In most American families dinner is the main meal of the day. It is either heavy or late, in some cases both. If you think that’s not you, pause and think again.… 90% of my clients agree it applies to them but only after pausing and contemplating.
First, let’s define heavy and late.
Late iIs anything past 6 pm, that includes also a late evening snack. Sooooory!!!
Heavy can be in three ways:
1. The substance is heavy: meat, potatoes, fish, cheese, nuts…anything that takes a lot of digestive power.
2. The amount is big i.e. the quantity you eat is large compared to other meals or considering your agni (digestive fire)
3. Food combining is complex. You may think, I am only eating salad, I am eating light. Think again. Maybe you don’t just eat the green part but add tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts, feta cheese, raisins and top it with salmon. That’s complex food combining and takes a lot of digestive power the body doesn’t have late at night.
Late dinners or eating heavy, leads to a domino effect that is detrimental to your health. In my humble analysis, it is a super highway to wellness hell to be precise.
Let me explain.
Our body functions in a natural rhythm. Just like the sun. In the morning the sun awakens and rises, at midday, it has reached its peak and is hottest, then it starts descending until it goes to sleep again at night. Just like that, your body has a rhythm too. There are certain times of day when the body has naturally more digestive fire, at other times it doesn’t. There are times when sleeping makes more sense, while at other times working hard is called for.
Between 6-10 pm is ruled by Kapha (earth and water) i.e. things are heavy and sluggish in your body and mind. If you stuff a big meal into your belly like steak and potatoes, or a salad with nuts and raisins and five other ingredients, your body is going to have a tough time digesting . If you eat late on top of it, say at 7.30 or 8, your body will still be digesting that meal when bedtime rolls around.
10 pm as a general rule is a good time to switch off the lights and call it a day. That’s before the second wind roles around. Stay up past that and good luck falling asleep.
When you eat heavy, late dinners it leads to a domino effect that will screw up your entire next day. Here is how that might look:
Eating heavy and late at night will make you want to stay up later. Whether conscious or not, your body is still digesting and your body won’t be ready to retire.
So you end up going to bed later than you anticipated. Falling asleep will be harder and likely you won’t sleep as deep.
If you missed valuable hours of sleep before midnight or simply because you went to bed too late you are tired the next morning and have to hit the snooze button several times.
Then you sleep past Vata time (before sunrise) which is marked by air and ether. Getting up at Vata time would make you feel connected, alive and vibrant. Instead, you get up at Kapha time (after sunrise) which will make you feel heavy, foggy and cloudy in your brain.
Because you feel groggy, you want to jug down some artificial energy = coffee (nothing against coffee really but it is undeniably a stimulant). And because you got up later than you wanted to, you didn’t have enough time to do your morning routine, so you feel all discombobulated. The whole rest of your day will be off AND you won’t have as much energy as you wished you did. So you reach for more coffee or sugar in the afternoon, or else drag yourself through the day. Finally, work is over and you get home, but you are wound up and exhausted at the same time. So you need beer or wine to help you relax….. you get the picture.
Heavy, late dinners will also lead to sugar addiction, coffee cravings, foggy and cloudy brain, morning stiffness, emotional upset, lack of energy and on and on.
Now let’s look at the opposite scenario.
Eating an earlier, lighter dinner. Say you ate dinner at 5 pm (that’s my dream time) and dinner consisted of a blended carrot ginger soup with a slice of bread and a small side salad. Kitchen closed after that.
That soup will be digested by 8 pm at latest and the body will feel light and comfortable. You will feel naturally tired earlier and you go to bed at a reasonable time, say around 9 pm. You get valuable hours in before midnight and your sleep is likely to be deeper.
The domino effect in this scenario looks like this:
Because you went to bed earlier and you slept deeper, you will naturally wake up earlier, likely before sunrise which gives you ample time to do your morning routine and get ready for your day. Also getting up before sunrise will make you feel more plugged in, alive and vibrant (it’s Vata time remember).
You might still drink your coffee or tea or whatever, but you don’t necessarily need it. You just like it.
You get hungry for breakfast and lunch earlier… after all, you didn’t have a big dinner which makes you want to eat a bigger lunch. That’s good around noon the body has an immense amount of digestive power and can handle massive amounts of food. So your bloating, gas and digestive upsets go away. It’s magic.
The ample lunch will give you energy for the remainder of the day so you don’t have to grab a coffee or sugar or whatever else in the afternoon to get you through the rest of the day.
Overall your body feels lighter, your mind more plugged in, your digestion is improved and you have naturally more energy. And all that from just eating an earlier, lighter dinner.
The quick summary is this:
Heavy, late dinners = superhighway to wellness hell
Earlier, lighter dinners = superhighway to Body Joy
So if you want to feel pleasant in your body, want to feel plugged in, alive and vibrant start eating earlier, lighter dinners. Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear.
Knowing what you need to do and actually doing it are two completely different things. Now you know you need to eat earlier, lighter dinners … the question is are you going to do it. A likelihood is not. Why? Because all kinds of things are getting in the way. Old habits, doubts, fears, scheduling, family preferences … what else? Gremlins …
Ready to step into Body Joy but can’t quite do it on your own? you are not a failure. We all need support.
Let’s chat and get you unstuck. It can be so helpful just to talk to someone about your current challenges to gain clarity around what’s holding you back.
Take action now and set up your FREE 60 minute Wellness Discovery session.
Take action now!!! Set up a FREE Wellness Discovery session
We will talk about what’s up with your health today, how else you’d like it to be and how you can bridge the gap. You got nothing to lose and everything to gain.