"Why Am I So Bloated & Gassy?"
This is a question I hear often. Gas, bloating and abdominal distension is a clear sign that the body is out of balance.
In my last blog I challenged you to make a 2 column list - Column one - list all the foods that make you feel good - foods that create energy versus leaving you tired, gassy, burpy and bloated. Column two - foods that leave you tired, bloated, and gassy.
If you did that, you are one step ahead of the game!
In this blog, I am going to introduce the Ayurvedic term "Agni." Agni is our digestive fire located right behind our belly buttons. In Ayurveda, it is believed that most disease and imbalance is caused by a malfunctioning Agni. "When Agni is functioning properly, whatever we have eaten is readily digested and absorbed by the body. The body uses what it needs, and eliminates the rest. However, when we are imbalanced due to lifestyle, diet, and negative emotions, Agni becomes weak and cannot function properly." (In Your Element by Monica Bloom)
It's easy to understand when we compare it to the Sun. The sun rises in the morning, a small flame, not very strong. We want to give it something small to avoid putting out the fire. Around 10 we may feel snacky, but the goal is to have a nice raging fire by noon, our biggest meal of the day, so Agni has the rest of the day to digest. At the same time, Agni begins to get smaller. By dinnertime, Agni is small and tired with less heat than lunchtime. Therefore, our dinner should be small.
"When the sun goes down, the heart closes up like a lotus flower and the normal functions of the body reduce. Therefore, Agni curls up with a blanket and rests for the evening. The next day the cycle begins all over again." (In Your Elements by Monica Bloom)
Where we go wrong in the West:
- We skip breakfast or have something cold. Agni needs warmth in order to grow.
- We eat a salad for lunch and Agni needs something more substantial to fuel us for the rest of the day.
- Because lunch was small, we are starving when we get home, we overeat and go to bed.
The problem? A large meal at night, when Agni is weak, will go undigested. When we wake up, we eat again, but, the food from last night is still sitting there. This creates a burden on Agni, that over time will result in a pile of undigested food in the gut. This, quickly, puts you on the road to weight gain and toxicity.
I love Ayurvedic concept of Agni. I have put it to work in my own life. When I began following the process of Agni, I began feeling satiated longer, and eating less.
Another concept to consider, "Agni will let you know it is done digesting, by signaling with hunger pains." If you are eating and you are not hungry, you are adding food on top of undigested food, which slows down and can literally stop digestion. If you suffer from gas, bloating and stomach distention, you are certainly suffering from an overload of food and a weak Agni.
Put this concept to work this month! Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com and let me know how you are doing!
I will be back next month with a "Dosha" worksheet!!