Happy Holiday Eating
Hey! This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Ok show of hands and answer honestly: Who already knows that they will end up overeating? Next question: If you already know you are going to overeat, why do we do it? It might be partially because of the social aspect eating with family, partially because it’s tradition to end up over-full on Thanksgiving, and partially because we want to try all of the super yummy foods.
It’s very much in our culture to embrace it as a holiday of over-abundance and over-indulgence in food. And we celebrate with gratitude, love, and appreciation in all the great things we are lucky to have.
But, what we might not understand is that this one day of overeating can set our digestion back significantly if we don’t pay attention. It’s not so much that the day is “bad.” But what’s kinda “bad” is that we don’t usually give our agni (digestive fire) a chance to catch up and digest the food it’s been given before adding more. If there is an overload of food sitting in our stomachs from Thanksgiving, it’s going to take our agni extra time to digest it. Maybe even until the next day! The problem comes when we eat normally on Friday, piling in more food on top of the old food from Thursday that hasn’t gone through digestion yet. This literally turns into a pile-up of food (similar to a traffic jam) which easily can turn into ama. We don’t want that!
Here are some tips to keep digestion strong during Holiday eating. And remember that in addition to good food, let love be what fills you up because that’s where the real nourishment is.
– Before the meal, have an Indian lemonade appetizer to ignite agni
– Cold beverages will slow digestion, stick with warm drinks
– Favor the foods that are best for YOU and have less of the others.
– Be mindful of your hunger, remembering to eat and drink until you are 3/4 full, then stop
– Most likely, you don’t need seconds. Weigh it against how you will feel if you are too full
– Chew well!
– Lay on your left side for 20 minutes after the meal to assist agni (no longer than 20)
– Take a leisurely walk with your family after the meal to help digestion and to avoid sluggishness
– Wait until you are totally hungry (stomach rumblings) before eating again
– If you are unsure about the state of your digestion, check your tongue. If your tongue is white, fast and drink ginger tea until it is pink (that way you know the food has been digested)
– If you are not hungry on Friday, fast with herbal teas or fruits until you feel hungry.