So the weather has been so horrible that I thought I could finish my couch, but 2 days ago I broke the only tack strip I had and well since I am sick I have not been able to go and get more.
So as my couch still sits in the living room unfinished, I figured it was time to catch up on my reading. If you are my Facebook friend, you might remember these ...
I bought a few books on Ayurveda and how to cook that way. I have been reading 3 of them at the same time ( yeah I get bored with just one, I'm a weird one).
I have always wondered how people in the eastern cultures keep their meals simple and use certain spices to make them more digestable.
Well after a week or so of reading, all I can say is OMG, we are doing it all wrong! LOL.
I think one of the problem in western cultures is that we think ok, fruit=ealthy, veggies=healthy, nuts=healthy and then we mix it all, and then well, they are no longer healthy for us.
As they say too much of a good thing, isn't a good thing anymore.
Let's take fruit for example. When I was little my dad always told me fruit, should be eaten alone, I have no idea where he got this concept, but he was right. I remember him doing fruit only days when he felt his body needed a break. And I repeat, he is one of the healthiest people I know, never goes to the doctor unless it is for a checkup every 2 years or so.
So why can't we eat fruit with other things you might ask?
Well Ayurveda explains it plain and simple. Fruit is very easily digested, so it is ideal as a snack and eaten one kind at a time if possible.
When we mix it with other foods, like fats, starches or protein, the fruit will not only stay in the stomach until the other foods are digested and passed down to the intestines, but will also ferment given the hot acid and wet enviroment in the stomach, and then produce fumes that will be absorbed in the colon later on. They can also give us gas and indigestion.
We can probably get away with some fruit in our meals if we eat it first, as it will be digested in the order it was received and hopefully not cause any problems.
So there goes the big fruit salads and the pancakes breakfast with mixed berries and noodles salads with apples. Sadness!
One other thing they emphasize is spices, they use specific spices to make foods better suitable for the different type of bodies we have.
They believe bodies are made from energy, 3 types of energy to be exact. And we all have different constitutions, hence we cannot all enjoy the same stuff without causing imbalance and disease.
Now we all know one diet is never good for all.
They give specific instruction as to what to eat for each body type and try and see how these foods sit with you, depending on the amount of the dominant energy "dosha" in your body.
I am a Pitta body type which indicates my body is mostly fire and water, so eating spicy, heating foods is not good for me because it aggravates the natural heat I already have. I am better off eating cooling and bitter foods to calm my fire. Pittas also are the only body types which can handle more raw foods than the other 2, given the strong digestion we have.
A raw food diet is never adviced, unless you are looking for cleansing or you are a Pitta type in the summer and you need cool foods to keep your balance.
One other thing they mention is that we have 6 tastes, sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.
Taste, is the key to using this nutrition practically for any constitution for healing and balance.
Taste is divided in 3 categories, the taste we experience when we put something in our mouths, the effect this taste has in our digestion and the effect it has on our metabolisms.
Something bitter to the taste, has a cooling effect in digestion hence helping some body types like mine, some astringent foods like pomegranate or cranberries are good for Pitta as well and Kapha but not for Vata since they are a cold and dry body type.
They list most of the food categories and let us know what helps us with balance and upsets our systems.
I realized I had always eaten most of the wrong foods, liking spicy and sour foods most of my life, I always suffered from acid reflux, given that these foods have a heating effect on my digestion, hence aggravating my "dosha" with more fire. Not a good combination.
So ever since I discovered this ancient method, I eliminated those heating foods and I have never taken another antiacid pill. So simple, yet so hard to grasp for our complicated minds.
They have foods that are ok for all the body types and can be easily altered by adding heating spices like cumin or curry for Vata types since they need the heat for their cold bodies.
Beans for example are not for everyone, they provide many different ways to aid digestion when using these, to make them easier on the body and to not create a gas war.
Some of these foods take some preparation ( soaking beans for 3 to 4 days) but they will do the body good.
Here, we are so used to having it right here right now, we have sabotaged our own health in the process.
Ayurveda advices a mostly vegetarian diet, some body types can handle little amounts of meat but it can be aggravating for others, like mine.
I want to keep reading and introducing these foods into my life and hopefully see the effects of this nutrition.
Sometimes people look at me like I am crazy when I mention that I use foods to help my health, instead of medicine.
But I believe the simple ways always work. Instead of complicated amounts of vitamins and rigorous diets.
One thing they mention as well is, if we do not enjoy eating the foods we cook ( diets) our bodies will reject them and they will not have the effect we wanted.
So we should play around and adapt some recipes and use the food that upset our bodies sparingly.
I am thinking this would be a great topic for the ladies here on Fresh Start ( a group we have in our neighborhood).
I need to hit my herbal book to see if I can find a good tea for this nasty cold/cough I have and hope my kids will try it too.
Hoping for a better week!