It is helpful to look at our overall health as starting with our digestive system because we can usually make the biggest positive impact by making improvements here. Also, this is where all of the nutrition we use to maintain and heal our bodies enters our system. We can think of our digestive ability like a fire. If the fire is strong, we can throw almost anything on it and it will burn it up. If the fire is weak, then it will struggle to consume heavier, wetter fuels and leave more incompletely burned material. The same is true of our digestion. thus it is crucial to learn how to cultivate a healthy digestive fire. There are 2 downsides to incompletely digesting food. First, we don't get the nutrients we are trying to give our cells. Second, we accumulate incompletely digested food products that are toxic (such as of arterial cholesterol plaques) in the channels of our bodies (intestines, lymphatics, blood vesels, end organs). This then sets the stage for diease to set in.
Here are some simple rules to keep your fire strong; eat seasonally (no salad in the winter, little or no wheat in spring and summer, buy from local farmers markets), avoid ice water (especially with meals because it dilutes stomach acid and lowers the temperature which decreases the efficiency of digestive enzymes), have the biggest meal in the middle of the day and smallest at dinner, keep regular sleeping hours, do not eat heavy foods if you are not hungry, avoid red meat, fried foods, ice cream, and refined sugars, do not combine fish and milk, fish and fruit, milk and carbohydrates, milk and fruit, meat and dairy, do not eat/snack in between meals, avoid very spicy food, cook with mild spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ajawan, black pepper, cardamom, parsely, cilantro, and ginger, avoid heavily processed foods (cook at home as much as possible), cook with high quality oils (organic grass fed ghee, organic raw coconut oil, organic raw sesame oil, organic raw olive oil, take beneficial medicinal herbs.
Stay tuned for the next week when I will discuss how shock trauma compromises our natural healthy state.