It's possible, trust me!
Ayurveda views the autumn season as light, hard, cool, dry, and rough. This environment takes a toll on our bodies and although we fear the feasting and heavy foods of the holiday season, it is natural for your body to crave these foods! To combat the dryness and replenish the body, we need foods that are heavy, soft, warm, moist, and rich.
But how can we eat smarter? Optimal eating is when you digest and absorb everything that your food can give you. By boosting our digestion, we might be able to indulge and not feel as guilty. Ayurveda categorizes food into 6 essential tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent. We must find this balance on our plate in order to boost digestion and absorption of the food.
Here are 5 Tips on Eating Smarter this Thanksgiving Day!
1. Open the appetite.
You need to get the digestive juices before stuffing your face! According to Ayurveda, ginger is a great way to start this digestion process; munching on a slice of ginger is calorie friendly and yummy! If you don't like ginger, you can choose however you like. I love the French version of this concept: Champagne/Rosé with a variety but small amounts of nuts, crackers, chips, dips, etc.
2. Eat more of the locally harvested root vegetables and squash that are in season
FOR A REASON. We are supposed to be eating them. When we eat foods that are local and in season, we are physically interacting with our local environment. Essentially the whole point of Ayurveda is to be aware of the connections we have and share with the food, other people and environment.
3. Eat MORE sweet, sour, salty tastes
...and LESS of pungent, bitter, astringent tastes in general. More on this topic later but please look up these tastes so you can identify them on the table. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots are sweet so you can feel good about eating them!
4. Add a fermented food into the feast!
Last year I got into making kombucha as my fermented friend of the season but this year, it's homemade pickles! More specifically, like my mother used to make: cauliflower, carrots and Persian cucumbers. And they are so yummy! Crunchy and easy to add to any meal really.
5. Good fat is good for you.
We talked about the dryness of the season. You want good healthy fats. Plant oils such as olive, coconut, sesame are very good. My personal favorite is ghee, or clarified butter. At one point I was very sensitive to dairy and needed fat so this was my default cooking oil for awhile. But this is considered a sattvic food so it's good year-round!
6. Lastly, and most importantly, eating smarter but still too much will still put you in a coma! And if you overload the belly, your digestion is slowed :(
Did you try these tips? Please come back and leave me with a comment with your results, I would love to know!
Love and light,
*All photos by me!*