Happy Holidays! Is it even possible to eat healthy during the holidays? Yes! And you can do it without FOMO or a lot of effort. This month we wanted to share with you 6 tips to keeping your Ayurvedic lifestyle in-check amidst the holiday festivities, balancing your agni and keeping your doshas at ease in the months to come.
Include lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables
Do you decorate for the holidays with a lot of colors? Treat your plate the same way. Seasonal fruits and vegetables will add flavor, color, and nutrients to holiday favorites. Eating seasonal will help keep your doshas in balance during the holidays and they help you feel fuller longer so you can avoid the temptation to overeat.
Give Your Agni a Boost
Sipping on warm ginger tea with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a pinch of black pepper will spike the Agni throughout the day. You can also try using the traditional Ayurvedic formula of trikatu 15 minutes before each meal. Trikatu is a classic Ayurvedic herbal blend of pippali, ginger, and black pepper. These herbs work in synergy to stimulate the digestive fire, or Agni, allowing for more efficient digestion in the stomach while promoting proper bile flow, healthy detoxification, and fat metabolism. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of formula with 1/4 teaspoon of raw honey and enjoy.
Keep Your Routine
Timing matters especially if you are hosting. Plan events that support eating earlier (closer to 12 - 2 pm) rather than later is ideal, as digestive fire (Agni) is most active at this time. Otherwise, aim for a dinner meal between 5-7 pm if possible.
From the obligatory workplace parties to family get-togethers, you will not always have control, and your calendar may be bursting with opportunities to eat and drink outside of your routine. Make a plan that will help you resist plowing through the buffet table, like having a healthy snack beforehand.
Be Mindful of Portions
We all tend to overindulge during the holiday season, and this is ok to do once in a while. In Ayurveda, it's all about finding balance - enjoying good food with family and friends and being mindful the body's needs. Remember our stomach is only the size of both hands cupped together. Be aware of your portions; it is better to enjoy a reasonable portion then suffer from indigestion.
Find Opportunities to be Active
Keep the inevitable indulgences in check by staying active. Enjoy some winter sports for a change of pace, or schedule in a quick walk or workout before you head to the next party. This will increase your Angi considerably and help reduce the build-up of Kapha from the traditional holiday meals.
Practice a Bit of Yoga
After a bustling day of holiday affairs, take a moment to practice yoga. Supta Matsyendrasana is a gentle twist that will support your digestion and is delightful and relaxing stretch for the whole body, Make sure you practice the pose 2-3 hours after eating. The next day, wake up and practice cat/cow pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana) in the morning for 5 mins- this abdominal stretch will help stimulate your Agni and prepare you for another round of holiday bliss.