I love sayings. "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper". When I first heard this years ago, in my pre-nutrition days, I realised I had been doing things backward. I skipped breakfasts, had an average-sized lunch and a huge (and late!) dinner.
When I delved into Ayurveda a few years ago in London, it made sense to me to learn that actually, lunch should be the biggest meal of the day since our digestive juices, our agni (sankrit term for “digestive fire”), is most active between 12-2pm. I know this may come as a surprise to many of you who thought breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day. If you think about it though, it makes a lot of sense that our bodies are best able to digest food mid-day, when we’re active. That's when our digestive system secretes the most digestive juices, making it prime time to eat our largest meal.
Breakfast just needs to be something light and nutritious that keeps us going to midday, such as a smoothie, chia pudding, couple pieces of fruit and a turmeric latte, small bowl of porridge etc. At night, our bodies are winding down and getting ready for sleep.
If we eat a big portion at dinner, when our digestion is weaker, we will experience the following:
bloating and other digestive issues such as gas, wind, belching etc
difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
weight gain, since there isn’t time to burn your meal off before bed
feeling heavy and sluggish the next morning (our bodies are working overtime to digest all that food while trying to rest at the same time – not an easy task!)
Make lunch your main meal and you’ll be doing wonders for your health. One easy way to do this is to eat from smaller plates and aim for light meals like salads, veggies, soups and dahl. In the warmer months, you can have a veggie juice or green smoothie for dinner, it’s incredibly nourishing and grounding.
So, what’s your biggest meal of the day? I’d love to know what works for you, please share!
Health and happiness to you!