Ayurveda is a philosophy of living wellness. The goal of Ayurvedic philosophy is to have contented longevity with the body thriving. As our health radiates, so does our lives; by cultivating a peaceful home environment we cultivate Wa, (Japanese for harmony) as well as inner space of consciousness and Zen, if you will. Unnecessary karmic attachments lead to body imbalance by our cravings and aversions.
Since my personal goal is to live to 100 (with ease), it’s good to see a horizon of what healthy longevity looks like!
Ayurveda focuses on digestion, Foods, yes, but also thought, feelings and emotions. The end result creates Essence in our body and supports Ojas, or sweetness in our being. Ojas is the experience of happiness, bliss, and contentment.
As a practice, Ayurveda has been around in form, for a few thousand years. It is experience-based, meaning, the proof is in the pudding. If you want data there’s some of that too, but as western science dominates powerfully, you’ll have to look carefully.
Even so, there is a coherence between what has been observed and now, while theoretical, most physicists admit quantum physics is acting even on us macroscopically- we just don’t know how -so meanwhile those with vested interests spread disinformation to veil truth’s simplicity.
The basic principles of Ayurveda honor the principles that our being-ness, is regulated and governed by 3 very different energy forces.
Each of us has all three doshas– Vata (air and ether), Pitta (water and fire), and Kapha (water and earth). They are all three essential to homeostasis, but most of us are stronger in one or two doshas and a little weaker in the third. Yes, there are rare tri-doshic beings, but why focus on a zebra?
Our diets reflect us, we are what we eat, leading to our basic personality types- and our individual energetic resonance, in addition to our particular genetics. There is much to say about doshas, and I’ll get to this later in another essay.
As all three doshas are necessary for a functioning world (we need and thrive on diversity), being one or another is just who you are! As a result, it is easy for us to focus on what ‘works’ and brings us energy to do our Dharma –that is, our jobs both material and spiritual. Just as often though, in our extremely unbalanced world (until now), we over-rely on one dosha creating strain and dis-ease in the body over time.
In many respects (and by laws of correspondence this isn’t a surprise), Ayurveda is similar to Feng Shui, but for the body. As in Feng Shui, remedies are only effective when there isn’t a lot of “clutter”-whether it be gunk in the diet, gunk preparing food, or gunk sitting at the table.
So first before getting into ANY specifics, it is important to take a mini-inventory on how you’re setting your table, looking at basic and day-to-day exposures and reduce the non-helpful. This might be considered that part of Ayurveda that mirrors Feng-Shui.
The point of all these practices is, naturally to thrive and be your ”best self”, but within the context of honoring Gaia, our mother earth. We are as healthy- as she is to us.
It is with our best “selves” set forward moment-to-moment that brings improvement to our lives. This takes patience with slow and careful building; so take your time in these things.
No one can build an aerie, while living underground or in muck.
- To support your best digestion, you must eat clean whole foods to the best of your ability and to prepare and eat your food in supportive, non-divisive company (i.e. one that supports your own personal agency).
- 2. Turn all spoken and percussive media off. You’re trying to increase your ownvibration so you don’t want to entrain with another’s.
- 3. light a candle- after all, digestion is basically a burning, dissolution, restructuring and sloughing, AKA alchemy. Sometimes we need all the help we can get, even if symbolic.
- Prepare your food with all the focus and blessing of thanks you can muster. No only is it a privilege to have such choices for foods (when most of the numerical world population eats so meagerly). These foods thrived for YOU, each in their own way! As you prepare your foods, your intention resonates within the being of the plants, grains, and even meats. Remember, in quantum physics, there is no “time”; past present and future is experienced, simultaneously to the energy structure and entity. (Though according to Ayurveda, most doshas do best with a vegetarian diet.)
Your blessings said or intended Now, affect the entire timeline of an existence- even reaching in the past to affect the future! As pain is more from fear than any actual physical state, blessings even help energetically for food that’s been ab-used or treated badly or even is GMO. The irony of becoming sensitive is that yes, you do notice this! Ask any guru.
6. Give thanks for every meal, to the plants, worker, their ancestors and yours – all of which brought you to the present moment. Their energy resonates in the food’s body from their intentions and touch.
7. Prepare foods quietly, preferably with mellifluous speech, even singing. It will relax you in the process and for digestion that’s a good thing. Treat each meal as a sacrament to the temple of your body.
8. When eating, the magician – one who creates their own world (which is all of us humans) must be amongst supporters of their agency- meaning honoring your personal essence. Dissension and angst destroy digestion, or at least weakens it markedly. So avoid this. If you speak to another be your sweetest- or eat alone.
9. Take time to eat. It is impossible for the body to really do two things at once. Don’t talk, unless between courses. Food is a gift. Don’t waste it. Savor it thoroughly.
