While Ayurveda teaches us that we should each eat right for our personal "prakriti" (mind-body type) there are many overarching eating guidelines that everyone should follow.
Most of these guidelines revolve around eating seasonally and eating mindfully. The earth naturally gives us the foods we most need during particular seasons-- for example lots of fresh veggies and refreshing fruits in the summer, heartier root veggies and less raw food in the winter.
When we practice eating mindfully we'll also naturally listen to our bodies and eat with the seasons. Since Ayurveda sees the entire world and all its beings as an interconnected whole, it makes sense that the optimal way to eat healthily involves respecting the seasons of the earth.
Mindful eating is easy to forget during the busy holiday season when tantalizing, unhealthy food abounds. I know I ignored my body and stuffed my belly full with two plates at Christmas dinner last night. They key for me today though, is to not beat myself up about overindulging yesterday and just get back on track today. Mindful eating always leads me to feeling great physically, mentally, and spiritually!
Here are some tips for getting back on track with mindful eating today:
1. Get in touch with your hunger cues and only eat when you're really hungry.
2. Don't multitask while eating.
3. Eat slowly and chew each bite longer.
4. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Pause and put your fork down a few times throughout the meal, take deep breaths, contribute to the conversation, and ask yourself what your "fullness level" is.
6. Don't cook or eat while angry or upset! Ayurveda teaches that if we can't digest our emotions, we won't be able to digest our food either. If we eat while we're upset, our food can turn into toxins instead of nourishment.
7. Create a peaceful environment for eating. This will make your meals much more pleasant and mindful. If we eat in a rushed, stressful environment, we're more likely to experience bloating, indigestion, and stomach problems after eating.