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Ayurveda

What’s your dosha?

Ayurveda is an holistic approach to healing I have looked to in the past couple of decades but in researching about it in the past year and a half I have learned about it in much more depth. In practicing it to regain my health it has become a natural part of my every day life with absolute essential health benefits that I will carry on using for the rest of my life. I find it quite interesting because I need balance in all aspects of my life, in learning how my body works and what type of person I am, in how I react and deal with life helps me understand how to keep myself balanced.

I use mindfulness, meditation, listening to my body and understanding the signs, reading myself and using the resources I have collected to bring myself back into balance. When I am losing balance my sleep is affected, I become cold in my feet, hands and in general. I figure out what the root cause is so I can correct it immediately like removing stress and by drinking warm or hot beverages, eating wet foods like avocados, ghee and the like along with making sure to keep warm with clothes and blankets when I am sleeping are a few thing I do to balance my body for optimal health.

WebMD.com ~ Ayurvedic medicine — also known as Ayurveda — is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. But treatments may be recommended for specific health problems.

Adapting this philosophy requires an open mind, I can’t believe the amount of people that are closed minded and won’t even try something new or different even if it would help them heal and to live a healthy balanced life. If one thing isn’t working common sense tells me to try something new.  Look at different avenues to find what works best for you as a whole person along with your health issues. I can guarantee you will benefit from learning Ayurveda and how it relates to your whole being and especially when dealing with disease how it will bring you back to a healthy you or even better stay balanced so you won’t have to fight disease.

WebMD.com~Ayurveda Concepts-According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe — living or not — is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness. For followers of Ayurveda, anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. How your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body’s constitution, or prakriti. Your prakriti is believed to stay the same for your entire life. However, how you digest food and eliminate waste can influence it.

The 5 elements in the universe are earth, wind, fire, water and space and each of us have a combo of these elements.  The three life forces are called doshas, these are : Vata – space and air, Pitta – fire and water, and Kapha – water and earth.

ayurveda_image_001-newFrom WebMD.com:

Vata dosha (space and air) is thought to be the most powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions, such as how cells divide. It also controls your: Mind, Breathing, Blood flow, Heart function, Ability to get rid of body waste through the intestines.  Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Eating dry fruit, Eating too soon after a previous meal, Fear, Grief, Staying up too late.  If vata dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Anxiety, Asthma, Heart disease, Nervous system disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis, Skin problems.

vata

Pitta Dosha

The pitta dosha (fire and water) controls: Digestion, Ability to break down foods (metabolism), Certain hormones linked to appetite.  Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Eating sour foods, Eating spicy foods, Fatigue, Spending too much time in the sun.
If pitta dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Anger and negative emotions, Crohn’s disease, Heart disease, Heartburn a few hours after eating, High blood pressure, Infections

pitta

Kapha Dosha
The kapha dosha (water and earth) controls: Muscle growth, Body strength and stability, Weight, and Immune system. Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Daytime sleeping, Eating after your stomach is full, Eating or drinking items that have too much salt or water, Eating too many sweet foods and Greed.  If kapha dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Asthma and other breathing disorders, Cancer, Diabetes, Nausea after eating and Obesity.

Kapha-Balancing-Diet

Ayurvedic Treatment

Treatment depends on your unique prakriti, your primary dosha, and the balance between all three of them.  A main goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to cleanse your body of undigested food called ama, which can stick to the inside of your body and make you sick. This cleansing process is called panchakarma. It is used to reduce any symptoms and reestablish harmony and balance.

Other treatments may also be recommended to: Restore balance, Improve spiritual healing, Boost your immunity, Reduce symptoms. The treatments may include: Aromatherapy, Breathing exercises, Diet changes, Herbs, vitamins, minerals, and metals, Plant-based oils and spices, Lifestyle changes, Meditation, Stretching and Yoga

Sourced from WebMD.com

I’m a VATA

I am a dominant Vata dosha. I had all the signs and symptoms that vata body types show when vata is not in balance. I had vitamin and mineral deficiency which causes anemia, malnutrition, low blood pressure, weight loss and muscle wasting. Protein deficiency that include symptoms of hair loss and fluid retention. Sugar imbalance having the symptoms of bloating, flatulence, and explosive diarrhea. And fat deficiency with typical symptoms of irregular bowel movements.  If only I had read deeper into Ayurveda sooner I may have recognized the imbalance as an issue and found homeopathy earlier. But I believe every thing happens for a reason and I know I learned a lot more than just about my failing health when I became so ill. Hindsight is 20/20! 😉

Vata-Balancing-Guidelines

To regain balance

Check out this amazing website, it has everything you need to learn about your body with the benefits of Ayurveda. Just click through on the links below!

