AT CGH EARTH KALARI RASAYANA AYURVEDA HOSPITAL, THE JOURNEY TO HEALING IS FILLED WITH MANY DISCOVERIES. ZUZANA ZWIEBEL IN HER TALK WITH DR.POORNIMA SREELAL TRIED TO UNRAVEL THE PATH TO HEALTHY EATING HABITS.
PART 2: AYURVEDA DIET IN KALARI KOVILAKOM
After the arrival to Kalari Rasayana, patients have consultation with senior ayurveda doctor, who diagnose the main problems and causes of the disease and I conduct the diet consultation. Only after both consultations we get an idea, how the disease is connected with their food habits and if there is a reason to change the lifestyle patterns. It is important mainly for patients treated for metabolic diseases, which are originating in wrong eating habits.
Within 14 or 21 days, during which they are staying with us, we are making some changes in their existing diet based on their digestive capacity, which is different for every person. Accordingly, we plan an ayurveda diet and serving them medicated dishes. The medicine can be ginger or gourd or some special root vegetable and etc. It is different for each person and once we find the right one, we include it in daily diet. But the most of the vegetables available in India is not commonly available abroad, so we try to take it into the consideration and adjust it.
Before they leave Kalari Rasayana, we prepare a diet plan for them considering all the food patterns rearrangements, but also practical aspects for their daily life. We are educating them: Please, avoid that or take that in a separate time.
For example, media and advertisements are telling us, that in the modern diet a yogurt is a probiotic for you; It gives you healthy intestinal bacteria. So, the most of the people with constipation are eating a yogurt in the morning. But paradoxically if you are eating it every day, it becomes the main cause of constipation.
In Kalari Rasayana eating the food is healing process and also internal meditation. That is why every patient gets separate table and we are instructing them: Don't use any mobile phone or any electronic devices or don't chit-chat with your friends. Just concentrate on your food what you are eating.
Every day, with every patient, we have a routine consultation and the diet consultation. Based on these feedbacks, we are preparing an individualized diet plan. We have to consider the body type - person’s natural condition, but also the factors, which cause the disease. That’s why the diet plan for two persons with same disease can be entirely different because of their body nature. We need an individualized approach for the food preparation, which can be changed from one day to another.
Every day, to every patient, is prepared a day plan for ayurveda and yoga treatments and medicines. I am preparing diet plan, which is given to patient, but also to chef in the kitchen. For some persons, I'm preparing the diet only next day in the morning based on their situation, because during the treatment there may be some changes in their body.
All the staff in the kitchen have regular training classes. They have to know details about a diet and all the consequences, which are connected with healing, only then they can prepare the ideal food for patients. In some cases, I need to add some more ginger or more spices in the meal. In some cases, I need to completely avoid all kinds of spices or kinds of the masalas from them. If they know why I'm saying this, it is easy for them to prepare the food.
It's depending upon lots of factors and on the patient's health condition. Our kitchen is not supplied strictly from our own sources. Mostly we are collecting our own fresh ingredients – vegetables and fruits from our garden, but in some cases, if we need some special food items - for example kadali banana, very small bananas with high medical value – we buy it from outside, because it is available only in north part of Kerala. We are using also so-called English vegetables – for example cabbage, cauliflower or similar, they also contain high nutrition value and most of the patients have already included them in their diet.
Yes, but it is not only about being able to adjust, but there are also different kinds of addictions – for example most of the patient are addicted to non-vegetarian food, they eat a lot of meat. When we are adding familiar vegetables into their diet, they do not feel we are forcing them to change their food habits.
No, we are not including meat into patients’ diet. But for some diseases such as muscular dystrophy, degenerative diseases and mainly for the brain-related diseases like Parkinson, we need some non-vegetarian food as a carrier for their medicine.
For example, for the Parkinson in some case, there is the lack of dopamine in their brain cells. It is more beneficial for that patient, if we are preparing some mutton. In muscular dystrophy or the multiple sclerosis or similar, we need to prepare some medicated muttons too, or medicated chicken soup. If we have a patient with fever, if the fever is chronic with some viral infection, we need to give them medicated mutton soup or the chicken soup, so only a medicated dish.
Yes, non-vegetarian food can be also ayurvedic, but if when you're in a treatment process, it is better following vegetarian diet. Especially if you are treating a metabolic disease, you should be a vegetarian. But if you are treating a degenerative disease, you need some fat in your body. For that, we need the chicken or the mutton, preferably organic.
Definitely. I don't believe in a complete vegan diet. Vegan diet is only for a Kapha-dominant person. If you are a Vata-dominant person, your body needs some non-veg food.
