What's the deal with the diets?
I had an interesting conversation about different diets with my patient today. She was asking me about a carb-free diet. Apparently this is something in fashion at the moment. The diet is about, as the name suggest, not eating carbs and concentrating on protein instead.
There are a lot of different diets out there- protein only diet (which sound similar to the one the lady was talking about), peach diet, candida diet, apple diet, raw diet, juicing diet etc.,i could go on and on, there is just too many.
But why that many? And why people keep trying different ones all the time?
It’s simply because we, humans, need everything in our diets, some need more carbs, the others more veg etc., our tongue/sense organs needs to be satisfied. None of these diets actually work in the long term anyway.
Whenever you lose weight and decide that it’s time for you to cut loose and start enjoying food again, you end up with the same weight as you were when you decided to start with the diet in the first place, does that sound familiar?
The key here is to eat what is suitable for your type. In Ayurveda, there are 3 main constitutions- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Some people can be predominantly only one of these and some may be a mixture of 2 or a very rare case 3 in balance. We all have 3 sides anyway but the predominant sides are the most important because they determine who we are.
People with predominant Pitta, they tend to have very fast and strong digestion, which means they need to eat more often. Kapha tend be overweight, so for kaphas we recommend more vegetables and less carbs. Vata predominant people should have a bit more heavier food like mashed potatoes, rice etc, something what gives more grounding. You can see where these different diets might get their start..isn’t it?
But where do they go wrong? It's the point where they start to go to the extremities. Ayurveda doesn’t ask Kaphas to cut carbs out completely, it just asks them to cut it down.
I remember myself before I was introduced to Ayurveda, I went on a Candida diet. If anyone doesn’t know what this is, then candida diet does not allow you to have almost any sugars. But sugars are almost in every food, even vegetables. This is a very important taste in your life and you should have it. I wasn’t allowed to have any sweeter vegetables like potato, carrots, beets, peas etc. Also no caffeine, no rice, fruits, milk products, the list just goes on. So I was left with very little food like only few green vegetables and buckwheat. The next day I found myself miserable. I didn’t want to live, I was angry and confused and on top of that my condition got worse later. This is because sugar taste is actually needed by our body. It helps us to feel good and happy. But funny enough, I was allowed and actually told to eat liters of coconut oil. So I did and which actually caused my cholesterol to up to the sky! That time i was only 26 years old!
As soon as I started with the Ayurveda diet, everything changed. I started to feel happiness again and my body actually felt good. Most of the complaints I had about my health were disappearing.
The problem with the candida diet was that it was aggravating the other things in my body and created more problems at the end.
I will give you an example: I had a skin rash. My rash was reducing because I was not allowed to eat red veg and meat (which means that my rash was caused by Pitta and red foods aggravate Pitta) but I ended up with bad stomach problems, i was miserable, anxious and on top of that my body was so heavy and weak. This is because all that coconut oil created Ama (toxins) in my body, you can see that from your tongue, if your tongue is coated with either white, black or yellow coating. Any oil, when eaten in excess becomes ama.
The same time raw food was recommended by Candida diet which made my digestion very weak. I wasn’t able to have any normal meal without having pain and bloating.
Your mind needs to go "mmmm.." to be able to start producing "juices" in your stomach for digestion. It needs work and most of the time it also needs spices to help to digest food better
This raw food reminds me of a colleague who had juices for morning and lunch and evening she had a meal. She was telling me how great she feels and how much energy she has, but when I asked how does she feel after dinner, she kept quiet for a bit, then there was a long sigh and then she said she has so much pain and bloating that she is considering leaving proper meals out of her life for good. But what she didn’t realize is that the juicing was actually causing the problem. She also looked much older for her age and she was very moody all the time. Got even worse when she continued with her juices.
The problem with the “fashion” diets(I call them that because every year there is a new one coming out like clothing) is that if you eat only one thing all the time, it can disturb the other part, which may cause an imbalance in the future.
Ayurveda does take time to show some result, but it’s worth it. The little things what were disturbing you before, will disappear. For me it has been like a re-birth! I don’t even remember when I got angry the last time. Before I was angry everyday (lol).
To get the best out of Ayurveda, find yourself a great practitioner/consultant who will help to determine your imbalance and follow their recommendations!