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Vata-Symptoms

Now that I know what to do when I feel the slightest imbalance I can hop right back on the right path and avoid becoming unbalanced and never become as sick as I was again!

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~Andrea

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Digestion ~ Healing CD & UC ~ A change in lifestyle is necessary

When crohns and colitis flares are active in the body they change the lining of the small intestine, colon (large intestine) and bowel.  When this happens the gut does not absorb nutrients that the body needs to function. You become malnourished and if this happens for an extended amount of time the body will start to shut down. Anemia is present once crohns and colitis flares start if untreated will cause lack of oxygen to be transported throughout the body also causing the body to shut down. This is what happened to me starting in 2013.

A change in diet is necessary to heal IBD.  As patients we are told that a change in diet won’t help. I am proof that diet is necessary. I healed crohns and colitis with diet change, biofeedback and homeopathy. I avoided prescription drugs and surgery, neither were options for me in my mind.

Every person is different, learning what food triggers, allergies and food intolerance is healthy for everyone even healthy people! There is the AIP, Against All Grain,  SCD, Whole30 program, and Low Foodmap that will take you through a process to figure out your specific food approved list.

The key thing to remember here is only you can tell what foods bother your system and no one will have the same food issues as you. Taking the time to figure out what foods you can tolerate and the foods you can not is being respectful of your mind, body connection and will be the difference between finding remission or continuing to suffer from the symptoms of IBD.

A Movement in Progress & AIP

The Autoimmune movement is a long time coming and so many people being diagnosed with life threatening illnesses are banning together and strong pioneering women are getting the word out to show the western medical field and the struggling individuals that something has to change. That there are ways to deal with and improve lives by diet change or a I prefer change in the way we eat because I don’t see how it’s a diet it’s the way everyone should still be eating.  By eliminating none food items and trigger foods from your diet you can regain your health. Everyone is different and each individual should work through the AIP Diet to learn about their bodies on their own.

This movement is working towards the combined efforts of doctor and patient to work together to combat against the cause of the illness to get to the heart of the problem through diet.  The AIP diet is a great place to start for anyone how notices that eating certain foods affect them. In doing so you are feeding yourself food that your body doesn’t have to fight against when processing it. You are giving your body the nutrition it needs so that it isn’t working overtime or try to process food you can’t tolerate instead of fighting off disease or illness.

Autoimmune Protocol ~ www.paleomom.com

Cooking & Baking: Against All Grain

I use the recipes from all of Danielle Walker’s Cookbooks! I love that she made her experience with UC public and that she took the years of cooking and baking experiences and published cookbooks. It has been a life saver for me in that everything is done for you. I bought the cookbooks, app and kindle cookbooks (Joyful & Thankful) and jumped in feet first. I bought all the main ingredients that she uses so that if I wanted to make something I could pull everything out and start or only needed a quick run to the grocery store.

Doing a complete over haul and changing the entire way you eat, grocery shop, cook and bake is what it takes to take back control of your body.  Changing your thinking can be a difficult process and if you are as desperate as I was, all it took was a couple of months and it became a way of life!

When you are fevered or exhausted from a Crohn’s flare up, or weak from an ulcerative colitis flare a grocery trip is maybe the only thing you can accomplish in a day. Even cooking a meal is a major task so if you have everything you need in your house then you can eat healthy and at least feel as though you conquered something, because let’s face it anything positive that I accomplish I have to celebrate these days.

Edson 2015 040

This is definitely a movement in the making and is happening now for the masses that suffer from IBD. To educate western medicine of the positive effects diet change makes for the IBD patient and to educate all individuals that suffer from IBD to take matters into their own hands. Doing a complete over haul and changing the entire way you eat, grocery shop, cook and bake is what it takes to take back control of your body.  Changing your thinking can be a difficult process and if you are as desperate as I was, all it took was a couple of months and it became a way of life!

