Let Your Food Be Your Medicine
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
This is the well-known phrase that we attribute to the famous father of medicine – Hippocrates. Since then many studies have shown that we can truly heal ourselves, by either eliminating certain foods from our diet, or by adding the other foods to it.
I am not a doctor, but today I am inspired to speak simply from experience. Some time back I stopped telling people what to eat and what not to eat, because I truly believe that each one’s body is so different and there cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ solution. This was all based on my own experience and understanding. So, I am not about to begin preaching what I have resisted for so long. What I would like to highlight here is that everyone should take a good long hard look at what they are eating, and begin trying to self-diagnose from that point onwards. Doctors are very important; hospitals are essential and treatments are necessary. So self-healing does not replace all the above. But we need to take some responsibility for our own health, especially when a lot of that healing is in our own hands.
Perhaps for me I discovered, a little too late, that dairy was not such a good thing for my body, and by then some damage had been done. But as they say, it’s morning from the time we wake up. And so, I began my new day, wiser and healthier.
When we first complain about those aches and pains, then our first point of checking should be our food. Keeping a diary or a journal of the meals we have eaten each day, at what times and the ingredients contained therein. This will help us considerably in sussing out the root of our sicknesses, it can be as simple as a mild headache every day. We can then tune in to see what is affecting us whether it is the acid, starch, carbohydrates or the late nights and hot days! And then we should eliminate those for a week or two to see if the situation improves.
Yes, of course, stress plays a huge part in the health of our body, but if our diet is good, then it reduces the number of complaints we have. We should also use meditation and the body of knowledge offered by Raja Yoga to keep ourselves sane and peaceful, and aim not to take on some of the many stresses available in our day to day world.
From time to time we all complain of our energy levels being low, or of being too tired. Well it can’t be because of all those fields we are ploughing, or the crates of fruits and veggies we are lifting all day!! (pardon the sarcasm!) We generally don’t do enough to be tired, unless our job entails lots of physical labour. Mostly our fatigue comes from what we put in our bodies, and even more what we put into our minds. Both are to do with waste, it is generally our thinking and not the amount of work we do all day that makes us tired! So, we need to think less about everyone and everything, and focus on our inner self and how to keep calm!
One friend had complained of migraine headaches for some time. She researched the net quite a bit for the possibility of some healthy solutions. Then thought she would try being dairy free, and low and behold, the headaches went away. Another friend had mild headaches. She thought it was perhaps just the heat of the Middle East. She reduced wheat and her headaches are now very rare. Another person started the intermittent diet (16/8), and has seen immediate results: more energy, a feeling of being light, less acidity, and requiring less sleep.
Giving up the dairy can definitely help on the mucus front, with less congestion and a quicker recovery time with any cold issues.
Going the liquid route can also be helpful. Drinking lots of juices and smoothies will surely give our over worked digestive system a well-deserved holiday too!
The following are some diets you may like to try to improve your health. I have followed them all for periods of time, some I continue to do so, and definitely notice significant changes in my health, well-being and overall energy levels.
Apart from the ethical reasons for being on a dairy free diet, there are umpteen reasons for not eating dairy. Finally, whether we keep that diet up or not, it boils down to our health. If we feel good, we will surely maintain it, we do not need to argue over it. Try it for yourself and see. This means, no meat, poultry, eggs, yoghurt, milk, cheese, butter etc.
Simply Wheat Free
Try coming off wheat for a month and see how much weight you lose. There is so much information about wheat and the damage it causes to our whole body, and not just to the intestinal tract. Actually, wheat can be a problem from beginning to end in the digestive system.
Totally Wheat Free
This includes all grains, rice, millet, amaranth, barley, corn etc. But quinoa is allowed.
The book Wheat Belly and a follow up Wheat Belly – Total Health shares a lot of information about the origins of wheat, its side effects and how it was created for commercialism and not consumption. Dr William Davis suggests eliminating all forms of grain from our diet if we are to return to total good health. Again, try it for yourself and see.
Come Off the Nightshades
That means no eggplant, tomatoes, chillies or peppers of any kind, and sorry no potatoes. All of these contain an unhelpful toxic chemical known as alkaloid, this builds up in the body and can be harmful to people with auto immune diseases. You might be resisting these without even knowing it.
A Simple Veggie Diet
This helps as a simple detox; a variety of veggies in your diet, lots of leafy salad and perhaps a variety of vegetable soups. Again a grain free diet. This helps the whole digestive process and gives you the feel good factor and more energy. Learn about soaking your leaves and vegies in bicarbonate of soda for at least 30-45 mins to remove 90% of pesticides.
Cut Down on the Sodium and Sugar
Taking less salt with your meal, and adding less to the cooking. This will surely help that blood pressure and stop it from rising. Also cutting down on the sugar too will help to head off any issues with diabetes.
Rehydrate! Rehydrate! Rehydrate!
Whatever you do, make sure that you take in enough fluids. More than anything else our body craves water. Often we can mistake hunger for the need to rehydrate. So keep drinking pure clean water as often as you can through-out the day. For the average intake we need about 15 glasses for men (3.7 litres), and 11 glasses (2.7 litres), for women according to National Academy of Medicine. But the type of work you are doing and the environment you are in may dictate that you drink even more. After all your body needs water to flush out all those toxins. Of course, we will also be taking in liquids in our diet through other sources, so being able to drink that amount of water should not be so difficult to achieve.
We need a balance in everything, in our diets, in our exercise, in our rest and sleep, in our meditation practice and in our thinking. All round we need balance in our life and it will help us a great deal if we can learn to listen to our bodies more.
It’s Time… to take your life into your own hands by exercising proper food choices. If your food is your medicine, then you won’t ever need to visit the pharmacist again!
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK