The Sparsh Diet
At Sparsh, we believe very strongly in the concept of treating food as medicine even in traditional Indian medicine food is considered not only as fuel for the body but as a medicine.
It is very challenging to understand the intricacies of the working of the individual body let alone the mind. What we take inside in the form of food helps us manufacture our bodies and according to some schools of thought for most people it also influences the manufacture of thought.
We pay a lot of attention to eating right and managing the disease through food. It has always been a traditional belief in India about the role of food and its influence on disease, but now even the western medicine has acknowledged the role of food not only skin conditions but many other medical conditions.
It is not uncommon for patients to ask their doctors in India after each consultation about ”parhez”, which means what should be avoided and had in their lifestyle or any changes they need to make for a speedy recovery.
THE CLASSIC WESTERN MEDICINE DIET WAY
The classical western medicine take on the diet is taking into account the fat, protein and carbohydrate content, the vitamin-mineral content of food, and other factors like the physical activity level of the patient at this stage of life. Certain foods need to be avoided in specific diseases.
It is only recently that the western medicine dietitian has started to take into account the method and ways of cooking also.
You will be surprised to find the acronym in many books called the SAD or sad which literally means ‘Standard American Diet’.
The Standard American Diet or a Standard Western Diet has always failed to account for the hidden nature of food, the character, the medicinal effects of food and synchronizing them or co-relating them with the person’s body type. As far as the body type concept is concerned the body types in the west are very broadly classified into mesomorph, ectomorph or endomorph, and there is no correlation between these types and the nature of the person at the mind.
THE ALTERNATIVE WAY OF DIET MANAGEMENT
The way we manage diet at Sparsh with our chief dietician Mrs. Robina is by trying to incorporate what we have learned in the newer developments and newer learnings of the western diets and dietetics and combining it with the classical traditional wisdom that we have.All our diet plans are only based on the body types of people, we factor in their tastes, lifestyle, BMI amongst many other factors to determine a body type.
The treating physician Dr. Aman and; or the naturopath along with the consulting associate ayurvedic physicians are always considered a part and parcel of the diet consult, all the team members are taken into the loop to formulate a customized diet plan for 2 to 3 weeks for each patient.We factor in seven basic body types, the three pure individual body types like what the Vata-Pitta-Kapha, and various combinations of those.
The influence of different foods is different on different body types.
- General history of the diet patient has been taking
- Patient’s preferences and the possibility of experimenting with diet.
- Body type evaluation by device or body type valuation with a questionnaire and clinician evaluation
- Correlation with clinical diagnosis and existing problems.
- Going on as Natural in a diet as possible, finding a natural substitute for everyday things with preservatives like bread and some specific deletion if required.
- Going on a predominantly macrobiotic and vegetarian diet for some time, maybe going Vegan for some specific body types for short periods of time only.
- Finding antidotes to habits and foods which may not be helpful for the patient, for example, finding an antidote for coffee or excess alcohol in certain specific conditions as and when needed.
- Giving up FADs and accepting FACTS—”EAT FOOD NOT FAD”
- Giving up plastics in the kitchen including nonstick–fat may be safer to ingest than plastic!!
SOME TIPS & TRICKS TO EAT HEALTHY
- Maintain a diet diary of whatever you are taking in, this makes you more conscious and aware of what you are eating.
- Avoid eating while doing something else, like eat and watch TV, or eat and read or eat and work on devices, eat in peace and enjoy what you eat
- Even if multitasking, eat mindfully, and while doing something else with eating make sure the mind is tasting and chewing the food properly and feel the food that you are eating even if you are involved in doing something else along with eating. Momentarily bring attention to food.
- Keep use of processed food and preservatives to as minimum as possible.
- Eating fruits and sugars with a meal of grain like wheat and rice is a wrong combination. Avoid such behaviors, separate the time by 30-90 minutes between the two and eat fruit first, followed by regular food.
- Avoid combining milk/curd and fruit together.
- Don’t judge food by its chemical analysis only, for example, the same beetroot for increasing hemoglobin levels may not be the best for all body types and may do some harm instead of good. Same food may have different effects on different people, according to their body type.