Hippocrates said: “all disease begins in the gut”. Therefore, optimal health should start there.
Before the industrial revolution came, people ate their main meal at midday. They came in from the fields during the hottest time of the day and enjoyed a long, leisurely meal followed by a short rest before they returned back to the fields to complete their days work. After work, supper came in the form of leftovers made into a stew or soup — literally a “supplement” to tie them over until the next day. There was no late-night snacking after that.
Then, when the men went off to the factories and spent the day away from their homes and families, the main meal moved to the evening. That, my friend, is where our gut health began to suffer.
You see, the pre-industrial peeps had a good thing going.
We have the most bile and digestive enzymes in the middle of the day when the sun is highest in the sky. The digestive fire mirrors the sun, as the sun goes down — so does our digestive capacity.
When we pile a big, heavy, late dinner onto an itty-bitty digestive fire, we put it out. As a result, we don’t properly digest our food and it turns into toxins, or ama — the sticky, sludgy by-product of unmetabolized food and experiences. Ama, according to Ayurveda is said to be the cause of all disease.
The #1 eating guideline in Ayurveda to prevent ama is eating an earlier, lighter dinner.
When we eat between 5 and 6pm, we can completely digest our food before bedtime and go to sleep on an empty stomach. We sleep better, wake up feeling lighter and clearer and have tons more energy because we’re not stressing our liver and digestive system.
Between the hours of 10pm and 2am your liver, the night janitor, comes in to do the deeper house cleaning. When our bodies aren’t trying to deal with a heavy, late dinner, it can use all that energy towards balancing our hormones, repairing our bodily tissue and detoxifying our organs. We give our bodies the best possible chance of functioning optimally.
Earlier, lighter dinner = more energy, better digestion and deeper sleep (among other things)
This is the very first of 10 life-transforming habits that I help you adopt in my health coaching program Align and Thrive as part of a thriving holistic lifestyle that allows your body to function at its peak. Learn more here.