we hear so much about diets for the doshas and individual protocols, that the extremely useful UNIVERSAL FOOD RULES of ayurveda often go over looked. there are two big but simple ones for eating times and food combining that will help anyone MANAGE WEIGHT, IMPROVE DIGESTION and SLEEP BETTER soon.
EATING TIMES. in ayurveda, our BIGGEST MEAL is LUNCH, where we eat 50% of our calories and most of our protein. this keeps us from overeating and the protein energy powers us through the afternoon slump. the second biggest meal is BREAKFAST, where we eat a some or a little protein just to get us going.
finally, our SMALLEST MEAL is DINNER where we have NO PROTEIN since it energizes and will keep us up. instead we emphasize sweeter, SEDATING FOODS like grains, root vegetables and heavy but healthy fats like ghee and coconut milk to make us sleepy.
FOOD COMBINING. in general, in ayurveda we try to eat FRUIT and DAIRY in isolation. this makes sense when you consider how long it takes to digest an apple compared to a piece of cheese.
we can have FRUIT with nuts, spices or oils but we don’t really have it with vegetables, grains, dairy or meat. of course, there are exceptions like CITRUS which mixes well with everything. PAPAYA plays relatively well with others too. DATES are okay in milk tonics and rarely cause trouble in combination for most people.
when it comes to DAIRY, we can have it with vegetables but we avoid eating it with fruits, grains and meat. the only exception here is GHEE. since all the milk solids have been skimmed off, ghee digests with much more ease, like an oil. of course, none of these rules apply for NUT MYLK and NUT CHEESES. they do not digest like dairy so you can mix them with grains, fruits, etc.
ANTIDOTING. adding SPICES or COOKING FOOD digests the foods a little for us, giving our bodies less work to do. we call these strategies ANTIDOTES since they compensate and allow us bend the combination rules.
let’s consider a classic peach cobbler. it mixes FRUIT and GRAINS thus, breaking the food combination rules. but if we pre-digest with a little heat as in BAKING and use warming spices like GARAM MASALA or CINNAMON, GINGER, CARDAMOM, CLOVES, etc. it becomes quite a bit easier for the body to deal with.
the EFFICACY of ANTIDOTES will vary person to person. just start experimenting and notice how you feel after you eat. remember, GINGER TEA before something tricky acts as a great universal digestive corrective. and if antidoting doesn't still suit your stomach, there is always this NUT FLOUR COBBLER along with a million other alternative recipes out there now.