A Practical Introduction to the Life-Changing Power of AYURVEDA
Transform yourself and kick unhealthy habits to the curb once and for all with a cleanse based on the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Using food as medicine, certified Ayurveda practitioner Kerry Harling will help you get to the root causes of ill health and bring your body, mind and spirit into balance. Ayurveda works because it’s not a diet; it’s a holistic approach to living that’s tailored to your “dosha,” or unique metabolic type. Kerry’s 25-day cleanse is perfect for those new to Ayurveda because it is broken down into three distinct, easy-to-follow phases with more than 60 delicious recipes.
The first phase clears out your digestion, ridding your body of toxins that lead to illness and lethargy. In the second phase, healing foods and daily practices ignite your digestive fire, transforming your physical and emotional health. In the third phase, you’ll reintroduce foods based on your individual needs and learn how to maintain this new lifestyle. Each phase has a day-by-day schedule, an illustrated yoga sequence, a guided meditation, pranayama (breathwork) and journal prompts to support your journey.
Rather than counting calories or determining ratios of macronutrients in a one-size- fits-all approach, you’ll receive guidance with the freedom to customize the plan that feels right to you. You’ll also learn to prepare nourishing and delicious meals with beautifully photographed recipes, such as Pumpkin Saffron Soup, Cooling Coconut Curry Soup and Sesame Ginger Salmon Salad. With Kerry guiding the way, you can achieve long-lasting wellness that brings your body, mind and spirit into complete harmony within 25 days. You’ll emerge on the other side rejuvenated, glowing with vitality from the inside out.
|Publisher:||Page Street Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
KERRY HARLING is a certified Ayurveda practitioner and CEO of Holistic Highway. She also has a practice at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Integrative Medicine, runs the Ayurveda Sanctuary, is a registered practitioner with the National Ayurveda Medical Association (NAMA) and is a certified yoga teacher. She lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Read an Excerpt
THE AYURVEDA HEALING SYSTEM
Ayurveda is based on the following principles:
There is no "one size fits all." There is no one drug that suits all people, no one diet, exercise regimen, supplement or lifestyle change.
Food is medicine. We can unlock the power of food to heal disease and achieve optimal health.
Foods should change with the seasons. Each season is associated with different elements and foods that will strengthen your health.
Like increases like and opposites balance. Take in the opposite qualities through the five senses. This brings balance.
You are what you digest. You may know the old saying, "You are what you eat," but I'd like to add to that and say, "You are what you digest and absorb!" In my practice, I frequently see people complaining of fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and depression. Often, they are eating a very clean diet, but they haven't seen improvement because they aren't able to digest and absorb all the great vitamins and minerals they are consuming.
Nutrition is anything we take in through the five senses. By using the input of all our senses, we create pathways whereby we ingest all the qualities of the world and form our perceptions. Our perceptions depend upon nurturing those senses, which in turn nurture our health.
Health is holistic. The definition of health from the World Health Organization (WHO) is: "Health is a well-balanced mind, a well-formed body and good elimination." When the doshas (metabolic types, here) are in balance and the mind and body are in harmony, health naturally follows.
WHAT MAKES AN AYURVEDA CLEANSE DIFFERENT?
This 25-day Ayurveda cleanse is designed to "clean out" your current digestion, ridding you of ama (here), which are digestive toxins that can lead to gas, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, heartburn, stiff or achy joints, heaviness, brain fog and lethargy. The cleanse does this by working with your dosha (metabolic type, here), and in turn, fires up your digestive fire or agni (here) so that the effects of an Ayurveda cleanse are transformative. Typical benefits include improved skin, sleep, digestion, energy and mental clarity along with a reduction in bloating, constipation, headaches and joint pain.
As you get started on your cleanse to reset your health and life, we begin with an understanding of how you are going to return vitality to your body by using food as medicine. Part of this lesson entails busting myths that circulate around the nutrition world today, and another part involves you figuring out through some fun and simple quizzes which metabolic type (dosha) you are, so you can then maximize the rewards of the Ayurveda cleanse.
This cleanse works because it is customized based on your dosha.
SO, WHAT'S A DOSHA, DARLING?
