In Ayurvedic philosophy, it is nearly as important when you eat, as it is what you eat.
Our digestive fire, or Agni is our bodies capacity in which we break down food and absorb nutrients. Think of your Agni like a daily fire.. In the morning it needs to be awakened with a little fuel to ignite and prepare for the day. At midday, when we are alert and active, the fire is roaring and at its strongest – it can handle a larger meal. At night, when the fire is no longer needed to burn so strongly, a light meal is ideal just to maintain embers for warmth.
Lately, in an effort to kickstart my digestive fire after an illness, I have been enjoying larger meals at lunch and much smaller meals for dinner. Eating big when I need the fuel and eating little when I don’t, allowing my gut to rest and repair.
It is risky to eat large amounts when our digestive fire is low, such as just before bed or a heavy breakfast first thing in the morning, as our digestive enzymes are not as abundant leading to malabsorption of nutrients and undigested food which can ferment in our guts and cause big problems.
Of course, everyone’s fire burns strongest at different times of the day in sync with energy expenditure and our daily routines. But there is a relationship between our Agni and the sun’s movements (or the Earths to be precise!) burning most efficiently when the sun is at its highest in the sky and lowest around sunrise and sunset, natures way of encouraging us to eat in synchronicity with her cycles!!
It’s beneficial to listen to your body and mindfully feed your fire with the right fuel at the right time.
Tonight’s dinner: tiny antipasto with salami, cheese, cucumber, sauerkraut and hummus.