Why salads and smoothies aren’t the right things for your new year’s detox

Surely salads, raw vegetables and vegetable smoothies are full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients and very few calories? And that is what we need to be healthy and balance our weight, right?

Well, according to Ayurveda not necessarily. In Ayurveda, no rule fits all. But here in the Northern hemisphere where it is cold and the days are dark the usual detox regime of a strict salad diet isn’t recommended.

Instead, we are looking at warming foods at this time. Food to nourish and nurture us. And specifically, foods that are easy to digest. I am going into much more details in the Healthy Weight & Digestion online program which is now open to join. But I do want to share some principles here.

A healthy digestion is a key to health. We are what we eat. And we are also what we don’t digest. In Ayurveda, we want to improve digestion. As our digestion becomes balanced our health may improve and our weight comes into its natural state.

If you intend a healthier more wholesome diet as a new years resolution or you want to lose weight then this is what Ayurveda suggests:

  • Eat when you are hungry. If you feel hungry all the time it may be emotional eating, maybe you are actually thirsty or perhaps it is an imbalance and you need to modify your diet (we will get to that. For detailed suggestions join the Healthy Weight & Digestion online program).
  • Your main meal should be at midday. This is when our digestive fire is most active. According to Ayurveda, this corresponds with the sun in the sky. As the days are short and the sun rarely makes an appearance it also affects our digestion. The outer environment (the sun) affects our inner being (our digestive fire). This is why we don’t recommend cold and raw salads or foods in Ayurveda at this time. It will be more difficult to digest. Enjoy the salads in summer time instead.

 

 

  • Ignite your digestive fire. As our body and digestion might be sluggish at this time we can ignite our digestive fire by using warming herbs and spices in our food. I love ginger. Use fresh ginger if you can in your meals. Other warming digestive spices include cumin, coriander seeds, black pepper and turmeric. In fact, some of these herbs are said to digest Ama (undigested material also translated as toxins in Ayurveda).
  • No cold meals. Instead of salads and a raw food diet enjoy warming soups and casseroles. To digest raw food our digestive fire need to work hard. And it’s much easier for most people’s digestion in the summer when the sun is out. Now, in winter time, enjoy warming easy-to-digest meals. Add the spices above. I love kitcheri which is a mixture of rice and mung dhal with plenty of spices for taste. Get your recipe here.
  • Digestive beverages. Instead of hot chocolate and coffee lattes enjoy drinks that support your digestive system. Remember the spices we discussed earlier? Use them as an infusion as a tea. Or create your very own turmeric or herbal latte recipe if you prefer the milky drinks.

Ayurveda is a lifestyle and philosophy. The principles are simple – but can get overwhelming. To support my clients (and those who can’t come and see me) I created a programme to guide you into living more Ayurvedically. This became the Detox & Rejuvenate online program which is now called Healthy Weight & Digestion. You are literally guided through a process of letting go of Ama (toxins), including a mono-diet and then learning to live more Ayurvedically when it comes to diet and daily routine.

This includes digestion as well more nourishing practices. It includes yoga practices designed for both detox and relaxation. And how to integrate it all into your life according to your constitution and dosha. It’s an empowering guide to live with Ayurveda and yoga in modern society – for modern people.