These plans should serve as a basis. For best results you should adjust things to fit your individuality. Using this plan for 21 days will give you a good idea where to make adjustments. Without the advice of a professional Ayurvedic doctor or trained practitioner I would advise you to follow the guidelines for the plan best suited for you for the 21 days, after which you can begin to make adjustments. These are general guidelines.
Another noteworthy point is that I am beginning with people who may be eating a “Standard American Diet” (SAD). Thus, the plan includes information on reducing canned, frozen and processed foods from the diet. If you already eat a whole food diet, but find that you are unsatisfied with it, look closer at the times to eat (see chapter 12) and which foods are the best for you from the lists in chapter 15. This will usually make sufficient enough changes to help you become healthier. Please note that there is a certain amount of humor in these plans to lighten the changes!
Day 1- The first thing to do is to convince yourself that there is life after dinner (or breakfast, or lunch). This is not so difficult because when you are not eating you can be thinking about what to buy, how to cook it, then you can actually cook it, and then, you can eat it. Actually, this is what you may be doing now. Avoid this kind of scenario. Take the time to plan your meals carefully and cook tasteful, enjoyable food. But don’t live around food and eating. If you can manage this you have made the primary step. Skip breakfast, you don’t need it anyway. If you are hungry at 10am or 11am eat some fruit (it grows on trees).
Day 2- How are you feeling today? Sluggish? Tired? Begin by getting your digestion going so you can stop the tendency of tissue accumulation. Look in chapter 13 for the digestive spices that suite your constitutions. Buy them and grind them up into a powder. Take them twice a day after your main meals. Also go buy some fresh ginger root and see if you can eat four to eight slices of fresh, pealed ginger root before lunch and dinner. Add a little salt on them. The purpose of this is to increase your digestive capacity. If you can’t eat (or find) the ginger root use the powdered spices alone.
Day 3- Stop drinking all soft drinks like colas. Remember what the clear liquid is called? (Water?) Drink it instead. Anything cold or ice cold should be treated as if it was radioactive (it probably is anyway). Avoid all ice-cold beverages as if your life depends on it (it does). Drink warm water with meals or not at all. Drink coffee only in the morning. Remember morning? It is the time that you normally drink a liter of that black stuff to get out of bed.
Day 4- Go through your cupboard and give all of your oil back to Texas, it will kill you quicker than anything else. Buy some ‘cold-pressed’ sunflower oil for emergencies or visitors. Basic rule – you don’t need any, don’t use it. If you have margarine or shortening throw them out immediately before they jump into your arteries and turn to plastic.
Day 5- Go through your cupboard (the other one) and throw out all of the cake, brownie and pudding mixes. Also throw out the three bags of white sugar. Buy fruits and honey. During the next few weeks if you feel like having sweets take a half of teaspoon of honey in warm water. Send your stash of chocolate to Siberia – they need it up there. While you are in the cupboard throw out the canned and boxed food also. Eat less!
Day 6- Once these nutritional sins are eliminated we can start on changing the food! Beans, beans, the magical food! If you never thought much about beans it is because you never knew all things that you could make from them. Look for cook books that have titles like: “How to Make Four Million Bean Dishes in an Afternoon”. These kinds of books will help you to realize that beans are a versatile food. But today start by going and buying whole grains, vegetables, fruits and a few beans. Cook some and see what happens.
Day 7- Start eating vegetable soups (that you make) in the evening with salads. Avoid meat or fish in the evening. It is better for you to eat heavy foods (animal products) at lunchtime.
Day 8- It is best to become friends with a cow – cows are better friends than many people – anyway if you eat any dairy at all you will end up looking like a cow. Cut your dairy consumption in half today. Do not use any low fat dairy products, buy full fat and dilute with water if you need to have dairy. Stop eating cheese altogether.
Day 9- Look closely at what kinds of grains you can eat. Wheat is very fattening and should be avoided. Bread is problematic because of the wheat and yeast inside. Better grains are those that are diuretic like barley, rye, corn, quinoa and buckwheat. Start avoiding all breads and pastries other than rye breads (non-yeasted is best). Wholegrain pastas are OK.
Day 10- Stop taking all forms of sugar – in any form, no candy bars, etc. This means that you cannot buy any kind of refined or processed food as they all have sugar in them. You can still take the honey water when needed or use small amounts of honey on other things. (Please note that once you have gotten off sugar and broken the addiction you will not only have more energy, lose weight easily, but you will find your sense of humor returning. Perhaps in a few months you can have some sugary stuff, but for the time being avoid like the plague – it is just as deadly.)
Day 11- Stop being depressed about not having sugar – it is just a withdrawal symptom! Get into cooking some very tasty vegetarian dishes. Variety in food is what will help the most. If you are trying to lose weight don’t mix too many foods together in one dish. Simple preparations are simple to digest. Now is the day to get serious about how much coffee you are drinking. However, much it is it’s too much. Coffee is like sugar and you will have far more energy when you get off of it completely. Reduce what you drink in half today.
Day 12- Now is the time to really eat less. Cut your amount of food by 1/3 in quality. Be strict about this as it will take time for your stomach to shrink a bit. Don’t be extreme in any direction! Remember desserts do count and you need to avoid them completely for the time being. Begin to use more spices in cooking, they will help everything from sugar withdrawals to digestion.
Day 13- By now you’ve realized that eating too many beans in a meal is as bad as having no dessert (only different). Plan your meals with a little of everything. You can keep food for two days in the fridge (Traditional Ayurveda says don’t eat food that is not fresh, but we have to start someplace!). Another possibility is to cook four or five portions of a dish and freeze the other portions. This is a way to have a variety of food on your plate without cooking for two hours at each meal. This helps psychologically – do it.
Day 14- Congratulations! You are still alive! Check yourself out and make sure you are still alive (pinching works well). Jog around the refrigerator twenty times to show it who the boss is. Cook something Italian to boost your psychology and to please your stomach.
Day 15- Time to use that last box of brownie mix that you had hidden in the back of the cupboard, after all, you are starting the third week already! But really, this is the last dessert for a while!
Day 16- Limit all dairy use to once or twice a month. Cut your coffee consumption in half again. Remember coffee is like a credit card – the bill still arrives – only later. Beat yourself for not taking your digestive spices religiously – do it now.
Day 17- Buy stock in a spice company – use the spices liberally to support your investment. They taste better than technology anyway. Keep the level of spices moderate but consistent in your cooking – the idea is not to burn your mouth, but to stimulate digestion. If you have gas, burning or other signs of indigestion you may be using too many spices at once or too much of any one. Spicing food is an art! Take your time to learn it.
Day 18- Reduce once more the amount of food you eat – stop once and for all the second helpings. Keep your plate not more than ¾ full at any meal.
Day 19- Limit your consumption of meat and fish (if you eat them) to twice a week in the middle of the day. Never mix dairy and meat or fish together – at any time.
Day 20- Invite a Vata and Pitta type over for dinner because they are both generally lousy cooks. They are really missing a good five-course meal. Make them a vegetarian extravaganza and stun them – they’ll never forget you. Be aware not to accept the coffee machine or to buy stock after the meal.
Day 21- Heavy oily foods and animal products are best avoided as they congest and clog your system. Keep your digestive capacity high with spices and by eating less food. Eating two meals a day is enough for you, eat fruit if you need more energy between meals. By following these simple steps you will maintain your health.