1. Ahara (Optimal diet for one’s constitution)
Start your day with a cup of hot water to flush out toxins coated in the intestinal walls (“Ama” in Ayurveda). It helps the bowel movement first thing and gets the metabolic fire started for the day.
Enjoy a light, fiber-rich breakfast such as cooked oatmeal with a half teaspoon of turmeric, fresh chopped ginger, one tablespoon of ground flax, and ghee.
Treat your midday lunch as your main meal with protein, fibers, and healthy fat. Your plate should include one half of veggies or greens, one fourth of protein and one fourth of grains or legumes. The sun is strongest between 12:00-2:00PM. Therefore, our metabolic fire is optimal during this time for healthy digestion and assimilation.
Dinner should be lighter and shouldn’t be eaten past 7:00PM since our metabolism slows significantly as the sun wanes towards the sunset. Our body follows the bio rhythm or circadian rhythm. It is best to follow the law of nature for optimal digestion and assimilation.
Snacking in between meals, especially after dinner is not advised. If you are going to snack, fruits or nuts would be best for their phytonutrients, healthy fat and fiber.
Drinking cold water disrupts digestion and assimilation, especially during meals. Sipping warm water helps moisten the food but chugging water may not be a good idea. Drinking warm or hot water throughout the day helps maintain the metabolic fire and release toxins from the body.
2. Vihara (Lifestyle supporting one’s constitution)
Moving the body every day is essential for cardiac health, cognitive health, digestive health, detoxification, and skin health. Yoga, walking, or other forms of exercise are essential.
3. Nidra (Proper sleep)
Sleep is vital, especially good, uninterrupted rest for 7-8 hours daily. Many organs are active at night when we are resting. If we are constantly choosing to be a night owl, it can interfere with our detoxification process. An ideal bedtime would not be past 10:00PM.
4. Vichara (Thoughts or behavior)
Training the mind with healthy thoughts and positivity and cultivating compassion and love, brings Sattva (pure goodness, balance, and harmony). The practice of meditation and pranayama (yogic breathing) elevates our spirit, reduces stress, and helps us explore our inner universe, which contains everything we need.
5. Brahmacharya (Truthful action)
Being truthful to ourselves and to others brings peace to our minds and cultivates harmony with others.