I had to overhaul my kitchen and my mind set before I started to see success. The autoimmune paleo way of eating is not a diet, it’s a way of life! I have been eating autoimmune paleo for a year now and I can see a difference in my energy, sleep and how I function in my waking hours. I have crohns and colitis in emission and now comes healing and recovery. I have confidence in my stocked pantry, newly learned paleo cooking skills and the way I have my kitchen set up for success, that I will have a normal future because of Against All Grain cookbooks!

SCD ~ Specific Carbohydrate Diet

I have already posted about AIP – autoimmune protocol diet and it’s benefits but I also tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which has helped me considerably in that it explains what and why you should eat or avoid certain foods.  A great resource for anyone who suffers from any gut issues. I use the legal and illegal lists often, you can find them here. This is the most common resource given to patients newly diagnosed with IBD.

Before I purchase a book I borrow it from the library to see if it will be worth the money and to see if it will help me now and in the future. I bought these two cookbooks because they are helpful in the kitchen when working through SCD.

elaine_book

I found that this diet didn’t get rid of my symptoms entirely but was a definite asset in my healing process. Some foods on this list still bothered me whole in a flare and recovering and other items I can tolerate,  I believe that everyone is different and each person should find what foods they can and can’t tolerate and go from there to develop their own personal way of eating well for ultimate health.

So many of these recipes that I have tried so far are delicious and I learned a great deal from the Breaking the Vicious Cycle that I can honestly say it was a great stepping stone. Please visit the authors page here. It’s absolutely amazing what one women accomplished in a life time, how many people she has helped even after her death in 2005 and how incredible her findings were after realizing what she had stumbled upon. Here’s to healing one step at a time!

Whole30

I think it is very important to know what is going in your body when choosing foods, asking yourself questions like where does it come from, is it local, is it a dirty dozen and clean 15, how is it raised, are there hormones, pesticides, and other unhealthy chemicals I will be digesting and making myself feel less than healthy. Read the labels and know what is in the food you are eating. I prepare foods the whole30 way! I love that they give you a new way of viewing foods and the reactions foods can have on your body. Food combo switch up, meal swaps and interchangeable food ideas.

Whole9Life & Whole30 have the information you need to start and complete the program.

Books: It Starts With Food & The Whole30: 30 Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

Against All Grain has a great link that showcases the recipes that are in her books and food blog that are Whole30 compliant or can be tweaked to be in accordance with this program requirements. aag whole30 compliant

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I have not done a Whole30 challenge but would like to starting in September when my body is balanced and my gut is healthy and equipped to handle more changes to my diet. I have come a long way and spent thousands of dollars to heal naturally, so I don’t want to upset the balance I am trying to achieve which is finding remission. Being in a Crohn’s and Colitis flares is serious and I have found what is working for me finally so I will stick to this routine until I find full recovery.

I have to admit I do make a lot of the Whole 30 recipes now and for the past 6 months and enjoy them very much, I like the meal plan, their simple to the point explanations and how gratifying it is to whip up a delicious meal and have leftovers because anybody who has IBD will testify that the energy it takes to make food is considerable, plus feeling hungry is sometimes non existent!

I have eaten whole foods all my life, that’s the way I was taught since my parents were raised on farms. I went even more religiously into whole foods shopping and eating out of shear necessity in 2000 when I found it impossible to eat certain foods without feeling incredibly sick, tired, exhausted, lethargic, gassy, constipated, having cramps or diarrhea and fevers.

The whole30 is a program to get you to make healthy conscious food decisions. To eliminate certain foods for 30 days so that your gut has a chance to be cleaned out so that for the next month or so you can slowly add in common trigger foods to see if they are trigger foods for you. The reason I haven’t done a whole30 yet is because my GI track is still not functioning properly. Once it is back to digesting normally I will definitely be all over that. I can’t wait actually!

I`m sure there are more foods I should be avoiding and will figure it out by the end of this year for sure!I found that if I eliminated certain foods I felt better and as I did this I found some foods that didn’t bother me and stuck to eating that way for a decade at least. BUT eating bland foods was making me unhappy and unsatisfied. I was so glad to find all of these different ways of eating using whole foods and I have learned that even the meat in the supermarket was affecting me with the antibiotics and chemicals growers use on their animals and then I found organic as a great source of whole food eating that I can tolerate and have been eating that way since January 2015.

Here is another link to my blog about organic foods and the difference for gut sensitivities and gut health: Eggs

 

Sites with real facts and info about Crohns and Colitis:  An Advanced All-Natural Guide to Treating Crohn’s Disease and IBD

Love, peace & hope ~Andrea