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Over millions of years of human evolution, nature has figured out how to feed us with astonishing accuracy. The more deeply you study the 3-Season Diet, the more logical and compelling you will find its wisdom. And the proof is in the craving: When you practice this diet, you will crave exactly what nature is about to harvest. You will not experience any struggle or strain, only a growing appreciation of how nature has designed the best diet for balancing weight, mood, and energy for everyone living anywhere on the earth.
In the late 1980s, I went to India to study their natural system of medicine, called Ayurveda. That ancient Sanskrit word means literally "the science of life," an in-depth study of nature itself. To the masters who described Ayurveda in the ancient Vedic texts, perfect health was a reflection of a life attuned to the changing cycles of nature and with all plant and animal life. They saw that these cycles, from annual growing seasons to daily rhythms, were connected to the rhythms of the cosmos and influenced every aspect of nature. Because Ayurveda was derived from natural rhythms, its research and proving ground was found in the expression of nature itself. The 3-Season Diet that I am presenting here is based on the Ayurvedic nutritional map, but with some important differences.
After my postgraduate training in Ayurvedic medicine in India concluded in 1989, I returned to the States and started teaching Ayurveda to doctors and lay people. During my years of teaching, I realized that the original Ayurvedic diets, which work for India, don't always fit well in our culture. So I began to apply the concepts and rules I had learned in India to the pace oflife and the foods that are available here in the West. I have spent the last 10 years translating Ayurvedic concepts into the American way of life, including diet, exercise, eating habits, and stress-prevention techniques--all of which are included in this book. The deeper I delved into nature and its growing seasons and harvests, the more respect I had for nature's wisdom. I discovered that the principles of Ayurveda provide a universal body of knowledge that applies to every culture and each individual in all parts of the world. Although I would not call this an Ayurvedic book, the principles from which the 3-Season Diet is derived have been proven over more than 5,000 years. In fact, I like to think of the 3-Season Diet as an updated version of the original American Diet. It is based on the same logic farmers have been using to feed us since the very first harvest.