“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
~ Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C
I had to have my appendix removed two years after starting college. It should have been a wake-up call – I was eating horribly since I left the healthy home-cooked meals my mom made at home. But instead, I saw it as a completely random occurrence that had nothing to do with me.
After all, that’s how medicine is treated in America. You live your life until you have a health problem one day, you go to the hospital, they fix you, you keep on living your life.
In contrast, Ayurveda considers food to be medicine or poison. Everything you eat has an impact on you.
To refine my taste and learn a lot more about what I’m eating and the effect the food has on me, I labeled all my spices and jars of grains, etc with this information. I look up this information for any food I couldn’t label buy am eating.
Which dosha this food effects, what are its main tastes, is it cooling or heating?
Being aware of this information has made me feel both terrified and empowered at the same time. Terrified because it makes me consider food in the same way I consider poison – if I’m feeling hot, for example, I know that foods and spices with heating effects will make me feel worse. I have to stay away or I’ll get more sick!
But most of all, I feel empowered. Just like I’m more aware of which foods are poison to me at the moment, I’m also aware of which foods are healing.
Before Ayurveda, I used to be healthy – eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, organic, etc. But I still got horrible skin problems. I noticed these problems, but there was nothing I could do about them. I didn’t know that I was eating foods that were exactly the ones I was supposed to avoid for fiery people like me. With Ayurveda, I can now notice these small changes in my body and easily pick out the right medicine.
I’m not just an observer of my health, I’m an active participant.