6 Tips for Holiday Eating: Keeping Your Agni in Balance

6 Tips for Holiday Eating, Keep Your Agni in Balance

Happy Holidays! Is it even possible to eat healthily during the holidays? Yes! And you can do it without FOMO (fear of missing out) or a lot of effort. This month we want to share 6 tips for maintaining your Ayurvedic lifestyle amidst the holiday festivities, balancing your agni (digestive fire), 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 these seasonal foods will help keep your doshas in balance during the holidays and help you feel fuller longer, so you can avoid the temptation to overeat.  

GIVE YOUR AGNI A BOOST

Sipping warm ginger tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of black pepper will spike your agni throughout the day. You can also try taking the traditional Ayurvedic formula 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 agni, allowing for more efficient digestion in the stomach while promoting proper bile flow, detoxification, and fat metabolism. Mix ¼ teaspoon of the formula with ¼ teaspoon of raw honey and enjoy.

KEEP YOUR ROUTINE

Timing matters especially if you are hosting. Planning events to allow for eating earlier (between noon and 2 p.m.) rather than later is ideal, as agni is most active at this time. Otherwise, aim for a dinner get-together between 5 and 7 p.m., if possible.

Between the obligatory workplace parties and family get-togethers, you will not always have control over your lifestyle practices, 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 okay 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’s better to enjoy a reasonable portion than to 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 squeeze in a quick walk or workout before you head to the next party. This will increase your agni considerably and help reduce the buildup 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 a 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 minutes. This abdominal stretch will help stimulate your agni and prepare you for another round of holiday bliss.