The following article is being reproduced with permission of its author, Kate Towell. Kate is a holistic wellness counselor who supports individuals to create the balanced, vibrant life they imagine.
One of the things I know you all struggle with is what to eat, and I have to be honest, it’s one of the things I think about least. I know this sounds weird coming from someone who coaches people on how to create a healthier lifestyle but it’s true.
However, this hasn’t always been the case, I used to obsess about what I ate.
My mom was a great cook and for most of my life meals magically appeared on the table. I ate them without thinking too much about what went into the planning and preparation of the meal. (Sorry Mom and thank you.)
When I got to college I mostly ate on the go or in the school dining halls. That meant a lot of pizza, eggs, and ramen. It wasn’t until I moved to the West Coast for graduate school that I was introduced to a healthier way of eating and I learned to enjoy cooking.
After spending half of my life not thinking about food, I spent the next decade obsessing about healthy eating. I tracked what I ate, tried all the latest trends, ate pounds of kale, downed kombucha like it was water, and topped every salad with at least three super foods. I can’t believe how much of my energy went towards thinking about food and even though my plate looked healthy, I still experienced digestive issues, migraines, and fatigue.
The thing is I was thinking about food a lot, but I never gave any thought to my digestion.
Then I found Ayurveda. In Ayurveda there is a saying, “You are what you digest” (and also what you don’t digest). The first Ayurvedic practitioner I saw during my health crisis helped me to realize my digestion was the key to my healing and future health. He taught me a few simple principles to follow:
- Eat real food
- Eat with the season
- Choose foods that have balancing qualities (I’ll get into that more)
- Eat three meals; no snacks
- Eat in a calm environment
- Be grateful for your food
One of the best things about Ayurveda is how simple it is, no matter how much I tried to complicate it.
Okay let’s get to what I ate today and why.
It’s fall here in the PNW. The air is crisp and cool, the wind has picked up, and the leaves are starting to change color. This is an important time to clear the accumulated heat of summer out of the body and prepare for winter.
Remember opposite qualities create balance.
Fall has the qualities of cool, light, dry, mobile, and rough. When choosing what to eat in the fall think warm, moist, sweet, and grounding. In general, it’s a great time of year for soups, warm grains, root vegetables, and sweet fruits like apples and pears.
Now that you know my why, here is what I ate today.
- Warm oats with figs and cinnamon, topped with a little lemon honey and ghee.
- Curried quinoa with steamed collard greens, carrots, black lentils, and cashews.
- Sweet potato and black bean chili.
Ayurveda isn’t a big fan of leftovers, but I have enough quinoa curry and chili for a few days. I’ll probably switch it up and have the chili for lunch and quinoa for dinner tomorrow.
It took some time for this new way of thinking about food and eating to really stick. Now that its automatic I spend way less time and energy thinking about what to eat and I have more energy to cook and enjoy the meal.
wishing you vibrant living,