This week’s topic is: Boosting Energy the Ayurvedic Way with Dr. Jay
I am so excited to have a very special guest, Parla Jayagopal, B.A.M.S – or Dr. Jay as many know him here on the podcast, who is a renowned Ayurvedic professor and vaidya (Ayurvedic practitioner). Listen in as Dr. Jay shares his Ayurvedic insight into achieving abundant energy through fresh foods, herbs and spices!
About Parla Jayagopal, B.A.M.S
Dr. Parla S Jayagopal BAMS, MD (Ayurveda), MAOM (C)—or Doctor Jay as we affectionately call him—received his Bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic medicine and surgery (BAMS) after completing five and a half years of training from Bangalore University. He also pursued three years of education to receive a Masters degree in Ayurvedic herbology from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. Bangalore.
In addition to his twelve years of clinical experience, Dr. Jayagopal has traveled to Europe and Japan to propagate the science of Ayurveda. Currently he is teaching as chair and associate Prof. dept. of Ayurveda at American University of Complementary Medicine.
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Dr. Jay’s Interview
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly: Hey Beauties, welcome back to our Monday interview podcast, and I am super excited to have my personal teacher on the line with us today. He’s one of our favorite guests. It’s our beloved Dr. Jay, as we affectionately call him, Dr. Parla Jayagopal, who is a renowned Ayurvedic professor and physician. He has been trained in India for many years at Bangalore University. He, in particular, is a real specialist in herbology with a master’s degree in Ayurvedic herbology from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore. He teaches about Ayurvedic medicine all around the world, from Japan to Europe to all around the United States. He is incredibly wise and he has so much to offer us, so I’m excited to pick his brain today around the topic of energy, which I think a lot of us could always use more of, especially now in the winter months, when we tend to feel a little bit more sluggish and a little bit heavier. So we will get into all of that in just one moment.
Kimberly: I want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week and her name is Brookefromo, and she writes, “I’ve been going through one of the toughest times I’ve experienced, and instead of letting it get the best of me, I am battling back by focusing on myself and my wellbeing. Your podcast has truly helped provide so much direction in my life, and has opened my eyes to so much. I look forward to every podcast, as each episode is so insightful and relevant. You have truly made an impact on my life and I am so grateful.”
Kimberly: Oh, Brooke Fromo, thank you so much for your view. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug beauty. I know what it’s like to go through tough times. I’ve been through them myself. I know all of us have and I’m so happy that we can be together in this community to love each other and support each other, which is what this is all about, really. So thank you so much, and please keep in touch with me if there’s anything else I can do to support you. I’m here. I’m so glad you love the podcast and please submit any questions that you may have. And beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as our fan of the week and for me to send you a virtual hug and for me to read your beautiful words, please leave us a review on iTunes, which is free and easy and only takes a moment or two out of your day.
Kimberly: It’s a great way to support the show, and please also be sure to subscribe. That way you don’t miss out on any topics, on any information that could potentially be that one little piece of information that could change your life or come across something or one of our guests or one of our questions that really do make the difference or you could pass along to someone that could make a big difference in their lives. So anyways, subscribe, be part of our community, and life will just feel more inspired and connected. All right, all that being said, we have our amazing, speaking of community, our resident, Ayurvedic teacher and expert, Dr. Jay, who’s been waiting patiently on the line. Namaste, Dr. Jay.
Dr. Jay: Namaste, Kimberly. I’m admired and inspired by all the great work that you do, inspiring people. That’s awesome. That’s what is very important for community. I really [crosstalk 00:03:47] what you do.
Kimberly: Thank you. Dr. Jay, and I know you’ve been here in the United States, what, 13, 14, or 12 … How many years have you been here?
Dr. Jay: It’s almost 15 years now.
Dr. Jay: Yeah.
