It’s 2014 and every one is once again thinking about their health. Like many others I too am long overdue for getting into shape. Resolutions are cheap and everyone makes them. Few disciplined and determined ones see results. Others forget about it within a month or two. 2001 was the last time I had a personal trainer. I worked out everyday. I even drove in traffic all the way to the other end of the city for it. I was committed.
Years passed by and I got distracted. I was having a long passionate affair. Though it is only recently that I began to notice its destructive qualities. Well, love is blind. Yes, my love for food. It is a relationship that seems fun and satisfying in the beginning (my beginning lasted about 10 years) but one day you look around and realize your relationship has taken over everything. Your work, your friends, your family and you suddenly realize just how toxic it has been. One day I woke up and looked around too. Around my body, that is. I realized I had completely given up my jeans. Today it’s a dream to be able to fit into a pair without double digits.
I’ve gotten frustrated and sick of it many times, though not enough to bring about change. Living in a place where winter seems like the only season, doesn’t help. Six months you’re comfortably wrapped up in layers. No one cares what’s underneath, you don’t seem to care either. This doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to shed the pounds. I’ve just been delusional and impatient about it. I wanted instant results. I didn’t want to work hard for it. I tried every diet, pill, patch and injection that’s sold to us idiots. Got sucked into buying a Pilates DVD, Yoga on my mac and P90X. They are all great programs, IF you do them. I was always motivated and excited the night before, but when morning came, it was a different story. I hated getting out of bed; I’m just not a morning person. Then you feel that morning hunger and you immediately begin thinking about delicious food. It’s a vicious cycle.
Last year I was introduced to this wonderful phenomenon called Ayurveda. I have to admit. I was blown away. Ayurveda means the “ Science of Life”. It is NOT a diet. It is as all good things, a lifestyle change. It shines a new perspective on how you see food and your body in the simplest ways.
Like yoga, Ayurveda too is about balance. It brings your body to an ultimate balanced state. It’s not about crazy diets and exercises. For those who aren’t aware, Yoga and Ayurveda come from the same five thousand year old ancient Vedic texts from India. Companies, spas and studios sell yoga under fitness, but the truth is, what yoga essentially does is bring balance to your body in the most optimum way. Once your body and mind are balanced and aligned, fitness and good health are mere outcomes. Yoga creates a holistic mind body synergy.
Ayurveda is just the food aspect of this wonderful enriching bank of knowledge. The west is slowly beginning to accept the wisdom of its truth, in science. Respected personalities like Dr. Oz have already talked about its benefits. Deepak Chopra has commercialized its knowledge to the world. Now that Oprah’s friends have talked about it, it’s sure to become the next big thing since yoga.
So here’s what it’s about:
According to Ayurveda our bodies are categorized into three types called Doshas. We each constitute of two, one being more prominent than the other. The three types are:
There are many places you can go to online to do an extensive quiz to determine your body type. It will ask you questions that may seem crazy at first, but just go along with it and complete it. Your answers will determine your Dosha (body type). Reading about your specific type is a real eye opener. You might think a psychic wrote it, but its just science. These body types determine what elements (air, water, earth and fire) they relate to. Our bodies are 70% water; it’s not hard to believe that our bodies are in some way connected to the other elements as well.
Each body type is different and each combination taking into account the more prominent one all mean different things. According to Ayurveda, there are some foods that are known to pacify your Dosha (which in turn bring balance to the body) and some that aggravate your dosha (bringing imbalance resulting in sickness and disease be it colds, migraines, fatigue or other serious ailments). Then Ayurveda simply provides you with a list (for each body type combination) of fruits, vegetables, grains, oils, herbs that tell you which ones will pacify your dosha and those that will aggravate (ones you should completely avoid), and a list of neutral ones which can be consumed occasionally.
In the beginning I had tried this solely as an experiment, but I saw results right from day one. One important thing I suddenly became conscious of during the day was that I wasn’t overeating. My usual need to do so just wasn’t there anymore. I also didn’t crave any junk food. Was it really that simple? Yes. I simply eliminated certain foods and added certain others and that’s all it took. It was bringing balance to my body in a way I had never imagined.
The hardest part for over weight people is to be able to say ‘no’ to the wrong foods and controlling portions. It is hard, but it doesn’t have to be anymore. Ayurveda had another little secret tucked away in its vast sea of knowledge. It talked about the six tastes.
It said that if you manage to satisfy all six tastes in every meal you will never again over eat or crave the wrong foods. I thought it sounded brilliant, but again I needed to test it for myself. Then I remembered that in any traditional Indian meal, they seemed to have at least a small amount of every one of those six tastes. I never before realized their purpose. Ayurveda gave meaning to traditions and food behaviors Indians have passed along through many generations.