Ayurveda is a constitutional-based system of medicine that classifies people into three categories. These categories have specific physical, emotional and mental qualities that are determined at conception. These three constitutional types, or doshas, are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Your body is a combination of all three doshas.
Doshas create balance in our bodies, and when they go out of balance, they create symptoms and ultimately, disease. While all of us have Vata, Pitta and Kapha in us, we have them in unique proportions. That is what makes each of us uniquely different.
Which Dosha Are You?
Have you ever wondered why some people are upbeat and happy while others always see the glass as half empty? How come some people worry incessantly and others take adversity in stride? Why can your friend eat cakes, cookies, breads and snacks in abundance, whereas you only have to look at a pastry to gain five pounds (2.3 kg)?
The key to these answers lies in your dosha. Just as you are born with a unique genetic makeup, you are also born with a unique proportion of doshas. These doshas determine your individual temperament and physical characteristics. They are made up of the five elements: air, space, water, fire and earth. When the doshas are out of balance, they cause physical and mental symptoms. Determining your dominant dosha or doshas and keeping them in balance is the key to maintaining your health and personalizing your cleanse.
Take the dosha quiz starting on the next page to find out what your dominant dosha is. Some of the characteristics will resonate with you; others you will see in your family and friends. Become familiar with your dosha so you can better understand you!
1. For each category, please circle the option that best describes you. (If you feel you can equally relate to more than one of the descriptions, circle all that apply.)
2. When taking the questionnaire, select the description that best fits how you most recently are — within the past few weeks.
3. After finishing a profile: For each column, tally up how many descriptions you circled. This number goes in the Subtotal row at the bottom of each profile.
4. After finishing the profiles, record all your profile totals in the Totals Chart.
5. Note the column you have the most points in, and then find the corresponding dosha type following the questionnaire.
You Are a Vata
When in balance, you are bright, enthusiastic, creative, full of new ideas and initiative, idealistic and a visionary. You think fast, talk fast, love being with other people and enjoy travel and change. You are good at initiating things, but not necessarily at following them through. A clue to your constitution is to ask how many projects you have started or how many unfinished books you have on the bedside table at any one time. You are also prone to poor memory, lack of concentration, disorganization, fear and anxiety. You can suffer from nervous problems such as disorientation, panic attacks and mood swings.
You are so enthusiastic and full of energy that it's hard to keep you grounded. Much like the wind, you're changeable. Wonderfully creative with an artistic bent, you are sometimes accused of drumming to a different beat. You are unique and quite like it that way. You are very active, often restless and sometimes you find it hard to relax. You have a strong and sensitive spirit. You can be all these things. Just as the wind in balance provides movement and expression to the natural world, the balanced you is active, creative and gifted with a natural ability to express and communicate. When the wind in a Vata type rages like a hurricane, negative qualities quickly overshadow these positive attributes.
How do you know you have pushed your limits?
Signs and Symptoms of a Vata Imbalance
Aching pain in the bones, cracking joints, arthritis and low backache
Nervousness, anxiety, panic and fear
Fatigue, lowered resistance to infection and weight loss
Tinnitus, tingling and numbness
Twitches, tics, tremors and spasms
Dry skin and hair, brittle nails and chapped skin
Constipation, gas, bloating, dry and hard stools and explosive diarrhea (aggravated by anxiety)
Dislike of cold and wind
Pain (cutting or migrating) and poor coordination
Insomnia, restless sleep, tension and anxiety
Insecurity, mental agitation, depression and restlessness
Difficulty tolerating loud noises
Spacey, scattered feeling
Excess thinking or worrying
You Are a Pitta
You are extroverted and love to be the focus of attention. You enjoy competitive sports and games, either as a spectator or a participant. You are naturally brilliant — even fiery — and have good insight and a keen sense of discrimination. You tend to be highly focused, competitive, capable, courageous, energetic and are a clear communicator who gets right to the point. You like to solve problems — everybody's problems!
You generally have a good appetite and love to eat. In fact, you hate to miss a meal, and, when hungry, you can be irritable and prone to hypoglycemia, with headaches, dizziness, weakness and shaking. Your digestion is good, but when you get hot, agitated or angry, or eat too many hot, spicy or fried foods, you may suffer from indigestion, heartburn and loose, burning stools.
