Bear with me I am wordy, but please take the time to read how to get your metabolism in gear for the summer. In previous blogs, you have probably read that I have struggled with digestive problems my entire life. At an early age, I thought that feeling bloated and full all the time, and then starving the other half of the time was the norm, or at least it was in my family. The entire Pearman side of my family calls it the Pearman belly. My dad had these issues, my grandma did, and so I just assumed that feeling like crap after eating was the norm.
Anyone who knows me well will tell you that my whole life I’ve been able to eat whatever I want. I am known to finish off my plate, my husband’s plate, and my kid’s dinner plates once I am done with my own dinner. It used to be my claim to fame – that I thought I had this kick ass metabolism. How wrong I was to think that my metabolism was on fire!
In Ayurveda, the Vata constitution has a lot of movement in their digestion. They go from having zero appetite, and then the next minute they could eat a 5 course meal. Vatas are the Ectomorphs of the population with skinny lanky frames. The Pittas are the Mesomorph’s with a medium body build, and the Kapha’s are the Endomorphs with the stockier frame. Actually, it is the Pitta’s with the medium build that are blessed with the digestive fire. I fall into the Vata category.
So what is Ama, it is the toxic gunk (mostly undigested food) that is plugging up the channels of your body. Agni is the digestive fire that burns away the ama, the polar opposite of ama. That coating on your tongue when you wake up in the morning is the ama that is plugging up the channels of your body. What you see on your tongue is a window into what is clogging you up inside. Even if you eat a stellar diet, we are all exposed to ama in a modern society through pesticides, pharmaceuticals in our water supply, skincare products, or in essence unmetabolized waste! In Ayurveda, ama is the root cause of all disease. It has a massive impact on how we age. If our agni isn’t balanced and strong, then ama accumulates and agni takes a dive.
So what are some of the other symptoms of ama in our body from an Ayurvedic perspective? Prime examples would be bad breath, fatigue, headaches, constipation, acne, foul body odor, congestion, lymph congestion, water bloating, water retention, joint and muscle pain, etc.
Avoid ice in your beverages
Here are some of the tips that I have to start to digest and reduce ama that I practice in my own body. The first one, which wasn’t terribly hard for me is to avoid drinking cold beverages. In Ayurveda, you want to drink warm liquids like tea to keep the digestive fire alive. Putting ice cubes in your water is a sure way to put out the digestive flame.
Eat until you’re 75% full
The one that has changed my digestion the most lately is eating until I am ¾ full. I have a secret that will change how you digest food. When you eat, you will notice two bubbles of air come up at different times during your meal. The second bubble of air means that you are ¾ full. I never noticed this until I started studying Ayurveda. Once I started tuning into my meals, I notice this phenomenon every meal, and I never even knew I was doing it. It isn’t a bulch, and it isn’t anything that anyone else will notice, but it is just a real subtle action happening within your body.
Reduce alcohol consumption
The third tip I have is to reduce alcohol consumption. I grew up around French food and wine, and admiring the French way of eating and drinking. For a long time, I thought that there wasn’t anything wrong with having a glass of wine at dinner. However, after doing my first elimination diet, I noticed that the joint and muscle, neck and back pain went away after eliminating alcohol from my diet. In the United States, it has become so commonplace and acceptable to have a drink with your dinner meal. However, I have learned that while we are told one glass of red wine is good for us, it still dehydrates the body and causes inflammation because it isn’t alkaline.
Eat your biggest meal at lunch when the digestive fire is at it’s prime!
My fourth tip that is changing my digestion, bloating and constipation is eating my biggest meal at lunch. When we go to bed at night, our body is cleansing itself. The liver, or the night janitor, needs to have the time to do its job, and if we are full and have had alcohol then we are putting extra work on the night janitor to clean house. Again, changing from eating my biggest meal from dinner to lunch has been hard because that is the time when my family comes together to share in our day, but I am decreasing our portion sizes or not making as many side dishes.
Hydrate in the morning
And finally, drinking water until you eliminate in the morning, preferably warm tea and or water with lemon or lemon oil. I cannot tell you how much more rejuvenated I am starting my day fully hydrated. While I haven’t quit my caffeine addiction, I am making sure that I push fluids in the morning because as my day gets going, it is harder and harder for me to remember to take the time to drink and hydrate.
Get your digestive fire roaring in the morning hours
Okay, I have one more tip that is my latest, while I have been waking up and doing yoga stretches for some time now, I am now waking up to do some cardio work in the last week. Again, I am trying to start my day with my digestive fire ramping up, so that I can metabolize my food the rest of the day. This isn’t easy with the kiddos, so my goal is to start waking up at 5:30 am when my hubby gets up to get my juices flowing both mentally and physically. I’ll let you know how it goes as I am not a morning person!!!
If you are interested in accelerating your digestive fire, Thrive Yoga Health and Wellness will be starting a 10 week book club and Thrive program to get you started on your own Body Thrive. Message us for details, and or we will be posting them on our Facebook and webpage soon.
Breathe, Eat, Flow, Grow, Thrive.