Adopting new food habits is probably one of the hardest, if not the very hardest, things in our life to do. We all have so many attachments to certain foods and the feelings we associate with them. Believe me, mine come up all of the time. According to Ayurveda, there is a "Yes" food list and a "No" food list for each constitutional type. You can imagine the look on my patients' faces when I show them the Ayurvedic Dietary Guidelines handout and they see all of their favorite foods on the "Avoid" list! Over the past 13 years in practice, I've realized that equally important to steering my patients in the right direction as far as "what" to eat, is "how" to make the change to an Ayurvedic diet. Here are some tips and a video that are really helpful to make your Ayurvedic diet, or any diet for that matter, stick.
Get psyched about the great foods that are on your "Yes" list instead of lamenting the foods on your "No" list. This helps put you in an abundance mindset instead of a deprivation one.
Put the foods to emphasize and to avoid on a continuum. I always highlight the most beneficial foods and the most extreme offenders. For example, Pitta people really benefit from alkalinizing, cooling foods like cucumbers, cilantro, mint, and leafy greens. I highlight those. On the "No" list, there are many things that are mildly Pitta-aggravating and also quite a few that are severely Pitta-aggravating. I highlight those extreme foods, like chiles, raw onion, garlic, fried foods, sour juices, and vinegars. When you're first starting out, it's a lot easier to favor and avoid those few than the whole list. There's plenty of time to move toward following the whole list.
Bring mindfulness into your experience of eating. I spend a lot of time educating my patients about why the food guidelines are what they are. I find that it helps them, as it helps me, to understand why the spicy, salty, and sour foods are on the avoid list, for example. How they can make Pitta people hotter, more irritable, and more acidic. Likewise, it makes choosing beneficial foods more enjoyable. Making food choices from a mindful, educated place is very different than eating while on auto-pilot. We have more awareness of why we are making choices (so often emotional reasons like if you're eating a pint of ice cream because you're depressed) and then, so importantly, how it feels in our body to eat. When we eat mindfully we tend to more slowly, and usually lesser amounts. We notice how we feel eating, and how we feel afterwards. I have my Ayurvedic Nutrition students keep a food journal with notes about how they felt afterwards, how their energy was, how they slept, eliminated, etc. This way you notice what the foods you eat most are really doing to you!
There are more great tips in the video below about creating healthy habits. Leo Babauta, the founder of the very successful blog Zen Habits, is interviewed by Matt Frazier, founder of No Meat Athlete. They discuss becoming vegetarian and training for marathons, and refer constantly to how these habits apply to adopting any new habit.
How have you made the transition to an Ayurvedic diet? What was the hardest part? What helped you the most? Please share your comments below!
One of the most beautiful things about Ayurveda is the way spices are used not only to make food more delicious, but also to heal and balance your body. Autumn is the season dominated by Vata, otherwise known as Wind. You can easily keep your body, mind, and spirit in balance with the Vata season by including Ayurvedic spices in your cooking. Here's a recipe for a Vata spice mixture that you can carry with you when you eat out, or add to your meals at home. You can also take 1/2 tsp. of this mixture with warm water in between meals any time you're experiencing gas and bloating.
Vata Digestive Spice Powder
Grind the following spices and combine in decreasing quantities:
Vata is cold and dry. In autumn when it's also cold and dry, it's important to keep your body warm with good circulation. Warming, pungent spices accomplish this by keeping your digestive fire stoked. Ayurveda also teaches that for optimal digestion, all 6 tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent) should be present in a meal. This spice mixture has all tastes except sour, so just squirt a little lemon or lime on your meal to round it out.
What is the ultimate purpose of good nutrition? Is it just to stay alive? Is it to avoid disease? We have so many food choices in our modern society, yet diet and nutrition are controversial and confusing subjects for most Westerners. Ayurveda, the traditional healing science of India, offers us a profound understanding of the ultimate purpose of good nutrition. Coming from the ancient Vedic tradition that valued spiritual enlightenment above all else, it's no surprise that Ayurvedic nutrition serves to further that same goal.
In the 2500 year old Ayurvedic text, Caraka Samhita, it is stated:
When diseases cropped up creating impediments in penance, abstinence, study, celibacy, religious observances and life-span of living beings, the holy great sages, out of sympathy on creatures, assembled on one of the auspicious sides of the Himalayas.
I was recently asked about the epidemic numbers of people suffering from food allergies, specifically dairy and soy products. This population in the U.S. is so large that in fact the foods themselves have come to be considered generally "bad." While certain natural substances are indeed toxic, these foods are not, in and of themselves, actually the problem. The problem lies, as you will see, in the conditions in which these foods are produced, as well as the condition of most people's digestion in modern society. Below are the many reasons why dairy and soy have become such serious food issues, some of which come from the traditional wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine, and some of which are explained by modern environmental and nutritional science.
If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from low blood sugar, you probably have been advised to eat frequent, small meals throughout your day. Believe it or not, this advice is totally the opposite of what traditional Ayurvedic medicine recommends. As you've likely heard me say a million times, Ayurveda teaches that the root cause of all disease is improper digestion. So with this focus, you can trust Ayurveda to have a very thorough understanding of what optimal digestion is! What I'm about to explain to you may be contrary to what you've heard, but if you'd like to uncover the underlying cause of your blood sugar instability, check this out.