You are extremely methodical and organized. You can be rather obsessive about time, and I am sure that at some time or other, you've been called a perfectionist! In fact, you do not suffer fools easily.
You handle money prudently and are decisive, aggressive, ambitious and determined, often finding yourself in a position of leadership. Self-confidence and an entrepreneurial spirit are hallmarks of the balanced you.
Although you can usually control your emotions, under stress you can become irritable, angry and judgmental. You can also become overly intense, overly critical and too achievement oriented. There is a tendency to be a workaholic. You make a great friend but a feared enemy. Emotionally, you are quick to the heated emotions of anger, resentment and jealousy. You are also prone to inflammation, heartburn, acidity, diarrhea and migraines — it's important for you to just cool down.
Signs and Symptoms of a Pitta Imbalance
Heat in the body
Inflammation, often starting in the stomach and intestines, causing heartburn, acidity, gastritis and ulcers
Inflammatory skin problems, such as eczema, urticaria, herpes and boils
Blood disorders, anemia and high blood pressure
Eye problems such as conjunctivitis, styes and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
Hormonal problems, PMS and hot flashes
Thirst, increased appetite, hypoglycemia, dizziness and diarrhea
Anger, irritability, intolerance, aggression and arrogance
Frustration, perfectionism, obsessions, addictions and insomnia between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
Headaches and migraines
You Are a Kapha
You are grounded, stable and calm in thought, speech and action. You are easygoing and supportive in relationships. There is an element of steadiness to your step, a quality of serenity in your smile. Loyalty is your second name. You are physically strong and resilient. You are also placid, kind and thoughtful. You are sweet-natured, loyal and affectionate, and you hate confrontation.
You do not like change or the unpredictable aspects of life. You may have a tendency to be lazy — a couch potato who likes nothing better than to sit around, relax and do very little. Exertion does not come naturally to you, although vigorous exercise does make you feel really good.
People with more Kapha in their constitutions tend to be of larger proportions, with a robust frame and padded joints; thick, smooth skin that may tend toward oiliness; and rich, wavy hair. Your appetite is stable, although you are often not very hungry first thing in the morning, when you tend to feel sleepy. You love food and tend to comfort eat. Your digestion is slow and sluggish, as is your metabolism, which means weight gain is something you often battle with.
Factors that can cause your dosha to increase include a diet that contains too many deep-fried, sweet or heavy foods; overconsumption of ice-cold foods or beverages; exposure to cold and damp; daytime sleep and lack of exercise.
Signs and Symptoms of a Kapha Imbalance
Feeling slow, heavy, lethargic, foggy-minded and unmotivated
Mucus buildup, bronchial congestion, hay fever and asthma
Weight gain, slow metabolism, excess salivation, nausea and heaviness after eating
Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
Fluid retention and lymphatic congestion
Possessiveness, greed, stubbornness and aversion to change
Low thyroid function and high cholesterol
But I Am a Combination of Doshas — What Do I Do?
If you find that you are predominantly two doshas, then this is how it works in each season.
In summer (Pitta season):
If you are Vata-Pitta, follow the Pitta recommendations.
If you are Vata-Kapha, follow the Vata recommendations.
If you are Pitta-Kapha, follow the Pitta recommendations.
In fall and early winter (Vata season):
If you are Vata-Pitta, follow the Vata recommendations.
If you are Vata-Kapha, follow the Vata recommendations.
If you are Pitta-Kapha, follow the Pitta recommendations.
In late winter and spring (Kapha season):
If you are Vata-Pitta, follow the Pitta recommendations.
If you are Vata-Kapha, follow the Kapha recommendations.
If you are Pitta-Kapha, follow the Kapha recommendations.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DIGESTION
Your dosha is important, and it's fun to see what metabolic type you are, but just as important is your state of agni. Agni (digestive fire) is literally the strength of your digestion, and in Western terms, we call it your metabolism. This is the process of changing your food into nutrients for your cells. However, your agni is more than just processing food into nutrients. It's also how you process your emotions and your sensory experiences. Your agni is essential for you to function effectively, and when your agni is functioning well, whatever you eat gets digested and absorbed by the body. You feel good and have lots of vitality. How do you know if your agni is functioning properly? Ask yourself if you are sleepy after a meal. If you find yourself longing for a nap by mid-afternoon, you probably have low agni.