Kimberly: And I know coming from India, Dr. Jay, when I spent time in India, it was amazing how, in all these villages, all these, even cities, people would pass each other and they would talk and they were “strangers”, but there was this greater sense of less separation, we’re part of the community, we could chat about the weather or what’s at the market, and I was in a bit of a shock when you came to the United States and there wasn’t that same kind of community.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that’s the fabric that not only India, but Southeast Asian countries have [crosstalk 00:04:37]
Kimberly: Oh yes.
Dr. Jay: For their cultural upbringing is the fabric that is holding them all. You’re exactly true when you said that. It’s the connectivity. People feel no obligation to talk to strangers. This, it just, yeah, they just start a conversation and then by the time you realize you have shared all your pains and [inaudible 00:05:03] with them. It’s the spiritual connectivity, I think, that’s the most important that our community have to slowly nurture, because spiritual community, I mean, connectivity and community has no barriers where people freely communicate with love and affection rather than being hindered by ego or even fear and then anger, so which are necessarily are the biggest impediments and disease causative factors according to [inaudible 00:05:39].
Kimberly: You mean Ayurveda even talks about being isolated as a [inaudible 00:05:47] of disease?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, definitely, as humans were never designed to be isolated [crosstalk 00:05:54]
Kimberly: Right, right.
Dr. Jay: Physically and also naturally in the nature and in the the clans or the groups that we belong to, we freely communicated that we had complete total expression of what of our bodies and minds were going through, so there was no bottling up of any emotions [inaudible 00:06:17].
Kimberly: Well that’s one of the things I love and respect about Ayurvedic medicine so much is how let’s take the approaches and that it’s not just, “Oh here’s herbs to take and here’s food,” but it’s really about a total lifestyle.
Dr. Jay: Correct. You, you are pointing out that Ayurvedic philosophy, which says it’s a way of being. It’s just not a bunch of nutritional supplements or a diet to follow, but it is a mindset. People slowly have to integrate into their lifestyle so that they can feel complete, spiritually, mentally, and physically complete.
Kimberly: Well Dr. Jay, thank you for that. You and I have been in touch quite a bit here, because you’ve been such a wonderful guide in my pregnancy, now, just as my last pregnancy, sending me herbs when I was preparing to get pregnant and now in my second trimester and a lot of great information, which I’m excited to share more of in our plant-based pregnancy course, Dr. Jay, which we’re going to be releasing in May. So thank you for all your wisdom and the herbs and the practices. I’ve been enjoying it so much and I felt pretty great. But as pretty much every pregnancy, I think I do start to feel a bit tired. I think it’s different having a toddler, working full time, and now being pregnant. So this topic of energy, pregnant or not, is something that’s very much top of my mind right now. And like I mentioned, because it’s January and it’s cold, really cold out, we tend to eat heavier. It just feels like we’re kind of sluggish right now.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. So I’m really super excited about that plant-based pregnancy protocol or the course that you’re putting together. I think the community and your followers can really get benefit out of it. So I’m excited about it. Anyway, getting to the topic, energy, in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic sciences, is seen as something that’s freely available, abundant, and usable as, yeah, usable as the person’s will is. That’s how we look at energy.
Kimberly: What do you mean, Dr. Jay, that there’s abundant energy in the universe and we just have to learn to channel it more?
Dr. Jay: Exactly. That’s the word I was getting to, channeling. Yes. Channeling is what we need to learn. Channeling in the sense how do you keep the grosser channels in the body, which include the God and then the respiratory system, the circulatory system. Those are grosser, bigger and more obvious channels. But there are also subtle channels, the channels that carry the wider force like prana and then the channels that carry the emotional inputs, channels that carry the mind vibrations. These channels are also to be kept pristine and clean so that the energy works through us efficiently, because any blockage, any clogging would slowly spill over. Let’s say somebody has a mental block. It would not take much time for them to feel an emotional block, from emotional block to a digestive block.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, there is this sequential order in which they energy kind of gets stuck in the body, so it gets from the subtlest channels to the grossest channels, if it makes sense to you, Kimberly.
