Let me start by telling you my goals- to be at a healthy weight (ok maybe a little lower than that) and to actually be healthy.
So, I have been watching the constant struggle between my outer and inner body. About ten years ago I had half of my thyroid removed which resulted in weight gain and sluggishness. I was put on Synthroid and it my symptoms went away. I used my weight gains to judge when to increase my Synthroid and usually, based on blood work, I was on the money. So every year or so I watched my Synthroid increase. Seemed like the perfect solution, right? Wrong!
The Synthroid has been deteriorating my bones and affecting my blood. This is why I’m looking for something that encompasses my whole body and not just one part at a time. I want you to know I work out almost every day and eat pretty well. I’m not someone eating tons of junk food or spending my day in a chair and then wonders why I’m gaining weight.
Through my yoga training journey, I have been introduced to Ayurveda. What is Ayurveda? It’s the health system that is used in India. It encompasses diet, wholesome life,surgury, biorhythms. herbal medicine, psychology, and therapeutic bodywork to address the root causes of diseases. It focuses on disease prevention.
I believe that a solid diet measured by a good nutritionist will give you these results but if you can include fruits and vegetables of the season, even better!
It is not hokey!
Ayurveda absolutely encompasses western medicine. Ayurveda is preventive while they use Western Medicine to resolve acute situations. It is one of the oldest health systems in the world that is still in use today.
There are a lot of components to Ayurveda but I’m going to focus on food for today (although yoga is a big part as well). Ayurveda focuses on digestion, absorption and how your body incorporates food nutrients into your system. Because my thyroid is sluggish, my digestive fire does not work like many people I know. This is extremely frustrating for me (read my article on if you can’t fight your genes, join them. My genes do not want me to be thin. Full stop. I’m fighting back!
As an aside, good digestion will help you get that glorious skin we all crave. But I digress.
Ayurveda sees our bodies as being made up of 5 elements. Ether, air, earth, fire and water. This leads into three dosha types. I am a kappa/pitta. In order to use this science, I am trying a diet that was created for me in order to lose weight and maintain. One that will ignite my thyroid and strengthen my bones while cleaning out my blood. The key is to be healthy and give my body what it needs. What my body needs is different from what your body needs. But one thing we all have in common is to do this we have to limit or give up added sugars.
For those of you who have gone down this path you will know that giving up sugar is awful. Sugar is in almost everything we eat ( I am still eating natural sugars in fruits, etc). Also, my body type is ok with a limited amount of honey. Ketchup is one of the worst culprits! As the seasons change we all need to rebalance. One interesting thing is that Ayurveda focuses on eating with the seasons. Trying to eat apples and pears in the fall is better than trying to prolong the summer fruit eating by purchasing imported fruits.
Here are some symptoms of imbalance:
- Loss of appetite/ excessive appetite
- Gas and bloating
- Cold hands and feet
- Hot flashes/ sweating
My Ayurvedic coach looked at my pulse, tongue and temperature of my hands. From there she created a diet that encompasses herbs a few herb such as a tea we make with dandelion root, turmeric and ginger (I also add some cinnamon). I’ve been stewing apples and pears with cinnamon and adding it to oatmeal for breakfast. We have a few soups that I’ve made as well. As with all diets, the key is meal prep.
Follow me and my struggles to see if it works. Today is day 3- fingers crossed!
Here’s a quick yoga series to support your detox and enhance bone health.
- 3-5 minutes sit cross legged focus on your intention and clear your mind.
- 5 breaths cat/cow go on all fours and round and flatten your spine. Try to match your breath to your movement.
- 5-10 breaths hold plank push your palms and fingers into the ground.
- 10 breaths downward facing dog 60% of your weight should be on your feet and 40% on your hands
- 5 breaths child's pose rest here
- 10 breaths downward facing dog when done jump or step your feet to meet your hands
- 5 breaths half forward fold inhale up to next pose
- 5 breaths full forward fold exhale in pose. On inhale rise to standing
- 10 breaths tadasana (standing straight up/ arms at sides)
- 5 breaths chair pose
- 5 breaths in chair pose/ twist right pass through center on the way to the left
- 5 breaths in chair pose/ twist left twists are great for detoxifying
- 5 breaths chair pose
- 3 breaths mountain pose flow through sun salutation to get into warrior 2 pose
- 5 breaths warrior 2 5 breaths each side
- run through sun salutation move down to floor
- 5 minutes lie on back with legs up the wall this is great for your thyroid
- 5 minutes savanna (lie flat on the ground) this is when a nice essential oil like sandalwood can help ground you or lavender to relax you. If you have a busy day ahead, try eucalyptus oil.
It will help if you focus on taking 5 breaths in, holding for a count of 3 and 5 breaths out whenever possible.
If you are interested in learning more, contact me!
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