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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Cloutier

My Ayurvedic Journey

People often ask me how I ended up in love with the science of Ayurveda….well, after they figure out what it is ha! It’s been a long journey to be honest with you. This could be a novel, but I’ll spare you!

Most of my life I’ve looked like the pillar of health on the outside. The inside has been a much different story. I’ll touch on 2 things I’ve dealt with throughout my life. The point of this post is to share the struggles I have gone through and to show how I’ve benefited from Ayurveda. This isn’t meant to be a catch all for everyone as we are all so different. Maybe you read this and can relate even a bit or maybe not, that’s ok!

First off, does anyone else live with anxiety? I don’t mean the kind you get before a test, before a date, or that fleeting feeling of anxiety. I’m talking about chronic, long term, general anxiety. Again, from the outside I looked happy and calm, but the inside was a mess. My mind never stopped. I worried about EVERYTHING and it was like that most of the time and most of my life. It hit rock bottom when I was in my mid-twenties and had my first full blown panic attack and ended up in the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack. After being discharged, I was sent to a therapist. Well, she helped, but barely at the time. I ended up back in the ER with another panic attack and was put on anti-anxiety medication. Now there is A LOT more that went on but that was the point I knew my anxiety was out of control. It took years of therapy and a lot of self-help to get to a point where I could manage it on my own and without medication. So, what does this have to do with Ayurveda? Hang tight, almost there.

My second issue, chronic digestion issues. I don’t mean digestion issues like a belly ache here or there, fleeting heartburn, or occasional diarrhea. I mean full on digestion issues. In Ayurveda there is a running joke that all we talk about is poop! Well, your poop tells a whole lot about your overall health. It’s common to go through spells of acute constipation or diarrhea when something has gone a bit haywire. Chronic issues are a whole different ball game. I was diagnosed with IBS in my teens. Throughout my twenties I was always told to just take Miralax and eat more fiber. Well, that didn’t work and I do not want to rely on anything to help my body naturally work. I pooped about once a week and usually had to take something. NOT NORMAL. Now, I’m not going to say any “diet” doesn’t work but there is not one cut and dry diet that works. I have tried plant based soooo many times after being told more beans and less meat will help with elimination. It NEVER worked. My issues kept getting worse.

Here comes Ayurveda. All the things I thought I was doing right, was completely wrong for my body. Salads, raw foods, beans, several small meals a day, and on and on. I was completely making my matters worse. When I learned about my body type, which in Ayurveda we call our Prakruti, I understood that all those “healthy” things were not helping me and instead were hindering me.

I began to change my diet slowly. I switched from sparkling water to warm water. This took a bit, I won’t lie, but now I do not enjoy cold beverages. I stopped snacking daily and focused on 3 meals at the same time each day with lunch being the largest. Again, this took time and it’s not always this way but that is OK! I steer clear of raw foods like salads and focus on warm and cooked foods. I can honestly say I do not miss salads or raw food at all. I do occasionally have a salad, but it’s rare. I work on having a daily routine with sleep, eating, working, school, exercise etc. Our body CRAVES routine so the more we find routine with our lives the happier our digestion system and mind is. And I started adopting some daily self care activities (check out the dinacharya blog post!)

So, what did I not get rid of? I still have a cup of coffee each day. I still have an occasional glass of wine. I still have dessert (not every night). I still go out to eat. I still have meat occasionally.

As I began to slowly implement small changes, my gas, bloating, and chronic constipation was relieved. Is it perfect? No, but it’s better than it was before.

Life is about balance. Balance in every aspect of life. I live Ayurvedically about 80% of the time and the other 20% I don’t. My body is at a point where it is ok with that!

As I said, this could be a book. There is so much to add and elaborate on but this is a good start. It truly brings me joy to share my story, experience, and knowledge with others. If you’re looking for a complete overhaul of your life or maybe one simply thing to change, let’s chat!

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Aug 22, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Your honestly is appreciated. Ayurveda was very intimidating to me at first and after reading this I felt like I could really relate to you and what you went through. And I'm glad I can still have coffee!

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