I remember being a thirteen-year-old girl and holding Susan Powter’s Stop the Insanity diet plan in my hands. It felt like a promise. If Susan could go from being morbidly obese to a lean, mean, diet-business queen, I could stop eating peanut butter sandwiches in bed at night. Now don’t get me wrong; I think Susan’s success is amazing, and many diet plans are directed at helping people get out of their suffering—but what these results-focused diets don’t do is teach us how to access the root of our healthiness. As a plump teenager, I didn’t learn how to really listen to my body or how to nurture it. I learned to come at food from a place of intellectualization (think counting calories) and self-hate (think “No, you cant have cake, fatty!”).
Ayurveda helped me (and continues to help me) heal this disconnection between my Inner- Knowingness (that truly senses what food I need) and my internal dialogue (that can shift from being a drill sergeant to an overly indulgent parent). When I learned Ayurveda, I learned a Nature-loving, time-tested framework for understanding food energetically. I also learned what foods are best at what times of day and year. Ayurveda also taught me how to combine foods in the best ways, so as to kindle my digestive fire.
Philosophically, I learned that that food is sacred. In fact, Ayurveda says food is a form of God. And when you treat food like God, the whole landscape of your relationship to food shifts. The act of eating is also a divine transformation, whereby food goes from being an apple into becoming you! And you are also a form of God. In this way, truly radiant health is built upon taking the time to recognize yourself and the food you eat as manifestations of the Divine. Most importantly, Ayurveda taught me how to access the part of me that can deeply listen to what my body needs.
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