If you’ve just filled in the dosha-test and downloaded your tailor-made list of food recommendations based upon your personal Ayurvedic constitution, this article is for you.
The food list can, in and of itself, be somewhat overwhelming. Reading it, you might go OMG! no more wine/coffee/sugar (or whatever it is that comes up red in your personal list). You might get discouraged by it.
We get that. And we certainly don’t want you to get discouraged, so here’s what we recommend:
It is very hard to completely change your diet from one day to the next. Barring a serious disease to motivate you and/or a strong will, it’s almost impossible. And in most cases, it’s not even good for you, on the contrary.
Because no matter how bad your diet might be, your body is used to it. Radical changes are bound to have some serious and rather unpleasant implications.
Exceptions make the rule
However, if you are experiencing serious health issues, you may want to consider going radical. (I.e. cut all foods that are indicated red from your diet.) Like I did years ago.
I suffered from endometriosis and was up for my third operation in 10 years when I discovered the endometriosis diet. I changed to it overnight and am still grateful for that decision. Because within a week, I was completely pain free and felt better than I had in 25+ years.
If you are really suffering, it might pay off to radically change your diet. You will be so motivated by the results that it will give you the strength to stick to the changes, even when the going gets tough.
Once you’ve mastered the new diet and your body has healed itself, you can try to make small exceptions. If you feel really deprived of certain foods, make an exception every now and then and see how that makes you feel.
Don’t over do it, and enjoy the exception. Savour the food. Trial and error will teach you what exceptions you can and cannot permit yourself. Listen to your body.
Other than that, I recommend to go the baby-step way.
Small steps will get you there
So unless you’re really very ill (in which case you should see a medical doctor of some sort!), you’re better off making small changes over a longer period of time. In fact, that is what we stand for. Because going radical usually means that it’s not durable and that sooner or later, you fall back to your old habits.
We want to help you gradually and consciously change into healthy habits. And we want you to enjoy the journey! Changing your life for the better shouldn’t be about deprivation and suffering. It should be about discovery and fun. Therefore, we recommend that you take one category in your list and examine it closely.
Changing meat consumption
Let’s say you’re a meat eater and are used to eating red meat several times a week. Your list of Ayurvedic food recommendations surely recommends that you eat no or very little red meat.
So there you go. Instead of eating your usual portions of red meat, switch to something else. Maybe chicken or turkey scores better on your list. Or to take it one step further, how about fish or an omelet?
Try and find something that you actually like, even though you are not in a habit of eating it.
Look at your list as a list of alternatives rather than restrictions.
One of the keys to healthy eating is variety. Many people have a rather narrow base of foods they eat. We are all familiar with white beans in tomato sauce, but how many people regularly eat black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, etc.? Or have even heard of them?
Cutting down on coffee
Another example. Imagine you work in an office and have taken to the coffee machine. Without realising it, your coffee consumption has gone up to 12 cups per day. Now, you don’t need a list of food recommendations to tell you that that isn’t healthy.
However, taking the decision to cut out all coffee as of tomorrow is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, cut back to 9 cups per day. And try to really savour those 9 cups. Enjoy them.
A few weeks later, cut out another cup per day, and so on and so forth.
Decide for yourself what your ultimate goal is and what baby-steps will get you there. It’s important to make those steps really small. So small that it isn’t difficult. That you don’t feel deprived.
Give yourself enough time to get used to the new habit before taking a next baby-step. After all, coffee is addictive, so both your body and your mind have to get out of that addiction!
Change is a sign of life!
We are hard-wired to resist changes. We can’t help it, it’s in our programming. Still, nothing in life is static, everything changes all the time. And we adapt. So we are capable of change. But that’s all unconscious.
The difficult part is conscious change. Making small changes, one baby-step at the time, it the key to making changes without running into the hard-wired resistance.
So give yourself permission to take it easy yet stick to your baby-steps. This way, you can achieve amazing changes over a longer period of time! And feel good every step of the way, because you set yourself up to succeed 🙂 Gradually ease in to new, healthy habits and you will feel better for the rest of your life.
Have fun and let us know how you do in the comments. And also, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments too and we’ll get back to you asap.
Need more help implementing your Ayurvedic food recommendations into your daily life? We offer personal coaching for people who want more help and guidance. You can contact us here.