Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life is Sweet

Life is sweet when we make it sweet.  When we make conscious choices and active steps to better health and happiness, our world as we know it changes.  In Ayurveda, we explore the importance of dietary habits, eating foods that explore the 6 tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent.  While we benefit from eating sweet because of its connection to the elements of Water & Earth which help to nourish our blood plasma, muscles, bone marrow, and reproductive fluids, the suggested Ayurveda sweets include milk, fruits, grains, legumes, and veggies but never any mention to refined sugar.

When we suggest sweet, it does not mean sugar, especially refined sugar.  Our body will convert starches into sugar (glucose), our fruits are converted into sugar (fructose), and this acts as fuel for the body.  We have to be careful how we consume our foods as well because certain combinations can cause excess gas or an acidic feeling in the tummy.  With the growing rate of diabetes in North America we have to be mindful of the Sugar consumption that we allow into our dietary habits.  The reality is excess sugar (or the common sugar filled diet of an average American) can lead to many problems in the body including: Diabetes, Obesity, Aching Limbs, Hypertension, Depression, Acne, Skin irritation, headaches, stiff arteries, fatigue, and hyper acidity of the blood which can promote many different diseases including cancer.  According to brain scans Sugar is as addictive as cocaine.

Some Interesting Facts:
  • 1n 1822, in 5 days, the average American consumed 45Grams of Sugar (amount in todays 12oz soda)
  • TODAY, in 5 days, the average American consumes 75Grams of Sugar (amount in 17, 12oz cans of soda)
  • In one year, 130 LBS of Sugar is consumed
  • The average American who consumes a approximately 3LBS of Sugar in 1 Week = 3,550LBS in a lifetime = 1,767,900 skittles candies
A nice we to begin the day is warm cup of water with lemon, this "breaks the fast", alkalizes the tummy, supress the appetite so we don't overeat, and gets us ready to have food.  The latest Zoga Yoga Teacher Training has ayurveda cooking classes and our breakfast is a typical South Indian Favorite called Uppama (Cream of wheat, onions, mustard seeds, raisins, cashews), this was my childhood favorite.  An afternoon smoothie of Banana, Strawberry, Coconut Almond Milk, Cardomom for digestion and some Cacao.  Ayurveda Teas of Fennel & Cinamon, Mixed Spices, Black Tea all designed to detoxify, help metabolism and help digestion.  Often times legumes can add to the gas feeling, so adding a bay leaf, or lemon on top, or ginger can help with the digestion process.   While asana is important in Yoga, the Sister Science of Ayurveda will allow the Yoga Aspirant to better understand their own body, and in future help others and thus allow us to apply the principals of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras into our own life in a healthy, tasty, cheerful way. ~ Om Shanti

References for more information on Sugar in our Diet:

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