Congratulations on making it to week three of your Healthy Digestion Challenge!! I am happy to say you are officially half way there. The recommendations for eliminating various food types and adding in some healthier practices are far from easy, but I suppose this is why they call it a challenge. As you get ready for your third week, hopefully you are already noticing some of the benefits from making these changes, such as a new sense of lightness, greater energy, a clearer mind, and of course improved digestion!
As you may have already noticed, your diet and lifestyle choices are intimately related to your overall wellbeing. By making the changes you have made so far, even since we started just two weeks ago, you should definitely see some great improvements in your health and vitality. This means that once your challenge is over, instead of going back to your old, not-so-healthy habits, maybe there are a few changes that you want to adopt for the long term. This week will be a great time to begin to think about this, and possibly write down some more permanent goals for yourself. I highly recommend taking this opportunity to set intentions for beyond your challenge while the motivation and inspiration is strong!
Healthy Digestion Challenge: WEEK 3
Ayurvedic Dietary Tip of the Week
Avoid snacking between meals.
When your digestion is low, it is important to let this vital force (Agni) have a break between meals. This is because the food that you eat will often take a bit longer to travel from the stomach to the colon, making it necessary for you to allow more time for digestion of your previous meal before taking in more food. Eating between meals, especially when grazing, overtaxes your digestion, as it is always in constant work-mode. Further, excessive snacking or grazing will often weaken the pancreas, leading to blood sugar irregularities.
If giving up snacking ends up being more difficult than expected, try replacing your typical snacks with a simple, easy-to-digest option in the beginning until you are able to ween off this habit. This can be a piece of fruit, homemade hemp milk (see recipe below!), some herbal tea with honey, a spoonful of almond butter, a spoonful of hummus, or something of the like (discover more healthy snack ideas here!). To help sustain your appetite longer and reduce cravings, make sure your meals are filled with healthy, lean protein and fiber. Also make sure to eat on the routine schedule that we talked about last week and always avoid skipping meals!
Daily Routine Practice of the Week
Take a 15 to 30 minute walk after your lunch or dinner meal.
Did you know that one of the worst habits for your digestion is to lie down after eating a meal? Alternatively, one of the most helpful ways to increase your digestive fire (Agni) is to take a short walk after meals. This practice will help get the food moving along, while increasing your metabolic rate and strengthening your digestion.
Taking a walk each day will indeed help your physical body remain healthy, but you will also notice an increase in your mental health. Exercise, including walking, helps to release mood enhancing hormones and boost confidence levels. So increase your digestion, metabolism, and mental happiness with this simple daily practice!
Herbal Regimen of the Week
Take ½ teaspoon of Triphala Churna each night before bed.
Triphala Churna is a traditional formula commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for its wide range of health benefits. It is recommended this week because of its ability to flush out your GI tract, promote healthy (daily) elimination, strengthen your liver (a vital organ of digestion), and simply to increase your overall digestive fire (Agni).
Directions: Take ½ teaspoon of Triphala Churna each night before bed. This formula can be taken in ½ cup of warm water and steeped for 2 to 3 minutes prior to drinking. If the taste is not desirable for you, try adding in a small spoonful of honey. Alternatively, you may prefer to make a paste out of the Triphala powder with honey, and then rinse it down with a few sips of warm water.
Week Three Recap
Recipe Suggestions of the Week
Here is a light, but greatly nourishing breakfast recipe. With quinoa as its base and scrambled eggs (or better yet egg whites) mixed in, this recipe is filled with a large amount of lean protein to provide you with energy and stamina for your day to come. The sautéed veggies not only add in some beautiful colors and flavor, they will supply you with many essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Click here for the full recipe.
Although this recipe is specific for Kapha types, it can be enjoyed by all dosha types as a healthy meal option. With the combination of brown rice and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) this recipe is considered to be a complete protein source containing all of the essential amino acids. The collard greens are filled with vitamins and minerals, while providing you with the hard to find bitter taste that often lacks in the Standard American Diet (SAD). With a heaping helping of fiber, this recipe will undoubtably sustain your appetite and reduce your need for snacking! Click here for the full recipe.
Who said healthy food has to taste bad? This delicious homemade hemp milk recipe is a great option if you are struggling with our latest dietary recommendation of “no snacking”. Needless to say, it is an excellent replacement for dairy as well. This “milk” is packed with energizing omega-3’s, hemp protein, and antioxidants. Homemade hemp milk is a great superfood, power-snack to get you through your day. The addition of digestive spices will increase your ability to absorb these vital nutrients while enhancing the flavor. Click here for the full recipe.