Hey guys! Sorry for the long break in posts, I recently gave birth to our second son and all my energy has gone into caring for our boys and adjusting to our new normal. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I can share with you what has been on my mind during this rainy week in October.
Throughout my studies of herbal medicine, I came across a branch of herbalism originating in India called Ayurveda. This practice centers around a few basic teachings, one of which is the idea that all of us are made up of a different combination of three elements, or “doshas”.
Your specific composition is what makes you more or less prone to acne, weight gain, poor digestion, and all kinds of other issues, as well as providing you with a sort of road map to the kind of diet and supplementation plan you should be following that balances and best serves your body type. (To find out what your dosha is, click here!)
About a year ago, I decided to test this strange idea of Ayurveda. After discovering my own dosha, I followed a diet that helped promote balance in my system and traded my usual herbal supplements with those recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners.
The result was less fatigue, more energy, a clearer mind, clearer skin, and an overall belief in what I had once been very skeptical.
In the coming months, I will talk a lot more about Ayurveda. My hope is to become certified in Ayurvedic nutrition after the holidays, so I will be able to better answer your specific dietary questions and address issues through a system that I truly believe will work for everyone.
All that to say, there have been a few things that surprised me in my studies that I would like to share with you.
After just giving birth, I wanted to see what Ayurveda had to say about recovery and diet postpartum. What I found was that after such a traumatic event as childbirth, eating raw foods can actually be harmful. This is because your body may find digesting foods in their raw state may be too taxing to an already-overtaxed system.
Did you know that the way you prepare your food actually changes the nutritional value? And cooking your veggies can actually increase some of their benefits?
Cooked veggies tend to get a bad rep, but the truth is that unless your digestion is in top shape, cooking veggies can help your body access their nutrients more efficiently. Unless you are smothering your broccoli in Velveeta and drowning your green beans in butter and salt, there is no reason to be afraid of cooked veggies.
side note- real pink Himalayan sea salt is actually very good for balancing PH and reducing acidity in the body, as well as providing you with an essential daily dose of iodine.. as long as you’re consuming in moderation you can enjoy your salt without fear or guilt!
When we think of a “healthy diet” the first thing that tends to come to mind is a salad. I do love a good salad (Remember- a salad is only as good as it’s toppings. eating your greens will not benefit you very much if you’re using dressings that contain an absurd amount of sugar, dairy and vegetable oil. Thankfully, there are a lot of great options out there these days, so you don’t have to settle for boring salads.) but sometimes a salad is actually not the best option. pay attention to your body. If you feel bloated, constipated, gassy, or notice an increase in dry skin and a low libido after eating a diet with lots of raw foods, back off for a while in favor of warm soups or other comforting, light, cooked meals.
With the fall season finally upon us, it’s the perfect time to experiment with nurturing crockpot meals and yummy seasonal veggies. (Yay for pumpkin and squash! I don’t know about you, but I could sit down to a huge bowl of nothing but homemade pumpkin or butternut squash puree and be happier than a kid in a candy shop. Add a dash of cinnamon and it’s like the stars have aligned!)
This is more than just a “lifestyle”, it is a journey. What worked for your body last week, or last season, may not be what you need this week. Practice mindful eating habits and listen closely to what your body is trying to tell you, not just to what your “diet” says is right for you.