Hi, I’m Dr. Achyuthan Eswar. I’m a Naturopathy and Yoga Physician, Founder of PHC Lifestyle Clinic and creator of Diet Fruitfully. I’m an absolute Foodie and had nearly become a Chef, before I found Naturopathy and transformed my life.
I’m the kind of person who would not be satisfied with a single dish on a plate. My dream meal was a Kerala Sadya – a super sized banana leaf with at least 25 varieties of dishes served one after the other. I would eat one dish in combination with every other dish, simply to enjoy the different flavours and combinations.
When I was in the ninth grade, I would take snacks and lunch from home – and buy snacks and lunch at the school canteen as well. I have eaten an ice cream every school day for two years – sometimes more than one. Even when I was unwell, I would stuff myself with food. I remember one day when I felt mildly feverish, but couldn’t stop myself from eating a Bhel Puri – and promptly vomited it all in the next class.
Every Deepavali, we would buy three new buckets with lids – to store the murukku, seedai, mixture, thattai, badushah, 7 cup cakes, jalebis, jangris and laddoos we cooked at home. We used 2 litres of oil every month, 2 litres of milk daily, and went out to eat every other weekend.
My sister Janani and I were discussing about our journey with food a few days back, and she said, “If we hadn’t found healthy food, we would all be in the hospital by now – or worse.”
Diabetes, hypertension, cancer, obesity, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, esophageal varices, gynaecomastia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, sinusitis, migraine, vulvitis, psoriasis, endometriosis, prolapsed intervertebral disc – these are some of the problems we had. And it was all because of our food.
We don’t anymore.
The good news is, we eat much more food now. We also eat much tastier food. We eat much more variety for each meal and enjoy our food a lot more than we ever did.
I’d like to invite on a journey to rediscover the lost tastes of India – and your lost health in the process.
This online course is based on a simple premise:
In Nature, Tasty Food = Healthy Food!
Every animal eats only food that it loves eating. When it does not like the taste of any particular dish, it simply does not eat it. The same rule applies to us. Food we enjoy must be the foods that keep us healthy. Unfortunately, today, most foods that we enjoy eating steal away our health and wellbeing.
The first step towards redefining your relationship with your kitchen is to redefine your relationship with your food. What are your favourite foods? What dishes do you enjoy eating the most? Which dishes do you love cooking? What do you love about it? Is it the taste, the texture, the smell, the way it look, the memories it brings back, or the combination of all of these?
Let us find out what actually makes us eat. Have you ever thought about it? There are so many reasons why we eat.
After a long day, after a tough workout, after a long walk, after a sun bath and a cold shower, you feel hungry and you eat. A physical sensation of hunger drives you to find food and eat.
When you’re bored, tired, upset, angry, irritated or stressed, you eat. Your mind makes you crave for tasty food. Taste is the second reason why we eat. Comfort food, we call it.
Any other reason you can think of will fit into one of these two categories.
Have you noticed, when you’re hungry, anything and everything tastes great? All you need to do is get your hands on some food and you’re ready to gobble it down!
But let’s talk about taste.
We all have our favourite food. Most of us have multiple favourite dishes! We crave for these, we feel happy when we eat them. We even have favourite restaurants, specific restaurants for specific dishes, favourite dishes to cook, flavours we like and flavours we don’t. Most of us will also agree, nothing can ever beat amma’s cooking. Cooked and served with love – that gives a whole different flavour to the dish, doesn’t it? The entire gastronomic world is build around the way food – or food products – taste.
When you read about this online course, we told you that we’ll be teaching you a way to supercharge your taste buds and tap into your tongue’s instinct. Today’s we’re going to show you the first steps of this method. Our secret weapon is called Mindful Eating.
It’s a simple yet powerful idea that can radically transform your relationship with food – for many people, for the rest of their lives!
At PHC Lifestyle Clinic, we approach food from an angle you may never have thought about before. You see, diets don’t work! When someone goes on a diet, how long does it last? Have you been on a diet anytime? Most people on a diet don’t go beyond the one month mark. The word ‘diet’ itself is restricting. You constantly feel like you aren’t eating what you want to eat!
