In this day in age, many people have no idea where their food comes from or what is in their food. This is to no ones fault as this can require privilege, money, and time. However, when we begin to have less chemicals, processed foods, and “quick” foods, we can begin to heal our bodies and minds. In Ayurveda, the key to healing and optimizing your health is through what we eat. Just through our office at Santa Cruz Ayurveda, we’ve seen people heal from chronic injury, chronic sinus diseases, depression, obesity, erratic energy levels, and acne.
Here are some tips on how to begin to eat in an Ayurvedic way:
1. Start by looking at what you are eating regularly. Then begin to lighten up your diet of any chemicals, fast foods, fried foods, fermented foods, energy drinks, and frozen foods. This might be hard at first for some. But start small with just some of these and then reduce them more and more.
2. Eat your largest meal in the middle of the day. This is when your body is the most prepared to digest and assimilate your food.
3. When possible avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated soft drinks. Switch to water and tea. Avoid drinking water with ice as this puts out your digestive fire
4. Take some time to eat, relax, and let yourself digest the food. Often people eat on the go, watching TV, or doing an activity. Take time before your meal to sit and be more present with your food.
5. With help of an Ayurvedic practitioner, address current imbalances for specific foods to reduce out of your diet. An example would be to cut acidic food out of your diet if you are dealing with acne.
6. Eat a seasonal diet. This means it fruits, vegetables, oils, grains, and nuts that are growing in each season.
7. Your thoughts and actions will become clearer when you begin eating more whole foods. You can begin to be more attuned to what food benefit you in each season and time of the day.
8. Don’t try to be perfect. Work on being attuned to what your specific body needs, not what others tell you.
9. Reject foods fads and begin to personalize your diet to your body and mental constitution.
10. Try to eat on a schedule. This will help your body prepare for the food.
Morningstar, Amadea. Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners. Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin; 1995. 31.