Monday, December 17, 2007

Auryvedic Medicine

At my last class weekend at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I listened to a half day lecture on Auryvedic Medicine and realized how many things make sense. Dr. John Doulliard gave the lecture and his information can be found online at He's written several books including the Three Season Diet. I don't think I have ever learned so much in the space of three hours. His lecture was all about Auryvedic body types and eating/exercising/living for the appropriate season and even time of day given your body type. He spoke about several homeopathic preventative measures for colds (especially for children) using an ear oil method. Sounds a bit unconventional, but the man has 6 kids and he promises this works. He said to heat olive oil with chopped garlic and make an infusion. Cool it down so that its warm, but not scalding and fill the ear with a medicine dropper - lie on one side - place cotton ball over and fill other ear - best to do before bed and sleep with the infusion in the ear. He says this prevents colds or clears them out. Garlic is supposed to be wonderful for preventing/treating colds...and I bet that infusion tastes great on a warm crusty bread too :) or over hummus.

Dr. Doulliard also spoke of a water detox. Detoxifying allows our liver, adrenal glands and other organ systems to rest and allows the blood to purify itself. Its wonderful for general health and well being as well as a treatment for any ailment where the lymphatic system is not draining from rheumatoid arthritis to hear this ladies: cellulite! One should sip hot water throughout the day at 10 minute intervals. No need to fast or stop eating. Granted this concept may not work if you have a high pressure job where you are glued to your seat - but most of us should be getting up every hour to just walk to bathroom/stretch legs etc. So I would try it. I am actually trying it now.

The philosophy of Auryveda is fairly simple. It involves eating three meals a day and not eating after 6pm. The goal is to have more food in the middle of the day, less for supper and a good hearty breakfast that will get you through until lunch. There is emphasis on blood sugar and that one should never get to a state where they are starving.

I feel starving myself often at 12pm mostly because I have either eaten breakfast at 7, not at all or I ate breakfast on my way coming back from a meeting or during a meeting where I was not concentrating on food. Eating breakfast takes maybe 5 minutes. We all have 5 minutes to sit and eat something substantial that will get us through to our next meal. I found when I ate fruit smoothies with acai I was full until 1pm and I felt hungry but not starving for lunch. I've used fresh fruit - but also frozen fruit when I felt that I didn't have time. I have also just blended the thing up in 1 minute and thrown into a sports bottle which I drank on the bus or train. But during that time I was not doing anything else - so I could leisurely enjoy my breakfast.

Recently I have been trying green smoothies. Yes, the color is a bit weird - but they are quite tasty. I use 5-6 leaves of kale, chard or mustard green with mango, strawberries, blueberries, sometimes pomegranate juice. I'm not a huge fan of the juices because of how much sugar they have, but I would put a quarter of a cup in for sweetness and texture. And I add water. Blend and its delicious. They sell super green powder in health food store. One scoop is supposedly equivalent to the 5-6 leaves, but I figure if you can get the leaves - why go with something processed and downright expensive (the container I got was $18 and I got the smallest one) - its fine in a pinch - but even gristedes sells kale and a whole huge bunch is usually less than $1. They give me an incredible amount of energy and keep me full for at least 6 hours. You need to have the right balance of greens to fruits. Ripe fruits will keep the smoothie sweet and tasty but in the healthiest way possible without added sugars. It is scary to read some of the ready made smoothies on the supermarket shelves today. One I looked at had a whopping 34 grams of sugar in one serving and the 6 oz container was 2 servings. That is 68 grams of sugar. That is the entire carbohydrate limit for the whole day for some medium (not even low carb) carbohydrate diets.

Recipe: Apple-Kale-Lemon (adapted from Victoria's Boutenko's Raw Family

4 apples
1/2 lemon juice
5 leaves of kale
2 cups water

Add together in blender and blend 1-2 minutes. This is merely a suggestion for the appropriate ratio of fruits to vegetables and juices. Try other juices or fruits and greens (chard, mustard green, kale, spinach or lambsquarters) and see how it goes.

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