Your body literally operates by a clock and this clock maintains equilibrium. This clock is a series of unique cells that turn on and turn off other parts of the body depending on what time it is. During certain times of a 24-hour cycle, certain body systems are a little less active or a little more active, depending on the block of time and body system.
There are three different time zones that appear twice during a 24-hour period: vata, kapha, and pitta.
The Vata zone is between 2 and 6 a.m., as well as 2 and 6 p.m. Keywords: fast moving; clear and quick thinking; breathing (or air); nerves firing and processing.
By sleeping during the AM Vata zone, you enable detoxification and processing of yesterday’s choices. By waking just before Vata passes (before 6 a.m.), you’ll wake with a fresh, pure and active mind, ready to take on the day with energy. Sleep past this point and you will notice you press the snooze button and wake with a groggy mind. At around 2 or 3 p.m., you may feel inclined to have a snack, but not because you’re hungry, but because your mind is active and wants to wander off into antsy-land. This is a great time to get creative energy into play.
The Kapha zone is between 6 and 10 a.m., as well as 6and 10 p.m. Keywords: slow moving; heaviness; sturdiness; Earth; heat and water (or dampness).
By exercising during the AM Kapha zone, you will experience strength and stamina, and the ability to clear stagnant energy and move lymph. It is best to eat a breakfast before 8 a.m. consisting of stimulating and warming spices to awaken the digestion from the night’s fast. Breakfast foods are those that grow higher up in trees and at least four feet above ground, such as nuts, seeds, berries, and certain cereal foods like quinoa and amaranth. Optimally, this meal would contain spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, or turmeric; be light to medium in density; and contain little to no animal foods. Quinoa porridge topped with almond milk, cinnamon, berries, sprouted nuts and seeds and seasoned like a pumpkin pie make for a wonderful breakfast food.
During the PM Kapha zone, it is best to wind down, relax and prepare the body for a restful night of sleep. Dinner is the lightest meal of the day best eaten before 7PM at the latest. Dinner foods include those that grow closer to the ground, under the ground or sea, such as fish, eggs, root vegetables, asparagus, and cabbage. Soups or roasted vegetable salads are really a perfect dinner food. It is also important not to consume sweet foods that require much insulin past 4 p.m.
The Pitta zone is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Keywords: peak performance; mentally engaged; physically prepared; strategizing and discriminating.
The Pitta zone is the productive period of the day, both for mental clarity as well as metabolic activity. Lunch is meant to be the biggest meal of the day consisting of foods between four feet and six inches above ground, such as meat (if a meat-eater, but not required for health), leafy greens, most all vegetables, allergy-free grains, and foods containing sugar. You can handle most types of foods during the midday meal, but it is certainly the best time for the most complex meal of the day.
Being asleep during the PM Pitta zone provides the body the best opportunity to release stress, excess inflammation, toxins and everything active from your mind during the day. If you stay awake into this PM Pitta zone, however, you will discover a second wind yet miss out on key healing and detoxifying opportunities that only take place during that 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. period of time.
Nutritionist Linda Morgan from the University of Surrey conducted a study where she gave participants the exact same foods during PM hours and in AM hours. She tested their blood sugar levels after each mealtime. She found that blood glucose levels after the evening meal were much higher than when the exact same meal was eaten during the AM hours. Other studies conducted on mice showed they were 40 percent leaner, had lower blood pressure and cholesterol by eating during the eight most active hours of the day.
While there may appear to be many formal rules to Circadian Rhythm Eating, if you were to start with simply not eating past 7 p.m., sleeping between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., and rising before 6 a.m., you will see amazing health benefits.
Stephanie Austin is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Nutrition Coach and owner of Wellness by Mother Nature. She has released over 60 pounds and conquered years of junk food addiction through holistic healing and nutrition techniques that she now passes onto others.