Kimberly: It does. So the subtle channels are feelings, thoughts, like mental things that aren’t yet seen, and then it becomes where it actually affects our organs. Is that sort of the general pathway?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, yeah. So let’s say that somebody, we look at ourselves as very experiential people, like we experience everything. So we, the experience, is affecting our psychic in many ways. Like something is favorable to me. Something is fearful to me. Something is offending me. Something is you’re not making me angry. These are seen as parts of energy that’s working through our emotional fields, and that’s when certain areas of the body get affected, if those energies are not timely mobilized or released and if they are stuck in an area. It may be an organ, it may be a tissue, it may be even like a channel.
Kimberly: So what are some practical tips? Let’s get into things that people can do, apply, eat in everyday life, Dr. Jay. I know this is a huge topic,` and I know here at Solluna, we talk a lot about emotional wellbeing. It’s our third cornerstone. We talk about journaling, we talk about community and sharing. We have our Solluna circle. So that’s a whole, that’s like a whole umbrella topic. But as far as, let’s just assume that everybody has some day-to-day stress and they bottle things up and none of us are perfect at releasing everything all the time. So what are some of the more simple, practical protocols that we can apply day to day to keep our channels as open as possible?
Dr. Jay: Okay. So let’s see. When you lit a match, when you burn a matchstick, matchstick releases a lot of energy when it burns, right?
Dr. Jay: So even I’m giving this examples to all of our listeners, because when you want to burn something, you need, obviously, a specific ingredient for burning, and every one of us will agree with me that we need oxygen. Oxygen helps us to combust, and combusting, the way that our physical body is designed is to break down the nutrients, and when we say breaking down, it’s basically oxidizing and combusting these nutrients to release energy. So if you make that process efficient by simply paying attention and being mindful to our breathing, so yeah, whoever is having energy crisis, they will notice that their breathing is somewhat off. So taking easy steps, very mindful steps, and then checking themselves if they are stressful, if they are having an episode of mental distress, where is my breath back into its normal state or am I holding my breath?
Kimberly: That’s great advice, because I do feel like when I get stressed, it’s so funny that we hold, because that’s when we need more breath, but it becomes almost like a learned response. Do you think we learn it in childhood somehow? I don’t know, but I do notice exactly what you’re talking about, where the breath isn’t slowing anymore.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, it is coming actually from the brain, the part of the brain that is responsible for basic functionalities like fright or flight. Even though the adrenals are responsible for it as well as we know that it is the glands, but originally, it is triggered by the brain. The midbrain that is responsible for these options automatically switches it, and our responsibility is that to reverse it, just to say, “Okay, now you said that,” and then we use a forebrain, which is the logical brain, to think about and say, “Is this necessary to hold the breath?” Or then reverse that saying, “Okay, I’m not in that situation. I can expand my breath and release my energy into my body rather than tightening and holding itself and then channelizing it through one or two specific pathways.”
Kimberly: Okay. That’s a great starting point. And that’s something that is free, it’s easy, it’s just something we have to be conscious of, is first of all, more oxygen, deeper breaths, not holding [crosstalk 00:15:31]
Dr. Jay: And I like that it is free.
Kimberly: Yeah, because sometimes it’s like, “Oh, another thing to buy,” or, “Is this really going to work?” And everybody’s trying to just sell a bunch of different, like a million different things. And I always say, Dr. Jay, is [inaudible 00:15:50], you don’t need that much stuff. We need a couple key supplements, a couple things, but there’s so much that we can do that is free, that is accessible. So starting with the breath, it’s very, very powerful. Love it.
Dr. Jay: The interesting part that, Kimberly, is that our body’s designed to work in this fashion, so you’re making it more efficient. That’s it. You’re not inventing something new in your body, you’re making it more efficient in deriving its energy by supplying more oxygen and helping it to break its nutrients down.
Kimberly: Love it. Okay.
Dr. Jay: So the second thing that we want to also look at is fresh food, no substitute for a fresh food, especially fresh fruits. Whatever is in season, that needs to be, because it’s packed with the life force, which we call asprana, which is related to breathing. But it is more so a intermediate factor between the mind and the body. That’s what we are looking at, how to optimize the energy between the body and the mind. So the breathing helps to optimize or bring up the energy in the body, but what do we do for the mind, because Ayurveda never separates the energy of body and mind. They’re going together.
