Raw Foods & Ayurveda | Do they go together?

A warm welcome, beautiful soul!

So happy to connect with you! 🙂

If you’re familiar with my mission, my message, my personal lifestyle and recommendations, you will probably have noticed that I advocate two seemingly different approaches:

  • Raw living foods and
  • Ayurveda

For those of you who know at least a little about the ancient eastern medicine, you will probably associate Ayurveda with cooked Indian meals and lots of spices, right? Well, isn’t this the exact opposite of what the raw vegan community stands for?

Today, I want to take a deep dive into this controvery and answer the following question:

  • What are the holistic aspects that come along with a raw vegan lifestyle?
  • Why does traditional Ayurveda not recommend a high or fully raw diet for everyone?
  • Raw Veganism & Ayurveda: Why is it all about digestion?
  • Is there a way to unify raw vegan foods with Ayurveda?

Raw foods as well as Ayurveda have helped me so much in bringing my health and spiritual connection to a whole new level. After hitting rock bottom in 2010, studying nutritional science, and turning vegan, I was firstly introduced to raw foods. Just one year later, I became aquainted with Ayurveda. Looking back, I couldn’t be more grateful for all the knowledge and wisdom I gained. Living and sharing a raw foods lifestyle as well as Ayurvedic principles has been a calling from my soul as I’m having such a strong resonance with both approaches.

Raw foods vs. Ayurveda?

Let’s get started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ The Raw Vegan Lifestyle ~


“Eat your fruits and veggies!” – We’ve all heard this statement back in childhood. We do all know that fruits and vegetables are beneficial for our health and wellbeing, don’t we?

According to science and research, fresh and unprocessed foods in their whole, natural form contain the highest amount of nutrients as well as other beneficial ingredients in plants, i.e. lots of (structured) water, phytonutrients, bioactive substances, and fiber. Common ways of preparing raw foods (especially nuts and seeds) are soaking and sprouting which increases the nutritional value even more.

Raw living foods are even considered as healing foods. Countless people have experienced healing from chronic illnesses by eating raw foods while medical professionals didn’t have an answer to their conditions. If you haven’t heard of Anthony Williams (“Medical Medium”) yet, I recommend you check out his work. Although he does not necessarily promote one specific kind of diet, he emphasizes the power of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and of course – celery juice. 

“Let food be thy medicine,
and medicine be thy food.”
(Hippocrates)

Raw veganism isn’t just a way of eating, but it’s a lifestyle that has the potential to opens up your body, mind, and spirit. You may find a strong connection with nature, with your own body, and with the universe. Body, nature, and the universe – basically, it is one and the same. The high amount of water, nutrients, phytochemicals, fiber, and biophotons (light energy = prana) in raw fruits and vegetables impact your physical and energy body in a way that no other way of eating. Digestion, metabolism, sleep, overall wellbeing, energy levels – you may experience a whole “new you” when eating raw. Especially when you consume lots of fruits, the desire to exercise will increase. Simply because your energy levels go through the roof.

Recipe: Papaya boats

Some advocates for the raw vegan lifestyle also talk about natural hygiene, nature-based living (e.g. permaculture), ways of detoxification by supporting your elimination organs (colon, skin, kidneys) and detoxification organ (liver) through juicing, fasting, herbs etc.

Furthermore, eating raw is strongly connected to your spiritual growth: The Yogic philosophy recommends the so-called “sattvic diet” for all spiritual seekers. Sattvic foods have light, pure, clean (unprocessed), natural qualities and contain the highest amount of life force energy or “prana”. Sattvic foods are first and foremost fruits, as well as other raw living foods. I personally feel the deepest spiritual connection when sticking to a fully/high raw plant-based diet. In this article, you can read more about the connection between living foods and spirituality.

If you want to dive a little deeper into the power of raw living foods and get my top tips for beginners, check out this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Ayurveda: A holistic approach to health & wellbeing ~


Ayurveda. The science of life.

My first aquaintance with the ancient Indian philosophy happened with my first yoga classes. However, it wasn’t until I went to India for my first YTTC (2018) when I became intrigued about it.

What fascinates me most about Ayurveda is its super individual approach. Ayurvedic practicioners look at you as a unique being and take into consideration the holistic picture – your body, mind, and spirit. Based on your mind-body type and current imbalances, you will get specific recommendations regarding foods, herbs, and lifestyle. Your personal constitution is key. Ayurveda connects the human body to nature and the universe. Everything in existence is made up of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether (space). Eating in sync with nature means eating seasonally and therefore locally, your currently available foods. Ayurveda always looks at any current imbalance you might experience in your body and/or mind. These are usually linked to your mind-body-type. Furthermore, your food preferences, the stage of life you’re in, and your nutritional requirements need to be taken into consideration before making any food and lifestyle choices.

