Welcome to week two of our Healthy Digestion Challenge! This week you will continue on with the recommendations from week one while bringing your focus to a few new challenges. Making these changes to your diet and lifestyle over this 28 day period will shed light on where your dietary struggles lie (say giving up all white sugar), bring more awareness to the (hidden) ingredients that are in your foods, and finally give your digestion a much needed break in order to rekindle your fire (Agni), flush away toxins, and reestablish sustainable energy and health.
If you are still struggling with the first week’s recommendations, it is alright. The more you can do, the better; however, if you fall short a time or two, this doesn’t mean that you need to give up. Rather bring awareness to where you are struggling and do your best to overcome these harder areas of change. Even if you go from eating gluten three times a day to twice in the entire week, this is a huge improvement and will still be beneficial.
Overtime, your previous unhealthy dietary habits should slowly wane away as you begin to get them out of your system and out of your daily routine. The first few days always seem to be the hardest, but once you eliminate the “bad” habits while finding more positive replacements (say replacing that cookie with some fruit), they will soon become more natural. This of course takes time, but with the notable positive results that come with these changes, more motivation will manifest.
Before moving on, I encourage you to not simply focus on the areas that you may be “falling short”, but equally (if not more so) acknowledge the successes you have accomplished so far. Whether you are now drinking hot water each morning, sipping on CCF Tea throughout your day, or have said a strong farewell to white sugar, take some time to appreciate and celebrate your efforts, big and small!
Healthy Digestion Challenge: WEEK 2
Ayurvedic Dietary Tip of the Week
Avoid improper food combinations.
One of the main causes of digestive imbalances is the regular intake of improper food combinations (such as in this picture!). This means that it is not always what you are eating, but how you are eating it. For example, both yogurt and fruit are very healthy foods, but when eaten together they cause fermentation in the gut, leading to digestive disturbances and toxic accumulation.
Therefore, by bringing awareness to these vital “food rules”, you can avoid unnecessary harm to your system and begin to heal and strengthen your digestive force (Agni). Here is a chart with some of the basic Improper Food Combinations for you to avoid:
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by this long list of food combining “don’ts”, then try to simplify things by choosing the most vital combinations to focus on.
Daily Routine Practice of the Week
Eat on a set meal routine.
Eating each meal at consistent and appropriate times not only brings some consistency to your daily routine, but will get your digestive juices flowing strong, as your system will be preparing for your meal before the food even comes. This practice will help regulate your digestion, balance your emotions, and keep you energized throughout the day!
Here is a general chart that lists the ideal meal times, as well as the proper qualities of each meal:
*During the summer months, your dinner can be eaten slightly later if needed (but no later than 7pm).
Herbal Regimen of the Week
Take a digestive appetizer before each meal.
A common Ayurvedic practice is to ignite the digestive fire (Agni) with a stimulating herbal appetizer before each meal. This can be something as simple as ginger tea with honey. Depending on your digestive needs, these can be taken up to three times daily, 15 to 30 minutes prior to eating.
Ideally you should choose a digestive aid that doesn’t take too much preparation, has the ability for you to take it on-the-go (if needed), and one that you can realistically be consistent with.
Here’s a DIY home remedy recipe for our Ginger, Honey and Lime Digestive Appetizer!
Week Two Recap
Recipe Suggestions of the Week
Here is a light, easy-to-digest recipe that will keep you energized and nourished by providing you with some essential protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. This warm, nutrient-rich meal is perfect for the cooler months as it contains a handful of grounding root veggies and of course some warming digestive spices! This lentil soup recipe can be enjoyed on its own or over a warm bowl of whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice. Click here for the full recipe!
For those of you looking for a healthy snack alternative, here is a flavorful hummus recipe just for you! It is easy to make, packed full of nutrition, and uses powerful Ayurvedic spices to help kindle your digestion. Try it on a gluten-free tortilla, a collard green wrap, over a salad, or with some steamed veggies. Raw veggies can be hard on your digestion however, so please avoid or limit them as much as possible! Click here for the full recipe!
With week two of the challenge in full effect, I thought I would add in a healthy dessert alternative to help calm your sweet tooth. This healthy recipe is filled with a handful of superfoods such as avocado, coconut, and cacao while providing some necessary sweetness with the power of maple syrup. Best of all, it is easy to whip up and can be quickly made in times of need. So say no to that candy bar and discover a healthy way to indulge instead! Click here for the full recipe!