So how is your fight against kapha going I hear you ask. (Well nobody has actually asked anything but I am imagining that someone out there is wondering how it's all going but they are just too shy to comment.)
Well things are going really well. Not eating all the yummy sweet foods has been hard but I am so proud of myself for keeping with it (what a good little vata I am!) Of course there have been times when I have been a bit naughty and had a bit of cake or a biscuit but I have kept it well under control. I am taking a far more accepting approach to this. All or nothing is not the answer.Deprvation only increases desire. If I deprive myself it will only make it harder and then I will eventually break and when I do I will go crazy. Then I will feel bad and it will all be over. It's better to know what you should avoid but understand it's not the end of the world to have an occasional treat. It will actually help to keep on track.
It was really tough at first and it was really interesting as I was able to see my bad habits. So many times when I was hungry and wanted a snack I would eat something sweet. A chocolate, cake,or a pastery. And if I wasn't eating something sweet it would be a nut bar. All these things are going to increase kapha and create ama and they have. It also showed me how the food industry is designed around eating these kinds of food. Cafes and convenience stores are full of lovely tempting food that is not really what we should be eating on a regular basis but many of us do. But what are the alternatives? For me it has been fruit or sheer old abstinence. I think a lot of my snacking was just habitual. After work is generally the worst. I found that certain places or activities would trigger my mind to think about food. I also found that if I ignored it and thought about something else I would be able to control myself. The mind is a very powerful and manipulative thing. We need to earn how to understand it and not let it control us.
Apart from drastically cutting down on all sugary food I have also reduced heavy food. So I made a lot of stir fries or steamed vegetables. I also used heating spices, ginger and garlic to increase heat, fire up my agni (digestive fire) and help to burn the excess kapha and ama. I have also reduced the amount I drink. I used to sip all day and probably would have 1-2 liters of water a day. Probably a good idea in summer for a vata like me but not really necessary during winter. As I am trying to reduce kapha, and kapha is water or liquids, I thought it was another thing to focus on.
An interesting and surprising result has taken place sine I started this diet. I have been avoiding all spicy and heating food to try to control my eczema but I decided to not worry about it, get my kapha and ama under control and deal with my eczema later. As predicted my eczema flared up with in a few days but then it went away altogether! The only thing I can say is that I burnt out all the ama that had been causing the problem. It had been trying to leave my body (through my skin) but was unable to. All the heat was just what it needed. I am very very happy as I have had this latest case for over 4 years!! Other things that may have contributed could be the B12 supplements I started taking and the sandalwood oil I started using instead of hand lotion. I'm sure they all played a part but I firmly believe all those heating herbs, ginger and garlic literally burnt it out of my system!
Here's another interesting story that highlights how food affects the body. Last week I couldn't eat the lunch I had prepared and ended up eating pasta. I haven't had pasta for ages and generally don't eat it a lot anymore. But I didn't have much choice (anybody who is vegetarian knows what I'm talking about) so bought it. That night my boyfriend was home and decided to cook and would you believe he decided to make pasta! He never cooks pasta or wants pasta but he hadn't cooked for a while and I was on my way to yoga so I smiled and told him he was great. It was great but so opposite to what I should be eating. Not only was it pasta but it had a creamy, eggy sauce! To make matters even worse he told me that he had put some aside for my lunch. So again I smiled and thanked him and ate pasta the next day. Sitting on the bus after work I was so tired. I was yawning and felt very unmotivated. It got me thinking about how often this had happened in the past. I hadn't had an unusually busy day and the only thing I could think of was the pasta. Heavy food makes you heavy, dull and slow. I'm glad it happened as it showed me how easily we are affected my our diet and how Ayurveda is such an intelligent science of the body. And to think all these theories were developed thousands of years ago, way before that were laboratories and advanced scientific technologies. These people listened to their bodies and thought about what it all meant and from that they devised the therapies and practices that I am studying.
Other changes I have noticed have been an increase in energy and motivation. I have also noticed a more positive outlook but maybe that has something to do with my morning affirmations that I have started doing again since I wrote about the morning routine.
So I will keep at it and continue to keep you updated with my progress. I am planning to do a gall bladder cleanse once I have a free weekend to stay home a poop all my toxins out. Hopefully that will be in the next few weeks as I 'm keen to get rid of all the toxins that have lodged in my body and taken up residence. Once they are out I will be an new woman and everything that I do will be even more beneficial.