Ayurveda, Blood Type, and Eat Fat, oh my.

Peacock Made From Avocado Palta And Avocado Tree Leaves On Gray

This food odyssey I’ve been on for decades is wearing me out. I started a health coaching business over 10 years ago because I had become fed up with food being my enemy and was bound and determined to make it my friend. I schlepped to New York City for over a year on various weekends to attend trainings (don’t let the tone fool you, I LOVE NYC and loved the training) to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach. And to learn more about food and me.

I came home, set up a website, hung out my shingle and commenced to help people navigate the treacherous food jungle. A few years into it I got frustrated with clients that seemed determined to stay stuck in their stories. Mostly I felt like I had to be someone I wasn’t. I had to be all nicey-nicey and compassionate and supportive and say all the positive things.

But guess what? I can be firm and bold and STILL compassionate and supportive. Maybe even nice sometimes.

This, I have learned through teaching and training others these intervening years. Authenticity is king, or queen in this case.

About that same time I fell back into those comfy TV watching pajamas we know as habits. I had lost weight, gained energy and embarked on what I believed to be the lifestyle and career to keep me healthy and fit, so I slacked. I stopped paying attention. I wore yoga pants – the enemy of weight management.

Then menopause.

Now, here I am again – on the other side of that hormonal high-wire act –  revisiting all the old ways that helped me in the first place and floundering about for purchase. Add to that, all the “new” ideas. Kinda. Whole30, Eat Fat Get Thin, Paleo, Keto. The sea has become deeper and more turbulent as each new author has found the cure for obesity, fatigue and generalized ennui.

So really, not much has changed.

Here’s my dilemma. Dr. Hyman (who actually taught at the health coach dealio in NYC and whom I have a not-so-secret crush on) says “Eat FAT lady! Lots of it, especially coconut everything. It’s sooooo good for you.” I seek out the approval of Dr. D’Adamo (Blood Type hero) who is moving his head oh-so-slightly back and forth with the ‘I’m sorry’ face on. Coconut everything, except oil, is on the naughty list. Ayurveda says “you must eat legumes for protein so you do not need meat” (I kinda just typed that in an Indian accent) and the blood type diet says, “Girl have you looked at the size of your ass already?”

Gah!

Yet, I continue to fall back on these very stand-bys, and when I do, I feel better and my weight begins to behave. I love using the combination of the principles and science of Ayurveda – a 5,000 year old system of health from India, that must be doing something right if it’s still here –  and the newer, more suspicious Blood Type Diet that tells people what is excellent, mezza-mezza or muy mal to eat for their blood type, and has done wonders for me and my clients. Add in a dash of fat from avocados – 100% approved by all – and I’ve got myself something to work with. If I decide to work it.

All of this to say, I hear you. I get it. We’re all just tryna figure it out.

In the meantime, the advice-o-sphere is pulling me back toward health coaching. Ok, it has dislocated my shoulder while yanking me into the ring. But this time, things will be different. This time I will not hold back my heart-felt desire to unstick you from your personal flypaper. And this time, there will be yoga involved. Not headstand or any flying anything upside down, but the philosophy. In particular, the Yamas and Niyamas – the 10 tenets of the yoga philosophy. You know, innovative ideas like kindness, moderation and discipline. Doesn’t that sound sexy?!

But seriously. Here’s a glimpse at how the path is unfolding before me:

12 weeks, 1 session per week. Beginning with what your intention is for your LIFE. We’re starting off all light and breezy. Then we’ll move into the 10 tenets, one each week and tie it all up in a recap bow that looks a lot like a newly minted, very best version of you!

Perhaps there will be some podcasts or live videos; definitely some one-on-one coaching; and, of course, some classes and group work. My fave.

Stay tuned. More to come…

In the meantime, if I can impart any advice on behalf of the 739 health books I’ve read, seminars I’ve attended or certifications I thought were necessary to love people back to health, let me know.

I’m here for ya!

PS: Give up processed food. That one’s on me. Oh, and, avocados are magic.

21 Day Challenge – Day 14 – The Cheese Stands Alone

Goat cheese with fresh thyme

If I were to start this challenge over again I might do it a little differently. I might devote the whole three weeks to just movement, then spend another three weeks on food.

There’s so much to explore in both and to throw down the gauntlet on all of it can be overwhelming.

But I’m in the middle – past the middle – so I shall persevere.

