The universe really is amazing. Our bodies are really amazing. There are cycles in everything! There are cycles in weather, the seasons, the economy, moon, sun. There are also cycles that our bodies go through each and every day.
Your body runs on 3 eight-hour cycles per day... Appropriation Cycle ... Assimilation Cycle and the Elimination Cycle. Formally referred to as the Circadian Rhythms in Western medicine, and known for thousands of years via Ayurvedic teachings. Chinese Medicine describes these cycles as they correspond with our environment. Much the same as each meridian system relates to corresponding connections (5 Element Theory), so does each 24 hour period. In understanding and applying these body clock principles it allows our bodies to function more efficiently and enjoy a heightened immune system.
During the hours between Noon and 8PM, your body is in the Appropriation Cycle. During this period, we are most awake, active, present and therefore efficient at digesting, metabolizing and burning through the majority of our heavily concentrated foods. It's the best time for eating all proteins, complex carbohydrates and fats. This is why the majority of meals (lunch, dinner and snacks) also occur during this cycle. The most important thing to do then IS to eat only when hungry and in smaller portions, so you give your body plenty of breaks and chances to break down through the food with the least required effort, so it reserves the energy for everything else you need doing, not merely wasting it on digesting your meals.
During the hours between 8PM and 4AM, your body is in the Assimilation Cycle. This is the time you are most likely to be relaxed or sleeping. This period is when all the ‘assimilating’ or absorbing of nutrients and minerals from your food occurs and gets transported to your organs, bones and cells via the blood. It is when all the rebuilding, renewing and healing takes place. It makes sense to eat dinner early, so that the foods you eat are digested and out of the stomach in preparation for this phase. As all the goodness gets drawn from the food for you to strengthen, the remains get ready for Elimination, the start of the next cycle all over again. Eating later in the evening can be the reason why you may wake up exhausted in the morning. Your body has spent all it's energy trying to digest food instead of absorbing and using the nutrition while you were sleeping. This will also interfere with the beginning of the elimination cycle....
During the hours between 4AM and Noon, your body is in the Elimination Cycle. This is the time that our bodies primary focus is to remove waste. This is an important time, as toxins that aren't eliminated by the body cause health issues down the road. By understanding that this is the period most important for cleansing and releasing toxins, we can make the right food choices. It is best to stick to liquids and most hydrating living foods, as we let our body shed the toxins (think how you wake up tired, sweaty, headachie and with bad breath- all are signs of detox symptoms). So if you do choose to eat during this period, it is important to go for anything that will require minimal digestion and support this cleansing cycle, such as fresh fruit or green juices. This is why you often hear experts refer to breakfast as ‘the most important meal of the day’, exactly so you can make a careful choice on what’s light on digestion, not so you can eat the most gigantic feast. You are breaking the fast (break-fast), so do it right or proper elimination won’t get a chance.
“The elimination cycle is without question your greatest ally in the preservation of health and prevention of disease”; “If a blood test was to be taken every hour for 24 hours, it would show that the bloodstream is most heavily burdened with the by-products of metabolism during the hours between 4am-12noon, indicating the stepped up elimination cycle, because it is the blood that carries waste material to the four channels of elimination: bowels, bladder, lungs, and skin”- Harvey & Marilyn Diamond, Fit for Life
By being mindful of these cycles you are helping your body to give you a life full of health and vitality.