When it comes to food, I believe each of one us is in a need of a “reset” button at times. This doesn’t always mean that your goal is to loose weight, but rather adjust back to a certain level of well being. And we all know, everything begins with our gut…
I love food but sometimes, I pay the price of loving it a bit too much. I am not saying I am inclined to binge eating, I can have a tiny square of chocolate at night and be perfectly content but I do love to eat some food that I know, is not always good for me.
When I lived in Paris and studied yoga, I once went to see a Ayurvedic Practitioner. If you are not familiar with it, Ayurveda, literally translates as the “wisdom of life” or the “knowledge of longevity” and is a system of traditional and natural medicine native to India. It uses massage, detoxifying treatments such as panchakarma, yoga and herbal medicine. Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that dominate our environment: Vata (Wind, movement), Pitta (Fire, transformative) and Kapha (Earth, structure). Each one of us has a unique proportion of these three forces, but most people have one or two elements that predominate.
During this visit, I learned more about my particular constitution which is Vata-Pitta. When Vata is out of balance, it can cause a number of issues, such as poor digestion, anxiety etc…Food can obviously work towards creating more balance in your constitution. A diet that is recommended for a Vata type consists of warm, cooked food and that was for me the biggest takeaway.
This was reasserted a few years later when I went to see a nutritionist. After reading my pulse, he gave me a very detailed and amazingly accurate general state of my organs. The diet he prescribed was the following:
For breakfast: 1 grated banana + 1 seasonal fruit + 5 almonds + 5 hazelnuts and Rooibos tea / alternatively “pain des fleurs” (buckwheat crisp bread) with a light pat of butter.
Lunch/ dinners: choice of 1 protein (lean preferably,up to 2 eggs per week) + 1 cooked vegetables + white basmati rice.
The only dairy allowed in this diet was: Parmigiano Reggianio. No milk, no yogurts or other cheese were allowed.
The food that were forbidden were: caffeine, alcohol, raw food, juices or liquid food in general, grapes, tomatoes, cereals, pasta etc…To stay away from pasta was hard for me. Also cereals with milk was difficult to let go of as I used to love to eat a bowl of cereal growing up. And of course, bread…especially since I was still living in Paris back then.
But again, for me the biggest revelation was that raw food wasn’t good for me. I think it is pretty common to equate salads to healthy food, well, it really depends on your body constitution and as I learned in my case, although I do love a good salad, it is not necessarily a great food for me.
I religiously followed this diet for a few months and I have to admit, this was the best I ever felt. Beyond the few pounds that I lost, which again were absolutely not a goal, especially at this point of my life. Following this diet I felt very comfortable in my own skin. I experienced a a wonderful sense of lightness and most amazingly, my physical state of well being extended to a certain sense of mental clarity. I also experienced much less fatigue than usual, which is usually a big issue for me.
If I had to use an analogy and compare my body to a car, it just felt I was giving my “car” the right fuel. As a yoga practitioner, I cherish this concept. I really do feel that it is our responsibility to honor our body the best we can as it is our “vehicle” in this life.
So this was definitely a life changing awareness for me. I know that whenever I feel sluggish or tired I can just hit my reset button and follow this diet.
I am curious to hear: do you have a diet that you like to follow when you are not feeling quite right?