You are when you eat. Who hasn’t heard the saying ‘eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’? But why? What difference does it make to eat at certain times of day?
Chinese dietary advice is pretty simple when it comes to timings.
Firstly, eat three meals a day and try and keep all of your eating within a 12 hour window. Your digestive system needs some time off. Give it a break. A proper break. And some smaller breaks too. It’ll thank you for it.
Secondly, eat regular meals. Your digestive system will know what to expect and be ready to do its job to the best of its ability.
For those of you with kids you’ll remember all the baby books advising you to keep naps and meal times at the same time each day so your baby’s body knew what to expect.
And guess what? We’re no different!
Thirdly, eat a good breakfast.
According to Chinese philosophy Qi flows through 12 different organs once every 24 hours (in accordance with the circadian rhythm). This means that each organ has a two-hour period when its Qi is at its strongest, and a two-hour period (12 hours later) when its Qi is at its weakest.
So for example, the time for the Stomach is between 7am and 9am – the time when we have breakfast, which is when our stomach Qi is at its strongest and is most able to digest the food we eat. This is why it is SO important to eat well in the morning. Conversely the low point for the stomach is 7pm to 9pm, which tends to be when we overload it with our main meal of the day.
‘But I hate eating breakfast!’ I hear you cry. Well that says a lot about the energetic health of your stomach. If you’re finding you can’t eat in the morning then it could be that your stomach is in need of some TLC.
And finally, don’t forget that you are an individual with your own likes and dislikes and quirks. What’s right for one person won’t work for another. Listen to your body and find a way of eating that’s enjoyable and nourishing so that you enjoy good health maybe even a little bit of boundless energy.
YOU ARE HOW YOU EAT – read about how you eat is important in Part III next week.
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