What Happens When You Eat Frequently
In our society, food is everywhere. It's almost hard to avoid eating all the time! Except breakfast, which people tend to skip. (Click here to read about the importance of breakfast.) But let's say you eat breakfast, and then around 10 am you have a muffin, or fruit, or nuts. Healthy snack, right? Well your digestive fire, your metabolic process, now turns its attention to the new food coming in. The problem here is that during the 5 or so hours between meals, you are really supposed to be burning fat, not new food.
Fat is our calm, stable, non-emergency fuel.
Stored in there, too, are all the fat-soluble toxins from the environment. So fat burning is totally crucial! Not just for weight loss, but to detoxify our bodies and also release the essential fatty acids and stable fuels that regulate our blood sugar levels, and in turn our mood and energy level. If we're constantly giving our digestion new food to focus on, then we never enter fat-burning mode.
Do you suffer from excess weight, allergies, frequent colds, achey joints or poor digestion?
Do you feel less vibrant and less healthy than you know you could be?
In this day and age, it’s impossible not to have some level of toxicity in our bodies, and chances are you do too!
No matter who or where we are, there are millions of reasons why we might accumulate toxins - including stress, chemical exposure, and improper diet. According to Ayurveda, the ancient medicine of India, these toxins are the root cause of all disease.
After 8 days on Bodhimed's Ayurvedic Cleanse, you will experience:
Decreased bloating and weight loss
Improved memory and concentration
Stronger immune system to ward off disease and increase longevity
Click the video above to hear Dr. Sharada explain cleansing and how this Ayurvedic Cleanse is unique!
Dear Dr. Sharada,
I really want to thank you for putting together this Ayurvedic cleanse. I had been suffering from bad digestion and headaches for years, and even though I knew there was something I could do to get healthier, I didn't know what it was. I had heard of Ayurveda and I am the kind of person that trusts things that are more traditional, not the latest trendy detox. So your cleanse appealed to me right away! Your instructions were really easy to follow. I was surprised by how quickly I started to feel better. My bloating went away within 2 days, along with my stomach aches. I finished the cleanse yesterday and am looking forward to continuing on the herbs and repeating the cleanse in the fall.
Kimberly, retail manager and mother of 3
Cleansing has received a lot of attention as a health benefit lately, but how do you pick a cleanse that is effective, safe and convenient?
Bodhimed's Ayurvedic Cleanse is directly based on a proven Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenation program called "Panchakarma" that is over 2500 years old.
Traditionally, Panchakarma requires spending 4-8 weeks at an Ayurvedic clinic -- a wonderful healing opportunity, but too time and cost intensive for most people.
I’ve created Bodhimed's Ayurvedic Cleanse so that you can enjoy the benefits of Panchakarma without leaving home or spending much money. Everything you need is included in one convenient package!
You will receive:
All of the information you need to complete the cleanse, including a schedule, recipes, and detailed instructions.
A 30-day supply of your Ayurvedic herbal supplements directly from the manufacturer, including:
Triphala, the famous intestinal cleansing formula
Chyavanprash rejuvenative jam
Dashamula herbs for colon cleansing
Herbal Nasya oil for nasal administration.
Organic sesame oil for external and internal use as outlined in the instructions you’ll be given.
I can't believe how much better I'm already feeling after just finishing your cleanse. I really felt nurtured instead of deprived, like I have with other detoxes. I'm so much clearer in my head and I feel lighter in every way. Thanks for taking the mystery out of Ayurveda for me, and making it something that will be a part of my life every day.
One of the things people complain about with most detox programs is that they feel deprived and hungry.
Most cleanses on the market today only purge your intestinal tract. The Ayurvedic Home Cleanse is unique because this process removes toxins from the deeper tissues and organs, brings them to the intestines, and then effectively eliminates them. This is the most comprehensive way to really cleanse.
**As a very special bonus, you will also receive my Introduction to Ayurveda video -- a 60 minute class I taught that explains the fundamental concepts in Ayurvedic medicine.**
Regardless of your Ayurvedic constitutional type, this cleanse will work for you! I've specifically made this program general and safe* for all types so that you don't need to worry whether this one is appropriate for your body type.
I am also available for phone and email consultations if you'd like to tailor it more specifically.
The Ayurvedic Home Cleanse is 100% GUARANTEED. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it within 90 days for a full refund.
Please note: Once payment is confirmed, you will receive a link to instantly download all of your instructions. Your herbal supplies will be shipped directly from the manufacturer. You will receive a separate email with the shipping and tracking details.
*You should NOT do the Ayurvedic Home Cleanse if you are under 7 years old, pregnant, anemic, menstruating, or with acute fever, diarrhea, severe weakness, heart pain, or paralysis.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, a simple shift in your diet can make a huge difference in your symptoms. According to Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, excess mucus production is treated by eating foods that are of the opposite qualities of phlegm, i.e. foods that are light, drying, and warming.
After a winter of eating heavy, rich foods, it's best in springtime to switch to lighter, fresh foods that help relieve sinus congestion and inflammation. These include leafy green vegetables, most fruits, amaranth, quinoa, rye, barley, buckwheat, and spices. Foods that increase mucus and allergy symptoms are cold, frozen, and greasy foods, dairy products, wheat, avocado, banana, dark meat, seafood, sugar, and salt. Give this ancient prescription a try this allergy season and you'll be amazed how much lighter and clearer you feel.