As the seasons change, there is a clear shift in what is available locally in terms of fruits and vegetables, and there are also subtle shifts in our body that require a change in foods. In an ideal world, we would all eat with the seasons, from local sources with ample time to prepare each and every meal, and for many people this is not a feasible or available option. However, the are LOTS of ways that we can make subtle shifts to our diets and lifestyle as the year progresses that can help to balance our body with appropriate nutrition for our personal dosha, or constitution.
First, you can take the prakriti quiz to determine your overall dosha (also called Prakriti) and get an understanding of your constitution. Second, you can learn more about each dosha and what foods and lifestyle habits will best serve you long term and also seasonally. Third, take a look at some new recipes that will balance and support your body. Many of these recipes will be quite new to you, with unique cooking techniques and flavors, so keep an open mind. I find that Ayurvedic foods are by far some of the most nourishing and tonic foods out there, and by matching appropriate foods and cooking techniques with my dosha, I truly feel well nourished and more balanced on a daily basis.
I’ve been studying Ayurveda for about 5 years now, and although at first the concepts were quite new and (seemingly) time consuming, it quickly came to make so much sense for overall health. Ayurveda takes into account each individual body type, human energetic and lifestyle to weave together a personalized health plan that, eventually, becomes a lifestyle rather than just a diet or short term health change. This is quite different from what we may be accustomed to in the Western world, where people want quick fixes, short term diets and immediate results. Practicing Ayurveda is a commitment, both to your health and to your lifestyle.
To be honest, the best way Ayurveda has served me is that it required me to make time for the things that are most important to my survival: cooking, self care, exercise/movement and digestive health. When people “don’t have time” for these things, they are usually living a reactively toxic life. Ayurveda emphasizes nutrition heavily, and taking time to prepare whole food meals that are simple, balancing and vegetable rich. It emphasizes self care rituals which are usually the first thing people sacrifice in order to fit more commitments into their day. Ayurveda emphasis movement and exercise (not necessarily by going to the gym) to keep the body strong and the digestive system stimulated. It emphasis overall digestive health which is KEY to maintaining long term health and a strong immune system. Your body takes time to tend to, and making time for that will keep you alive and happy longer. Pretty simple.
Banyan Botanicals is an excellent resource for people to begin their journey to learn more about the benefits of Ayurveda and try new foods and recipes. I would recommend committing about 14 days to these new practices at first and see which ones really resonate with you. You can always start slow, even one new food or recipe a day, or 15 minutes for a new self care ritual like dry skin brushing, oil pulling, massage with appropriate oils or movement/exercise. If you’d like to learn even more about how you can incorporate some of these practices into your daily life, email me for a health coaching appointment and we can get specific about how Ayurveda can support your lifestyle, one step at a time!
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN | HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com