Our LIVES are an EVOLUTION. It evolves as it should be – everything changes – and that is beautiful! It is learning to “LET IT GO” and FLOW with what comes our way for the next lesson and joy in our lives. I eat intuitively – food that is in season and whole, nutrient rich foods. A dietary lifestyle isn’t a one size fits all approach but a matter of learning and educating yourself as to what best suits you in the moment (age, season, stress level, activity level). It’s not about joining a certain “food club” and having to stay in it even though your body and mind tell you differently. It’s NOT about perfectionism either. I used to fall prey to this philosophy but have grown and learned much just by letting it all go and listening to what I NEED, what MY BODY NEEDS. It’s about AWARENESS.
Boy, just THAT has taken so much pressure off myself! I read, research, ask questions and inform myself constantly on health, food, mind-body connection (because I LOVE it!) and implement what feels right for me, what I am drawn to. If, by chance, it doesn’t work, no big deal. No reason to be hard on myself or feel like a failure. That was the OLD me. The NEW me says “I am trying, experimenting, learning, growing and EVOLVING with everything I encounter and THAT is the beauty of the journey of Life.” Once I learned to “get out of my own way thru my head/mind”, so much has opened up to me and more possibilities show themselves to me all the time. It’s quite cool!
Several months ago, “AYURVEDA” kept showing up to me in several forms. I took this as a sign to investigate further and I am so GLAD that I did. It has opened me up to an even deeper realm of self-healing and awakening within my mind and body. Before I discuss with you what Ayurveda is and the philosophy, let me tell you why I have chosen to incorporate this beautiful philosophy into my life. I have always been cold natured and late Fall and Winter is usually brutal on me with a high raw diet. Last winter, I incorporated more cooked meals into my diet, but I was still drinking cold green smoothies every morning. My digestion just wasn’t up to par, I was constipated (sorry if TMI!), anxious and I didn’t feel good. So, when all the “Ayurveda” signs showed up to me, I thought “Well, let’s give it a try and see what happens.” I love experiments! I changed my entire way of eating according to my dosha - the three fundamental biological energies of the mind and body (mine being Vata) and Holy Crap! it was working! It was beyond WEIRD for me at first NOT drinking a green smoothie everyday like I had for the past two and half years. I had to mentally talk to myself and LET IT GO. It’s funny the things you ingrain into your psyche/mind and hold as truth.
I am eating hot porridge for breakfast (quinoa or gluten-free oatmeal) with baked apples, ghee , chia seeds, cinnamon, bee pollen and my body LOVES it and has responded well. I am currently (as of today – Jan. 1st) experimenting with a different approach to my morning breakfast routine and will let you know how that comes out.
Lunch and dinner can be anything from baked root veggies, hot blended soups, kitchari (LOVE! and will be making a “how to” video soon), stews and casseroles – mostly plant based. I have added some fish into my diet – I am digesting it well and really enjoying it. A snack in the afternoon can be an appropriate dosha fruit. I also drink more HOT herbal teas and tonics through out the day to keep my body warm and digestive fire sparked. It took some time to adapt (mostly all mental), because my body responded quickly to the warmth and comfort of the foods for my dosha. My mind has gotten on board with my body and the ride is smoother now. I am having FUN playing around with new recipes, new ingredients and a new way of seeing things. My diet will probably lean back towards raw food again come warmer weather, but I will let my body tell me when the time is right. See! I’m already learning and implementing it more!
I took several Ayurveda tests to find out which dosha I was (Vata) and boy, was it SPOT ON. Try yours on for size. Knowing your body type is essential to understanding yourself. When you finally discover what is actually going on inside, you will no longer be bound by society’s notions (or your own) of what you should be doing, saying, thinking and feeling.
Dosha – a governing principle that influences and determines biological and psychological characteristics. When in balance, the three doshas support the body’s tissues and functions. The three doshas are vata (derived from ether and air elements), pitta (derived from air and water elements), and kapha (derived from water and earth elements). When disturbed, or stronger or weaker in influence, their ayurveda effects are manifested as obvious symptoms to be observed and corrected by appropriate, effective actions. (source)
An imbalanced dosha is believed to interrupt the natural flow of prana, or vital energy. The disrupted energy flow is then thought to impair digestion and allow the build up of body waste, or ama, which further impairs energy and digestion.