If you have Indian friends or are an Indian you must have heard about this not so attractive looking paste in a bottle called Chyawanprash. Most people are disgusted by it. It’s probably an acquired taste, but after reading about Ayurveda I realized just what and why it was. First of all it IS an Ayurvedic creation. Secondly, it consists in one spoonful every one of those six tastes they spoke of. Even if you just eat a spoon of that with every meal you are essentially covering all six tastes and you shouldn’t have any unwanted cravings. Besides that it is also known to aid in digestion as well as be an overall natural holistic health supplement for the body if taken regularly. Protects you from all kinds of common ailments.
So all those people with new resolutions for a healthier you, be sure to read up about Ayurveda. Give it a shot. Try something different. Don’t deprive yourself. Don’t get obsessive. Stay calm, meditate and be open to new experiences.
Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy New Year! Here’s to bikinis and shirtless
Those of you excited, inspired and wanting to learn more about Ayurveda, these are the three books I would recommend.
I bought all of the books on Amazon.ca (Yes, for once they had something I needed)
1.) Life of Balance by Maya Tiwari
Has the Quiz, Explanation about the body types, Detailed food list, and also recipes (a little on the Indian food side ( Punjabi, North Indian food, what people in North America know as “ Indian” food.)
2.) The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amrita Sondhi
It has fantastic recipes of pastas, Beverages, Desserts, salads, Indian food, and a whole lot of other things; ALL based on specific Dosha types. Great for new beginners as it does all the work for you.
It also has the Quiz, I recommend you do the Quiz in this Book AND also from book 1. Do the Quiz from both books so you’re absolutely sure about what Dosha you are and you can start eating accordingly.
3.) Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra
It is a great introduction to Ayurveda and its origin, and he explains it in relevance to the world we live in today, especially for those in North America.
Also has the Quiz (but I recommend not doing his, its not as extensive as the ones in Book suggestions 1.) and 2.)
If you have any questions or need help I’d love to try my best to answer them from what I’ve read and learnt or at least I will take that extra step to Google, (if you are feeling lazy) to point you to the right direction.
And if you’re interested in looking for Ayurvedic products (supplements, foods and other health care products) check out
http://www.himalayahealthcare.com/ if you’re in India and
http://www.himalayausa.com/ if you’re in North America.
AYURVEDIC AND ORGANIC TEAS
www.shantitea.com based in Canada. They have a really great selection of teas and blends. They are amazing teas that come with brewing instructions to brew them at their delicate ideal temperature. I use the Cuisinart Variable Temperature Tea maker. For the lazier people you can use the more expensive Breville Automatic one that makes you that perfect cup of tea (it’s actually pretty awesome, I know someone who owns one)
I purchased the OMEGA 8006 Third Generation Juicer two years ago. What an invention! It is a Low RPM (80rpm) Juicer. Centrifugal juicers use fast moving blades to slice and crush your produce to extract the juice. This method generates a certain amount of heat. Heat destroys key enzymes and nutrients present in the juice. The fast speed and blade action also introduces air in the process leading to premature oxidation. This one does none of that.
It is a fantastic juicer. Juices just about anything you put through it even Wheatgrass. It is great for leafy vegetables too. It even makes almond milk and Pasta! I always wanted to eat a butternut squash just never knew what to do with it, so I put it into the juicer and out came a delicious creamy peach colored drink. Try it. I also added one apple and a small piece of ginger along with it.
Since I’ve used it, here are my reviews.
1.) Super easy to clean for lazy people like myself and hence I end up juicing even twice a day because it’s not a big deal to clean nor is it messy like the only other ever juicer I owned which was the Jack ElaneLallane, total piece of garbage.
2) It’s well designed. Drops the juice in a container and the pulp into a different one, nothing sits inside the juicer that you have to scrape off in a nightmarish cleaning job.
3.) Looks pretty, works well and is built like a tank. Also has a 15 year fully covered warranty on it.
4.) The only drawback is that you have to cut whatever you put in there. I used to be a hard-core meat eater and knew very little about vegetables, so the cutting task actually helped me connect with my food. You take the time to understand and learn what you’re putting into your body, we become conscious of what we eat. So it helped me slow down my busy mind, and helped me connect again. The leafy vegetables though I put straight through I don’t usually cut them.
For People in Toronto
I bought the juicer at this health care store in Toronto Called the Health Service Center, they had some kind of discount on it. Not sure if they still do.
Here’s their website they also deliver for free http://juicers4life.com/
I am super excited to have been able to share this with you. I hope you find success and it brings you closer to your health goals. You’re welcome to share this post with your family and friends.
Hope this was a fun read for you. You can write to me at info at bhargavijoshi dot com. Happy New Year!
Love & Light