In my last Tales of An Ayurvedic Waitress post I stressed the importance of your lunch time meal. Remember the mental t-shirt image ‘Lunch Should Be Your Biggest Meal‘?
I’m getting one printed because I need to increase my sales! All jokes aside, lunch should definitely be your biggest meal. This is the time to sit down for an hour and eat because our bodies are really primed at this time to digest.
In Ayurveda, quantity, timing and regularity are all crucial aspects to good digestion. Also important is how we combine the foods we eat. Now if you have read food combining rules (if you haven’t you can read them here), you know it can be a bit daunting. There is however a way to simplify.
Follow this method when dining out to take the fuss out of the occasion.
With a few simple changes a meal can go from indigestion and ‘maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that’ to an energy sustaining, nourishing, satisfying activity.
This is the order in which I eat my food.
1. Fruit first.
I know, traditionally we eat fruit as a dessert and desserts follow the main course. But when fruit is combined with other types of food – dairy, meat, grains, vegetables – it will ferment in the gastro-intestinal tract and possibly create toxins.
Think of it as an amuse-bouche. In this case, a fresh and delicious beginning to enliven the appetite.
2. Salad or raw vegetable course is next.
Take all that digestive power you’ve got and tackle the toughest guys first. It’s more work (for some people) to digest raw foods than it is cooked foods (as cooked foods have already been broken down). This is why we eat raw foods before cooked.
3. Cooked grain and protein.
Generally softer and easier to digest than fruits and raw vegetables, cooked grains and proteins should follow the raw food portion of your meal.
Now I realize that you could argue that fruits and raw vegetables are easier to digest than cooked food, but it really depends on the individual’s constitution and present state.
Consult an Ayurveda practitioner for an individualized plan.
Karyn Chabot, Ayurveda practitioner and owner of the Seaside Academy of Massage & Ayurveda (SAMA) in Newport, RI suggested a piece of crystallized ginger as a sweet ending to the meal not to mention a digestive aid.
Think Of Your Ayurvedic Waitress
So next time you’re out to eat, think of your Ayurvedic waitress. Eat your fruit first, then your salad course followed by grain/protein. If your server rolls their eyes at your odd requests, let them know the truth of the matter and send them my way. We’re setting matters straight over here.
Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com.