Kimberly: Well, you know, Dr. Jay, this pregnancy, my number one craving has been fresh fruit. All I wanted to eat is mangoes and grapes and just all this juicy fruit, and this healer I talk to at times said, “Oh, fruit is the highest vibration food. Your child, the spirit, is very high vibration and wants that.” But I had thought, Dr. Jay, that I love to hear you say this by the way, but I thought that Ayurveda was sort of down on fruit, except for in the spring because it’s, I don’t know, because it’s raw and there’s a lot of cooked food in Ayurveda. So you’re saying, your perspective is actually fresh fruit all year, too?
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Seasonally. Whatever is available for us. Absolutely. The only thing that is a no-no, when you’re talking about Ayurveda cooked food is that the meals and the fruit have a special consideration in Ayurveda, because the fruits have certain kinds of nutrients and tastes which may interfere with regular metabolism that’s happening. Let’s say somebody eats a good rice and vegetables and the body is trying to digest it and the set of enzymes that it needs is different from when you eat a fruit. So fruit needs to be separated. It doesn’t mean that you have to eat fruit in a specific season, it needs to be separated from the main meals, and Ayurveda says you should have fruit, because that is one of the, like one of your health practitioners said, you have to have fruit, because fruit has a lot of rich prana, high vibration, as you said, and it is essential for us to increase our energy.
Dr. Jay: And at the same time, I want to caution our listeners that fruit cannot be a replacement for a meal.
Kimberly: Right. Sure.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, because people think, “Okay, I have a lot of vibration in the fruit. I’ll eat the fruit and I’ll be done.” No. Guts over a period of time have you evolved. We’ve been eating cooked food for 50,000 years, so that’s why the food has somehow has better relation to the gut when it is cooked, and fruits are better when it is raw. So that should not be combined together. That’s the advise that I would give.
Kimberly: I love that. We talk a lot about food combining here and eating fruit on an empty stomach, so this is completely in alignment, Dr Jay.
Dr. Jay: Yes.
Kimberly: Now what about, again, back to this idea of sluggishness, I know I’m eating a lot of fatty stuff right now. I just love almond milk, cream cheese. I love coconut milk. I’ve been making a lot of curry. I think it’s natural, because it’s cold out, but are there spices and herbs in particular to add to our cooking, even when we are eating heavier, that can increase our energy?
Dr. Jay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Ayurveda says that during the winter season or colder season, one should increase their intake in terms of richness of the food. Fats are absolutely fine. Even like sprouts, cooked bean, and nuts and butters, they’re wonderful in the season. But as you pointed out, are we able to break it down completely? If we are able to break it down 100%, then you get the energy out of them. They sit in the gut. Actually, they suck your energy, and then make you even more tired. So for that, the secret is these spices and the process. So I would say if you’re eating, let’s say you’re doing some almond cheese, almond milk cheese. So if you’re doing that, then I would add fresh herbs to it, like dill, mint, basil, fresh herbs, which have aroma also release energy, Kimberly. Yeah, so look at some of the really strong-smelling aromatics herbs. It may be thyme. It may be rosemary.
Kimberly: I mean, dill, I feel, is pretty distinct, too.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. So those were the [inaudible 00:21:51] when the heavy stuff goes in, they tend to clog the channels of the body, or constrict the channels. So these aromatic herbs are spices that help to disperse them and make them digest quite easily.
Kimberly: So you’d want the herbs to be raw, like raw basil, raw dill, is that what we’re talking here?
Dr. Jay: That’s right. Like mozzarella, for example. If you’re eating a mozzarella cheese, Italian way, [crosstalk 00:22:21]
Kimberly: Oh, no, Dr. David said no dairy. But yeah, it’s okay.
Dr. Jay: I’m just giving an example how it is done.
