What is Nutrition? Student Blog Part 3

First let us look at the word nutrition. What does it mean? Nu-tri-tion- The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. - nourishment

American nutrition has a long history of over coming hardships from the effects of being such a new country, war, and natural disasters. When settlers first came to america they were faced with many challenges. Unless settling near port cities one would find them selves eating off the land and followed more of a seasonal diet. In more populated communities with a diverse amount of people you could find a diverse diet similar to the homelands from which they came.

After WW2 The american economy had tanked. Through the process of solving how to feed the troops abroad the processed foods industry was born. Finding that by processing foods, heating them to extremes and adding chemical derivatives the shelf life of a product was prolonged by a considerable amount, and can be sold for very little money.

There was also a campaign to popularize the consumption of meat and dairy in the late 40's. This created factory farming and therefor many jobs, which is why there is so much marketing, and support from the government to keep the people consuming mass amounts of meat and dairy. It is interesting that some of the largest government subsidiaries are corn, sugar, dairy, and beef. The FDA even ran campaign saying that high fructose corn syrup is a healthy source of sugar. High fructose has been proven to cause cancer, as well as over consumption of meat,and dairy products.

Growing up a meal just wasn't complete with out a serving of meat (protein + fat ), a generous portion of some kind of starch like potatoes or bread (carbohydrate) a small amount a vegetables (micronutrients), and of course there was always dessert.

It seems to me that American diet is heavily influenced by big business, marketing companies, and in turn government. There is an idea that a calorie is a calorie, and all foods effect all people the same. Ayurveda sees the intake of food as a means to create and sustain harmony and balance in the individual, as well as the collective. Not eating foods that are harmfully produced, that negatively effect the planet and our selves.

Ayurveda- life science, knowledge, intelligence. Ayurvedic philosophy looks at many things when recommending a diet for an individual. Acknowledging that we are all pranic beings vibrating within different frequencies. Ayurveda also acknowledges that plants and animals are also pranic beings vibrating at different frequencies. Depending on your prakruti, vikruti, digestive movements, amount of acidity in the body, clarity in thought process, emotional state of being, quality of relationships, and many many more factors are considered when recommending a diet. But it is not just a diet it is an act of healing and self love. Food is a manifestation of Gods love, our relationship with food is a reflection of our love for self and God. An Ayurvedic diet encourages eating local, organic whole foods, to avoid creating negative karma. Everything that you ingest has a vibration or karma be it negative or positive. You ingest all the karma that the food has absorbed. The main focus of Ayurvedic diet is to balance the rasa for your individual experience.

In all I would say that Ayurveda is a science that uses intelligence rooted deep in Love, to create healing meals for the individual. Ayurveda says that what nourishes and is good for me may actually put you out of balance. Ayurveda looks to treat the whole being as a unique phenomenon. Where as western nutrition says what is good for one is good for all. Just count your calories.

I realize that with change comes some amount of fear but there can also be great excitement. Changing our concepts, ideas,and relationship with the foods we eat can be a challenge. But you do not have to take it all on at once. It is your inherent nature to be drawn towards balance, and Ayurveda is here to show you the way.

By Nicole Gleave
AWP BLOCK 2 Student