In a time that is considered the age of knowledge, you might presume that the human race would be more in tune with how to eat a healthy diet and live a healthy life, but ironically diseases that are caused by the wrong diet and lifestyle are dramatically increasing, and in fact, are the top causes of death in the US.
8 of the 10 top killers in the US are tied to food
80% of adults are obese or overweight
93% of the US population have metabolic dysfunction
It’s an epidemic.
Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and cancer are all on the upward climb. In addition, medications for these conditions are being prescribed at an all-time high, but our population is only getting sicker. (Hot topic for another time!)
Our food system today causes us to be completely detached from agriculture. This unfortunately makes us out of touch with the rhythms and cycles of our best guide for healthy living - Nature. In addition, it forces us to be dependent on industrialization where food is mass-produced for mass consumption and is often abundant with addictive, chemical-laden, toxic ultra-processed food.
Yes, I said addictive - this is part of the business plan for these corporations to ensure steady and ever-increasing prof$t. Our grocery stores are chock full of processed sugar, cheap industrial seed oils (like soybean, corn, canola & cottonseed oil), highly processed grains, cheap fillers, and additives, etc. This is low-quality food my friends, and your body KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE.
Bottom line ~ the foods that we are fed today and that are in abundant supply are the most profitable foods, not the most nutritious.
Simply put, our personal relationship with food in our culture is broken and our capitalistic economy is putting this in overdrive. Those top killer diseases I mentioned are absolutely preventable by the right diet and lifestyle. We CAN take control of this! The opportunity is there for most of us at every meal.
So what can we do?
Information is available right at our fingertips today and there is definitely no shortage of articles, books, experts, fads, and trends in the topic of nutrition that is often contradicting and downright confusing to most people out there trying to make healthy choices.
This is where the time-tested wisdom of Ayurveda comes in to clear the air. Ayurveda specializes in preventative medicine (avoiding disease) and is a master at digestive health, nutrition, and prescribing the appropriate diet for each unique constitution, amongst many other things. Here are some fundamental key points from Ayurveda for good health and well-being when deciding what you’re going to put in that sacred temple of yours.
Eat whole foods, not processed food
When grocery shopping, stick to the periphery of the store where the fresh food is kept and avoid the middle of the store and main aisles as much as possible where all the processed food is lurking. Also, farmer's markets are a great place to frequent. Not only is it fresh from the farm, but also in season.
In general, choose a diet filled with as many fresh, vibrant, living, organic, whole, and natural foods that come directly from the Earth. This is the food that is most biocompatible for your being, and to boot, it’s a sure way to infuse your cells with intelligence and life-giving Prana.
Conversely, processed and stale food is stripped of its whole natural nature, which lessens the intelligence of its cells, rendering it deficient in nutrition and vibrational energy. Artificial foodstuffs are just that ~ artificial and lacking any intelligence and prana whatsoever. Freezing, microwaving, and canning also are considered processed food as they all alter and decrease the amount of prana in your food.
My mantra to my clients is:
✨ CHOOSE FOOD THAT IS AS CLOSE TO THE FARM AND GARDEN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN ✨
Then bring that food into your home to cook and prepare it with LOVE.
We become what we digest. Choose to take in intelligence and life-giving prana. Your cells will thank you!
For some delicious recipes made with Ayurvedic principles, click here.
Ayurveda knows that food is medicine and that taste indicates the physiological functions of food and the effects it has on the body, mind, and spirit. The six tastes offer a complete guide map to balanced nutrition. To discover more on this, see my article here.
Know your constitution
Knowing your constitution (dosha) simply allows you to evolve to a more ideal state of health as it is a very intuitive and powerful tool for self-healing. The right diet for your unique constitution is the best medicine and is the first line of defense for preventative health and for healing.
If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
If we aren't taking in the right diet for our unique constitution, our digestive fire will become imbalanced. When our digestive fire is imbalanced, we cannot adequately process and transform anything into energy ~ this includes food, herbs, supplements, medications, thoughts, emotions, and ideas.
