My blog posts have been very outwardly focussed so far, on habits, rituals, and routines that make up a holistic lifestyle. I understand that what we put into our bodies effects us enormously - so today we are covering ‘what a naturopathy student eats’. The reason I haven’t covered many food topics so far is because my passions lie heavily in herbs, ritual and creation - however this is an important topic for holistic health so expect to see more from now.
So, what does a naturopathy student eat ?
My eating habits are fairly intuitive - I listen to what my body is telling me; which in the beginning can be hard to distinguish between the ‘needs’ and ‘cravings / wants’; but if you keep listening you will realise what these are. I like to eat based on the weather, and also somewhat follow the Ayurvedic principles of the doshas eating habits. ( if you have no idea what I’m talking Ayurveda is India’s traditional - and main, medicine philosophy & practice, and doshas are how body constitution is determined. ) I am a vata, so I like warming foods, in the sense of both temperature and flavour. I tend to have a weaker agni ( or digestive fire ) so something I always make sure to include is a form of gut healing food - for me this is usually a bone broth or miso, but in the summer months I’ll incorporate Kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. The bone broth helps to heal and protect the gut lining, while fermented foods like sauerkraut deliver beneficial bacteria to the gut microbiome that aid in proper food digestion.
Going back to cravings and needs - something I eat almost every morning is oats with blueberries and cinnamon. This is my staple breakfast because the oats help to keep you full for longer, they provide your body with beneficial soluble fibre, they are warming and nourishing for the body. Blueberries are great antioxidants, as well as important for brain functioning, so these little babies will not only help to neutralise free radicals causing inflammation in the body, but will also help keep you focussed while studying. Cinnamon contains an array of active constituents, like polyphenolic polymers - these help to balance and regulate insulin and blood sugar levels ( meaning you are less likely to have cravings or a crash later in the day ).
The time that I have this breakfast depends on my schedule for the day - however I’m a huge believer in only eating when you are hungry. The reason for this is due to your agni - if you’re not feeling hungry it’s because your body is physically not ready for food. In order for food to be broken down, digested, absorbed and excreted, a lot of processes must take place ( think release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, bile from your liver and a number of enzymes for starters ); so if you put food into your stomach when you’re not really hungry but it’s “time” to eat you will end up feeling bloated, maybe nauseas, and most likely tired. This is about tuning in to your body again - if you think you’re hungry literally ask yourself ‘ am I actually hungry? ‘. A lot of the time we think we’re hungry but really we are dehydrated and thirsty; another trap many people fall into is eating out of habit - eating snacks when watching TV, eating because they feel bored, or eating because its the ‘normal’ time to eat. Once you are aware of these habits or routines, you will be able to stop and ask yourself the question ‘am I actually hungry’.
For lunch a lot of the time I have extra food made from the night before - this might be a nourish bowl, a soup, stir fry, veggie stacks, home made healthy pizza or few bits and pieces I’ve made into a wrap. I like to keep my lunch fairly light so that I don’t feel tired or sluggish going into the afternoon. This is normally the time where I have my bone broth as well.
Throughout the day I do also like to snack, so I’ll bring with me nuts, seeds, and small pieces of fruit like grapes or berries. If I’m feeling like I need an extra boost of nutrients I’ll make myself a fresh fruit and veg juice, or a succus ( herb juice ). I also drink a few cups of herbal tea every day, and I love to have either and almond milk or black coffee in the morning - however I make sure to drink at least a cup of water and have a caffeine free tea before hand. In terms of treats - something I love to do is create healthy raw treats at home, to take with me to uni for the week.
I like to have dinner pretty early if it’s possible ( depending on what time my partner and I get home ), around 5:30 - 6 and be finished by 7. This is because I like to go to bed early and like to have my food digested before going to sleep. The reason for this is because during the wee hours of the night our body is undergoing a lot of restoration and healing - however if you have food sitting in your stomach needing to be digested, this healing wont properly take place. I also just find it incredibly uncomfortable going to bed with a full stomach. My dinner foods are the same sort of things as lunch, and I always cook with herbs and spices that have beneficial properties. After dinner I go through my night rituals, which include having a Holistically Living sleep tea; I created this blend to aid digestion, reduce bloating, and also promote a sense of calm and sleepiness. With herbs like lavender, chamomile, peppermint and lemonbalm you’re almost assured a good nights sleep and a happy tummy !
I hope you enjoyed this little overview on what a student naturopath likes to eat. Recipe posts are also soon to be a part of this blog, so if you’d like something a little more specific; please stay tuned. If you like this blog post, leave me a comment below!