How to Treat the Body as the Sum, Not Individual Parts

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I hope you’ve learned more about yourself through these last couple of posts. If you took away just one item, you’re building a foundation for balance. It’s now time for me to reveal one of the biggest secrets I’ve learned regarding wellness:  

Treat the body as the sum, not as individual parts.  

I’ll show you how to do this, just by eating correctly. You’ll also see how impactful it is to change our view of eating—not in my words, but in the words of a friend (and client).  

Knowing your traits helps you live in balance. You have physical qualities, body functions, and your personality or mind. These three things determine your dosha; disease is created by an imbalance of these traits because of our sensory input.  

One of the biggest problems with allopathic medicine is its view of diseases and conditions. Rather than searching for a root cause, it focuses on specific organs—we have specialists for every organ and disease. We have complicated drug interactions and conflicting diets for each condition. An example…  

My mother had Type 2 diabetes besides 2 liver disorders and other health issues. Doctors advised us to watch her carbohydrates for the diabetes but also decrease her protein intake because of her liver problems. Trying to give her a balanced diet was difficult, to say the least. In the mid-90s, we didn’t know diabetics shouldn’t be as concerned with carbohydrates as much as their fat intake.  

We weren’t looking at the real cause of the disease, which was excess fat around her cells. I only knew I couldn’t feed her potatoes, rice, pasta, or bread. Sadly, only in hindsight can I now see excess fat was a similar imbalance with her liver conditions; a single dietary change would have eased all 3 conditions. We were treating organs, not her system as a whole.

It’s not just heart disease; it’s a circulatory system problem. Don’t treat heartburn with antacids; change your diet, meditate, and exercise.

Were she still with me, I’d start her out with a cleanse of kitcherie that would allow her body to rest, heal, and use the excess fat stored in her body. No crazy shakes or juices, no expensive supplements, nothing that would tax her system any more than it was already. (Kitcherie is a soup of rice, lentils, and spices, for those not familiar with it.)

I’ve successfully run this cleanse several times in the last decade, typically to those who were ill or suffered from weak digestion. The spices varied, depending on the person eating it, the desired outcome of the program, and the season. Kitcherie gently eliminates toxins from the body, is high in protein, and is healing to the digestive system.  

WHAT’S INVOLVED in the Kitcherie cleanse I run:

  • Kitcherie only for 3 days: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh prune juice for the final days—fresh differs GREATLY from the nasty shit in a can!
  • Morning walks, meditation, alternate nostril breathing
  • Evening baths with Epsom salts
  • I recommend 12-16 cups of warm to hot water per day—herbal or ginger teas are fantastic options

“All disease begins in the gut… let food be thy medicine -Hippocrates, ~400 BCE   

The above cleanse creates a holistic view of the body. Here’s feedback from a friend who embarked on the 3-day cleanse with her boyfriend—you’ll see how food is much more than just something we put in our mouth. It’s a mental, emotional, and spiritual process; ignoring food’s significance also ignores the body as a whole unit.

Day 1:  

7 am Kitcherie – yummy as anticipated, it’s got a lot of spices in it but is not even a little spicy (I was thankful as I don’t do spice very well) it was almost bland… but not… such a strange flavor to accurately describe. The prune smoothie was approached with hesitation but actually turned out to be DELICIOUS, I was very surprised!   

8:10 15mn of meditation as a chaser really got my mind settled. I have not formally meditated in a much longer time than I care to admit and sitting in peace felt much like an eternity, but for which I was grateful.   

When Alicia came over with the Tupperware containers, I almost laughed out loud – THEY ARE SO SMALL I thought I would die doing this. I don’t do really well when I don’t eat, get very light-headed and headaches come on pretty easily. I anticipated this being torturous. So far, so good!   

I texted Alicia to see what was up; she confirmed my original assumption – normal because of all the protein and digestive spices.   

“I want sugar and salt. How many days before I kill somebody?” My boyfriend gets hangry…… “my lack of real food all day has confused my body” … his diet consists of monster energy drinks, Tostitos and Burger King mind you…. I confessed I had been thinking about the prune smoothie all day, he too had the same longing   

6:56 pm Great example of making the most of something (or not), he spent his meal thinking about all the things his food was not (fried, covered in cheese, etc) rather than all it is (healthy, nourishing, etc).    

7:02 It’s ingrained in my habits that if I’m in the kitchen, I’m scouring for food. Another interesting observation.  Today was rough, but not the worst. Trying not to project.  

Day 2  

7:20 am feeling GREAT as if last night’s mishaps of unwell never happened. I listened to my body and just relaxed and got through it. I think this is why people who fast pray a lot, to keep their mind off hunger. I was better last night after I left the kitchen, got my hot water, and went inside to read and snuggle up. Definitely mind over matter! Good energy, not lethargic because I’m not stuffed to the max. And my hunger isn’t spiking the way it was yesterday  

4:11 There are so many thought-provoking variables! The house is so kitchen-centric, literally, every room is connected to it. I walk into the kitchen upon exiting my bedroom door. The bathroom. The living room. I never really thought about that before.    

Day 3  

7:34 Meditation was harder today, I was more sleepy, likely because I ate less yesterday and stayed up later than usual since I had so much energy. The moment I closed my eyes my forehead started to pulse. My third eye activates pretty easily once I meditate a few times. Nice. Like seeing an old friend after a long while.   

11:30 The first day I found myself thinking of food all day, the second I found myself absent mindedly reaching for food, and today I don’t really even want to eat. My energy was incredible though and at 1115pm I’m FORCING myself to sleep. I’m usually STRUGGLING for 9 or out cold by 10.  

Morning after reflections: I dreamt about eating. I used the past 3 evenings to read a book, in 3 days I got through almost 300 pages. It was nice just relaxing and taking it easy. The last few days were a battle of mind over matter, mostly. Though there were times I was hungry some water and a little deep breathing helped that pass. Being busy with work helped it pass. Having small portions of kitcherie helped it pass. It made me realize how little we actually need to exist, and how much we consume in just the indulgence. I am eager to see how I feel over the next few days.  I know he has decided to start making better choices and realizes with the difficulty of this detox how badly he has been punishing his body.    

As you can see, eating is more than just putting food in your mouth. Do you see how impactful it is to eat mindfully? Include the correct foods and exercises during your life and you’ll find the balance in life.   

Here are the portion sizes I promised you earlier: 

For those with a Vata constitution, meal portions of 50% grains, 20% protein, 20% vegetables, and 10% fruit are best. Grains are grounding and sweet, protein is heavy, and fruit gives our bodies natural sweet flavors. The Vata constitution should avoid having raw foods for extended periods of time. A raw food diet is much lighter and requires strong digestion… 2 qualities not indicative of the Vata dosha. 

The amount of air and ether in a Vata means they have weaker digestion and need heavier and more grounding foods. 

Vata would also look to favor the qualities of warm, oily, heavy, sweet, sour and salty foods. Consider reducing or eliminating excessive caffeine as it aggravates the already-swirling mind. Avoid cold, dry, light, bitter and astringent foods such as chips and crackers. Have a great brand of healthy crackers you love, or chips you make at home? Add heaviness by adding a warm bean dip; the dip balances the lighter, airy nature of the cracker or chip. 

If there’s a Vata imbalance such as anxiety, a winter season or digestive issues, following the above meal protocol may help ease symptoms.   

Pitta meal portions are the same as Vata. Favor the qualities of sweet, bitter, astringent, heavy and cool. Avoid pungent, salty, sour, light foods, and excessively oily or acidic foods. Cool, uncooked foods are best in the warmer seasons and regions. Have your largest meal at noontime when digestion is the strongest. Avoid alcohol, smoking and addictive drugs—Pitta’s have an addictive-prone nature. Eliminate red meat from your diet and enjoy large salads, vegetables and raw fruits instead. 

If there’s a Pitta imbalance such as heartburn, summertime heat, or skin issues, following the above meal protocol may help ease symptoms.   

For those with the Kapha constitution, try meal portioning of 30% grains, 20% protein, 40% vegetables, and 10% fruit. Reduce grains as they are heavier and sweeter in nature. Vegetables are best for this dosha because of their light quality. Favor light, dry, warm, spicy, bitter, astringent foods and avoid heavy, oily, cold, sweet, salty, sour foods. The Kapha dosha has an affinity for sweets as does anyone with a Kapha imbalance. 

A Kapha constitution (or imbalance) can be relieved by avoiding snacking. When digestion is slower, keeping a constant supply of food in the stomach further slows digestion and leads to hypoglycemia. Avoiding snacking and walking after meals counteracts the slower metabolism. Despite what they have led us to believe in the last couple of decades, snacking does NOT increase our metabolism—it’s actually not recommended for any dosha as it creates an imbalance with blood sugars and our ability to burn stored fats.

If there’s a Kapha imbalance such as excessive mucous, lethargy, weight gain or springtime, following the above meal protocol may help ease symptoms.   

I challenge you to eat according to your dosha for one week. At the end of that week, comment here or email me and let me know how you felt about it. There’s no wrong answer as long as you tried… 

I hope you’ve discovered to stop looking at individual diseases or conditions. Search instead for the root cause and consider other factors besides a particular organ. It’s not just heart disease; it’s a circulatory system problem. Don’t treat heartburn with antacids; change your diet, meditation routine, and exercise.  

Tomorrow, I’ll send you an invitation to a program I’m launching February 8-10 (72 hours only). You can send food journals, ask for recipe substitutions, ask questions on specific ingredients, or ask for mental and spiritual advice. There will be a private, safe space for the 10 of us to interact.   

As a thank you for staying with me through these last 3 emails, email me the answers to these questions. I’ll send you a special gift as a thank you!  

  1. What is your #1 hurdle with balance? (e.g. food, meditation, work/life balance, sensory input)
  2. What’s your daily schedule like?
  3. What’s your health goal for 2019?
  4. Full name
  5. Email address

This 4-part online course will include 5 modules, with an estimated read time of 20 minutes per module.  That’s about 1.5 hours of information that will guide you towards balance.  

I’ll even give you the option to take the course for a free spin (but you have to check tomorrow’s email from me!)  

I wish I had access to this when I started my journey 2 decades ago. I’ve empowered people with simple, healthy choices to become optimally healthy with pieces of the information I’ll soon share with you. This is the first time I’ve made this material available to a wide audience in one short program; I’m even offering it at a discount only to my Seedlings (if you’re reading this, that’s you!).  

Until tomorrow, Namaste, my friend…


P.S. Will you do me 2 favors, pretty please?  

  1. Leave a comment or question and lemme know what you think. When you do, I’ll email you 2 simple Ayurvedic recipes using common western ingredients!
  2. Share this on your networking platforms and see if your friends or family have questions or comments. The more I can deliver this message, the faster we start a true Health Revolution.

5 thoughts on “How to Treat the Body as the Sum, Not Individual Parts”

  1. very interesting! I just had a question with a Vata constitution and a Pitta imbalance ..should i be eating more towards what a pitta should be eating? ie: no oily foods (definitely no spicy) ?
    thank you for opening up an awareness to how much food is thought of throughout our day.

    1. We’re currently in a Vata season, so you’d want to make sure you’re getting enough grounding foods to keep digestion strong and not have a Vata imbalance. I believe you don’t tolerate spicy much anyway, so I’d definitely avoid that taste–it’s also not ideal for both Vata AND Pitta. Food portions for Vata and Pitta are the same, so that part’s easy. 😉 I’d agree about decreasing the oil in foods but don’t forget to nourish your skin with a good oil–that should give you some heaviness for Vata & winter, but would keep it out of your digestive system. Sweet is a taste that’s good for Vata AND Pitta, as well as heavier foods. Looking at the qualities of each dosha, perhaps having moist, warm, heavy, dull (bland–even with little to no salt) foods would help. Grains and ghee would be excellent, as well as a few beans (not too many, as they’re light and airy). I’d definitely go towards the foods listed in the Pitta column of the seasonal guide. <3

      And you’re welcome! It’s amazing how much some of us think about food… I made a living out of my obsession! 😉

    1. It really depends on your personal goals… I do actually give you kitcherie occasionally because of its health benefits. I adjust the seasoning to be spicy, of course–you’d find it quite bland! 😉 Since I incorporate Ayurvedic cooking into meals, you’re digestion is balanced more than the average public reading this.

What are your thoughts?

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