Q. Why do I tend to "crash" in the mid-afternoon?
A. From an Ayurvedic perspective, we tend to “crash” in the mid-afternoon, as this is when we are entering the “vata” period of the day. The vata time is characterized by more mental movement, exhaustion, and feeling overwhelmed.
Q. Is there anything I can do to avoid losing steam toward the end of the day?
A. Try to make lunch your biggest meal of the day. Eat in a pleasant, calm place without distraction (being in nature is ideal). Healthy lunches for avoiding the crash should include "slow burning" whole foods that don’t spike blood sugar -- whole grains, cooked vegetables, lean meats, and whole fats like olive oil, avocado, and ghee.
Also try these simple tips:
--Avoid eating in front of screens.
--Take some time to be grateful for your lunch prior to eating, even if you are at the office.
--After eating lunch, try to lie down on your left side for 5–20 minutes. This helps your digestive organs to do their work. If you are in an office setting, even just leaning to the left side in your chair would be helpful.
--If possible, try to take a little catnap in the late afternoon. Yoga nidra is also a great practice for just before sunset.
--Eat lightly at night. Having your last meal before sundown, and at least 3 hours before bedtime, will ensure better sleep, making you less likely to crash the next day. My favorite nighttime meals include soups, stews, or a simple piece of toast with some salmon or an egg.
--If you have a fast metabolism and need to snack between meals, I recommend yogurt with spices, almonds (just a handful), or fruit with nut butter.
Katie Silcox is the author of the upcoming book, "Healthy, Happy, Sexy - Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women." She's a vinyasa yoga teacher, Ayurvedic practitioner, contributor to Yoga Journal, and a senior teacher within the Sri-Vidya ParaYoga lineage under Yogarupa Rod Stryker.