Is that it has a very narrow and fragmented look at foods and nutrition.
Many times I’ve been asked why I trained as an Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle Counselor rather than a nutritionist.
Even before I specialized in Ayurveda I knew that modern nutrition had a very narrow view of foods, based on what I call a bio-chemical model.
The bio-chemical model looks at us as a chemical factory and dismisses our multi-faceted tastes, tendencies and differences. It looks at foods as chemicals, carbs, fats, proteins, etc. and nothing more.
This unholistic model is what leads to non-sensical one-size-fits-all diets that wreak havoc on a person’s self-esteem and self-reliance.
But you and I know that different foods affect different people differently. The problem with the modern nutritional diktats is that indirectly they make us wrong for being different and not being able to tame our bodies into unrealistic norms like how much we should weight regardless of our body shapes and tastes!
In contrast, the Ayurvedic approach to nutrition is holistic!
Ayurvedic nutrition is based on a bio-energetic model.
“Nothing is right for everyone and everything is right for someone.” ~Dr. Marc Halpern
We look at the energetics or qualities of an individual tendencies and conditions. Does someone have a tendency towards dry skin, constipation and insomnia? Does someone else have a tendency towards inflammation, indigestion and burnout? Does another have a tendency towards congestion, water retention and fatigue?
Then we look at the energetics or qualities of different foods.
An Ayurvedic practitioner trained in the Ayurvedic Science of the Five Elements is capable of identifying the energetics and qualities in both the individual tendencies and the different foods.
In Ayurveda, we say that Like Attracts Like and the Opposite Brings Balance.
When someone has dry conditions we bring in moist, warm and heavy qualities to support their healing. In Ayurveda moist and heavy foods are root vegetables, winter squashes, nuts, seeds, oils, ghee, sweet dairy foods. We recommend cooking the foods for warmth as well as adding warm spices like cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, ginger and clove.
Though broccoli is a healthy food, because it has light and dry qualities or energetics it wouldn’t be recommended as a staple. And if someone ate it at all it will have to be well cooked, spiced and oiled not steamed!
When someone has inflamed conditions, we bring in moist, cooling and heavy qualities to support their healing. So cooling foods like cucumbers, coconut milk, basmati rice and cooling spices like fennel, coriander and cilantro are added to the diet as well as some raw easily digested foods like sunflower sprouts and micro-greens.
And when someone has congestion, we bring in dry, light and hot qualities to support their healing. In Ayurveda, dry, light foods are green leafy vegetables, legumes. We heat the foods by cooking it and adding hot spices like ginger, black pepper, mustard seeds.
What’s missing in modern nutrition is a focus on digestion.
When I apply these bio-energetic principles to my clients who want to lose weight, they start digesting their foods better. And better digestion leads to better absorption of nutrients and better elimination of waste. When their digestion improves, the weight comes off almost effortlessly!
They’re surprised that they can eat carbs and lose weight at the same time!
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