I could see things (body and mind) that I wasn’t aware of or just took for granted. There was imbalance! My skin was dry, eliminations more difficult, cold all the time (to the bone), anxious, easily “thrown off”, fatigued from my exercise regime, gassy, and bloaty. With changing my diet in the first few weeks, I noticed a stronger body odor and taste in my mouth, then all of the sudden it vanished. I was detoxing. I started dry skin brushing again to stimulate the lymphatic system to assist in removal of toxins along with HOT baths, sweating and enemas. You don’t want that crap re-circulating in your body – get it out! You feel, look and think better. I have been applying much of the philosophy such as daily yoga (LOVE!! beyond words), some meditation, deep breathing, oil self massage, going to bed earlier and exercise. I will be sharing and discussing more of this with you all in further individual posts.
The term Ayurveda derives from the Sanskrit words ayus and veda. Ayus translates as “life” and veda as “Knowledge” or “science”. Ayurveda thus means the “Knowledge or Science of Life.” According to Ayurveda: “Ayus is union of the mind, body, senses and soul. It is energy and vitality and is eternal.” Ayurveda peers into the nature of life through the wisdom of Mother Nature herself. As a philosophy of life, Ayurveda teaches us to live in harmony with the basic laws of nature. As a complete medical science, Ayurveda offers a holistic guidemap for awakening our healing potential. The underlying prescription of Ayurvedic medicine is quite simple: recognize the power of self-healing within, and you will become your own greatest doctor.
According to Ayurveda, health is not a state defined by lab tests or yearly check-ups. Health is a continuous and participatory process that embraces all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, familial, social and universal. Achieving balance on all levels of being is the true measure of vibrant health. The “average person” or “standardized treatment” simply does not exist in Ayurvedic medicine. Every individual is a one-of-a-kind with an equally unique blueprint for health. By providing a universal framework for understanding these blueprints, Ayurveda teaches us to honor and support our true individual natures. That’s why most diets don’t work for everyone. We are individually created with our own special chemical make-up and it is up to US to discover what works best for our own individual needs. Not following blindly what “so and so” is doing or the newest fad or what Dr. Oz says is the miracle ingredient for the day/week. Health is not OUT THERE, it is IN HERE (WITHIN YOU).
All the dietary philosophy information that I have learned is not forgotten or discounted. As an analogy: I am not trying to juggle them all at once and figure out what I am doing or going to do, etc.. I have gently laid all the great information on a table next to me so that I can peruse and go over as I feel drawn to do so. I think many of you encounter this same scenario. So when you REACT to a cup of coffee (or caffeinated tea), to cold drafts, to criticism from a spouse, friend or co-worker, to rainy weather, to loud sounds/music, to heat, etc. – it is your body type sending you a signal. It is a very personal signal that YOU alone can tune in to. If you start to listen to all of these signals that are sent to you day to day, minute by minute – you will notice that they affect your moods, behavior, perceptions, tastes, talents, attraction to other people, and so much more. It is quite interesting!
So, that is what I am doing right now. I have been implementing this way of life for the past month or so. I really wanted to have a better understanding for it and see how my body/mind reacted to it before sharing with you all in more detail. I am still tweaking what is right for me and learning LOTS about myself. I am now LISTENING to the echoes of my mind and body for greater information how to serve myself overall. I am seeing good results and my body and mind are finding a balance. If you are interested in learning more, keep with me and I’ll share with you everything I learn. I’ll still be sharing recipes, tonics, all the same goodies I have been with you already, just with a slight spin on it. If you are interested in pursuing and learning more on your own, here are some great books/sources to check out.
- Deepak Chopra – Perfect Health
- Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living
- The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad
- HeyMonicaB – An Ayurvedic Blog: Your Modern Guide to Living Healthy Through Ayurveda
- Fran’s House of Ayurveda
***Let me know what you think and if you have ever implemented Ayurveda into your life.***May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired! Kibby