Our intensive food workshop is called ‘Live to Eat’. Not ‘Eat to Live’. There’s a reason for this. We have evolved with a tongue so that we can enjoy eating good food! Don’t you agree? What’s the point of living if you can’t even taste good food anymore?
The problem is, our definition of ‘good food’ and ‘tasty food’ today are two opposites. We’ll be talking about this in detail during this course.
Without further ado, let’s get set!
Here’s the secret weapon to Super-Charging your Sense of Taste: Mindful Eating. It simply means enjoying your food completely. Every morsel, every chomp, lick and bite! Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Many times – most of the time actually – we eat something because we think we like, without allowing ourselves to fully experience it. When we do this, we are robbing ourselves of the complete enjoyment, the complete experience.
One of the questions we ask every person the first time they walk into our clinic is, “What do you do when you eat?” We get a whole bunch of answers –
I watch tv
I read the newspaper
I read books
I talk to the person sitting next to me
I call someone
I plan for the day
I think of work, family, kids etc.
Nobody ever says “I just eat, I don’t do anything else”.
Infact when we ask them to do this, the first thing that we hear is ‘this is going to be very difficult’, simply because they’ve never really done it before.
So, how do you enjoy food?
Here’s the first step:
Focus completely on eating.
This means that you must not do anything when you’re eating, regardless of whether you are eating a meal or a snack. No watching TV, reading newspaper, talking or listening to anyone, reading a book, checking your email, answering or making a phone call or any other activity except for eating.
Here’s how you do it:
- Prepare: Take everything you’re going to eat, on a plate or bowl. If you don’t do this, you may need to get up in the middle of your meal to take more food.
- Sit: Find a comfortable place to eat, without noise or disturbance. Explain to the people sitting with you what you’re going to do, invite them to join you for this activity!
- Look: Look at the food. Take a piece in your hand, feel the texture, the temperature.
- Smell: Take a sniff, inhale the aroma of the food. Enjoy this for one deep, long breath.
- Close eyes: Put it in your mouth and close your eyes. Closing your eyes is eye-opening, literally! When our eyes are open, we are so distracted we can never focus completely on food. Make sure they are closed after you put food into your mouth (This does not mean you close your eyes throughout the meal, and end up eating an insect! Please open your eyes to see what you’re putting into your mouth. Once food is in your mouth, please close your eyes to enjoy it completely.)
- Focus: As you chew, concentrate on the taste of the food, the texture, the temperature. Completely enjoy the sensation of eating yummy food. Once you’re done chewing, swallow the morsel and take another mouthful.
This are the first six steps to enjoying your food completely, the first six steps to eating mindfully. Please do this exercise for one snack or meal, do it completely, throughout the meal. Invite your family and friends to join in!
How can you create a bigger impact on your life?
Most importantly, write down what you observe. Remember, this is not simply a blog, but a powerful workshop that can totally transform your relationship with food. Do you remember what you ate for lunch last wednesday? Or, how much you enjoyed it? If we don’t record our observation, we will forget them.
So, buy a new notebook or create a google doc, whichever is convenient for you, and write down everything you observe – every thought that comes to your mind and every change you decide to make. Observe which foods you are able to intensely enjoy, and which you aren’t, when you eat mindfully. You’ll find that the taste of many of your favourite (and not-so-favourite) foods are totally different from what you previously thought. Write this down and share it on the main facebook event page, as comments on our blogs, where many others have shared their experiences:
Also, in case you haven’t signed up for the course, please sign up below to receive your Bonus Gift. Click the link to find out more:
Tomorrow, we’ll be teaching you how the sense of taste isn’t limited to the tongue alone – it’s a much more comprehensive activity than what you feel on your tongue. We’ll be teaching you how your other senses and organs are deeply involved in enjoying food, and how you can harness this to reach into your intuition and enjoy the right foods.
Be blessed by the Divine!