Healthy Habits: Why I Eat What I Want and Don't Gain Weight {within reason}

Waffles anyone?! (MY FAVE!) From the best local breakfast restaurant sourcing good quality ingredients ~ Hangar B, in Chatham, MA.

A friend of mine asked me this the other day: "why is it that you can eat anything you want and you don't gain weight?" Now, I may fluctuate a few pounds here and there (as a women, that's a normal part of our monthly routine) but for the most part this question was fair, and I have an answer for her, and you!

What I've realized now that I've been practicing an ayurvedic lifestyle the past few years, is that my body has now found its balance point. I have been overweight (you can read the freshman 30 post here) and underweight when practicing macrobiotics, but for the past couple years I have stayed about the same weight even when indulging in bread, baked goods, and unnecessary sugars. The old me would have been freaking out in my head thinking 'omg, I'm going to gain weight if I eat this or that" but that is FEAR OF FOOD mode and ayurveda helped me establish a healthy relationship with food, and therefore my body.

Because I have a healthy relationship with food now, I not only want to eat the 'fun stuff' on occasion (sometimes more than I should), but I also really want to eat the healthy stuff too! It's a natural desire to want to lighten up after eating heavy, rich foods, but that only happens when we're in tune with what our body needs and wants rather than what may be emotional eating, deprived devouring, or mindless munching.

Since our body's naturally want to restore after a not-so-ideal day (or days of) eating heavy or non-nutritional food, its own natural intelligence system will still be able to operate smoothly, because the majority of the time, we are helping all the organs function properly by eating with the seasons, locally and organic, and using herbs to keep ourselves in balance.

It's hard to really 'get off track' when practicing and living a healthy lifestyle because it's not a diet (read more here)! But, the body does need a re-boot every once in awhile, especially if there has been more heavy foods than not, or when the seasons change. This is why cleansing is part of a healthy lifestyle, so that your body knows its balance point and can always re-set itself as our modern lives are constantly changing.

I really do credit my new balance point weight to eating Kitchari about once a week, taking triphala tablets before bed, to slowing down and actually savoring and enjoying whatever it is I'm eating (read this book!!), and cleansing twice a year in spring and fall.

This season I'm about to do a short version of the traditional Ayurveda Cleanse, by LifeSpa. After the 4 days are over, I will continue with the kitchari meals and start drinking the ojas building tonic every night for a few weeks to strengthen my immunity, and let go of whatever does not serve me.

If you have a hard time committing to an 'overwhelming cleanse', this one is for you! I highly suggest practicing cleansing twice or even 4 times a year, when the season changes, so you can set your balanced weight, and develop a healthy relationship around food and your body, and enjoy eating!!! :)

Here is a great health guide for weight management  so you can read more about how Ayurveda practices can help you!