Even though there are emotional causes and limiting beliefs that contribute to weight gain, it still helps to look at our actual diet and what kind of balance we are creating with it. In the West balance is based on having enough protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.
But in the East, balance is created based on taste. We feel satisfied after a meal when we have the right combination of tastes, and have all the tastes included. In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian ‘science of longevity’, we need six tastes each day to have a balanced diet. They include three that are familiar to us in the West: sour, salty, and sweet. The other three are less familiar and we tend to eat them a lot less too. They include: bitter, pungent, and astringent. Sour foods include things like citrus, yogurt, Concord grapes, and green apples. Salty foods include salt itself, and foods like seaweed and celery. Sweet food in Ayurveda includes many foods with substance. So we are not just talking about sweeteners and fruits, but also meats, butter, milk, many beans and grains, and some vegetables.
Going to the less familiar list, bitter foods include, among others, sesame and sunflower seeds, some herbs and spices (like sage, cumin, and cinnamon), and some green leafy veggies (like collard greens and dandelion greens). Pungent foods are sharp. They have a kick to them. Some are very heating, like chilies. Others are moderately heating, like onions, garlic, ginger, and many spices. Many of them are good digestive aids. Astringent foods have a quality of drawing water out of tissues. They include sesame seeds, many beans, many fish, butter, some spices (like coriander, cumin, saffron, and fenugreek), some grains (including buckwheat, rye, and barley),many fruits (including apples, bananas, peaches, pears, and plums), and peanuts and walnuts.
While all of us need all six tastes daily for balance, we need them in different amounts. If you have a constitution that is thin and wiry and tend to have a nervous disposition, then you need more sweet, salty, and sour food. If you constitution is more stout and strong-boned and you have trouble getting going on things, then you need more bitter, astringent, and pungent foods. If you are very active, have a medium/muscular build, tend to anger easily, and are very organized, then you need more sweet, bitter, and astringent foods. To learn more about this, a good starting point would be to read an introductory book about Ayurveda, such as Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing by Vasant Lad or Prakriti, Your Ayurvedic Constitution by Robert Svoboda.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also focuses on balancing one’s diet by taste (as well as by color). The five tastes in this system include: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty. Each taste is also connected with a time of year and a color. Sour goes with spring and the color green. Bitter goes with summer and the color red. Sweet goes with Indian summer and yellow-orange shades. Pungent goes with fall and the color white. Winter goes with salty and the color black (also dark blue and brown). In this system balance is created not only by having all the tastes, but also by having all the colors. Therefore there may be more to it than just aesthetics if you eat a colorful meal!
If you are ready to tailor your food plan to achieve your ideal size and shape, call me at 317-445-4203 to set up a free consultation or single session starter. We will work out a success plan that meets your unique needs.
Carol Crenshaw is a Weight Loss and EFT Expert, helping hundreds of people weed through all the weight loss myths and providing healthy, fast and freeing weight loss solutions.To find out more about Carol and the weight loss programs she offers, go to www.MakingWeightLossEasy.com Both group and private sessions are available.
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