Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rx Food

 When diet is wrong medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.  --Ayurvedic proverb

The Health's continuing explore strange new foods, to seek out better health and greater boldy eat what no American has eaten before!!!

     I suspect I can always feel better than I do. I am usually right.  I suspect you can feel better than you do too.  Being healthy for me is kinda like overcoming Sin for a good, practicing, Christian.  It's something I'm always striving for, often failing at.
      I could always cut out more sugar, cut caffeine, exercise more, switch up the diet, try some herbs, fast or eat lightly 2 days a week, make some bone broth, meditate.  Then there's the times when I just Fail, and eat half a box of gluten free oreos or something.  I don't let myself do stuff like that very often, so I don't really beat myself up about it. Still, if I did all the things I know I should do all of the time, I'd be a little trimmer, probably have better energy etc.  I'd probably also be a little sad at missing the Oreos...

      Having a gluten intolerance for most, if not all of my life, has left my immune system and digestion (which are closely connected!) at a disadvantage. I had the good fortune of living a drivable distance to Fairfield Iowa for many years.
  Going to an ayurvedic doctor is expensive.  It kind of feels like wallet rape.  It's exactly like going to a normal doctor without insurance, since insurance doesn't cover an ayurvedic doctor or the meds.  My stomach had been so screwed for so long by around 2005 I was looking for answers.  I'd been the Western Medicine route. The fact that I had extreme stomach pain and visible stomach lining inflammation was just ignored.  So was the fact that the Prilosec wasn't helping one bit.

      My husband and I had not yet finished college and this was no small expense.  We discussed it at length, even did a tarot reading on it.  For some reason the reading predicted that my health would always be better as a result.  I really could not think why that would be (unless it worked), but with nothing left to lose but my cash, I went for it.
  The Ayurvedic's taught me how to use food as medicine.  Hell, they taught me that you could use food as medicine, something entirely absent from our culture until recently.  Lucky for me, I was ahead of the curve, because if I hadn't been, I suspect my health would be much worse by now.
     For the Ayurvedics there is a pre-disease stage.  If you pay heed to early signs and symptoms, and can correct your imbalance in a timely fashion, the disease can be avoided.  They taught the things that I'd always felt,  if you have pain, you shouldn't just pop a pill and make it go away, you need to pay attention.  It's one of your body's ways of communicating with you.
  My digestion was much better after my ayruvedic diet and herbs.  I didn't almost vomit at every meal and  I learned to rotate foods better, and learned at what amount certain foods could be detrimental to my body, but it was still not the panacea I'd been looking for.  It was as good as I was going to get at the time....
      It paved the way though, for a greater attention to detail at how my body communicated with me.  If I had gone on the diet and gone off of gluten my life would have gone a lot differently, but alas, there are some things you just can't figure out in time.
  My route to better health made other stops after that.  I discovered the gluten intolerance by chance (having cut it out on accident after a trip to the Asian grocery). A chiropractor suggested an in-depth vitamin/mineral testing, also pricey and not covered by insurance.
     What it turned up was astounding to me, I was a lactating woman, deficient in magnesium, D, calcium, proteins and fat.  In fact, after I found this out, I went from a largely vegetarian diet (which had helped me through my younger, pre-child years) to what I call "all meat all the time".  I ate animal products for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I took supplements, and I began to feel better.  Now, I am not one of those vegetarians who just ate pasta all the time.  I got tons of whole grains, leafy greens, beans, nuts etc.  but I could not compete with lack of absorption (because my stomach was ruined) and the fact that the proteins and fats were literally being sucked out of my body.  I guess we just have to learn to change with the times!  The diet that is right for one phase of your existence, will not necessarily be right for another.  Lesson learned.
     I'm certain my health journey is not over.  Even if I have reached a plateau, I can be certain a new phase of existence (say, menopause!) will knock me down, and force me to re-evaluate and adjust everything.  I don't think there is anything more important in this battle than my own, active intellect.  To watch how each food makes me feel  in each moment, to monitor cravings and try to decipher what it is my body needs in that moment, is something I will have to do all my life.  Like yoga, it is the " ox yoke" that I put on for better health.  To not do so, to ignore what I eat, well, I do so at my own peril.  Increasingly, this is so for everyone else as well.

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