“Ayurveda is a sister philosophy of yoga.
It is the science of life or longevity and it teaches about the power and the cycles of nature,
as well as the elements.”
(Christy Turlington)

Besides nutrition, Ayurveda addresses your entire life and the influence it has on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual system. This goes back to the conecept of primary food. Not only do you take in and digest foods, but all your sensory organs consume and process stimuli from your environment. Ayurveda basically is a conscious approach to health which prevents the occurrence and/or progress of dis-ease in the body and mind.

Dinacharya is the cornerstone of Ayurvedic living. These are daily (self-care) routines which go hand-in-hand with nature. By implementing those habits into my daily life, my physical and mental health, my connection with nature, with my heart and life’s purpose increased drastically. My body thrives and I can receive, channel, and embody universal wisdom -live my purpose- by following the wisdom from Ayurvedic teachings about Dinacharya. Besides certain physical practices, an indisputable part of Dinacharya are spiritual practices (e.g. pranayama, meditation etc.). Ayurveda is considered to be the sister science of Yoga, thus, it addresses spirituality as well.

You can also fast the Ayurvedic way. This is a much more gentle approach than drinking water or juice only. The so-called “Kitchari” is a dish which digests rather easily and can be eaten three times a day for a certain period of time (according to your Ayurvedic practitioner’s advice). Eating just one simple meal over a few days will give the digestive system some time to rest, heal, and detoxify. Feel free to check out my Kitchari recipe.

Recipe: Golden Milk

Traditional Ayurveda focuses on typical Indian foods and dishes, i.e. rice, legumes, spices etc., simply because of its roots. In ancient India, there was no lettuce available, nobody was sprouting their seeds, and technology was far away from juicers and blenders. Although the basic teachings from ancient India will remain, we can now adjust and apply them to our current ways of living and to different places of the world. Contemporary Ayurveda does consider our current situation, like the availability of certain (different) foods, information from science and research regarding the nutrient content from food, and this new era in which more and more women are becoming entrepreneurs and living their purpose, not just staying at home and cooking all day.

Although traditional Ayurveda does not encourage heavy consumption of raw foods or cold foods, Yogis and spiritual seekers do benefit from raw living “high pranic” foods, predominantly fruits. If you’re not in a (severe) state of imbalance, you definitely benefit from including (at least some) fresh raw fruits and vegetables into your daily life. The amount depends on your body, mind, (and soul)!

“Ayurveda teaches us to cherish our innate nature –
to love and honor who we are,
not as what people think or tell us who we should be.”
(Prana Gogia)

If you want to dive a little deeper into Ayurveda, check out this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw vegan Ayurveda: Let’s talk digestion! ~


Looking back, my digestive issues were a big reason which guided me towards raw vegan foods as well as Ayurveda. I’ve struggled a lot with digestive imbalances in the past, and was desperately searching for a solution in the alternative medicine and in natural ways. What Raw foods and Ayurveda do have in common, is their focus on gut health. Strengthening, cleansing, and optimizing your digestion in order to thrive!

When eating high amounts of raw foods, you will immediately notice that there’s a lot happening in your digestive system. As raw foods are usually low in calories, you will eat a much higher volume than on a cooked diet with grains, legumes or even animal products. At the same time, raw fruits and veggies are rich in fiber and water which creates a lot of bulk that moves rather quickly through your system. You can imagine the fiber like a broom that starts cleaning your digestive tract and eliminating a lot of what may have been stuck in there for a while. However, when transitioning very quickly to a high or even fully raw diet, your digestion can be overwhelmed. Also, your microbiome needs some time to adjust. Gas, bloating, diarrhea, discomfort and tension in the gut lining might occur.

Raw food recommendations for optimal digestion are proper food combining, because not all types of food mix well together. It is recommended to start your day with water rich foods (fruits, e.g. melons, pineapple etc.) and/or juices and to work yourself up to more dense foods (raw vegetables, fats etc.) throughout the day.

You will also came across this concept of food combining when studying Ayurveda. Eastern medicine, i.e. TCM and Ayurveda, put your gut and digestion into the center of your health. Considering that 80 % of your immune system sits in the gut and the importance of your microbiome (microbes in your digestive tract), there’s a lot of truth in it.