The most people in Europe are Vata-dominant because of environment conditions. In the winter time your appetite is really high, so also Christmas is celebrated that time, you need more food and you can digest heavy substances during this period. You fast before the Easter, because body needs start self-cleaning process before the Summer. In the winter time in Europe you need also bit of alcohol sometimes, but in the Arabic countries the alcohol is strictly prohibited because of the hot climate.
Ayurveda says for a wise person it is better to avoid alcohol. Some medicines contain an alcohol, but it is not recommended the regular consumption. If you need to take the alcohol, it's recommended only for the winter time. In the summer time, there is a special type of drinks which you should drink. Ayurveda is not against alcohol, but it should be used in the wise way.
Everything has a benefit and bad effect. If you are drinking a coffee or tea, it will not harm your body. If you are eating a sugary food, it will not harm you. But if you're drinking only the coffee, if you are eating only the sugar, that makes you the problem.
We are advising the person who is addicted to the coffee, to take it in the morning time only. In the morning the circadian rhythm of the body and melatonin secretion is strong. Drinking a coffee will enhance the melatonin secretion stopping process. In the night time, the melatonin increases production and if you drink the coffee at that time, your sleep will be disturbed.
In Kalari Rasayana during the treatment process we do not allowing any coffee or any tea.
Garam masala, we are not using, but we are using the different herbs as the spices. We are using the long pepper, cinnamon, cloves, or the nutmeg, everything we are using according to the patient's need. We can't say you're taking spices here, you're taking the medicines here!
We're not avoiding any taste or spices, but we use them in a wise manner. If you have a vata or kapha related problems connected with the metabolic diseases, at that time, you need a ginger or garlic. If you have high cholesterol, garlic or tamarind will be really healthy for you.
From all the spices, we are using mainly the ginger, but in some cases, I'm completely avoiding ginger in the diet. I'm using only the cardamom or the coriander, because if you have the pitta problem, the spices are not good for you.
Definitely, the age of the patient is an essential part. Ladies in menopause have the hormone fluctuations. They have more pitta-related problems. We need to give some pitta cooling calming substances and also while treating other health problems, we are considering it.
But I would say, that in Kalari Rasayana, which is certified as hospital, we have more patients with the genuine diseases. Menopause is only symptom of our body but we are treating some diseases such as Parkinson, muscular dystrophy-like diseases, diabetes and etc.
Yes, diabetes is one of the metabolic diseases, which can be cured by ayurveda treatments and diet. Diabetes is connected with problems with high blood pressure, cholesterol, uric acid and etc. We can see differences in blood test results within few weeks. All the civilization diseases are connected to lifestyle and diet habits.
We are treating patients individually and for some cases we do not need any clinical tests, but for some more serious ones we do blood test, cholesterol or TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test and also, we request patients to send us medical reports from their own doctors before arrival.
We are not tourist ayurveda resort, we are certified hospital and also from legal point of view we have to document treatments and write like in a classical hospital. That's the main difference.
Well, as I said, we are not resort, but certified hospital with high standards so we are following standards for clinical nutrition.
If you are serving food in the buffet system and offering ayurveda treatment, you have to think about Viruddha Aahar concept. The food that has improper combinations or is wrongly processed is called Viruddha Aahar.
There are18 types of Viruddha Aaharas. They are based on your climate, food preparation, capacity to digest or they are based on your disease. There is 18 points you should discern. The dosha type is only one point. That is why I consider buffet based on the vata, pitta kapha type not suitable for holistic healing.
Yes, in Kalari Kovilakom you get the fruits for breakfast. You can choose only one kind of the fruit, it can be different every day and eat it as much as you wish.
In Kalari Rasayana we are serving fruits for breakfast only if patient got heavy dinner previous day. If they get a light dinner, then we are serving heavy breakfast, but same day they might get only fruits for dinner.
There are no strict rules in Kalari Rasayana, we can change diet according to patient needs and treatment results. For example, to person, who is kapha dominant or have upper respiratory tract infection, we can't give the fruits in the morning time because morning is a kapha dominant period. At that time, we are serving some spicy food.
"The food prepared with love is medicine. Women are creators, they have ‘shakti power’ in their hormones and blood. That is why we give importance to mother. If there is a God, there is a mother for the God."
Founder & Director of Ayurveda Trails, healing collection of (extra)ordinary people and their stories, whose experiences are transferred into various trails shared by travelers.
CGH Earth Hotels & Resorts create travel experiences that let you explore nature, community and culture intimately. These experiences are themed around you - your awareness and aspirations!
ayurveda trails pvt | © 2018