Socially, we’ve been programmed to eat three meals per day–breakfast, lunch, dinner. The timing of these meals makes sense. You wake up and break the fast from the night before with a good, solid meal. Lunch gives you a boost of energy in the middle of the day–enough to carry you until dinner, when the clock starts again. We look at hydration in a similar way. If you look around, you’ll find that many people carry bottles of water, trying to satisfy the guideline of drinking eight glasses of water each day. But are these eating and drinking guidelines really necessary?
Instead of tuning in to the body’s natural hunger and thirst messages, people often eat and drink according to a clock and a suggested amount. These actions go against the innate wisdom of the body, which is born with the skills to tell when it’s thirsty or hungry.
Think about this: Your great grandmother didn’t carry a water bottle. She also likely didn’t consume the recommended 64 ounces of water daily. Hundreds of years ago, farm workers didn’t carry water bottles even though they toiled in open fields under the hot sun. Instead, they relied on internal cues to tell them when their bodies were in need of food or water.
You might think: What’s the big deal? It’s just water! Turning water into moisture and then processing it as urine requires the use of Qi or vital energy. What happens when you don’t have enough Qi and the body is forced to use whatever energy it has to process this water? You’re dipping into the Kidney’s irreplaceable energy savings account! You’re giving Qi away.
Water is certainly important. However, tuning in to know when to drink and how much to drink is the key. Your body is so intelligent. If you listen, your body–not your mind–will automatically tell you when you are hungry or thirsty. It will even tell you the types of foods it craves. These cravings are energetic messages that help rebalance the body. Your body knows how to keep you healthy. Are you listening?
Excerpted in part from Digesting the Universe: A Revolutionary Framework for Healthy Metabolism Function
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