What happens if your agni is low? What you cannot digest turns into digestive toxins, or what is called ama.
GOT AMA (TOXINS)?
How do you know you have ama? Let's start with the colon. Do you have regular, daily bowel movements with well-formed stools? This is a healthy colon. Or do your stools tend to sink? Do they have a particularly bad odor? Any signs of poor digestion such as gas, bloating, constipation, burping, heartburn or loose stools? These are all direct signs of ama buildup. But hang on! What is so wrong with ama?
Ama means "toxins" and there are two types: water-based toxins and fat-based toxins. Water-based toxins get easily flushed through the system due to our normal ability to detoxify, but fat-based toxins can accumulate. When our digestive system is not functioning well due to our diet and lifestyle, we build up these fat-based toxins. It is the fat-based toxins that we call ama and that create weight gain, sluggishness, foggy thinking, digestive issues, skin rashes, allergies and fatigue. Eventually, if we don't eliminate these fat-based toxins, the body becomes inflamed. It is inflammation that creates disease. Ama needs to be fully addressed before you can feel good again.
Do you have ama? Take this short questionnaire to determine your levels of ama.
For each question, rate your matching characteristics on a scale from 0 to 5:
0–1 doesn't apply, 2–3 sometimes applies, 4–5 strongly applies
I often feel a sense of blockage in my body (such as constipation or congestion).
I often have difficulty digesting food.
I feel foggy when I wake up in the morning.
I tend to feel weak for no apparent reason.
I often feel lethargic and unmotivated.
I feel the need to cough regularly.
I become easily exhausted, both mentally and physically.
I frequently feel depressed.
I often have no taste for food.
I catch a cold several times a year.
Add up your total score. A score of 0–19 indicates a low level of ama; 20–34 indicates a moderate amount of ama; 35–50 indicates a high amount of ama.
LET'S GET STARTED: TIPS FOR SUCCESS
TIP #1: Keep it simple. There are no complicated formulas to work out trying to find the right ratios of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and sugars. There are no calories to count and no foods to weigh. I don't even want you to weigh yourself. In fact, throw away the scale!
TIP #2: Do not think of this as a diet. Diets don't work. Here are the two main reasons your diets likely have not worked in the past:
Diets actually slow weight loss. That's because the stress of dieting produces two hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are considered a trigger for survival, and our body slows the rate of weight loss to concentrate on the perceived threat to survival. That threat to survival is your reduced calorie intake! Your body is doing what it is designed to do, and that's keep you alive.
Diets don't actually cause us to change. We can all change our eating habits for a few weeks. In fact, we can do anything for a short period of time, as evidenced by the large amount of "change your life/health/relationship/finances in thirty days" books. After about thirty days, we start feeling deprived and begin slipping back into old habits. Even the Ayurveda cleanse is only the first step in your ultimate journey to health.
TIP #3: Create a stress-free rhythm. Here's how:
Take a look at your schedule and eliminate any nonessential commitments while doing the cleanse.
Allow time for yourself and for your body to rest and rejuvenate.
Practice dynamic and restorative yoga regularly throughout the cleanse. It is ideal to practice with a teacher who knows you, but if that's not an option, I have created a sequence of restorative poses to help you. If you would like to join me with your yoga or meditation, go to www.theholistichighway.com/bookspecial and type in the password "Ayurveda." Here you'll find videos and audio to accompany the book, and we can do this together.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The 25 Day Ayurveda Cleanse"
Copyright © 2019 Kerry Harling.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword: From a Skeptic's Point of View by Justin Timlin,
Introduction: Not Your Everyday Cleanse,
Chapter 1 THE AYURVEDA HEALING SYSTEM,
Chapter 2 PHASE 1: DAYS 1 TO 11,
Chapter 3 PHASE 2: DAYS 12 TO 19,
Chapter 4 PHASE 3: DAYS 20 TO 25,
Chapter 5 AYURVEDA LIVING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE,
Health Tracker and Food Log,
About the Author,