During my travel across America, the one thing I consistently found everywhere is the aroma of Starbucks coffee and donuts. Food occupies the mind all day and our discussions revolve around it before and even after a meal. The same food which can make us feel energetic, resourceful and content can evoke the opposite feelings and become the source of stresses. What I realized overtime is that food if selected rightly can work as a medicine and heal the body and mind.
The first step in this would be to find your constitution or dosha. This is the roots of good health. The ancient Ayurvedic system has 3 tendencies classified for mankind, the Pitta, Vata and kapha. Food is healing when selected according to your dosha. Americans have also become so aware that today the shelves are loaded with coconut oil, turmeric, curry powders and so on. Turmeric milk floods the famous cafes these days. All these food assist in the dosha distortions. I remember an incident in Florida when a plumber came home to fix the water system and just wanted to know how much turmeric to add in milk and also offered a discount for the legitimate knowledge.
The second rule to good food or eating habits is One size doesn’t fit all. Some people love smaller meals multiple times and some eat 3 full meals. Both have their place if you are eating right. Listening to your body is a great communication one can develop. The body sends signals in what to eat and how much, but the listening is eroded by our taste buds. India follows a system in which they fast on the 11th moon day and listening to the body becomes clearer. Which ever meal type you select, be ready to switch when the body commands. Not listening to the body is called disease in the long run.
The third rule is, adapt vegetarian diet. I know most people would say what about my proteins. If you want to zoom through on the highway, there should be no traffic, but you should also have a good car. Eating animal protein is like destroying your car and the environment around. It’s a lose-lose situation. Easily digestible proteins like broccoli, spinach give rest to the over-worked digestive system for staying Healthy In the years to come. Health is that blank check which you can cash when you need it. Imagine a stressed system causes diseases and you won’ be able to enjoy that ice cream by age 40 due to diabetics. Invest wisely in a veg diet.
Eating well and having a strong digestive, respiratory and circulation system is the key. Walking, cycling, running and Yogaing are the key. More and more important when you don’t feel like doing it. A welcome change would be to develop an overall holistic view to good health which keeps us happy, energetic and stress free.
PS: The article first appeared on Yogarepublic.