Soothe the Belly with Ayurveda
May 31, 2013 10:10AM
● By Dave Lesinski
One trip to the pharmacy and you’ll realize that digestive ailments are big business. Many people suffer from digestive disturbances. Gas, bloating, constipation and gut inflammation are on the rise.
When it comes to digestive health we must understand that one size does not fit all. Think back to the old quote: “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Our digestive imbalance can be happening for a very different reason than another person’s digestive issue. This, in turn, means that the remedy that works for someone else may not work for you.
Luckily, there are some general practices that can serve as a starting point. When incorporating these practices, many of us will see our current ailments disappear. However, if dealing with a more serious or long-standing digestive problem, it may be time to see a specialist.
1. Fennel Is Your Friend: Drink fennel tea throughout the day. Consider chewing on a teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals.
2. Timing is Everything: Get on an eating routine. Eating at the same time every day allows your body to get into an eating rhythm.
3. Lunch is Large: Lunch should be taking between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or as close to this time as possible. It should be the main meal of the day as it tends to be when our digestion is strongest. If you choose to eat heavier, tough to digest foods like meat, hard cheese and chocolate, try incorporating these at lunchtime rather than breakfast and dinner.
4. Sit and Savor: This may sound crazy to some of you but eating on the run is not good for digestion. Schedule in time to sit down and eat. Chew your food carefully and enjoy the taste of everything that you’ve put on your plate.
5. Reduce Fake Sugar: The sweet taste is an important element to have in our diet as it is helps build tissue, provide energy and calm the nerves, among other things. However, many of us think refined, white, fake sugar and pastries when we think of sweets. Reduce refined white sugar from your diet as well as the pastries, cakes and other foods made with white sugar. Instead, enjoy fruit and desserts made with more natural sugars.
Below is a delicious, kid-approved recipe that will satisfy any sweet tooth in a healthier way. A simple rice pudding would also be a good choice.
Prep Time: 10 minutes (and soaking overnight)
6 to 8 dates
8 to 9 almonds
1 cup of milk (choose raw or organic milk)
Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger or nutmeg to taste
Soak the dates and almonds overnight in filtered water. Pit the dates (some people like to peel the outer skin as well). Add the milk to a pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Let it cool slightly. Add the dates, almonds and spices to a blender with the milk. Blend until smooth. This is best taken warm but can be enjoyed cool as well. Enjoy this delicious, energy-building drink without food.
6. Go Deep: It is no great secret that our stress levels are a huge factor affecting our digestion. Keep in mind that our digestion is greatly connected to our nervous system. In fact, some call our gut our “second brain.” Oftentimes, our digestive disturbance mimics a deeper emotional pattern we are carrying with us. Once we face and erase the deeper issues, our physical body can put more energy into working properly.
Consider a daily meditation practice, or work with someone who specializes in emotional restorative work to look at the deeper aspects of your ailments. Working on the deeper issues can have a profound effect on your health and might be just what you need to bring balance to the digestive process.
Enjoy incorporating these strategies into your life to aid digestion in doing its job. Remember, for those of us with long-standing or more serious digestive concerns we may need to see a specialist to talk about herbs and dietary regimens to make improvements.
Dave Lesinski is the founder of Modern Ayurveda Living. He specializes in helping others get to the root of their ailments. Along with Ayurvedic Counseling, he offers Energy Restoration Therapy. He also teaches Heart-based Meditation to all of his clients that book appointments with him. For more details, call 760-815-6591 or visit ModernAyurvedaLiving.com.