Food Investigation Shortcuts

Ayurvedic eating
Last blog, I promised a shortcut to discovering food intolerances that may be impeding your backpacking pleasure & energy. Without further ado, let’s jump into “other people’s research.” Depending on your temperament, you may find that this step requires a little more trust than you are wont to expend. It’s okay. Nothing here is going to hurt you. Think of it as an exciting experiment with your body!

I confessed last week that I simply abandoned wheat, then tried it again, noticed the unpleasant results, and determined that wheat was not my friend. I’ve come to the same conclusions regarding dairy, coffee and sugar, so although I may occasionally indulge in these substances, I always find myself face-to-face with the realization that they, along with wheat, are not my friend. I hope that you, too, will find the substances that drain your energy & turn your back on them while continuing to indulge yourself with wholesome nutrition.

Investigate these 2 sources for ideas about which foods you might be wise to pay attention to:

  1. The traditional & time-honored Ayurvedic* model in which each person has a distinct pattern of energy — a specific combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics — comprised of the three basic energy types (doshas) that are associated with elemental forces: vata (air), pitta (fire) & kapha (water)
  2. The controversial blood type food plan, Eat Right for Your Type by Dr. Peter D’Adamo: Since being published in 1996, the Eat Right book has spawned a series of spin offs, the most recent being D’Adamo’s new research on genotypes, which I haven’t had a chance to fully investigate yet. (I get so distracted when doing research for these blogs!).

Ayurvedic lifestyle/medicine has been popularized in the Western world primarily by Depok Chopra & while his website does provide an ayruvedic quiz I don’t like it nearly as much as the one in Maya Tiwari’s book Ayurveda : A Life of Balance. Ms Tiwari’s quiz not only seems more thorough, but also respects the mixed-dosha types, which most of us are. (I checked this book out of my public library before investing in my own copy.)

This test gave me the same results as Ms Tiwari’s & you can get a basic food list here.

Both of the Blood Type diets & the ayurvedic references can be used to point toward food choices. Neither of them should be considered “gospel,” as they may not take into account all individual factors (such as individual allergies, such as eggs or shellfish, for example) and will probably not even agree with each other.

For example: I’m a blood type O (note to self: eat red meat rather than poultry, avoid wheat, coffee, lentils, corn & brussel sprouts; exercise intensely for stress reduction) who’s also a pitta-kapha ayurvedic type (note to self: avoid sour fruits, bread, coffee, most nuts, and beef; enjoy wheat bran, white-meat chicken, popcorn, brussel sprouts).

Okay, what did you notice? Both systems agree with me that coffee is a bad choice. They differ regarding wheat, the chicken/beef question, and brussells sprouts.

What’s a girl to do? Try & see, of course.

The brussel sprout question, I must admit, is not high on my list. I am happy to forego as I have many other beneficial vegetables to choose from. The wheat issue I have already conclusively settled. The chicken/beef? I’m pretty set on beef after noticing my energy levels over the years when eating chicken & then noticing the difference when I eat beef. Experimenting is always the best method.

I would be interested in hearing your own experiments with this triangulation method of discerning food choices. Next blog, the long-awaited sugar rant, unless I get distracted.

More on ThatThe “contemporary” form of Ayurvedic medicine is mostly derived from several sacred Indian texts which were written in Sanskrit between 1,500 – 400 AD. The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illness by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper drinking, diet, and lifestyle, as well as herbal remedies.