What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicine that, instead of focusing on fixing problems/diseases once they have already occurred (like western medicine does) Ayurveda focuses on prevention of problems/diseases before they occur in the body. I think that may just be the most well thought out system in the world! Take care of yourself and don’t become sick. It couldn’t be more obvious right?
I’ve just recently started to dive into Ayurveda. I only know the basics but I am already hooked. Simple things like enjoying a hot cup of water or tea first thing in the morning to help activate your digestive system, self massage at night to release toxins and of course practicing yoga have already made a difference in my over all well being. And it only makes sense. This ancient form of medicine has been in use for over 5000 years so obviously something is working!
One of the main focuses of Ayurveda is that overall good health starts with good digestive health which I believe 100% because I’ve experience both bad and good digestive health and I’m telling you, your body & mind feels so much better when things are running smoothly down there! Because if there is build up of waste in your intestines that for some reason or another isn’t passing though, your body cannot absorb all of the nutrients from the food you consume.
I want to give you a look into my current health situation so you can understand why starting an Ayurvedic diet, focused on good intestinal/digestive health is important to me.
Last year I found out that I have a gluten allergy after quite the process. It started in March 2016. I became very ill with sharp stomach pain, fever and cold sweats. I thought I simply had the flu so I laid in bed for a few days but when my illness got worse on day 4, I mean when I went from being constipated to having diarrhea I knew something much more serious was happening.
But actually this story begins before this occurrence. In September 2015 I made the move from Canada to Switzerland to be with my boyfriend. Everything was going swimmingly until I realized some months later that I hadn’t had a really good poop since I left Canada. I can only attribute this to living in a new place. Different food, different water, things my body wasn’t used to, and not really being in tune with my body. Anyway I would drink a big, strong cup of Italian coffee every morning and hope for the best. The best did not come.
So back to March 2016. I went to a local physician who examined me and told me to go to the hospital immediately because he believed that I had a burst appendix. Awesome. So off I went to the Krankenhaus (Sickhouse when directly translated from German!) and after a very, very long day of being hooked up to machines and tubes and getting an ultrasound and a CAT scan they figured that my appendix was fine but rather I had an infection in my intestine (hello not pooping for 4 months…)
I was sent home with a prescription for 2 WEEKS of antibiotics. 2 weeks! Do you know what 2 weeks of antibiotics will do to you? Not nice stuff. The side efforts were astronomical.
Anyway during and after this time I kept on eating and drinking all the things I usually ate and drank like sandwiches being number one, but of course pizza and pasta and most importantly beer. Gluten city. One Saturday night in April of 2016, just 2 days before I flew home to Canada I got pretty tipsy on beer. Just good old-fashioned beer. Guess what…sick again. Body aches and pains, diarrhea, everything just like the first time. Flying across the world in this condition was not optimal but I wasn’t the sickest one on the plane (a lady puked on me), what a ride!
Anyway before I left Switzerland my boyfriend pointed out the fact that when I drank beer I would have awful hangovers that didn’t happen when I drank only wine or something else. He thought that I might have a gluten allergy.
So back home in Canada my BFF picked me up from the airport at 11pm and we went straight to the emergency room. The Dr. put me back on the same antibiotics for another 2 weeks (kill me) and off I went. Next day I visited my family physician and told him I thought it was gluten. I got a blood test and a few days later we found out for sure that I am indeed allergic to gluten (the ironic thing is that I grew up on a grain farm in middle of nowhere Canada, strange huh?)
But how allergic you ask? Just an allergy or full on celiac? This answer I don’t even know.
Of course after the blood test results came back I began immediately with a GF diet (which isn’t hard by the way if you’re thinking about trying it). For the reason that I was flying back to Zürich in a few weeks I did all I could to get in to see the gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy as soon as possible, which actually worked. Usually people wait months to see a specialist in Canada (free Health Care means waiting) but there was a cancellation and I was in! Because we didn’t have the normal amount of time to prepare for the procedure I was unaware that to really be clear if someone has celiac disease or not from a colonoscopy the patient has to be ON a gluten diet! I had been eating GF for about 2.5 weeks by now and feeling good, but the results of the colonoscopy came back indefinable. I may or may not have celiac disease. A year later I still don’t know for sure. So I stick to my GF diet because I feel better than I have in my entire life! Actually health.
Even going back to being a teenager and young(er) adult I was often very sick. I would have a cold for up to 3 months at a time or just get sick 3-5 times a year. I would also get cold soars about 3 times a year. Now that I keep my intestines healthy by sticking to my gluten free diet I have only been sick once in the last year (common spring cold, can’t really avoid it) and I have had no cold soars at all! Proof right there that good digestive health leads to over all good health!
So to begin my Ayurvedic diet I am starting with the classic Ayurvedic dish called Kitchari. It is actually a cleanse so I will be eating this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least a few days (we will see how long I can keep it up, hopefully make it a week)!
Seeing as this post is already quite long I will write back tomorrow with more information on Kitchari! Its benefits, recipe and so on!
Thanks for the read 🙂