Updated: Nov 19
There are so many diets out there! Which one do I choose? I have tried so many diets, but none seem to be working for me! Sounds familiar?
Many women come to me with the above questions, and I often ask them how these diets make them feel. Even before trying them. Does the thought of doing one of these diets give you energy? Does it make you feel happy, or does it make you feel worth less because you feel like you need to lose weight to be "perfect?" All of these diets are restricting in one form or another. Whether it is because you remove an entire food group, because you are not allowed to eat while you are starving, or because it only focuses on becoming healthy by adding "superfoods." Without looking at the functioning of your body and your current state of health, these types of "diets" are often hard to stick to and never offer long-term results. In contrast, a holistic approach to a healthy body where diet is just a part of your health provides long-term effects.
I have seen this go wrong with SO MANY of my clients that it sometimes makes me sad. From kapha dominant people struggling with excess weight and therefore (are told to) remove all carbs/ grains/ augmenting vegetables, etc. A diet like this then results in many (often vata related) symptoms like having trouble staying focused, grounded, to excess toxin formation because of weakened agni (digestive fire), which eventually leads to diseases.
According to Ayurveda, the trick to becoming healthy, gaining healthy body weight, and preventing disease is living and consuming moderation. This includes everything we consume through our five- senses, not just what we eat. This will then lead to healthy agni and metabolism. This healthy metabolism will create healthy tissues and prevent illness or dis-ease. and a fantastic side effect; it will slow your aging process 😉
Augmenting and extractive method
Is a way to make sure that your meal is balanced and that you are getting enough nourishing foods compared to detoxifying foods to sustain your body while getting rid of toxins and things your body no longer needs. These meals including grains, sweet vegetables, bitter/astringent vegetables, proteins, healthy oils, and spices to aid digestion. When you make your meals according to this method, you will boost your metabolism so that you will be able to take all the nutrients from your food, prevent toxin formation, which often leads to excess body weight, and support detoxification. You can read more about this method here.
Four things you can do to expand your diet today:
Combine different food groups: Sweet vegetables, astringent/ bitter vegetables, grains, proteins, healthy oils, spices.
Eat fresh, warm, cooked meals: This will support your digestion and metabolism.
Add plenty of healthy fats: Cold-pressed sesame oil, sunflower oil, and or ghee.
Use digestive spices in your meal: cumin, coriander, fennel, turmeric, fresh ginger, etc.
Eating according to your constitution
When starting an Ayurvedic journey, many people will begin with a constitution quiz that tells them what their birth constitution could be. Then they go down the rabbit hole of what is and what isn't good for them. And there is a sense of truth to this. When you know your dominant constitution, you will also know which foods and activities you are slightly more sensitive to. But this doesn't mean (unless you are very ill) that you have to cut them out entirely. For example, a vata dominant person has a little bit more sensitivity to vegetables like broccoli. Eating a whole plate of broccoli is not a good idea but having a little broccoli with a meal now and then is okay. I always recommend sticking to the 60/40 augmenting/extractive method; this is balancing for all constitutions. Read more about this here
I always recommend to listen to your body. Does your current diet make you feel better or worse? This will tell you exactly whether what you are currently doing is working for your body or not. Not sure? Then please reach out to me through the contact form