Why the temperature of your water means everything
Picture yourself in a public place: a restaurant, a friends house, on an airplane, at Starbucks. You've decided that your thirsty and need a glass of water so you ask the server/attendant/friend for a beverage. Nine times out of ten they will come back, willingly, with a nice,refreshing ice cold glass of water. You didn't specify whether you wanted it hot or cold, but culturally, we assume unless were drinking coffee or tea we will want our beverages chilled and over ice. The colder the better....yeah?
The temperature of the food and beverages you consume might be more significant than you once thought and could possibly be one of the simplest health tips I can lend to my bruddas and sistas out there looking to improve their energy levels, skin, and digestion. As Ive ventured in and out of diet fads I have learned, from experience, a great deal about how deeply connected you must be to the food you consume on a mental, spiritual + physical level.
I ate a 90% raw vegan diet for about 6 months, as closely following the 801010 lifestyle as possible without totally putting my body into shock. My day would generally be fueled by a NINE bananas + kale + water + spirulina smoothie for breakfast, as many (delicious, juicy) mangoes as I could stomach for lunch, as much watermelon I wanted for a snack, and a giant raw greens and veggies salad with nuts and oil free dressing for dinner. Dessert could be dates with almond or peanut butter but I was usually too full to even stomach the thought of dessert. Don't get me wrong, my sweet tooth was in heaven as I was eating fruit ALL day long! My energy was through the roof and I was never hungry. I could finally eat in abundance.
After 5 months on this diet and we started to enter the winter months I noticed that my digestion wasn't regular so I went to visit an acupuncturist specializing in Traditional Chinese Medicine who might as well of just shook his head at me after taking one look at me! I had horrible circulation, huge circles under my eyes, my hands were freezing, skin was dry and patchy, and without even telling him so assumed correctly that my digestion was off. The first thing he asked me was what I was eating. Long story short, he advised me to avoid raw foods + cold liquids at all costs as my body was unable to handle food and beverages at low temperatures. I took what he said into consideration but almost immediately left his office and picked up a cold, gut loving kombucha. I was so set in my ways that I couldn't possibly agree with him that temperature had anything to do with how well someones body could absorb and assimilate nutrients. I was so wrong!
After studying with an Ayurvedic doctor last May in Nicaragua, Ive come to grips with the importance of eating warming foods and beverages to increase Agni (digestive energy) + clear out any dampness within my body. Being of Vata constitution, raw foods are said to hinder my body's ability to thrive as they are usually cold + dry, whereas foods to favor are generally moist + warm.
Two years later I'm drinking room temperature red wine + water and the thought of raw salads at night bores my soul. My days are filled with herbal potions, warm lemon water, coffee, fresh fruits and healthy fats + my nights never exclude cooked, grounding grains and vegetables.
- Eating food and beverages at cold temperatures extinguishes your internal agni or digestive fire, causing indigestion + bloating + gas
- Eating cold foods causes an imbalance in the stomach and can lead to cramping/discomfort + mood swings
- Drinking ice cold water and raw foods requires much more energy to be used in order to heat it up enough so that it matches your internal body temperature.....leaving you lethargic instead of alert!
- Cold foods and beverages are said to solidify fat to your intestinal walls, inhibiting the potential lubrication action that allows the passing of elimination
- Warm liquids and foods are more comforting and filling as they are easier to digest
Now don't get me wrong, although i have just clearly emphasized how important temperature is at meal time I still love raw foods! I just refrain from eating them, or food in general, in large quantities. I cant emphasize quality over quantity enough. The maximum nutrition you can get from the least amount of food, I'm all over! Herbs, super foods, healthy fats, grains and vegetables make up the bulk of my diet. Unless I'm treating myself to a cold brew or kombucha on tap, I am always drinking liquids, in particular, at room temperature or warmer as I have found it helps me to keep on moving the toxins along out of my body! When you improve digestion, you improve detoxification. When you constantly supply yourself with the proper environment to eliminate toxins you begin to glow from the inside out and feel good in your skin!
Try taking that Brita out of the fridge for a week or so, add some lemon to your liters of vitality you should already be drinking, and see if you notice any changes!
Here's a great recipe to try as you ease your way into an Ayurveda state of mind. . . .
1 inch knob ginger
4 cups water
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/2 juice of lemon
Boil the ginger in the water for 10 minutes. Strain + stir in the lemon juice and honey. Sip this throughout the morning for an easy way to wake up your internal organs and aid in the detoxifying process.