What goes in must come out. What comes out says a lot about what comes in. We expect a lot from our bodies but do we give it the right foundation to provide us with what we need. Does the body get adequate nutrients? In Ayurveda, we say "we are what we digest" not "we are what we eat." So often do I hear from my patients the high expectations and demands from their bodies to continue to the lifestyle they are leading but don't understand why they are burning out (Pitta), fizzling out (Vata), or even not able to get the motivation to get things moving (Kapha.)
They come in with a go-go-go/on the go or lethargic background but after assessing them and finding how they are their own cause for not getting what they'd like from themselves. Ayurveda says that it is through diet and lifestyle that we can either maintain health or create disease. Lifestyle dictates the path for many and the more momentum the lifestyle has, the more of a vortex I've seen my patients get pulled into. Lifestyle has become so busy that the idea of sitting still and chewing at meals without distractions seems like such a foreign language. In today's hustle and bustle, I understand how this is possible. Technology has made things much easier and much busier that many have become enslaved by such things.
Let's add to this that we (the western culture) continue to be inundated with so much information about what we should do to take care of ourselves that things get lost in translation. For instance, breakfast is the biggest meal of the day supposedly, lot's of protein is needed for everyone, exercise is good (whether daytime or nighttime), drinking water to stay hydrated (not realizing that more often than not iced water is included in this somehow, and many other examples. Yet, we don't have a full context that can explain the do's and don't's that apply to us as individuals. Rather, things are applied in a general context and people are herded into a group, versus understand by their unique nature. This is a huge piece that is lacking and prevents the efficiency of health as being optimal.
Ayurveda has this to offer. It is a complete system of holistic healthcare that views the individuals based on certain patterns aligned with nature and has been proven to be the most effective for thousands and thousands of years. I spend a lot of time with patients correcting little things through the diet and lifestyle and have found nothing but amazing results, one step at a time and over time that it's beautiful. It is the most sustainable practice aligned with individual needs and nature that it becomes poetic once a groove is achieved. Initially, it can be tricky because it's like reprogramming and upgrading a program that is outdated. For instance, when someone in their 50's and 60's says that they "don't do oils in their cooking because they remember learning that oils were bad," to only learn through proper education and personal experience what a difference this can make. It's profound!
SUPPLY and DEMAND...
Give the body what it needs when it needs it. Simply, if someone leads a sedentary lifestyle then the indicated protein requirement as listed by the FDA is incorrect for these people. If someone is highly active, then maybe slowing down some but matching the demand of output to what they eat. Sometimes they "don't have time to eat" and either eat fast, on the go or skip meals, then this is even more harmful as the body needs time to take in food and then time to process the food. Eating smaller meals with protein can be helpful, especially since in these individuals their digestion will be inhibited.
Ayurveda discusses in great detail that once the digestive system goes out of balance the rest of the body has a domino effect towards ill health. Usually, the cause of this is the lifestyle but the main cause is the mind and its senses being drawn here and there, going more and more out of control. This is why in Ayurveda when we work with our patients we are addressing both mind and body, this is a journey for sure and definitely challenging for some more than others. Again, reprogramming. If we expect a lot of our body, our body expects us to cater to it. The more time we take to attend to it the body will return with amazing benefits.
Here are some amazing articles I have written to consider:
It's up to each of us to make time for ourselves for the proper self-care that we deserve. By investing in ourselves we are guaranteed to support health and longevity.
Some quick "food for thought":
1) Slow down. Don't let life drag you by its momentum. Remember that the momentum can be dictated by us and how we choose to engage. Some things are out of our control at times but setting an intention to start by doing the little thing's is a first step in the right direction.
2) Be as consistent as possible with these intentions. Pick one. Stick with it for some time. Then add another. Stick to this and repeat. Slow and steady wins the race.
3) Don't over do it to compensate for the time's nothing is happening. Little by little.
4) Patience, diligence!
5) If you're working hard (whatever it is that the body and mind are revved up with), then let the diet meet the demand. Let the rest/sleep also help to integrate and counter this.
7) Don't expect or put so much pressure on yourself. Remember, the body is a reflection of what we're doing to it/for it and not. It will guide us if we pay close enough attention. Sometimes we need a bigger meal, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we need extra rest, sometimes we don't.
8) Less attention to the mind and more to the body. The mind will endlessly distract us and find everything enticing through the senses, this doesn't mean to chase everything around. In fact, it's this changing that creates more ripples of confusion and invites in disease.
9) Let our digestion be our guide. Any digestive disturbances, such as gas, bloating, indigestion, burning indigestion, mild constipation, sluggishness, is an indication that something is off and that pathology is beginning. Refer to the above-mentioned article on digestion.
10) Let our energy levels be our guide. This is contingent upon so many circumstances but it is safe to say that there is some imbalance in digestion and sleep quality that will create pathology. Low energy can also be related emotional stress (conscious and subconscious.)
11) Make time for ourselves or our selves will demand time of us, as it caves in due to some illness trying to grab our attention. Ayurveda says that that disharmonious actions create the environment for disease formation and harmonious actions support immunity. If we don't make time for ourselves, when we become ill we blame the illness for happening which is ultimately the body and we wrong it meanwhile the body simply conveys through symptoms that something is out of balance and the symptoms progress enough until the really grab our attention and cause us to sit still, somehow. Making time for ourselves allows us to slow down and notice when things are accumulating and becoming out of balance so we can catch it before it progresses.
DISCLAIMER: This information is meant for educational purposes only and not considered medical advice. Any changes in lifestyle should be reviewed with a qualified practitioner and/or primary care physician if you are currently under their care for specific conditions.