The following is Part II of a guest blog post by our very own sponsored yoga teachers, Pam Rand, RDN, RYT. She furthers her discussion on ayurveda summer nutrition and eating wholesome, fresh foods! Thank you, Pam, for this great information!
It’s still summer and just overnight; thankfully, some cool air came in to replace the hot and muggy days we had up until now.
The best part of the heat is that outdoor gardens are producing like crazy…plenty of zucchini, beans, cucumbers, and peppers with tomatoes right around the corner. Take advantage of the bounty! Eating locally grown vegetables provide us with mega doses of macro and micronutrients keeping us healthy and energized.
Did you know there is protein in vegetables with no saturated fat or cholesterol? Organically and locally grown fresh produce, is an ‘out of the park’ home run! There is absolutely no supplement that could possibly replace the vitamins, minerals and fiber in vegetables from the garden. Personally, I would rather eat and enjoy my vitamins A, C, K, B6, folate, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, copper, fiber, magnesium, potassium and manganese in yellow squash and zucchini than take a pill, potion or powder.
People regularly complain about the time it takes to prepare REAL food at home…yes it does take time to shop, plan and prepare home cooked food, no doubt about it.
Think of your body as the Taj Mahal or some other wonder of the world that needs constant upkeep for preservation; maybe that will motivate you to feed yourself real whole foods. Sometimes a chronic illness like heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s or diabetes may be your motivation to add fresh vegetables to your meals and snacks. The excitement people share with me when they begin experimenting in their kitchens with home cooked vegetables is inspiring and keeps me focused as well.
Have you ever been constipated??? Lots of people alternate between constipation and diarrhea. We are all born with billions of bacteria in the gut that keep us healthy and regular. Prebiotics fuel probiotics in the gut…prebiotics are undigestible carbohydrates, otherwise known as vegetables!
According to ayurvedic medicine, all illness starts in the gut. Whether you are plagued by diarrhea or constipation, you can be assured you are not getting enough vegetables. Real food is medicine for the gut and we all know there is nothing better than a good bowel movement.
You can purchase fiber in a pill, along with vitamins and minerals; as well as pre and probiotics, but pills taste terrible and it’s not real food! People tell me whole organic foods are more expensive and they can’t afford it. That’s not true! Fueling the body with seasonal produce throughout the day along with eating less animal protein (including dairy), decreases your grocery bill and your copays.
No one can tell you why, what, when and how to improve your health but YOU. Sometimes it can take months of thinking before a change actually happens but when it does, you’ll parlay one new whole foods recipe into more and more by actually enjoying less animal proteins and more fresh produce.
Two other important nutrients that are free and we can’t live without are oxygen and water!
Stop and listen to your breath to bring awareness to what you really need. Unless you feel hunger in the belly you are not truly hungry; try water first. Flavor your water with various fruits and vegetables. Try cucumber and mint for a refreshing homemade thirst quencher during the hot summer months. When we truly stop and listen, the body will tell us to what it needs…maybe a swim.