When was the last time you thought about how that slice of buttered bread felt in your body?
The key to master effortless health without obsessing about what to eat when, is to simply get back in tune with our body.
Everything we eat has an immediate impact on our body's biochemistry. Health is about balancing our biochemistry.
When we feel good - emotionally and physically - it is a reflection that our biochemistry is balanced.
Our biochemistry constantly fluctuates. It might be that our iron a bit low, and that's why we feel tired. Or perhaps we had a lot of stuff going on this week that just drained our b-vitamins completely, so now we feel stressed out and have difficulty relaxing.
As we can go to the labs everyday to get a checkup, rather what we can do is to become aware how what we eat changes how we feel - emotionally and physically. Once we begin to connect the dots, we can then use this to choose foods that help balance us out.
Does this make sense? Let me give you an example. Chili is hot. The experience of eating chili afterwards is heating. Cucumbers are cool - the experience of eating a cucumber on the body is cooling. Bread feels soothing and heavy - the experience in my body after eating bread is grounded, yet if I eat too much I feel too heavy aka sluggish. Salads are light - the effect on my body is that I feel airy and light, this might feel good on a hot summer day when I want to run around on the beach. Yet on a cold winter's day it will leave me feeling cold, airy and - emotionally unsafe, because I physically do not feel grounded enough to withstand the coldness winter. Try an play with this yourself. It is very helpful in order to understand how what we eat affect our whole being - short and longterm. The different sensations that food has on us can be described as "gunas".
In Ayurveda, we call this "the gunas":
- Heavy vs. Light
- Dull vs. Sharp
- Hot vs. Cold
- Oily vs. Dry
- Slimy vs- Rough
- Thick vs. Thin
- Soft vs. Hard
- Stable vs. Mobile
- Gross vs. Subtle
- Cloudy vs. Clear
So take note of above sensations and think about how each ingredient responds to these descriptions. Is it peppered? That is a sharp sensation. What does that feel like for you after you eat it? You will begin to discover that some sensations have a positive impact on you while others tend to aggravate what you want to eliminate - i.e. too much raw food will leave you airy and not grounded. Too much fried food will leave you heavy, lethargic. Transfer this insight to how to best choose foods that fit your moods.
A positive feedback from your body indicates your biochemistry is happy and balanced.