Nothing Tastes as Good as Healthy Feels

Note: this post was updated on November 15, 2013 to provide additional clarity.

A famous supermodel once said that nothing tastes as good as thin feels, but I’d revise that statement to say that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

I spent so much of my life completely unconscious about what I ate, whether it meant scarfing down junk food and late-night burritos or starving on salads and raw veggies. And I was paying the price with depression, skin problems, moodiness, gas, bloating, and water retention.

It was revolutionary to me that changing my diet could have such a profound effect on my overall health and that these symptoms could be lifted by eating in a certain way. I’ve seen this happen with patients, too.

Behold, the dosha food pyramid

pitta vata kapha pyramid

Food by dosha: Foods that contain qualities of each dosha. (Or that can aggravate that dosha if eaten in excess.)

One of the ways Ayurveda is so effective is in its scientific approach to crafting a diet and lifestyle to balance an individual. There is no one diet that fits everyone. Continue reading

No Pain, No Gain? Crafting a Healthy Exercise Routine

Everything is wrong here! If you're puking, you've already done major harm to your body.

If you’re puking, you’ve already done major harm to your body.

One of the important lessons Ayurveda has taught me is the importance of moderation. (Though arguably I’ve exercised a bit too much moderation with my blogging lately.)

Ayurveda means “the science of life,” helping those who follows its principles to live a very long, balanced, and healthy life.

While I’ve written quite a bit on the Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, I have yet to tackle the topic of exercise.

In the United States, we’re consumed and defined by our fitness routines, crave impossibly skinny physiques, and take our exercise regimens to extremes (ultra marathons, cross fit, hot yoga, to name a few). But this comes at great cost. I’ve seen so many patients, friends, and family with a range of exercise-related disorders that include plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis, torn meniscus–you get my point.

Another source of inspiration for this post came from this fantastic blog post on shocking “fitspiration” photos (see above) detailing all of the irresponsible fitness guilt-trip images making the rounds. You know the ones, “strong is the new sexy” with a highly Photoshopped, skinny yet surprisingly toned form depicted. Or “quitting is unacceptable.” You wuss, just ignore that pain–your body’s natural response to something that is not healthy–because long-term health is not nearly as important as having big biceps.

In Ayurveda, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Healthy exercise takes into consideration age, the season, any sort of imbalance or disease present, as well as the person’s constitution (vata, kapha, or pitta).

How to Create a Proper Exercise Regimen
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How I Met My Guru

gurujpg Guru is a Sanskrit word that means remover of darkness. Buddhists and Hindus hold festivals and elaborate ceremonies on a holiday called Guru Purnima, which happened this week, in fact.

This significant holiday is an opportunity for students to honor teachers and express gratitude for those who have taught important lessons, removed shadows of doubt, and shined a light on blinding ignorance.

Here’s the story of meeting my guru. Continue reading