As you’ve been learning about Ayurveda, you know how we stress the importance of digestion. Instead of, “You are what you eat” Ayurveda says, “You are what you digest.” That little saying really reminds us that the focus is not only in what we eat, but how we eat it, at what time, and which foods are best for us based on our individual make-up.
Food provides the basic building blocks for our entire physical and mental bodies. That’s it! Just food. You know that you feel better or worse depending on the quality of foods you’ve been eating. And because we are no dummies, we know that fresh veggies and fruits are better nourishment for us than a Cadbury Egg or bag of Doritos. We know that. It’s pretty much elementary nutrition and something we’ve known since we were kids. (I’m not here to take away your fun: Once a year, a Cabury Egg is not going to imbalance you. In moderation, sweeties are to be enjoyed and savored. But if you eat a dozen…yeah, that’s not good.)
So! Whatever we put in our mouths is proper nourishment…or not. And! We usually know the difference between the two.
But here’s something you probably don’t know. In Ayurveda, there are certain food combinations that should be avoided. While an annual Cadbury Egg won’t hurt you, the consistent practice of incompatible foods probably will imbalance your digestion (gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, etc.,) whether instantly or over time. So many people complain of digestion issues—it’s probably the number one complaint from my clients! I’m giving you the information not to be a huge downer, but to give you proper tools to help your tum-tum feel better and to healthify you!!
Wrong Food Combinations:
Dairy & Fruit. Fruit sours and curdles the milk in our stomachs. (my 9 month-old has been coming home after daycare spitting up because they are giving her banana or mango as a snack and then immediately milk. No bueno!)
Dairy & Fish. No cheese on that Filet O’Fish! (*wink* I know you’re not eatin’ Filet O’Fishes) Salmon with lemon, salt and pepper, little rice, little veggies is a good choice. Mm!
Dairy & Meat. Too heavy, murky, and way hard on digestion! Have meat with veggies
Eggs & Milk.
Milk should basically be consumed by itself. You could have it as a snack in between meals or in place of a dinner if you’re not very hungry. You can have it with non yeasty grains, like cereal. No banana or strawberries on the cereal.
Fruit and fruit juice should be consumed by itself. Again, think of it as a snack.
No yogurt unless you turn it into a lassi. Mango lassi is not Ayurvedic!
As we approach warmer weather, we might be tempted by “smoothie” concoctions of fruit and milk/yogurt and maybe even of frozen yogurt shops with fruits. Unfortunately these don’t go together. And yes, that means Pinkberry. I’m sorry. Have caramel sauce instead. :p
If you look at the list, it’s not all that complicated and it’s already pretty intuitive. I mean, drinking milk with fish just sounds nast. If you really think about berries and milk or pineapple and milk, those combos seem a little strange too, right? For us Americans, the biggest challenge will be not to combine fruit and diary because that combo is everywhere! But if you remain conscious of that and just remember that fruits are eaten alone, I think you will find it simple. What do you think? Does this sound impossible living the way we do now? Or, have you noticed certain combinations irritate your tummy – if so, what are they? Would love your thoughts! xoxo!