With a wagging finger, a thin one, covered with brown leathery Indian skin, he told me off. I must have looked devastated because he added: “OK. Maybe with milk, can take. But lot of milk. Little coffee.”
I nodded, taking notes. This Ayurveda consultation proved to be more difficult than anticipated. After all, wasn’t I eating healthily? Vegetarian, no alcohol, I wasn’t smoking. Tick, tick, tick. All the boxes. But yes, there was my coffee addiction. And Mr. Doctor had figured that one out quite quickly. How, I don’t know.
The session had started with him not saying anything. Assuming this silence was meant to prompt me to elaborate on why I was here (like you’d do at the doctor’s), I started explaining myself. “Shhh!” was the only thing he said. And then: “Can I see tongue?” Thankfully, this morning I had thought of using my tongue scraper. After my morning coffee, that is (turns out this is wrong too, but I’ll get to that in a minute).
“Can I feel your pulse now, please?” I extended my left arm and looking back, probably my racing pulse must have given me away, even though there wasn’t any trace of morning coffee on my tongue. Mr. Doctor put his finger on my wrist and looked up towards the ceiling. The moment wouldn’t pass. He half closed his eyes to read on the inside of his eyelids the story of my life. It must have been written there. Or else, all was magic. Because when he let go of my wrist he pretty much told me head on what was my job, what were my biggest fears, my worries in terms of health, my physical ailments and of course all areas in which I hadn’t used my full potential so far.
Remember, we hadn’t spoken as much as two half sentences so far? I was about to respond – but then I realised that he hadn’t asked anything. He was just here to tell.
We then went through my daily food habits, upon which he gave me his approval – or not.
Oats for breakfast? “Veeerrry good.” Indian head wiggle followed.
Handful of nuts as a snack? “Veeerry carrreful. OK to have a few. Not too many.” “So does that mean about 10-15?” “Can have 3-4. Not more.” Right. We were not talking about the same quantities at all here.
We kept on going through the list until he said something that totally threw me off balance.
“One thing I must tell you about grains. Do not eat buckwheat. Is very bad for you.”
“That’s so interesting you’re saying this. I cooked it the other day and when I sat down to eat I was repelled by it. I couldn’t get myself to swallow it and had to throw it away.”
I was in awe. He wasn’t surprised at all. “This is inner intelligence of body.” Head wiggle.
“What you do first thing in morning?” Thinking I could score a point here, I said: “I drink a glass of lukewarm water.” Obviously, wrong. “You have to brush teeth first and clean tongue. Otherwise you swallow all waste products from overnight.” So apparently overnight yummy stuff accumulates in your mouth. You need to get rid of it first. Before drinking or eating.
We sat down for about one hour and whatever I tried to tell him about my body, he knew already. I’ve never given Ayurveda much thought but I am converted now. I’m a big fan.
Having said that, I am typing this while sipping my coffee (yes, with a LOT of milk, Mr. Doctor). You simply can’t be good all the time.
What’s your experience with Ayurveda? And did you jump on the anti-wheat bandwagon?
Would love to hear your thoughts,
P.S. Since you’re asking – the most shocking revelation to me was that you must not (repeat: must not) heat honey. So no cooking with honey, and no tea with honey. Apparently, honey becomes toxic when heated. Yes, you’ve read that right. Toxic. Um.