In Ayurveda, all health comes from the strength of the digestive system. When you have strong digestion, you break down and absorb nutrition efficiently. You eliminate waste completely. You feel light and energized. Nothing “hangs around” longer than need be.
Unbalanced or impaired digestion is the opposite story. Perhaps food doesn’t break down properly. Or, partially digested food sits and ferments in the digestive tract. You may also have a problem digesting experiences or emotions, leaving energetic “junk” in your system. In any case, undigested waste stays in the body. In Ayurveda, this waste is called ama.
Ama becomes stickier, thicker, and more unctuous with time. Many symptoms that we know as precursors to disease are signals of excess ama in the body, such as: joint pain or stiffness; headaches; heaviness or fatigue after eating; gas or bloating; “brain fog,” leaky gut, and more. Persistent and long-term presence of ama creates disease in your body, mind, and spirit.
With that basic understanding of ama, let’s talk about some of the seemingly harmless habits that create the conditions for ama to form and stick around in the body.
Four Ways You Create Ama in Your Body
- Eat late and heavy dinners. When you eat late (after 6pm) your body lacks the metabolic force (called agni in Ayurveda) to break down your food. Similarly, when you eat too much at one sitting, you smother the digestive fire. Instead, eat light and early to aid your digestion and feel light and lively.
- Drown your feelings with food and drink. If you’re carrying a heavy mental or emotional load, excessive eating and drinking overloads the body and produces ama. Learn to process stress and emotions in mindful ways to avoid creating emotional ama in your system.
- Eat processed food. This one is a bit of a no-brainer. Canned, boxed, old or processed food is like ama in a to-go box. Use common sense and eat fresh, organic, local and green whenever possible to avoid digestive bi-product.
- Eat “five meals a day.” Eating a little bit all day long may sound like a healthy habit, but your body needs time to process food (and emotional experiences) completely before you take in more. Rest your digestive system between meals so it can function efficiently. That means no snacking!
Hit the Reset Button and Release Ama
Ayurveda recommends seasonal cleansing to rid the body of ama before it turns to illness. I do a nutrition reset every spring and fall to purge toxins and support the digestive tract in recovering its strength. It is one of the keystones of my vibrant health, and was essential in curing my Autoimmune condition.
You are invited to join me in my Spring Nutrition Reset. It’s a three-week program that will teach you how to design your diet and eating patterns the Ayurveda way. You’ll learn Ayurvedic guidelines for nourishing your unique body type and lifestyle, and I’ll help you integrate these new habits so they stick with you after the course is over.
One of the most important aspects of making lifestyle changes is to have support.
The Spring Reset includes four online group meetings, a supportive online forum, and personal guidance from me. Plus, you can join with a friend for FREE, so you’ll have even more encouragement (and fun). We start on April 20, and you can register today.
Toxins are everywhere in our environment – even in our clean food and drinking water. This is why a periodic reset is important for your vibrant health. Developing daily habits for eating and sleeping well, and skills for processing stress and emotions will allow you to live ama-light between cleanses.
These are the keys to vibrant health that I practice in my daily life, and are part of my mission to serve you and the entire Pure Life Community.
In pure health,