Interview with Dr. Japa Khalsa and Foods to Support Your Health and Healing
Last week’s post on Diabetes support, we uncovered some of the risk factors for people who might be heading toward a blood sugar handling issue with Catherine Veilleux, CFNP. If you missed it, take a few minutes to look at the interview for some great information. This week, my interview is with Dr. Japa Khalsa. She’s a fabulous wealth of knowledge with a bit of a twist on what’s commonly known about Diabetes.
We double up on some of the information given in last week’s post, such as how people from different parts of the world may be more susceptible to Diabetes. She raises our awareness that the large portions, high intake of sugar and fruits are new to our bodies in the past 100 years, and that our bodies are actually designed to go through longer intervals without food.
She dives deep into foods to eat, foods to avoid and when to eat different foods. She even talks about having your veggies for breakfast, instead of the sugary pastries that are common in our western culture.
I love that she starts off with talking about how we all are born with a ‘Chi account’. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM for short), ‘Chi’ is our energy flow. Some people have more robust Chi than others. She talks about how we’re all given a certain amount of Chi when we’re born that’s given, mostly by our parents. This can be from our gene pool, the foods that our mother’s ate or maybe didn’t eat when she was pregnant with us, and even possibly what her stress levels were like when we were conceived and in-utero. All of this contributes to what we’re born with and may contribute to what level of health we enjoy during our lifetimes. All of this can effect whether we’re more pre-disposed to certain disease processes, how much junk food we’re able to eat before it affects us negatively (and why others can eat, drink and smoke as much as they want without any seemingly negative consequences….not fair, right?!). Apparently, though, even if some of us weren’t blessed with robust Chi when we were born, the good news is that we have the ability to change that through our lifestyle choices.
In TCM, it’s said that an over-abundance of sugar during the day can affect the spleen (in TCM, the spleen and pancreas are part of the same energy channel), liver, and adrenals. It may cause an over-stimulation. Over-indulgences such as too much sugar, fruit, white, processed flour effects the spleen negatively and can lead to an inability to process sugar. Once the spleen/pancreas is over-stimulated, it will start the cycle of needing more stimulation to keep that process going. What this means is that it’ll keep you craving sweets for the rest of the day.
Tips and Tools to Stop the Cycle of Cravings and Over-stimulation
Many people are over-stimulated from ongoing, over-consumption of sweets and simple carbohydrates.
We’ve got some tips to help slow down and stop the cycle:
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods. If you’re not sure what ‘processed foods’ are, just think ‘anything in a package’. If it’s in a package, it’s been processed.
- Minimize baked goods. Anything baked contains processed sugar or sweeteners and flours. When anything is processed, it strips away the nutrients naturally occurring in the whole food that might actually be nutritive. If you are pre-disposed to Diabetes or blood sugar handling issues, keep this to a minimum. These foods deplete the liver, spleen and pancreas energies, so that they’re not able to keep up with insulin production.
- Instead of rewarding yourself with sweets, find an alternative ‘reward’. Instead of the “I worked hard today and deserve a piece of chocolate cake with ice cream”, consider an alternative award like sitting down to your favorite TV show, enjoying an herbal tea with a friend, making a plate of cut-up veggies and olives, giving yourself a foot massage or a bubble bath.
- If removing items from your diet seems too difficult right now, considering adding more ‘good stuff’ in.
- Start with a green smoothie
- replace one meal a day with a good salad
- instead of snacking on chips or candy mid-afternoon consider filling a baggie with jicama sticks sprinkled with salt and lime, carrot and celery sticks with hummus, or apple slices with almond, peanut or cashew butter.
- Add ‘Prosperous Farmer’ tincture to your routine.
- You can order this on Amazon or get from your local Doctor of Oriental Medicine. This helps to tonify your spleen, liver and pancreas, which can help support your body to balance blood sugar. As per the usual, make sure you’ve talked with your health care practitioner before starting anything new!
- Take smaller portions. Overeating stresses the digestive system, nervous system, and pancreas/spleen. By simply taking less food at each meal, you’re giving your system an opportunity to take a break and balance.
So, I hope this helps give you easy-to-do tips that you can implement right now into your daily healthcare routine. Anything that you’ll try does take commitment and discipline. Change doesn’t happen on its’ own without commitment. Real change requires small, everyday changes to have a big impact. Sometimes our health challenges can feel overwhelming and defeating, I know….I’ve been there. I also know that any small change that we make today, with a commitment to sticking with it can make positive impact in the long run. You’ve got this!
Lots of love and hugs from beautiful Northern New Mexico where the sky is blue and the lilacs are in bloom,
My Challenge to You
What’s your biggest challenge? Sweets? Pastries? Pies? Over-eating? Eating a doughnut for breakfast?
Whatever you find your struggling with the most, consider making a 11 day commitment to switching up your routine. If you find that you need a sweet treat around 3 pm everyday, plan ahead and take a container of olives, cut up veggies and fruit to sub-out for that cookie or candy bar.
If you find that you’re always reaching for that second helping of pasta for dinner, consider drinking a glass of water prior to eating and simply have one helping of pasta, or maybe skip the garlic bread.
…..Or do you grab a doughnut on the way to work every morning? Try a simple green smoothie that you can make the night before and blend up, throw in a jar, and drink in the car.