Formulas don’t work the way they used to. Eat this, not that, lose weight. Add in a healthy dose of  exercise and watch the clothes start to fall off. Sleep better, wake up energized.

I have been at this for two weeks now and while I have gained a ton of energy I have not lost one pound. And I am frustrated.

This tells me two things, or maybe three:

  1. I care more about losing weight than maybe I want to admit, and
  2. It’s probably the food, oh and
  3. I’m older. Which changes everything.

Way back in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) days I had experimented with my food like a mad scientist. I identified a few foods that I needed to eliminate all together: dairy and wheat rising to the top of the list. I’ve done pretty good with the wheat for the past 8 years or so, but occasionally a cupcake sneaks in.

Dairy. It was so easy to give up. I rarely used milk, yogurt and sour cream showed up only occasionally and I wasn’t a huge cheese person. Then a few years ago someone accidentally put feta cheese on my salad. Then, at an Ayurveda training there was goat’s milk yogurt for breakfast. I fell in love with chai tea in India and couldn’t possibly use anything but whole milk in it when I came home. Which was just the gateway to half and half. Then I stumbled upon just three little words that would seal my dairy fate: goat’s milk cheese.

So dairy has inched its way back in and helped put some weight back on.

Before my formal education at IIN I had stumbled across the Blood Type Diet. There are many doubters, but here’s the thing: it’s just food, what would it hurt to just play with it?

I did and it worked. Absolutely, positively worked. It worked for me. It worked for others. When I was health coaching I always recommended it and if it was followed, it helped people lose weight, reduce inflammation, and minimize or eliminate allergies.

So naturally, after great success, I let it go.

Is it laziness? Ego? Somewhere in between I suspect. Habit plays a pretty significant role as well.

As much as I believed I was using the blood type diet and Ayurveda as lifestyle changes, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought of them as diets. Short term solutions. While I was in it, I was completely convinced that I had left all those habits behind, but habits, especially the unhelpful ones, have a way of bullying their way back in.

As I revisit the blood type diet I will do so with a sense of curiosity. I’ll take a new approach, challenge myself somehow. It is in my best interest.

Maybe that’s the problem.

 

21 Day Challenge – Day 13 – Gut check

After the rain IMG_1948

I have this internal gauge that lets me know when it’s time. It tells me when I’m done with something, usually kind of big and potentially life changing things: a job, a relationship, a town. Lately I can feel the valves beginning to close on an aspect of my life. Marriage is solid, community is strong, this has to do more with work.

I begin to feel it as an exasperation, there’s a lot of sighing involved. ‘I don’t wanna’ whiny vibes emanate from my gut. Then my head starts to tell me a bunch of stories about how good this job/person/place (we’ll call it ‘noun’) is. Trying to trip me up. Sometimes it works, it usually delays the ultimate act, but rarely changes the decision.

In response the gut speaks louder, it gets angry and starts to find fault in everything having to do with noun, down to a single unrelated incident that somehow is now noun’s fault. The mind reminds me of the good things noun has done for me and strongly recommends I maintain status quo. That’s its job.

The gut is pissed off. It’s time. The mind just wonders if this is really the best time to make such a big change.

The gut is done. The mind makes one last ditch effort; you know making this change now will affect everything you want to do, your whole life could change, is that what you really want?

YES!

And so it is. I have been playing this game for the past few months. I know what I need to do on an energetic level. It’s the financial level that scares me. A good chunk of my income is wrapped up in this decision. At the same time, my enchanted living is suffering.

I can see what is on the other side, I can feel it. I know what I am supposed to be doing, I get reminders and signs every single day. Every day.

I believe everything I have done that is perceived as negative; poor eating habits, lack of exercise, disorganization, financial debt are all ways to slow down my leap into this life that is waiting for me. It’s the mind protecting me from my bigness. It’s very scared of the unknown. Same is safe. New could be a mistake.

As I move through this challenge and begin to chip away at these bad habits and obstacles, the mind is fighting back. Rather than trying to convince me that I shouldn’t do what I feel called to do it’s guiding my hand toward the leftover Halloween candy. It pats my head and tells me to rest today, there’s no need to do yoga every day. It suggests I put the computer away for just one day so I can recharge so my writing will be fresher, bolder.

But I am onto it so I go to my mat, I open my computer and I continue. The key for me is to call up the vision, plant both feet firmly in it and dare the mind to knock me over. And if it does, the proof will be in getting back up. So far so good.

 [Photo: Bay tree after some much needed rain today.]