Addicted to Change

I’ve always found it extremely exciting to experience another culture’s food.

One of most enjoyable luxuries of life for me has been to taste every bizarre fruit or exotic dish I could possibly get my hands on. Haven’t we always heard that variety is the “spice of life”? I fully believed it. And so I’ve actively sought out novel culinary experiences my entire adult life.

So imagine my dismay when I learn that Ayurveda recommends a smaller, less diverse array of foods to eat on a daily basis. Imagine my disappointment.

Deflated. Boo, hiss.

But this totally makes sense when we consider traditional cultures and their health.

The healthiest populations on earth enjoy foods from one category: whatever grows locally and in season.

It is actually atypical of a culture to have access to the variety of food that Americans enjoy in the States. Could it be that this luxury is part of what’s making us such a sick culture?

The wisdom of Ayurveda tells us that this luxury is, in fact, part of the problem. It is evident as globalization increases as well as the health problems associated with it. As traditional cultures around the world gain access to “whatever, whenever”, they, too, become sick.

Just like us.

Always seeking something new and only being able to enjoy that which is novel indicates addictive thoughts and behaviors. It means there’s an addiction to change for change’s sake.

Ayurveda recommends steadiness in the mind as well as the diet and points to regular metabolism and digestion as key indicators of health. Having your diet consist of the most nourishing foods for your particular Prakriti (constitution) is the heart of Ayurvedic teaching. And it doesn’t mean that you eat the same meal day in and day out. Nature provides PLENTY of variety!

Consistency in diet and lifestyle leads to greater bodily function overall, which in turn leads to greater satisfaction and vigor sustained longer throughout life, steeling the body against disease.

But “trying on” Ayurveda for a short time or tinkering with it like a fad diet will not help. Rather, slowly implementing the wisdom of Ayurveda and making conscious adjustments reduces the risk of shocking the body with sudden and severe changes. Slow, intelligent change strengthens the body and its immune system. It is a respectful and mindful approach to finding the greatest happiness in daily life. And isn’t that what we’re all after?