I’ve just moved house.
I’m living with 5 other vegan, world-loving, sky-reaching, hippies-at-heart, and I am ecstatic to finally find a place I can call home, and people I can call family.
They all follow the ancient Indian approach to diet (and life in general): Ayurveda.
Ayur = ‘life’, veda = ‘knowledge’
This is where you identify your body’s natural constitution and inclinations, roughly fitting into one of three ‘Dosha’ archetypes, or even balancing in between two. The three main archetypes are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and through various quizzes I have identified myself as Vata-Pitta. Essentially I am a strange mix of ‘dry & cold’ and ‘oily & fiery’ – for example whilst my hands and feet are always cold (but only my hands are dry), my back and face are oily (but I also get dry patches on my face). I am a mixture of extremes and easily unbalanced.
I have never thought about how the food I eat may be unbalancing me. I just always thought fruit and veg +’whole’ and ‘health foods’ = healthy.
Since going vegan and increasing the ‘healthiness’ of my diet, I still have ‘bacne’ (spots on my back), and I still have temperamental digestion – two things I hoped would clear up. I can still feel very bloated or very dizzy and light headed.
I am not an obsessive person. I don’t grab hold of an idea or activity and submerge myself in it. Rather, I like to gently introduce myself, dipping in and out, until I am satisfied that I want to pursue it. This has happened over the two and a half weeks or so I have been living here, there have been many discussions between my housemates about Ayurvedic principles, and how to balance their diets. I took a Dosha test out of curiosity (and because I love tests/forms…no idea why), and am now starting to be much more aware of how the food I eat affects my body.
For example, my ‘Dosha plate’ says to minimise Rye. I promptly ignored this later that day and ate 4 Rye crisp breads. Around 20 minutes later, I felt bloated and slightly queazy. Have these symptoms suddenly come on since reading that I should ‘minimise’ this food? As I think back to other recent times I have eaten Rye (in bread form mostly), I do remember feeling bloated afterwards, but always blamed it on something else…because Rye is ‘better for you’ than wheat, so must be fine, right?
Intuition is an incredibly powerful tool we can use to help ourselves; I always used to complain when I was younger that eating apples made me feel dizzy, but as I grew older I tried to ignore this feeling and force them down me every now and then – because apples are healthy.
Well from this day forward, I give myself permission not to eat any foods that make me feel bad, or strange, healthy or not.
My body is trying to tell me things, and it’s time I start listening.