We have heard it a zillion times – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Do you believe this? I didn’t in the beginning until I started listening to my body and taking good care of it.
We are proficient at taking care of other’s in our family, but conveniently forget the most important person that’s you! I am writing this post to every AMAZING woman out there to remind them to have a healthy nutritious breakfast before they start their day because … every woman deserves it!!
Breakfast literally means “breaking the fast” because it’s the first meal we have the next morning after sleeping all night. Pay attention to the word “fast” as it’s a signal that we need to nourish our body and mind. It’s important to nourish our bodies with “nutritious” calories and not empty calories. According to Ayurveda, your breakfast should provide easy-to-digest nutrients that will steadily awaken your digestive agni (fire) and charge you up with energy to carry on your day.
When I first moved to US, my equal half took me to a fancy restaurant for a continental breakfast. I was amazed by all the colorful assortment of fresh fruits, croissants, pastries, and I must confess my kapha energy was in for a big treat!! But when the server brought in coffee and orange juice on our table and my husband was comfortably sipping these two beverages in between meals, I was truly flabbergasted!
How on earth can you have coffee and orange juice together at one meal?!! Well, today he knows better… thanks to, you know who
Eating right for our body constitution is crucial in maintaing a healthy lifestyle. Especially in the western culture, breakfast on the go, is the norm! Anything goes as long as it is “easy” and “efficient” in other words needs to be grab and go! Sadly, this mantra doesn’t hold true inside our bodies.
Ladies, you’ll beat me for this, but it’s true having flavored yogurt in the mornings is a definite no-no in ayurveda. Dampening foods like yogurt create congestion and weakens the digestive fire especially when you begin day with foods like these…
Wisdom of ayurveda tells us, in the mornings our agni (digestive fire) is just starting out to fire. The famous analogy given here is, think of your fireplace keeping you warm and cozy all day long and the next day the warm coals need to be rekindled. Similarly, our digestive agni slowly rekindles in the morning and its not easy to digest breakfast with dry and cold foods. And when you wash it down with caffeinated and cold drinks it creates a perfect environment to make you sluggish, and induce unhealthy cravings throughout out the rest of your day.
Ayurveda recommends start your day with easily digestible warm meals that stimulates the digestive fire. Here are some choices –
Warm Spiced Oatmeal – This is my all time favorite (eaten especially during winters). I prefer to use steel-cut oatmeal with ayurvedic spices cinnamon and nutmeg poured with ginger infused pumpkin seed milk and topped with goji berries, prunes and figs!!
Cereal or Granola – This is good during spring and summer season. Combine cereal or granola with warm or room temperature nut/seed milk. Cereal and granola can be easily made at home and you could avoid all the sugar loaded brands!
Smoothies – This is my another favorite breakfast food (avoid during cold and rainy days). Ayurveda strongly suggests not to mix sour fruits and milk together – it creates ama (toxins) in our bodies. Always have your smoothies at room temperature and never add ice or drink it cold. I make mine either all with fruits or with greens and orange.
Upma/Breads/Waffles/Pancakes – These are some food items I have occassionally whenever my body craves for it. Indian famous breakfast called upma (breakfast porridge) is easy to digest and is made with assorted veggies, legumes, nuts, and fresh spices and herbs.
Make the right choice first thing in the morning by eating right! “If agni is healthy, you have tremendous energy throughout the day,” says Ayurvedic physician Vasant Lad, “But if agni is not healthy, you cannot go so fast. The energy is agni, and agni is energy. ”