For this reason, the digestive fire (agni) is referred to as the seat of health in Ayurveda.
If diet is correct, medicine is of no need.
When we eat the appropriate diet for our constitution, our digestion finds harmony and that aids in the performance of all other systems in our body, including our extraordinary immune system. This truly is the catalyst for vibrant health.
We all have to eat to survive, every day, at least 3x give or take. Doesn't it make sense that this one ritual alone has a significant impact on our health and well-being? Eating a healthy diet is one way to give yourself a real advantage in living a higher quality life and avoiding disorders and diseases.
What to discover more about different Ayurvedic constitutions and what yours is? Click here.
Make seasonal adjustments to your diet and lifestyle habits
The Sun is the primary driver of seasonal change, as Earth’s exposure to the Sun changes the ratio of elements in our environment. The amount of time that light and heat from the Sun have an opportunity to shine down on us will also affect the ratio of elements within us.
The changes of the season can be a vulnerable time for our health and well-being as it is when we all run the risk of doshic aggravation (aka constitutional imbalance). Ayurveda tells us that by balancing the nature of our local climate with our constitution + the appropriate diet and lifestyle adaptations, we can offset the potential for seasonally-induced imbalances allowing us to stay healthy, live longer, and have more strength and vibrancy.
Ayurveda guides us to gradually start letting go of the diet and lifestyle practices of the previous season and slowly start adapting our practices to the upcoming season. This is best done with gentle adjustments and a slow pace, not an abrupt change. It follows the weather and climate, not the calendar. When making these adjustments, one must consider their unique constitution, as well as their current imbalances.
As we’re coming up on the sunny season soon, click here to check out my article on how to stay balanced during Summer.
The Light-Dark Cycle is an important truth of life. Nature is profoundly cued by the amount of light in its environment, and as we are Nature, we are also cued by this cycle. To learn more about this and get a deeper understanding of why we must align with seasonal changes, see my article here.
Keep your digestive fire in check
One of the most vital components to maintaining your health and wellness is to be a good digester. Making sure your digestive system is in fine working order is one of the most fundamental ways we keep our whole being working most efficiently.
When our digestion is weak or inefficient it results in poor digestion, and this causes us to create toxins which we call ama in Ayurveda. Ama is a thick, sticky, soft, messy leftover substance - I imagine it like tar - that sits in the stomach, smothers your agni (digestive fire), and blocks your physical and energetic channels. It builds up like gook in your 'pipes' causing resistance, therefore slowing down and disturbing all digestive processes.
There is a direct correlation between a decrease in agni and an increase in the formation of ama. This perpetuates the creation of more ama from future meals because now digestion is further impaired. It becomes a futile cycle of building toxins. This is akin to a clogged pipe in your sink, or a dryer vent full of lint - these things become less efficient and less powerful and this perpetuates more build-up and creates further stagnation and several more problems.
Bottom line - if you are metabolically healthy, your chances of avoiding disease and disorder are significantly decreased.
For tips on how to keep your digestive fire burning bright, see my article here.
Sometimes, it is necessary to do a digestive reset to lessen the toxic load. The change of the seasons is a particularly potent time for this. See my article here for thorough guidelines on a gentle at-home Ayurvedic cleanse.
Ayurveda is a master at digestion. There's so much more on this topic! Check out more of my articles on this here.
Want to know more?
There’s so much to Ayurveda. It has many layers of wisdom that go so very deep.
Maybe you're wondering what really is Ayurveda! Check out my article here.
If you want a little more about your unique constitution, check out my Discover Your Dosha guidebook by going to my website at: www.nature2balance.com/contact.
Type in your email, hit submit and my free guidebook will arrive in your inbox.
If you’d like a more personal and comprehensive look at your very own unique constitution, connect with me. I provide thorough and detailed diet & lifestyle guidelines for individuals so that you can naturally find true mind-body-spirit wellness, balance, and bliss.
Check out my diet & lifestyle page on my website: