Thursday, July 11, 2013

radical eating shifts

seriously. if anyone predicted even just 12 months ago that i would be happy eating congee and mung bean day in and day out i would roll my eyes up to deep outer space. yes, i did have congee diet for entire 6 weeks of treatments in vaidyagrama. that's because i was determined to get the most out of the treatments and to really get my agni, digestive fire up. from ayurveda's point of view and the rishis saw this 5000 yrs ago in deep meditation, that there is deep connection between our wellbeing and state of digestive fire.

by the way let me confess one of the eating habits of mine that has really messed up the firepower of my agni. downing ice drinks/water while eating. that's like pouring ice water into oven while something is cooking. totally screwing up digestive process. sure, in my teenage years and twenties, youth vigor compensated for it. fast forward i am sleeping in the bed i made up. anyway i noticed a tangible difference in my wellbeing baseline after the first round of panchakarma. and as my guru says again and again, you need a strong and pure body to attain the highest goal of the path. so i went ahead and did 6 wks of congee. i mean 3 meals a day.
look. here's breakfast. congee. whole mung. papadam? just a gesture of taste. sometimes there is a half teaspoon of ghee in congee. btw i make my own ghee during full moon. a very soothing thing to do and homemade ghee is so much more fragrant and flavorful. anyhow, believe it or not, the modest combo is filling. i don't feel heavy and it takes me thru the morning clear and light and, surprise, there is no craving for snack. bye bye to potato chips. in fact every so often i would offer the papadam to hwubby. by the way he did 6 wks of congee diet as well. every now and then he would have thoughts of pastrami and lox and bagel. one day he saw this feature in local newspaper about some special idlee, fermented rice cake, with spicy dippings, he went on and on about it, really wanted to go and have some. it was fun watching the doctors kindly and patiently trying to talk him out of it, saying things like, o, it's overhyped. but, i have to give credit to hwubby. he let it go and had a good laugh out of the whole episode.

before i left vaidyagrama, i decided to get a pressure cooker. that's a huge decision on my part. i had a terrible experience with pressure cooker before, you know, things splashing all over the walls. but kavita, the food expert in vaidyagrama, said definitely  that in order to get that kind of texture for whole mung it had to be done in pressure cooker, not to mention it takes a lot less time to cook. that makes it so much easier to have fresh food instead of eating leftover. that pressure cooker turns out to be a huge blessing. without it i wouldn't be able to eat the way i am doing now.

This is lunch. main meal of the day. congee, boiled veg, buttermilk. the buttermilk in vaidyagrama is made from what's left after churning butter from homemade curd. this is the one thing i have to cheat. i just dilute whole yogurt  with hot water,  turmeric and salt. i suspect it's something to do with the amount of curd. for two people it doesn't make sense to make a liter of curd just to get two small bowls of buttermilk. a lot of waste. i will have to look into that when i go back to vaidyagrama this december.

well, back to where i am. five months after panchakarma. i am still eating congee day in and out. i can feel the energy baseline is higher, energy level even. telltale sign is meditations are better than ever. i sit 1 1/2 hr easy and it feels less and less a struggle to hold that state as i go about the day. i truly taste what the scriptures mean by 'living in a witnessing state.' it's kind of like what my guru's guru says, 'have preference, but no attachment.' i am very happy to eat out - well, i am more aware of food combinations but that's another blog entry - and enjoy. as my doctor harikrishnan says, 'if you can digest it, once in a while, in moderation.' wise, don't you think? so we enjoyed good dogs and burger  and ice cream for july fourth, wiped out a fabulous ethiopian feast of injera and lamb with my cousins and nephew and niece in a summer celebration,  but i am just as happy having my boiled veg and kitcheri for supper night in and out. fine with either.

i can see the way i related to food was more like an addict.  now i am in the driver seat, i'm leading the cow, not the other way round. a major step towards true and lasting freedom.  mooo.

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