|A few months before getting sick -- and when I met Andrew!|
|With my maid-of-honor, Tara, at my wedding|
|Andrew's making a funny face -- a few months after I had gotten sick|
Just as I was about to give up, I met an ayurvedic practitioner, who changed my life, my way of eating and way of thinking. I had been reading about ayurveda for a while, both online and in books, but never found a resource about it that made me understand what it was, exactly, and how i could apply it to my life and diet. She helped me understand that my pitta dosha had been out of balance, which caused my bladder and kidney infections, and the antibiotics only further worsened the situation. My weight gain was mostly in my waist, where pitta sits, and she affirmed my feel that the weight was toxic in a sense. She gave me hope that I could get my weight down to a healthier number, which ayurvedic principles of eating and living. I was determined to make this work.
|A few months ago, after eight months of eating ayurvedicly|
So, a year ago today, I started my cleanse. I eliminated grains, legumes, meat, dairy, caffeine, sugar, and processed food from my diet, and ate mostly vegetables, avocados, seeds, and green apples for a couple of weeks, avoiding vegetables that increased the pitta dosha such as eggplant and tomatoes. I added turmeric, cumin, and ginger to most meals to help stimulate digestion. I abstained from snacking, and finished my dinner before 7:30. Although I had some typical detox symptoms like a killer headache and some interesting bathroom experiences, I had the energy to farm and babysit that summer. After my initial two weeks, I slowly added in mung beans, goat yogurt, goat milk, chickpea miso, nuts, beans, and "pseudo-grains" like quinoa, millet, and amaranth. I lost 7 pounds in the first week, and it seemed to be melting off of my waist. Slowly, over the course of six months, I returned to my pre-antibiotic weight.
Now, I find health in balance. If I'm hungry in between meals, I do have a healthy snack. Instead of exercising every day, I work out 4 times a week. I avoid sugar, but indulge every once in a while. I still eat a mostly vegetable based diet, supported heavily with healthy fats from nuts, ghee, and olive oil, and I add protein with nuts, beans, and pseudo grains. I eat cheese and lactose free or goat yogurt for protein and fat as well. I have not eaten meat in a year, which wasn't hard since I hardly ate meat prior to the cleanse. I just started to introduce eggs back into my diet in small amounts, and think that I may use them more to supplement a mostly local diet this summer.
Since going on the cleanse, I sort of re-taught myself how to eat. I make meals depending on food combinations, the season, and how I am feeling. I eat until I am almost full and don't snack unnecessarily or out of habit. I use herbs and spices for healing and medicinal purposes, and avoided as much as a sniffle all winter (I seriously haven't blown my nose in over a year). I can listen to my body and what it needs, and that feels amazing.
Such a success after so many let-downs has definitely made me an advocate for ayurveda. It is a goal of mine to one day attend the Kripalu School of Ayurveda in MA to learn as much as I can about this ancient science, and to be able to help others heal through food professionally, along with the teaching that I do. My husband has also had success with his health, weight, and energy after gong on an ayurvedic-based cleanse and way of eating. It feels good to have found this life style together.
Have you found a way of eating that works for you? Do you have a date where you started to create a healthier lifestyle that you celebrate? Do you have any questions about ayurveda?
**In this post I do not mean to give advice as to how you should eat in order to lose weight -- an ayurvedic practitioner, doctor, or dietitian can better guide you.