Kimberly: For sure.
Dr. Jay: You take a basil, a leaf, with it and then you eat it, right?
Dr. Jay: That’s the example.
Kimberly: It’s true.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Anything that’s heavy and rich and creamy, you need to supplement this. Let’s take that as a classical example and then use it for our vegan diet. That’s like take this heavy stuff, like a almond cream-
Kimberly: Yeah, the cashew cheese or the almond cheese.
Dr. Jay: Exactly. Add these herbs into them and then help it digest and get the maximum energy out of them.
Kimberly: I love that. I love it, Dr. Jay. Now what about spices? Because I know we talked about rotation a lot. I’m still making a lot of soup. I make the kitchari that you taught me to make all the time. So what are the best spices to keep our energy up?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, so the spices that are bitter and pungent. Bitter, we can use, fenugreek, or we can use turmeric, even like a bitter fennel or bitter cumin. So anything that’s bitter helps to clean up the channels of the body.
Kimberly: So cumin is considered bitter.
Dr. Jay: There is a black cumin or a bitter cumin that we can introduce our community. It’s called black cumin. It’s also known as black seed and it’s called as nigella. You may have heard of nigella for sure, cumin.
Kimberly: I haven’t. As far as skincare, black seed oil has become a really known ingredient for nourishing the skin externally, too, Dr. Jay.
Dr. Jay: Oh, is it? Okay.
Kimberly: Yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Jay: Something that I learned. So this oil on the seeds are very bitter. The bitter taste is something that in small quantities can help to release the energy from the food that we are taking in and also keep the channels clean, not clogging up. So we can take the grand, our friend, grand friend. Turmeric is, as an example, the turmeric can be sprinkled onto the cheese and mixed up or drink a tea of turmeric with your cashew cheese sandwich that you’re eating or something like that, you know?
Kimberly: Yeah. That’s my next question, Dr. Jay, is that usually with energy, a lot of us turn to coffee, or in my case, tea. I’ve been having not a lot of caffeine, especially mindful, of course, being pregnant, but I still will have some green tea. So caffeine becomes this addictive drug, this fallback. What energizing herbal teas can you recommend, whether it’s getting a tea bag made of tulsi or whatever, or fresh herbs or spices?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, very good question. We can use holy basil. The tulsi tea can be used. Dandelion root tea can be used, because these are pungent and bitter teas. Those can be used, even like a spearmint tea can be used, or we can make a spice tea together that that’s made from nutmeg, then turmeric. Nutmeg is the aromatic one, and then the turmeric is the bitter one, so those can be added together like a half a teaspoon of turmeric and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, added to licorice, which gives the sweet taste and it’s not … Licorice, another beautiful herb for energy that people can take, because licorice dilates the channels and then helps the energy to be perforated to [inaudible 00:26:32]. So there we go. We have a licorice tea bag and then a half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, and then at quarter teaspoon of nutmeg being added and that be drunk couple of times a day. I also want to give a caution to all of our community members that if they have high blood pressure, licorice should be avoided. Licorice does increase the blood pressure.
Kimberly: Well, what was the benefit of the nutmeg? I know the turmeric is the bitter and [crosstalk 00:27:03]
Dr. Jay: Nutmeg is aromatic, Kimberly, but also remember, nutmeg is a spice for bringing happiness in the mind, because when the channels of energy or the pathways in the body get cold and constricted by the cold climate, the mind kind of gets low and sluggish, and nutmeg is one of the things … That’s why we get all happy and excited about pumpkin spice, because the main ingredient in pumpkin spice is nutmeg.
Kimberly: So it’s a mood booster.
Dr. Jay: Correct. Nutmeg is a forgotten spice that we can bring in a as a winter spice and winter drink.
Kimberly: That’s wonderful, Dr. Jay. Nutmeg was in my fertility powder that you gave me when I was preparing.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. That’s because when you’re getting pregnant or you’re in the process of [inaudible 00:27:59] conception, the first channels that are going downwards towards the perineum gets closed because of the new life developing, so then the energy will not efficiently circulate. So the nutmeg is a very mild and pregnancy-friendly herb that can be used to keep the energy going.
