My attempt to follow an Ayurvedic diet for a month
We all enjoy food. It doesn’t just nourish us, it is something we talk and think about. Lots of social events are connected to occasions where meals are shared. I have experimented with different dietary regimes all my life. Since yoga takes care of the physical and mental aspect of the body’s health I was tempted to look into the Ayurvedic diet that goes along with it.
Ayurveda is the science of life and apart from dietary guidelines it really provides you with everything you need to know in order to incorporate a healthier lifestyle into your everyday life. This ranges from medicine, activity, how to structure your day and lots of other helpful tips to improve your overall health. The Ayurvedic diet talks about the three doshas – vata, pitta and kapha. They are the manifestation of the five elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth – inside our body. There are numerous tests online that help you determine your bodily composition. Every human has all three of them inside of their body however one or two of them might be more dominate which then causes some imbalances in the body. Those might lead to disease and bodily discomfort. Since I am not an expert on Ayurveda I will provide some helpful links at the end of this article.
So I have completed the test and found out that I’m a Pitta Vata type. So far so good I thought. In general there aren’t any foods that I could not eat but there are guidelines on certain things that I should definitely incorporate into my everyday meal plan and some things that I should rather stay away from. In addition to that I should eat seasonally. With my grocery list containing the foods that are good for me in winter I went grocery shopping. At first it was fairly easy to come up with some recipes however I am normally a person who loves to eat spicy. Also I only eat meat once a week for one meal so I had real trouble when it came to spicing up my food in a way that my body was happy with it. So what to do when all spices that you are left with are cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, turmeric and cilantro?
So I started looking up some recipes. That is always something that I really enjoy doing because it gives me new ideas for some awesome dishes. There was one thing that I noticed though. The portion sizes were totally different from what I normally considered a serving size. At first it didn’t bother me at all because all over the news and the internet you could listen to people talking about the fact that our portion sizes are too big anyway. So I just took a leap of faith and tried sticking to the recipes on this online site for a whole month. It was so convenient because they provided me with easy to cook recipes with not too many ingredients. Another plus on the money front. Oh and then I started losing weight. Of course I am aware that I do lots of sports every week (up to 9 sessions) but still I started questioning this diet a bit. I totally have to admit that the food that I put into my body seemed to be good for me. However my body started to show signs of depleted energy levels and I was cold all the time.
I ignored it. This was just the adaption phase, or so I thought. How can something that is connected to yoga and that meets all my wishes taste wise and on the bodily comfort front be toxic for my energy levels. Suddenly walking up the stairs was nearly impossible without being out of breath and my heart heavily pounding inside my chest. Yoga was still something I was able to do without problems because there I pay a lot of attention to my breathing. So I hit rock bottom when my brain was totally okay with the thought that half of a potatoes with sesame and coconut flakes roasted in coconut oil equates to a full dinner. Let me tell you this potato wasn’t big – 78 grams. THIS WAS THE MOMENT THAT I FELT TRUELY FOOLISH.
I stopped this diet after that. Maybe I should have consulted an Ayurvedic dietician. However I needed to gain back strength. I needed to find my passion for food again as well as my appreciation for meals. My advice is follow your gut feeling and don’t feel that you need to follow any diet 100% with no distractions. Don’t feel guilty for enjoying food. Make healthy choices as well as choices that you like to live with.
Helpful links for getting started on the Ayurvedic diet (obviously not the site that I used for my recipe ideas):