I follow a daily routine, eat with the season, get my sleep, meditate, practice yoga, cook with ghee, cleanse seasonally and participate in a whole host of Ayurveda approved diet and lifestyle choices, but I admit I love green smoothies especially this time of year.
When I get home from teaching late, sometimes at 8 or 9 pm, I don’t want nor do I need a heavy meal. Most importantly your digestive fire (Agni) is low in the late evening and routinely eating a big meal late at night can cause the accumulation of Ama (toxins). For the past two weeks I have had a smoothie for dinner almost every night and here is what I discovered. I lost weight but more importantly I feel lighter and more energetic especially in the morning. My skin looks and feels great and I noticed that I can tune into my true hunger more easily and the afternoon cravings for sugar I sometimes experience are gone.
According to Ayurveda, every food is either medicine or poison and which one depends on the nature of the person consuming it. Smoothies are heavy, cold, sweet and sticky in nature and for people with a similar makeup can be difficult to digest. Because of their nature they can aggravate Vata and Kapha doshas if they are consumed regularly and may cause heaviness, constipation, variable energy, poor digestion, increased anxiety and insomnia. An important Ayurveda principle to keep is mind is like increase like. So if you are feeling heavy, sluggish, cold, scattered and fatigued then it may be best to avoid smoothies. However for some people, like me, with a strong Pitta nature and a strong digestive fire smoothies can be beneficial.
If you are like me and addicted to your green smoothies, here are a few tips to make your smoothie more Ayurveda friendly.
Ease the Freeze – Avoid using frozen fruit or use a mix of fresh and frozen fruit in your smoothie and never add ice. This lessens the cold nature of your smoothie and makes it easier to digest.
Add Some Zip – Adding ginger, turmeric, lemon or cinnamon to your smoothie will increase the heat making it more digestible.
Timing – Enjoy your smoothie when your digestive fire is naturally higher. Mid-day and the summer season is best. If you must have them year-round limit your smoothie intake to 1 or 2 per week.
Simplify – Keep the ingredients to a minimum. One or two kinds of fruit, one kind of liquid base and one or two types of greens plus a little zip.
I rarely consume smoothies in the winter when the weather is cold and heavy. However for now they seem to be working for me. Experiment with what works for you and let me know how it goes.
Wishing you Vibrant Living