Kimberly: And Dr. Jay, this is such a huge topic. I’m excited about our course in May and we’ll be interviewing you for it as well. And I remember I did a three-day whole course. Remember that whole course you taught at my first [inaudible 00:28:40] shop at Glow, all about pregnancy and fertility. I know there’s a lot that Ayurveda says about this, so we won’t get into it today because we’ll talk for like three weeks.
Dr. Jay: Yeah.
Kimberly: It’s amazing how much knowledge and wisdom there is within it, which I think is really needed in modern day, because so many people are struggling to get pregnant, Dr. Jay, as you know well.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Yeah, and I think India has it in its sculpture. You have gone to India, you know that.
Dr. Jay: People who are just married or getting pregnant, they have a ritual and a practice that is culturally bound to all the population. That’s, no doubt, we are the world’s largest population. We must be doing something right.
Kimberly: For sure. For sure. Okay. Dr. Jay, so getting back to energy from a … I love this idea, nutmeg, turmeric, and licorice. You keep talking about bitter herbs, like the cumin, the turmeric. Now the licorice is the first time I hear you talk about something sweet, and in the Western culture, in the Western world, besides caffeine, we are obviously so addicted to sugar, which is that madhura, which is that sweet taste. What does Ayurveda say when we abuse the madhura? Or how do we use madhura in a way that’s sustainable energy versus depleting us?
Dr. Jay: That’s a a very difficult situation that the modern civilization we have put ourselves into, because our mind wants something loving and sweet. As we started this conversation saying that we are lacking that fabric of culture and interconnectivity among the people, so we have moved away from that, surrounding ourselves with love and affection, so we crave the sugar and sweetness because that gives a sense of being loved. That’s what the sweet does, you know?
Dr. Jay: We do that and then our bodies are not able to process all that sugar that’s coming in that mind is craving, so if you become aware that it is not my body that is requiring it, it’s my mind, and move towards practices that help the mind to curb down this deep craving for sweetness, for love, and create communities like what you have like a beauty community that you have, and grow such kind of, enter into that kind of communities will make us to have less craving of sugar.
Kimberly: But there is a place for sugar. It is one of the six tastes, Dr. Jay, and I’ve made recipes with you that have honey and dates, things like that. So how do we find the balance with energy from the Ayurvedic perspective, too?
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Yeah, and definitely, sweet is one of the most nourishing and most life-promoting tastes, Kimberly. You’re not wrong at all when you say the sweet is so much in our diet. It is true, but the quantity, the time, the body types, all these need to be considered, because sugar is a personal affair. One can eat a lot of sugar and get away with it. One may not be able to process all that. So let’s go step by step how we can help our bodies to digest or curb down sugar. Both curbing down as well as digesting it. Sugar can be digested if it is taken along with lunch, any meal. That’s the secret. Don’t want to take too much of sugar at the end of the day.
Kimberly: I see. So having too much dessert post-dinner or late night.
Dr. Jay: Ice cream [crosstalk 00:32:52]
Kimberly: Yeah. Ice cream. Oh man.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. So those can be shifted to lunch time because you have more time to break down during the day because of your activity. Then the channels of the body will not clog by the sugar that you’re taking. If you look at just basically imagine how the sugar is. Sugar is sticky, gooey, hardens if you leave it not attended. That’s what it does. If you don’t attend to it, if it is consumed in the body, then it has a tendency to stick onto things and make things to be hardened, and then make things to be swollen. That’s what we need to keep in mind, that sugar needs to be circulated and then sugar needs to be burned quickly before it settles down into a place. So lunch is the best time to eat sugar.
Dr. Jay: And then sugar in terms of variety, we want to have a variety in sugar. So honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, to yacon syrup, to-
Dr. Jay: Jaggery. Yeah, all these options are what our listeners have explore that we never ate just sugar sugar as our sugaring agent, because we had so many other options. So why not look into all other types of natural sugars that’s out there and then rotate our sugars so that we have a healthy relation to the sugar. All the sweet taste. When I say sugar, translate it into sweet taste, now go ahead.
