Have you seen the term Ayurveda and wondered exactly what it means? Amanda Hamilton, author of The Eat, Fast, Slim Diet explains. “The Hindu system of traditional medicine, Ayurveda, has been popular in India for 2,500 years. Ayurveda teaches that light fasting stimulates the digestive fire (agni in Sanskrit), which in turn burns your body’s fuel more efficiently, producing less toxic waste (ama). In Ayurvedic medicine, a fast is considered an effective way to cleanse accumulated toxins from the body and mind, improve clarity and increase energy. If you were to try an Ayurvedic-style fast, you would fast once a week using salt-free liquids, such as fresh vegetable juice, water, yogurt mixed with water and cumin powder, or milk boiled with spices such as ginger.
Similar to the practice in juice-fasting retreats in spas all over Europe and the USA, Ayurvedic fasting is often combined with a detoxification programme (panchakarma) where supportive therapies are customized for an individual’s constitution, age, physical health, immune status and a host of other factors. Even though juice fasting retreats and body builders may claim the science of fasting as their own, they owe much to Ayurveda and, more recently, the fields of natural hygiene, nature cure and naturopathy, all of which use fasting as a core treatment in healing.
These healing traditions, ancient and modern, have one thing in common – they support the body to heal itself, rather than turning to medicines or to invasive treatment to treat illness or create positive change. In Germany, fasting is even referred to as “awakening the physician within”. Indeed, there’s a wealth of historic and emerging research that I draw on in The Eat, Fast, Slim Diet to illustrate the value and efficacy of fasting as a therapeutic and valuable medical intervention.
Learning to work with this natural approach can take just as long as learning a conventional medical approach. For example, in India, training to become an Ayurvedic doctor takes five years of study – as long as it takes to become a medical doctor in the UK – and, in the USA, naturopaths are now able to qualify to doctorate level.
Amanda Hamilton has helped thousands of people lose weight and gain body confidence. Try Amanda’s healthy plans with more than 100 nutritious recipes. Choose a plan to suit your lifestyle and maximize the benefits of fasting – lose weight, slow down ageing and boost your health. Follow Amanda on her inspiring website amandahamilton.co.uk
The Eat, Fast, Slim Diet by Amanda Hamilton
304 pages • Paperback • £6.99
AUS $14.99 NZ $17.99