Taking control of your own well-being may be a daunting task at first. It takes time, commitment and energy to stay well, specially when the definition of 'well' is not just 'the state of being disease-free' but 'the state of being totally healthy in mind and body.' Too often, we reserve the bulk of our time, commitment and energy for making money, or having fun, or even just surviving, and the result is that well-being is relegated to going for the annual physical or popping a daily multivitamin. Ayurveda encourages you to make time everyday for your well-being, and reap the rewards of total healthy life. Many ayurvedic recommendations appear basic, simple, just 'common sense,' but after reading this article, sit back and analyse how frequently these basic wellness needs are bypassed on a daily basis in the crush of day-to-day living, and you'll realise that it's truly time to go back to the basics to stay well.
Cook your own meals:
Ayurvedic healers down the centuries would have nodded in approval if they had heard Hippocrates' advice to 'let food be thy medicine.' According to the ayurvedic texts, if your diet and eating habits are unwholesome, all the medicines in the world won't be able to keep you well; and if your diet and eating habits are wholesome, it's quite likely you'll never need any medicine to keep you well. These texts were written in another age, but there are choices that we can make even in today's fast-paced world to eat well.
Some cooking tips:
Time-saving kitchenware such as a pressure cooker to cook lentils or a slow-cooker to cook wholesome one-dish meals from scratch can make the process of cooking your own meals easier.
Involve the whole family in the task of preparing fresh meals: when everyone contributes to the meal, your time and effort are reduced, and mealtimes become the more companionable because of the joint effort.
Browse magazines for healthy recipes utilising fresh whole ingredients that can be made in 30 minutes or less.
Keep a diary of the number of times you routinely eat out or eat bought meals, and then slowly start whittling down that number until you are mainly eating meals you have made with fresh ingredients that are best for you.
Practice mindful eating:
Your digestive system converts the food you eat into the nutritive essence your body uses to build healthy blood, cells and tissues. A wholesome, balanced diet suited to your unique nutritional needs is the first step towards good health. But equally important is a digestive system that works smoothly and efficiently. Only when the nutrients you feed your physiology are fully digested, absorbed and utilised is the process of nutrition complete.
Ayurvedic tips for your diggestive system:
Eat your most substantial meal around mid-day. That's when your digestive fire peaks. Eat smaller meals at breakfast and dinner.
Sit down to eat every meal, and try to maintain your attention on your food while you eat.
Do not eat when you are angry, stressed or upset.
Offer thanks before you begin a meal.
Do not drink too much water with a meal, and avoid iced beverages because they douse the digestive fire. Do not combine milk with salty or sour tastes.
Add digestion-enhancing herbs and spices to dishes.
Try not to work or watch TV while you eat.
Drink lots of water through the day.
Ayurvedic digestion toners such as Amalaki Rasayana (Indian Gooseberry) and Triphala Rasayana can help kick-start a sluggish or irregular digestive system.
Get some good sleep:
Sleep is when your physiology recharges for the next day. Both quantity and quality of sleep are important. Rather than go by a one-size-fits-all 'eight hours a night' rule, tune in to your physiology for a few days to figure out what you, as a unique individual, need to wake up rested, refreshed and ready to dive into what the new day offers. Ayurvedic healers recommend retiring early and rising early to stay in tune with what Nature intended for human beings as activity and rest times-sleep obtained in the later part of the night or during the day is often less productive in terms of replenishing the mind and body.
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