Kimberly: Oh, sorry. Dr Jay. I was just going to say, speaking of sweet taste, I know it breaks down to it, is carbs. Right now especially, I love my carbs. I’m eating a lot of sourdough bread. I’m eating a lot of rice. I’m eating just, I feel great eating carbs. I always have, but I keep it to gluten free, which works better for my body. So what does Ayurveda say? I mean again, you and I have spoke about this on other podcasts, that we have a very different opinion again, that some of these diets that promote no grain. It was also something, Dr. Jay, that we’ve spoken about with Dan Buettner, who is a National Geographic explorer who found the blue zones, the the longest-lived, healthiest cultures, and all five of them have a very grain-heavy diet. So culturally, we know that grains have supplied all these cultures around the world with a lot of energy, despite modern diets, despite all this fear about carbs make you fat. Can you talk a little bit about the Ayurvedic approach of carbs and energy?
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Carbs are actually primary diet constituents in an Ayurvedic diet. They form a major amount of food that we consume. That’s because when we talk about energy, Kimberly, when people talk about short-term energies, sharp bursts of energy that you feel amazing and that’s what people are questing all the time. People look at nutritional supplements that give you energy, but it is not sustainable. Ayurveda looks at how can your energy be sustained for a hundred years, so that your-
Dr. Jay: Yeah. So that’s the secret. If they are moving away from the grain-based diet, sooner or later there will be research that comes out and says, “Oh, the gut bacteria are all changing because the gut bacteria are based on carbohydrate diet. Now we are eating all the protein-rich diet and fiber-rich diet. The gut bacteria is changing.” So is our mind and our behavior. That day’s not far where we change our diet to non-grain-based diet and then we see that our long-term implications of it.
Kimberly: Yes. No, I think great. And a lot of these diets cycle through, Dr. Jay, just like there was no fat in the ’80s and kind of been on this carb thing for a while. But then it’s shifted away from high-protein. It went from more paleo to keto, so Ayurveda is ancient. It’s 5,000 years old, and these blue zones, these communities have been eating grains and carbs for hundreds and hundreds of years. I love the sustainability of cultural dietary habits versus trendy diets. [crosstalk 00:37:40] I mean, it’s powerful.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. These carbohydrates have been consumed, as you were giving examples of like sourdough bread and things like that. Those have is great ability to release energy, because among all types of nutrients, it may be fat, it may be proteins, or what we call as amino acids. Glucose is the quickest energy releaser. That’s why we get addicted to sugar, because sugar gives you energy spontaneously, but it is not sustainable, right?
Kimberly: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dr. Jay: that’s what our listeners have to think about. Okay, if I take a grain-based diet, what would I balance it? Once my energy [crosstalk 00:38:28], how do I maintain it? Well that’s where the proteins like lentils, beans come in. And then there are also the food that is like made from leafy green vegetables to somewhat like fermented vegetables come in, because you are combining the easily-digestible grains to a little difficult-to-digest proteins. Ayurveda always thinks about these six days. We talked about these six days [crosstalk 00:39:08]
Dr. Jay: These include all, they are making sure that you are just not consuming sweet, you’re consuming [crosstalk 00:39:16], bitters-
Dr. Jay: … [crosstalk 00:39:18] and sour and astringent, so that the metabolism is continuously kept intact with the type of food you’re taking. And bottom line, Kimberly, if the metabolism is strong, which we in Ayurveda is call is agni, is the ultimate source of energy for us. Yeah. Physically, metabolism is a must.
Dr. Jay: And what does [crosstalk 00:39:47] the metabolism is the greens.
Kimberly: I love it.
Dr. Jay: Yeah.
