In Ayurveda efficient digestion is the key to vibrant health. Because humans are wired to the rising and setting of the sun, at different times of the day the belly’s digestive fire (agni) is either strong or weak. In order to fully digest and assimilate the nutrients from the wonderful food you’re eating, aim to sync up with the rhythm of your agni.
Here’s the deal, if the belly’s agni can’t handle the food that’s coming down the chute, ama (undigested waste) is created and stored in little pockets of unhappiness, it’s excess that the body can deal with. In Ayurveda ama is the root of all disease. For this reason, fiercely protect, even worship, your belly’s fire.
Agni is the strongest from 10am – 2pm, this is the best time to eat your biggest and heaviest meals. Therefore, when breakfast and dinner consist of lighter and easier to digest foods you’ll be paying homage to your precious agni.
Everyone is an individual with different dietary needs. A person can follow general suggestions and dietary plans in order to get a broad map of what’s good for them nutritionally. But, after that it’s time to refine. Get to know your digestion intimately, it’s a gift to your longevity and your body will feel better in the interim.
You see, there are universal guidelines. Universal guidelines are what’s right for everyone, simply because we’re all human beings. But, there are also individual guidelines, these need to be discovered by studying what works and what doesn’t. Ayurveda provides a beautiful map for understanding individual dietary needs.
Universally, when working with the nature of agni the key is to eat just enough in the morning to comfortably get to lunch. Then have a hearty, fully satisfying, made with love, kind of meal.
One breakfast option might be chia pudding. Start there, then add whatever toppings or sides you need to complete your body’s needs. Nutritionally chia seeds offer fiber, protein, healthy fat, calcium, magnesium and Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Provecho!
Have fun in your kitchen! Here’s the goods:
SUPER SIMPLE CHIA PUDDING
Gather Your Ingredients:
1/3 cup Chia seeds
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons finely shredded coconut flakes (optional)
Bring water to a boil and set aside. Measure chia seeds and coconut milk into a bowl and pour the hot water over the top. Stir with a whisk and stir a few more times over the next 15 minutes. Leave it to cool for about 20 minutes, then add the vanilla extract. Add the coconut flakes if you want a more coconut flavor and more chewing with your pudding.
Let it sit for at least two hours so the seeds can soak up the liquid. I like to make it at night before, store it in the fridge, then it’s ready in the morning. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you like things a bit sweeter you can add a dash of pure maple syrup to your bowl. Serve with chopped nuts and or nut butter in the fall and winter. Top with berries, cherries or peaches in the summer. Or, have it be a side dish with the other parts of your meal.