10. Masticate your food, each bite 30 times. Chewing food thoroughly is a first step in having healthy digestion.
Enzymes in you saliva, stomach, pancreas, and gall bladder are induced according to the chronic composition of your diet. Each enzyme produced reflects an inner chorus of induced DNA transcription, messenger RNA processing, and vacuole secretion. Over-eating strains these functions and creates and imbalances.
As we age, DNA and RNA processes in general weaken (resulting in shorter telomeres), especially the DNA repair molecules. Our diet therefore creates a form of work for the body in and of itself. Carbohydrates, protein and fats have separate pathways to being assimilated.
These enzymes and supportive intestinal processes evolve within the context of our ancestral diets (for healthiest mitochondria and reproduction).
Subsistence living requires the least amount of work to digest – meaning diets with (a) grain and legume with vegetables and a form of dairy. There are many parts of the world where keeping chickens just isn’t practical! Meat is eaten rarely and in thanksgiving.
Foods are in season and local; vegetables are grown in collectives. There are rare sauces or marinades, as these were mostly developed to mask rotten food. Uh, does that include your diet too?
This is a minimum diet for many inland denizens and yet most are still basically healthy and smart. 
10. As our bodies, like it or not, synch with the outer world, digestion is greatest and most complete, when the sun is at its peak. So eat your heaviest meals during the mid-daylight to support nocturnal healing. 
Late night meals are difficult and impair proper digestion of the emotional and spiritual aspects of a day- assuming we’re mostly living on a mental plane and not from a place of atonement. Under diurnal events, enzymes release aren’t as active (at night) – assimilation of nutrients is shortchanged. Left over macromolecules get shunted to become fat instead. This stores AMA, gunky toxins that later gum up normal cell function.
During meals we get only so much enzyme at the start of the meal that is pre-stored; as we age the processes that keep this robust, have opportunity to break down. After all, enzymes are stored and ready to be released from their apical partitioned compartments as soon as they get the signal that a particular type of food is present and needs breaking down. This starts at the subconscious level triggered by the five senses, including sight and smell not just taste.
Digestion takes metabolic capital. It takes time to restore in order to be ready for the next meal. Many parts of digestion are inducible so the more we eat, the more we have these particular enzymes ready for the next time! The tissues and compartments that digest said food tend to get bigger over time. Concurrently, their ancillary pathways up-regulate, including taste sensors that are present in many organs. Not just the tongue!
So especially with diets heavy in fat, carbs or protein, don’t dilute them with large quantities of liquid. In other words, limit drinking fluids during meals. And drink them at room temperature (no ice). Cold temperatures slow down enzyme function – it’s a law of chemical science!
In time, your taste buds will reawaken and food will taste alive.
To sustain the usual sedentary type being, not actively walking or pushing, pulling, or lifting throughout the day, we need about 1-2 gram of protein /kg/day.
Of the hundreds of thousands of proteins in the body, they are each made from the same 21 amino acids; eight are essential from nutrition- including contributions from the microbiome; our liver makes the rest (when not overfed).
It takes roughly two ounces of protein for a 70 KG white male to make enzymes, link structures, and create neurotransmitters. Our tissues components are efficiently recycled throughout our lifetime! That is what our kidneys, which excrete toxic by-products of digestion, can best tolerate.
The brain likes glucose (from starches) for actual thinking functions; intestines and skin like ghee- that has butyric, as in butter, acid and is a preferred fat (or was, until butter started storing dioxins). Olive and other mono-unsaturated fat oils can substitute for ghee.
Making actual muscle does require extra, but when considering your longevity, it doesn’t make sense to overdo the protein. Over-feeding weakens the kidneys with such intense processing over time and in the end.
Reflecting on our activities, left-over proteins get broken down into urea which is a toxic metabolite. Everything else is returned to circulation.
It is wise during the day to sip on a slowly prepared hot water that is flavored with fennel (for most of us). Being slowly boiled for several minutes breaks water into smaller associations and is better absorbed by the tissues.
Avoid: heavy foods such as cheese, frozen food, raw vegetables, red meat, seafood (bottom-feeders), fried food, yogurt (lassi is OK), canned food, oily food, leftover food, packaged or processed foods, aged or fermented foods, nut butters, cold foods and drinks, carbonated beverages and alcohol.
Exercise directly blocks digestion- as muscles require blood flow, the splancnic vessels contract. This slows down the whole process. So try to exercise before meals or at least two hours after. Hopefully that isn’t news to anyone.
Don’t worry, the body is garden too and can always heal especially when you change your soil and conditions.
I’ve traveled all over the world, and yes, there are places where dire poverty reigns, but 9 times out of 10, it’s a political decision of the ruling families. All those pictures of horror are mainly for your drama and guilt.
During sleep when the body isn’t actively “doing”, transportation of cell material literally goes backwards (along axons and dendrites)…though much more slowly. This allows damaged receptors and secondary processes to become restored and whole again with the body’s very thorough recycling program.
Did you know that kidney failure and dialysis rates are skyrocketing? NSAIDS ( nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are culprits, but diet is paramount.