Ayurveda compares your capacity to digest foods with a fire. In fact, it is called “digestive fire” or “agni”. You can literally imagine a fire sitting in your belly. Depending on the strength of your fire, you will digest certain foods better than others. Putting a lot of foods with cold qualities (= raw foods) on a low burning fire may completely wipe it out. According to Ayurveda, raw foods are considered to be more difficult to digest, compared with cooked foods. This is predominantly true for raw vegetables – think of raw broccoli or cauliflower. In contrary, ripe fresh fruits are one of the easiest to digest foods, when eaten on their own. Ayurveda recommends to look at the strength of your agni when choosing the appropriate amount of raw food for you. But besides the actual foods you’re eating, Ayurveda also emphasizes the “how” and “when” to eat which makes it a holistic medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Consider Bio-individuality ~


In the past few years (around 2016-2019), I’ve been switching from Ayurvedic recommendations for my mind-body-type to strictly eating raw foods, even in the winter. I felt so drawn toward both approaches and desperately tried to heal my digestive system on my own.

It wasn’t until last year when I started to let go of ANY rules, instructions, specific recommendations and dogmatic behavior, such as

“When I eat raw, I need to be 100 % raw” or
“When I follow Ayurveda, I need to eat mostly cooked, because it “is” best for my personal constitution…”

Well, is that really true? At some point along my journey, I started tuning deeper and deeper into my body, asking her what she actually requires in order to thrive.

As you may have seen in the recipe section of this website, I kept posting two main categories:

  • “raw & high pranic foods” and
  • “warm & grounding foods”

I’ve learned that my body predominantely benefits from raw living foods. However, especially during winter, warm (cooked) whole plant foods help my body to stay in balance. I’m now choosing my food intuitively, depending on the season, availability of local produce, my physiological requirements and the life stage I’m in. Although, I’m eating predominantely raw, I choose to honor my bio-individual needs. Thus, I want to invite you to do the same: Feel deep inside your body, ask your beautiful vessel “What would nourish you mostly today?” – feel, hear, acknowledge and follow those subtle nudges from your gut. Your body holds consciousness, an innately divine intelligence. Only the body knows best what makes you thrive physically. On the contrary, your (rational) mind can only help you to some degree. It is limited.

No dogma that comes from a mental (egoic) perception will ever lead you towards health and fulfillment. Adopting a theory that feels completely out of alignment with your body and doesn’t make sense to you, will only accelerate a cycle of confusion, desperation, and suffering.

YOU are the only person who knows best what works for you!

What may work for your best friend, your mum or teacher, may not work for you in the same way. Respecting and honoring your bio-individuality in every single moment of time (because your needs may change over time) is key to come into alignment with your body, mind, and soul. When you choose to love and take care of yourself, you will experience an awakening and thrive within every single body cell. This physical and energetic state of openness will automatically allow you to embody and express yourself authentically. To tap into your life’s purpose. To fully live the most meaningful and magical life that you could have ever dreamed of!

Yes, nutrition can go far beyond your state of health. Your body is a vehicle. If you choose to deeply nourish and communicate with it, it will open up to you and trust you. Over time, it will enable you to pursue your deepest desires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion: Raw living Foods & Ayurveda ~


Raw or cooked? Fruits and vegetables? Or grains and legumes? Spices or plain food? Maybe some fresh herbs?

You might have those questions in your mind when it comes to choosing foods that meet your specific needs. We’ve become heavily influenced by such a broad range of different (contradictory) information. There are so many gurus, teachers, scientists, and people out there who may put their nutritional approach on a pedestal or even just teach what they’ve experienced. Nothing of that is wrong. However, when you neglect your own body’s needs and follow certain recommendations from someone else, you may harm your body, mind, and soul. Going against your physical nature (your bio-individuality) is a path towards decline. There is no guru out there who knows what’s best for you. You are your own guru.

Yes, plant foods in their natural state are incredibly beneficial for us human beings. However, if you chose to eat 100 % plant-based, to eat your meals raw or cooked, to add spices or eat your food plain – it is totally up to what your body needs. You can fully trust your physical vessel. It innately contains all the wisdom needed in order to heal, to thrive, to live its fullest potential. Allow it to expand this wisdom and to communicate with you …

If you resonate with the raw foods and/or Ayurvedic way of eating and living, I’d love to connect with you. Let me know how your personal approach to nutrition looks like, how you digest raw and/or cooked foods, and which gives you the highest amount of energy.

To end this up, I want to thank you for being here, beautiful soul!
Thank you for being committed to your own transformational journey.
Are you ready to shine your light? 🙂

Namasté,

yours Isabel!

 

 

Pictures
Unsplash (www.unsplash.com)

2 thoughts on “Raw Foods & Ayurveda | Do they go together?”

    1. Meine liebe Claudi,
      ganz herzlichen Dank für dein wunderschönes Feedback, das freut mich sehr zu hören!

      Es ist mir eine große Freude und Ehre, diese Themen zu teilen. Umso schöner zu hören/lesen, wenn sie auf Resonanz stoßen. 🙂

      Fühl dich gedrückt, alles Liebe und Namasté,
      deine Isabel!

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