -especially melon- with your meals!
Why Eat Only Three Meals a Day?
According to ancient Ayurvedic theory, it is optimal to take at least 4 hours between each meal. This allows the body to digest food (especially moving it through the stomach and upper intestines) before we give it more material to deal with. In this way, we are less likely to produce “ama” -the Sanskrit term for undigested food sludge that results from improper digestion and is the cause of many diseases.
During the “fasting” time between meals, after the body has used the quick energy (short-chain carbohydrates) obtained in the most recent meal, the body will dip into its fat stores to produce energy. This allows us to become efficient metabolizers of body fat, which provides a longer-lasting type of energy. An added benefit is that this fat metabolism also allows us to burn through and eliminate natural and non-natural chemicals that might be stored in our fat, thus reducing our toxic load on a daily basis.
Disclaimer: these suggestions are not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Consult your healthcare practitioner and use at your own risk. They are intended for use by Vivian Linden’s clients who have been assessed in her practice.