Conscious Eating – Guidelines for Healthy Eating

Conscious eating is becoming aware of how the food you eat affects your body, emotions and mind. Learning what foods and how you eat them affect both your body and mind can therefore support health and prevent disease.  Nutrition is the essence of effective self-care.

Right diet is the main factor in the treatment of the physical body which is built up by food.  Without changing your diet you cannot expect the body, which is its product, to change fundamentally whatever else you may attempt. By correcting yur diet, you eliminate the fundamental causes of disease.  In its constitutional approach, Ayurveda emphasizes the correct diet for the individual as the basis for health.

When you attend to digestion, you attend to your health.  Remember:  physical disease occurs as a result of poor digestion and assimilation in the body.

Guidelines for Healthy Eating

  • Eat only when hungry and drink when thirsty.
  • Follow the body and not the mind – listen to your body and what it needs.
  • Treat your digestion like a fire – stoke it with easy to assimilate light meals.
  • The main meal is best eaten at lunchtime when the digestive fire is at its strongest.
  • Eating in between meals slows down digestion and must be avoided in intestinal imbalance.
  • Eat the last meal of the day early in the evening. Late eating can cause constipation, indigestion and the accumulation of toxins.
  • Eat to less than full capacity. It is recommended to eat until the stomach is 1/2 full with food, 1/4 full with liquid and to leave 1/4 empty for the digestive process to have some space.
  • Eat simple meals which are less taxing to the digestive system – simplicity in a meal, variety in the week!
  • Avoid drinking water or other fluids with the meal.  The liquid douses the digestive fie and makes the process sluggish.  Taking water or fluids directly after the meal has the same counterproductive effects and promotes lethargy and weight gain.
  • Eat in a peaceful environment in the spirit of harmony and gratitude – not driving, hurrying or standing.
  • Chew the meal thoroughly and joyfully to aid proper assimilation of nutrients and digestion, so that the vital tissues are nourished, the body’s hunger is fed and emotional cravings are satisfied.
  • Eat fresh and seasonal food that is locally and organically grown (as much as possible!).
  • Eat fruit, including juice, away from other foods about one hour before or after a meal as fruit tends to ferment in the digestive tract.
  • Do not eat contra-indicated foods: Dairy and fruit, melon after other food, fruits with other food, fish and milk, eggs with milk, lemons with milk or yoghurt, yoghurt after dark, equal parts of ghee and honey (3:1 by weight), cooked honey.
  • Eat warm and cooked food as these are easier to digest. Cold food, raw food, ice and cold water can weaken the digestive process.
  • Avoid eating raw and cooked food together.
  • Minimise the use of leftovers, tinned, frozen or preserved foods.
  • Avoid excessive fasting or excessive eating.

For nutritional therapy and well-being coaching sessions or any further information please email me.