In my studies with The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, we are learning about over 100 different dietary theories and the pros and cons of each. One of the main concepts we are taught is the concept of bio-individuality. What works for one person, may not work for another. A particular food that makes one person feel good, may make another person feel sick. It is all about eating mindfully and observing how YOUR body feels after eating these particular foods.
One of the dietary theories that I have studied so far is Ayurveda. "Ayurveda, meaning 'the science of life', originated in India as a holistic approach to create balance within the mind and the body by aligning oneself with nature. The idea is to cleanse the body of substances that cause illness through proper diet and lifestyle. The belief is that disease results from an imbalance of the doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Doshas are life energies made up of the five elements of nature (ether, fire, air, water and earth) and pertain to an individual's physical characteristics and personality traits. Most people exhibit a combination of doshas, but there is always one that is more dominant." Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
In this addition of Australian Natural Health, Caroline Robertson, an Ayurvedic practitioner, shares how to live in tune with your type and gain the freedom to love and accept yourself-just the way you are. She states that: " Everybody's constitution is an equal blessing, with special strengths and susceptibilities."
With every dietary theory, I believe that you need to read the information and then trust your OWN instincts. Some ideas will make sense to you and some ideas won't. It is important though to trust YOUR instincts.
Having said that, after I read the information in the magazine, some of it really made sense to me. Some of it really helped me to work out why I feel the way I do at different times.
After filling out a questionaire in my course, to work out what my dominant mind/body type is, I found that mine is the Vata(air) type. With this type, Caroline Robertson says 'your mind often races, which leads to anxiety and insomnia, however though your energy and idealism may suffer storms, your sails are soon filled with wind again for an exciting life voyage. Your attraction to activity and stimulation can result in depleted energy and instability. You're unbalanced by lack of sleep, insufficient nutrition, overexertion, travel, cold, dry weather and worry.' Caroline explains how to eat right for your type and how to create balance for your type. For my type she says 'As you lack the same reserves as the other types it's important to replenish yourself with regular sleep, meals and relaxation. You need to quieten mental chatter with meditation and massage, which centres and calms you.' Caroline discusses other ideas too.
I am blown away by how accurately Caroline describes my personality and the ways I can use to balance myself. They are the ways I have found, through experience, that bring balance to me.
In my course I studied John Douillard. He has been teaching Ayurvedic medicine, natural health, fitness and nutrition internationally for over 20 years. He holds a PhD in Ayurvedic medicine. For more information and to work out your dominant type, you can go to John's website:
On the right hand side of this page you can access for free the body type questionaire, as well as articles, etc.
image from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition