One of the greatest blessings in my life has been connecting with an Ayurvedic Medicine practitioner and learning how best to eat for my specific body type. Learning that my dosha (body temperament) is Vata/Pitta and how to manage the typical imbalances of this combination has helped me to alleviate all kinds of unpleasant physical as well as emotional symptoms. Ayurvedic Medicine has been a goddess-send for me! I was therefore thrilled to discover the book, The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda by Michelle S. Fondin. Here she describes in very simple terms the theory and practice of Ayurveda and provides guidance for you to begin your own journey with Ayurveda. I highly recommend this book for beginners and experts alike. Here is an excerpt from her book:
Food as Medicine
An Excerpt from The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda
The adage “You are what you eat” is more than a cliché. More than ever, in today’s world, it’s a reality. And what we have available to eat is increasingly artificial, genetically modified, chemical laden, and simply unhealthy. Even though the choices may seem varied, in actuality they’re limited to a few ingredients, which show up in different products. So what should you eat to maintain optimal health?
First, I’d like you to consider a few facts and natural inclinations we have. This will put you in touch with your intuitive nature. Fact no. 1: We need to eat in order to stay alive. Fact no. 2: Our ancestors, who lived before the Industrial Revolution, had to rely on hunting, gathering, growing, and storing food to survive. Fact no. 3: Because the human body has been hardwired over time for survival, eating large amounts of food or yo-yo dieting will lead to weight gain.
In the postindustrial era, processed or chemically produced food has become the norm. Owing to shrewd and manipulative advertising, most people don’t even know the difference between something healthy and something processed. If one cereal carries the claim that it will lower cholesterol and is endorsed by the American Heart Association, why shouldn’t we believe it? If a yogurt company makes the claim that their yogurt has five grams of fiber, and your doctor says you must get more fiber, why not buy that yogurt? One thing we need to realize is that advertisers tell partial truths. Food manufacturers and distributors are multibillion-dollar corporations. If you don’t believe their claims, their advertising teams are doing a poor job. In 2010, Kraft Food’s net revenue was $49.2 billion.
In comparison, smaller, organic food companies, such as Horizon Organic Dairy, bring in around $50 to $100 million in net revenue. It’s not surprising that we believe the large food companies’ claims, given how loud and how present they are in our daily lives.
For millions of years, humans have eaten what was available from the earth; and for the past one hundred years or so, they’ve eaten what’s available. Do you understand the difference in that statement? In order to obtain optimal health, we need to go back to eating what’s available from the earth, because that is what we’re hardwired to process. Biological evolution takes a great number of generations, not one or two generations. By pouring chemically produced food and drink into our bodies, we are attempting to force biological evolution over the period of one lifetime. And our bodies are protesting. According to the World Health Organization, world cancer rates could increase by 50 percent, to 15 million new cases by 2020. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is the number two preventable cause of death in the United States.\
Poor diet costs us not only our lives but our resources as well. Type 2 diabetes, a completely preventable form of diabetes, drains $63.14 billion from our health care system yearly, and that figure doesn’t take into account the cost of lost days of work, physician office visits, and the detriment to families. Close runners-up in preventable disease are hypertension and heart disease, followed by osteoarthritis and gallbladder disease.
The good news is that you can do something about all this. With a shift in awareness and a change in habits, you get to take control of your health and life. Most people only dabble in a healthy lifestyle and then brace themselves for a cancer diagnosis or for some other disease that may creep up. But most diseases don’t “come out of nowhere.” Disease is developed over years and sometimes decades. According to Ayurvedic medicine, 95 percent of diseases are completely preventable with a consistent, proper lifestyle, one that includes a good diet, meditation, and an exercise regime. This is good news because you are in control. Being in control means you take responsibility for your own health. Leaving your health to doctors, medicines, other health care practitioners, or fate means leaving the door wide open to greater health problems in the future. When it comes to health, there is a place for allopathic medicine, herbal medicine, and, yes, prayer, but those are certainly not ways to prevent ill health. They are simply bandages applied to what’s already broken.
What I’m emphasizing here is taking real responsibility on a daily basis, starting now, today. There’s a reason why you picked up this book, and this is it. By taking responsibility, you cannot blame anyone or anything for your sickness or disease.
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Michelle S. Fondin is the author of The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda. She holds a Vedic Master Certificate from the Chopra Center and is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and Yoga Alliance. She treats clients at her Ayurvedic Path center, speaks and offers workshops, and lives in Herndon, Virginia. Visit her online at http://michellefondin.com.
Excerpted from the book The Wheel of Healing with Ayruveda ©2015 by Michelle S. Fondin. Printed with permission of New World Library. http://www.newworldlibrary.com