Written by John Immel,
"Nutritional science, which after all only got started less than 200 years ago, is today approximately where surgery was in the year 1650 - very promising, and very interesting to watch, but are you ready to let them operate on you? I think I'll wait awhile."
- Michael Pollen in Food Rules
Western nutrition focuses on content, where Ayurveda focuses on the qualities of food. Content include macronutrients (calories, proteins, carbs, fat) as well as vitamins & minerals in your food. Quality includes taste and the gunas (hot/cold, oily/dry, heavy/light, etc). The gunas show you how to be your own expert of food, and how it makes you feel. We've become used to relying on experts in the food industry to tell us what to eat, from the food pyramid, nutritional science, food packaging, government advisory boards (FDA), media, doctors, & diet books.
It a strange that we know about polyphenols, flavonoids, antioxidant, saturated fats, carbohyrdates. It's as if we've stopped seeing the food and see only the nutrients instead. Traditional food cultures, void of nutritional science don't suffer from chronic western diseases like diabetes & obesity. It's true that people are living longer in the west, but longer lifespans are due to gains in infant mortality, child health, public health, and surgery, not diet or pharmaceuticals. Human beings were healthy & ate well for thousands of years before nutritional science came along to tell us how to do it. It is possible to eat healthy without knowing what an antioxidant is.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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