Here's why eating "healthy" isn't enough to de-bloat (but Saffron may be)
5 things that *do help* + Medicinal Cooking with Saffron
In this dispatch:
Why doing all the right things doesn’t necessarily stop your belly from bloating
How the energetics of Todays Moon can launch your digestive fire reset
5 practical steps to inner radiance (read: strooong digestive fire)
3 ways to use a sacred ingredient that boosts both: your digestive fire and libido
Who's doing all the right things but still bloats after food? Me 🙋. It's embarrassing almost. I guide other women to a happy, healthy gut - meanwhile, I still bloat sometimes. Here's why: we can eat unprocessed, all organic, Dosha approved and cooked-with-love food all we want. But when this food is consumed with a busy, overthinking, perhaps worried mind, none of those good things will be processed properly. Fight or flight mode always talks a little louder than your rest and digest setting.
The good news is: Today offers us a portal to access *Agni*. Those of you practising Yoga may have heard it in class: Agni is your *digestive fire*. Scroll down for a routine that helps you reboot this.
Agni 101: meet the Fire that sustains you
I starred both terms because they're pretty much THE key to good health. Accompanied by Prana (oxygen) and Ojas (immune system), Agni (also called Tejas) is 1 out of 3 life forces. Agni takes oxygen, fluids, food and thoughts to process these into absorbable nutrients for every body cell. There are little fires everywhere (did you love that show as much as I did?) - but the most important digestive fires are at the throat (at just about the same place as your tonsils), in the intestines/underneath the belly button, and for women's health sake I'd also like to add the Liver. DW, I am not going to go into the nitty-gritty with this. There's no need. All you need to know is that when one of those first two major places has compromised digestive fire - your whole body will feel this at a cellular level.
Bloating after meals, skin impurities, incomplete bowel movements, a hard or bloody stool, diarrhoea, fatigue, decreased libido and a brownish blood flow or lots of cramps/chills during your Period are all signs of weakened Agni.
Why Today offers you a Radiant Portal to stronger Agni
Tonights Moon brings a few factors together, and their song sounds like poetry to me. Head over here to read my unofficial report of today’s moon interpretation. I’ll drop you one clue: it covers today’s Moon Goddess, Nakshatra (Moon Theme - quite an important detail in Jyotish/Vedic Astrology), how these relate to the Digestive Fire as well as your libido and how Gemini influences your digestion.
Radiant Agni Routine
PS: try to take this with you into the week. Feels good? Maybe this can become your daily set of (practical) rituals. It's a simple yet effective way to support your Agni without having to purchase fancy supplements.
Step 1: Eat with the Circadian Rhythm
To tap into today's portal (and reset your digestive) fire, I would suggest eating with the circadian rhythm for the rest of today and continuing to do this for the weekend. Regardless of how sunny it gets, your digestive fire peaks between 10 am and 2 pm. Enjoy your two biggest meals within this time frame. The third meal is the smallest/least complicated, and you can have it before 7 pm. It's essential to give your body a break from food after this time, so your Liver's Agni gets enough time to do its job in peace.
Step 2: Lime-Ginger Bites to activate Agni
In the morning, peel a ginger root (thumb size) and slice in tiny cubes. Next, squeeze the juice of 1 lime and pour over the ginger to be absorbed. Finish off with some rock salt. Chew on 1-3 tiny cubes 20 minutes before your next meal. This activates your digestive fire + brings meal awareness into your day. It's like you're letting your body know to initiate the winding down: "Sit back and relax; a meal is coming up!"
Step 3: Deep Belly Breathing
When your meal is served... Close your eyes and place both hands on your lower abdomen. Allow your belly to become full of air, like a full moon. Breathe out freely. Notice any restriction? Open your button or belt so you can absorb all the oxygen that fits into your belly. Continue with six slow, mindful, deep belly breaths. Try to refrain from “counting out loud” in your head. Just witness the air coming in as your hands move up with each inhalation.
Step 4: Work with Gemini's Energy in a way that benefits your nervous system
Ironically, this is one of the first protocol guidelines I came across when studying Ayurveda. Mindful habits around food don't start and finish, by saying Grace. The food we consume becomes us. If we are highly energetic and food sustains this energetic body, the food itself must be energetic. Right? So the belief is that the thoughts we think whilst eating bind with the nutrients we ingest, becoming a manifested part of our physical self. Also: when worried, your body’s priority is to keep you safe. That task stands between you and healthy digestion. So. Ayurveda suggests not to speak whilst eating (also great prevention from gas). If you must say something, let it complement the food. Pay your gratitude to the chef ("This tastes so good!"), talk about the texture, any good memories the food brings up for you, maybe something about the country of origin, etc. If you have your meal in silence, tune in to your five senses. Be aware of the scent, taste, texture and shape while your awareness follows the bites as they enter your body. You may also think of all the hands that contributed to this meal. Thank them, as well as yourself, for refuelling your body. This is a form of living meditation and will keep your mind from wandering elsewhere.
Step 5: Keep the Fire Warm - don't flush it with chilled drinks or foods!
The title speaks for itself. Digestive Fire needs heat to function. So anything that would dim your candlelight (externally) does the same thing to your inner fire. Would you place an ice cube on your candle? 😜
Anyway, the coldest you can have your drink is room temperature. Just be mindful not to drink more than half a glass of water around your meals (30 minutes before - 30 minutes after), as lots of fluid flushes that inner flame, too.
Spice It Up With Saffron
Today’s Moon Theme (Krittika Nakshatra) highlights the necessity of fuel. “Sukra” is Sanskrit for fuel. It also translates as Venus (symbolising love, beauty and reproduction) and semen. So, I decided to use this lunar occasion to share an Agni boosting tastemaker with you that also acts as a mild aphrodisiac.
Here it goes:
• Cook your rice, pulses and soups with 1-3 strands of Saffron to give your digestive fire (& libido) a boost.
• You may also add it to a homemade rose petal tea, combined with a pinch of Nutmeg. These all benefit your Venus whilst boosting Agni.
If you checked out the Moon Report, you probably noticed that today’s Moon Goddess Jwalamalini Devi also goes by the FIERCE name Garland of Fire. I suggest a Google search on “Jwalamalini Devi” for an image of how she visualises the radiance that comes with Agni.
The Ritual: Set a tall glass or Jug of water aside and let it bathe in tonights Moon Light. If you’ve got an Emerald Stone (best for Gemini, the Zodiac the Moon is in tonight), you may place this at the bottom of the jar. When you get up in the morning, shower the night away. Finish off your shower by pouring the water that has soaked in Jwalamalini’s light over your heart and belly. Close your eyes and visualise your skin as it absorbs Agni’s Radiance.
Alright, plenty to work with, so I’ll leave you to it <3
Love Deborah Rose xx