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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.

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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

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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! 😉

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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!

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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

Gut Health

All disease starts in the gut! Hippocrates

Protect yourself from disease! Gut health is important for everyone! If your gut is not functioning properly you are not absorbing the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs. Leaky gut syndrome is the cause of a compromised gut and then disease sets in. Guard yourself against disease by learning about optimal gut function.

Western Doctors tell their patients that eliminating foods when you have Crohns and Colitis will not help at all.  This is mind boggling to me! I don`t understand how anyone can not see that our food is processed through our gut. (mouth, stomach, small intestine, colon (large intestine) and bowel) So, common sense is that since Crohns and Colitis is inflammation of the gut than wouldn`t ingesting certain foods slow down or stop the healing of a flare.

Protect yourself now before disease sets in

The way to figure out what is harmful or beneficial for your body is to do an elimination and reintroduction. The Whole30 is an excellent program to assist you through the whole process.  The thing with foods to avoid or foods to eliminate then reintroduce is that everyone should do this not just individuals with autoimmune diseases. Everyone should have the goal to have a healthy gut.

10 Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut:

1. Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea

2. Food allergies or sensitivities

3. Anxiety

4. Depression

5. Mood swings, irritability

6. Skin problems like eczema, rosacea

7. Diabetes

8. Autoimmune disease

9. Frequent Infections

10. Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD

1. Remove

Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the gut, such as inflammatory foods, infections, and irritants like alcohol, caffeine, or drugs.

Inflammatory foods, such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugar, can lead to food sensitivities. I recommend an elimination diet as the starting point to identify which foods are problematic for you, in which you remove the foods for two weeks or more and then add them back in, one at a time, taking note of your body’s response.

Infections can be from parasites, yeast, or bacteria. A comprehensive stool analysis is key to determining the levels of good bacteria as well as any infections that may be present. Removing the infections may require treatment with herbs, anti-parasite medication, antifungal medication, antifungal supplements, or even antibiotics.

2. Replace

Replace the good. Add back in the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid, antibiotics, etc) diseases or aging. This includes digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion.

3. Reinoculate

Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is critical. This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species. Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) supplement or consuming foods high in soluble fiber is important.

4. Repair

Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential. L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining. Other key nutrients include zinc, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, and E, as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera.

Functional Medicine

In functional medicine, it is known that every system in the body is connected. Your digestive and hormonal systems, for example, aren’t independent of one another. At the center of it all is a properly functioning digestive system.

When your gut is unhealthy, it can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea. 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut, gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and other chronic health problems.

Whether you have a disease or not make sure your gut is healthy and stays healthy!

Andrea

Welcoming fall

Although it`s felt like fall most days here in the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains for the past couple of weeks I am posting this on the first day of fall to welcome it in. Fall is my favourite season. The harvest brings the best foods and I love the colours, the warmth of spices called for in typical fall recipes and all the comfort foods this season has to offer. I want to share with you my favourites of the season.

Since I have been very sick for so long this time around and living in my RV since June 30th of last year I am just getting to the point of functioning normally in the past couple of weeks and haven’t been able to cook and bake in the capacity that I would like to. I found a new home and move in day is October 8th. I plan to post my own recipes as well now that I will have the mind space, energy and a normal functional kitchen. But for this post I wanted to share with you Against All Grains Fall Creations that I have made and enjoy thoroughly!

My Favourites of the Season

Some of my favourite fall things: Pumpkin puree, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin custard, pumpkin spiced tea and the list goes on….

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Apples, apple pie, apple sauce, apple crisp and apple cider. And these are seriously the best waffles ever! Waffles are my favourite breakfast and when I found this recipe with the apple topping I made it for a couple of month’s straight and I will always love it.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Celebration & Thanksgiving breakfast ideas. Extras from Danielle Walker.

I was busy on Monday and Tuesday this week cooking and baking and I ended up making the World Famous Bread pg 226, Homemade Almond Milk pg 314, Butternut Squash Soup pg 94, and another batch of applesauce pg 208. All of these recipes you can find in Against All Grain Cookbook (the first one). This book is amazing for getting started in the kitchen when you first transition to paleo. It was and still is a life saver for me. I cook and bake from this cookbook three times a week at least.

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The harvest moon which was on September 16th this year. I have to start getting my evening walks in earlier now.

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Long walks in the fallen leaves and nothing is better than the smell of fall. I spent a beautiful warm sunny day at McLeod River in Marlboro last Friday. Check out my Instagram account to see more of my daily life.

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Couldn’t help drive up the road a bit to see the mountains.

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Captured this beauty after a rain.img_8706-2

 

Happy Fall Everyone ~Andrea

Alkaline foods for a balanced lifestyle

What are Alkaline Foods?

An alkaline diet emphasizes alkaline foods such as whole fruits and vegetables and certain whole grains, which are low in caloric density. Healthy Alkaline Diet Foods involve the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods.

The body includes a number of organ systems that are adept at neutralizing and eliminating excess acid, but there is a limit to how much acid even a healthy body can cope with effectively. The body is capable of maintaining an acid-alkaline balance provided that the organs are functioning properly, that a well-balanced alkaline diet is being consumed, and that other acid-producing factors are avoided.

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Here is a list of high Alkaline Foods: Examples of Alkalining Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Spinach

Examples of Alkalizing Fruits: Apple, Banana, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Melon, Lemon, Orange, Peach, Pear, Watermelon

Alkalizing Protein: Almonds, Chestnuts, Tofu

Alkalizing Spices: Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Sea Salt

Here is a link with a list of Alkaline Foods and important information to go along with each one.

Danielle Walker from Against All Grain has three cookbooks, an app, and tons of recipes on her website that are a great balance of alkaline and acidic foods. Majority are alkaline which is why she is having such success with her recipes. The whole30 is another great source for a balance lifestyle. I eat the way these two women cook and eat.

Andrea