Updated: Apr 2
Creating a balanced and delicious meal doesn't have to be complicated
When you read this list of all the components that a healthy and balanced meal should have, you might go OMG no way I can't do that in a million years and let alone every day and preferably twice a day!
But slow down.
Once you get the hang of it, it's so much easier than it looks, and most of it, you are already incorporating anyway.
So here goes the list.
To create a balanced and healthy meal that keeps you satisfied from one meal to the next, you will need:
Whole grains Grains like basmati rice, barley, millet, quinoa are the easiest to digest and most nourishing.
Proteins Preferably from plants, but if you wish to keep eating fish or meat, then make sure it's not more than 20% of your meal, or you won't be able to digest it.
Augmenting vegetables These foods replenish and rejuvenate the body
Extractive vegetables The foods that detox the body and require the body to give something up to get digested.
Spices to aid digestion Think of spices like cumin, turmeric, fresh ginger, black pepper, mustard seeds, fenugreek, etc.
All six tastes To fully digest the food that we eat, our body needs all six tastes to stay balanced. They are: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent.
Healthy oils We not only need to moisturize the outside of our body but also the insides that's why healthy fats are essential in keeping our body lubricated. Not only to prevent our digestive system from drying out but also to keep our joints and other parts of the body flexible. The last decade eating oil has gotten a bad image as if eating oils equals gaining fat. That's just not the way it works. Our favorite types of oils are Sesame seed, olive, mustard seed, sunflower, coconut and ghee. All according to your constitution and state of health.
The ratio of these foods should be as follows 60% augmenting (whole grains, augmenting vegetables) and 40% extractive (proteins and extractive vegetables)
Augmenting foods are the foods that build your tissue. They nourish and ground your body and mind and rejuvenate what is no longer there. This food group is generally sweeter. Think of sweet potato, avocado, pumpkin, carrots, and zucchini. Augmenting foods are a vital part of our diet. When you incorporate these foods into your meal, they will give you more energy and vitality. 60% of your meal should consist of this augmenting food group. See the list below for examples.
Extractive foods are cleansing in nature. (often used in detoxing juices, celery, kale, etc.). They are essential in breaking down healthy fats, and they clean out the digestive tract. Often they are bitter or astringent in taste. Think of: Leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts. 40% of your meal should consist of this food group. See the list below for examples.
When to eat
As you might have noticed, your body needs a certain amount of time to digest a meal. We can see this when there is no real hunger, and usually, our right nostril is not entirely open. This process usually takes about 6 hours. When we disturb this process by eating within 2-3 hours after having a meal, we will cause imbalances in our body and put out our digestive fire.
Therefore it is recommended to eat three balanced meals during your day and not have any snacks. This might sound hard, but once your body is used to it. You will notice the difference between when your body is hungry and when it is not.
For example have breakfast at 7am, lunch at noon, and dinner at 5pm. This way will give your body all the time it needs to proces the food. Resulting in healthy tissues and a strong digestive fire.