I was introduced to Ayurveda a few years ago when I was looking for ideas on how to clear up my skin and naturally improve my energy.
If you aren't familiar, Ayurveda is an ancient Indian alternative medicine theory that really focuses on optimizing digestion.
At the time, I gave very little thought to my digestion, aside from feeling uncomfortable after lunch as my pants were suddenly too tight. (This would happen with any lunch I ate, not just unhealthy ones.)
Anyways, I was listening to Kimberly Snyder's podcast and, as she was getting certified in Ayurveda (a crazy lengthy process), the topic and philosophies kept coming up. This particular podcast was all about creating digestive fire and how it can affect energy levels.
In Ayurveda, they discuss how draining it can be for our body to digest food. They believe that 70% or more of our body's energy is used to digest food. And if we do things that make digestion more difficult for our body, even more of our energy is used for digestion, leaving us feeling depleted.
However, if we make digestion easy for our body, our energy levels will improve, or at least become stable.
I listened intently as she explained the idea behind it and gave tips on how to optimize digestive fire. I think I listened to the podcast episode three times to make sure I got it all. And then I went to work, implementing all that she had described.
To my pure and utter amazement, after almost ten years as a teacher and ALWAYS hitting that 2pm lull when I was ready for a nap (that I could never take because, contrary to popular belief, kindergarteners and their teachers don't get to take naps), my energy issues were gone. G.O.N.E- gone.
I have continued to practice a few of the Ayurveda style tips that I learned back then and it truly has changed my life and daily routine. And on days that I am feeling the energy levels dip a bit, I can usually track it back to a reason.
Here are two tips you can use to improve your digestive fire and increase your energy levels, naturally~
Eat warm foods~
Our body is hot, somewhere around 98 degrees, typically. Anything that we put in our body has to warm up to that temp, and it's our digestive tract's job to do so. If it has to work hard to warm food up, it uses up more energy. If your food is already hot, your digestive tract, and you, conserve energy.
Do your best to eat mostly warm or hot foods. Soups, grain bowls, casseroles, and teas are all great options. If you do go for something cold like a salad or smoothie, drink something warm first so your body has an easier time. I like to have warm lemon water and sometimes a tea in the morning before I have a smoothie. Or for lunch, if I really want a salad, I have a cup of bone broth first. And skip the ice water. Opt for ice free water or, even better, room temp water.
I've said it before- chew your food well. The longer your food stays in your mouth, the warmer it becomes, and the more digestive enzymes it absorbs. Digestive enzymes help with the digestive process, making things much easier. Additionally, if your food is liquified, of course it has an easier time getting through your body.
Shoot for 30 chews per bite or until your food is liquified.
Interested in a few more tips to improve digestion and energy?
Grab my free download, 5 Tips to Top Notch Digestion! It has all the info you need to get your digestion up and running, giving your body a break and leaving you with energy to spare.
I hope these tips are as helpful for you as they were for me!