It is becoming more widely known that weight and body contouring have less do with calories in and calories out than lowering total body inflammation and increasing anti-oxidants. An inflamed body retains excess fat and water.
The root of inflammation is in the gastrointestinal tract, as this is where approximately 80% of the immune system resides. The intestinal surface is the greatest interface between your body and the external environment, presenting your cells with nutrients or allergens. To your immune system, there are only two categories of classification of the external world — pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory.
Sidebar: As long as we live in duality, substances and experiences will either be good or bad, anti-inflammatory, or pro-inflammatory. However, when we transcend this linear dimension there is the possibility for just neutral. And that may be the ultimate goal, but I guarantee it will take a vital body and an un-inflamed mind to even contemplate that reality. End sidebar.
Interestingly, the classification of a substance can be transformed by the state of your digestion. Poor digestion = more substances that ordinarily do not cause inflammation, create inflammation. Amazing digestion = substances that are ordinarily pro-inflammatory are neutralized and pass through without wrecking havoc on the body.
Therefore for overall wellness, nutrition, vitality, youth, beauty, and optimal body shape, although it is important to choose anti-inflammatory foods, it is equally, if not more important, to optimize the state of your digestion.
And that’s exactly what we are going to do in the Summer Slim-Down Week Challenge, in these four ways.
- Choose anti-inflammatory/easily digestible foods
- Increase the digestibility of food
- Optimize digestion itself
- Enhance elimination of accumulated toxicity/inflammation
You are welcome to follow all or parts of this challenge. Even one small, consistent step will have an impact over time.
Step 1: Favor warm, cooked, soupy food and warm liquids
A vegan, whole-grain, gluten-free diet is optimal for this challenge, but do what you can. See lentils recipe. Generally animal protein is more difficult to digest than plant-based protein and requires optimal hydrochloric acid levels and enzymes.
Remember that your body has to convert everything you eat into a pulverized, smooth, warm liquid that will pass through your intestines. Anything you can do to aid in this task, by “pre-digesting” your food in how you prepare it, will decrease undigested waste and inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory, easily digestible diet is good for many, but if your goal is to indeed trim down, additionally avoid foods with a sour and sweet taste as these tastes are body-building.
Step 2: Fennel and carom (ajwain) seed tea
This is an amazing digestive stimulant and kapha reducer. I’ve seen patients’ cholesterol levels drop approximately 30 points with this tea.
Mix the seeds in a 1:5 ratio of ajwain to fennel, grind together, and store.
Drink ½ tsp to 1T of the blend in a cup of warm water with a pinch of salt first thing in the morning, after lunch, dinner, and before bed. Chew the seeds at the bottom. Adjust the quantity according to how you feel and start slow. Too much may cause some digestive discomfort and gurgling.
Step 3: Turmeric and Triphala
After your tea, swallow two turmeric pills in the morning and two triphala pills before bed. Turmeric is a root with well-known anti-inflammatory properties, and triphala is a combination of 3 medicinal fruits which create a gentle GI detox and enhance elimination of waste. I may boost this process with a few enemas (but those are totally optional and not for beginners.)
Pretty simple, right?
I dropped off a bag of ajwain at work, and my medical team and I are doing it together next week as a group challenge. (I not so secretly timed it a week before my birthday so that I could ring in my next year feeling grrrreat.)
I hope you can join us, and if you do, I would love to hear your feedback about how it goes.
Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.