Kimberly: And then, so, Dr. Jay, balancing these six tastes is therefore fundamental to having strong digestion. We don’t have too much bitter, too much madhura, too much sweet. Everything is balanced, and that helps to keep our systems nourished and healthy.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, and also emotionally balanced as well, because each of the taste has an expression of its emotion. So if you eat six days, that’s how I would finally bring it down to just six days instead of going into a grains. It does talk about you, you have learned it, Kimberly, [crosstalk 00:40:27]
Dr. Jay: There is grains and properties, nuts and properties-
Dr. Jay: [crosstalk 00:40:31] and properties, but it finally says it’s too complex. Just focus on six days, and you will make sure that you are mentally and physically balanced.
Kimberly: And I found, too, Dr. Jay, you and I have spoken about this. I am primarily Vata but I have some Pitta, and I just find modern day, there’s so much stress we all have on us already. Commuting and traffic and over-scheduling and managing everything that for me, cutting back on garlic and onions a lot, because I was eating it daily. Now I never have it unless it sneaks in in a restaurant, has helped me emotionally just feel a lot more calm.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. It also depends on where you stand in terms of your personal spiritual journey.
Dr. Jay: If you’re already at that level, somebody may eat onions and garlic and may get away with it without any having mental irritation or agitation with them, but some, like you for example, if you are into a spiritual meditation practice, you would notice that subtle effects so quickly.
Kimberly: Oh, yes. Definitely.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, yeah.
Kimberly: That’s where, Dr. Jay, it affects my meditations. That is the number one thing I noticed. I meditate, I feel deeper, without those very [inaudible 00:41:53] foods-
Dr. Jay: Correct.
Kimberly: [crosstalk 00:41:55] foods.
Dr. Jay: That’s right. So we’ll add, rather, our listeners should gravitate towards maybe ginger and black pepper and maybe from time to time, a little bit of cayenne to like wasabi, things like that are pungent, that those can be used. You know?
Kimberly: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, Dr. Jay, I could talk to you all day. I love having you back on the podcast. Thank you so much for sharing some information about energy. And again, we could go on and on, but this has been really wonderful.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. So I wanted to tell our listeners, people also make you energetic, your company, like being in Kimberly’s company, everybody get energized. That is something, a blessing, I tell you.
Kimberly: Oh, thank you, Dr. Jay. And speaking of which, we will add a link to Dr. Jay’s company, which is called Athreya Ayurveda. You can go to athreyaayurveda.com, where Dr. Jay has all sorts of herbs and formulas. I have used many of them myself, including the shatavari, which is a wonderful herb for women. We will link to it in the show notes, and you can go right and visit more about Dr. Jay, who we all love so much.
Dr. Jay: Thank you. So Kimberly, Athreya Ayurveda is my clinic, my practice.
Dr. Jay: And then Athreya Herbs is the company where they can buy the products.
Kimberly: Oh, okay. Thank you so much, Dr. Jay, so it’s athreyaherbs.com.
Dr. Jay: That’s right.
Kimberly: But Athreya Ayurveda, for anybody that is in the greater Los Angeles area, if you are looking to layer your clinician practice, Western and add in an Ayurvedic doctor, I mean, you could tell here from all the shows we have with Dr. Jay just how knowledgeable he is. It’s really wonderful to have that [inaudible 00:43:53] into your health protocol if you’re open to that as well. So Dr. Jay, your office is in Long Beach?
Dr. Jay: Yes.
Kimberly: Wonderful. Yes. I wish you were closer, Dr. Jay, but you and I get to speak and you send me the herbs for my pregnancy and we talk, but maybe one day you’ll come back to Greater LA as well.
Dr. Jay: Thank you, Kimberly.
Kimberly: Thank you so much, Dr. Jay, and thank you beauties so much for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed our show today. Again, we will link to Dr. Jay’s site and other resources in the show notes, so be sure to check that out and mysolluna.com. Take great care of yourself this week. Bundle up, make those elixirs, especially the one we were talking about today, nutmeg, turmeric and licorice. We will be back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast. Till then, take great care. Visit us on the website, visit us on social, and sending you lots and lots of love.