Using Ayurvedic Medicine with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary
Season 3, Episode 53
Ayurveda…it means “the knowledge of life” and for over 5,000 years, ancient cultures have used Ayurvedic medicine to achieve optimal health. It’s about knowing why you are who you are and applying that knowledge to your everyday life. In this week’s episode of Be HEALTHistic, Dr. Drew Sinatra welcomes back a previous guest — integrative neurologist, Ayurvedic practitioner and author Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary — to share an intriguing overview of Ayurvedic medicine and how these principles can be used to improve your health.
First, Dr. Chaudhary talks about the main principles of Ayurvedic medicine and why lifestyle choices are key. She explains the three main “doshas,” or mind-body types — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha — and how to find out which one best applies to you. Dr. Chaudhary then shares a patient story with Dr. Drew that truly demonstrates the power of Ayurveda to heal the body and the mind.
Next, Dr. Chaudhary discusses her treatment process, and why healing the gut and improving digestion is an essential first step. She describes an Ayurvedic detox therapy called Panchakarma and how it works to remove the most stubborn toxins from the body. Finally, Dr. Chaudhary shares her unique point of view of life as a professional woman in the U.S. vs. India, and gives her top tip for using Ayurveda to improve your daily life.
Don’t miss this truly fascinating episode of Be HEALTHistic, where we explore the power that Ayurveda can have on your overall health and well-being.
LINKS & RESOURCES
- For more information on Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, her books The Prime and Sound Medicine, to take her Dosha Quiz, or to find out more about Ayurvedic medicine, check out these links.
- Visit the Healthy Directions website for more health and wellness content and information!
- Check out the Healthy Directions Articles Archive, where you can search for specific, health-related content from all of our Healthy Directions doctors and experts.
- During the episode, the doctors talked about probiotics and prebiotics; read this article from Dr. Drew Sinatra on the differences between probiotics and prebiotics: benefits, food sources and more.
- Dr. Chaudhary mentioned how critical improving your gut health is to achieving better overall health, and digestion is a big part of that; check out this article from Dr. Drew on how to use turmeric to improve your digestion.
- The doctors talked about Panchakarma, a detoxification therapy used in Ayurvedic medicine. Read these articles from Dr. Drew with his top tips for natural detoxification, and Healthy Directions expert Dr. Julian Whitaker on how to detox your body: fact vs. fiction.
- The first time Dr. Chaudhary was on the podcast, she discussed the health benefits of sound medicine with our hosts. If you missed it the first time or want to hear it again, listen to Episode 15: Sound Medicine with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary.
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For more great information on how to improve your GI health from Dr. Drew Sinatra, check out this FREE eBook: A Guide to the Top Foods That Heal (and Hurt) Your Gut.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Ayurveda…it might sound strange, but what it really means is “the knowledge of life.” And for 5,000 years, people have used Ayurvedic medicine to care for themselves. It's all about knowing why you are who you are, and applying that knowledge to your everyday life. Today, we are joined again by Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary. Last time she joined us, we talked about her book, Sound Medicine. Today, we'll dive deep into another one of her specialties, which is Ayurvedic medicine. We'll talk about what type of dosha you are, what that means in your life, and how you can make changes to improve your health. We'll also cover the Ayurvedic therapies that have been healing people for thousands of years.
Narrator: Welcome to Be HEALTHistic, the podcast that's more than just health and wellness information — it's here to help you explore your options across traditional and natural medicine, so that you can make informed decisions for you and your family. This podcast illuminates the whole story about holistic health by providing access to the expertise of Drs. Steve and Drew Sinatra, who together have decades of integrative health experience. Be HEALTHistic is powered by our friends at Healthy Directions. Now, let's join our hosts.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Hi folks…if you like what you hear today, and you want to listen to future conversations on all things integrative and holistic health, subscribe to our podcast at BeHealthisticPodcast.com. Also, check out and subscribe to the Healthy Directions YouTube channel, which features video versions of our episodes, plus extra videos you won't want to miss. And finally, we have more with me, Dr. Drew Sinatra, my dad, Dr. Steve Sinatra, and other health experts at HealthyDirections.com.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Be HEALTHistic. Today, we have Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary back on the show. She first joined us for the discussion on sound medicine, and today we're going to be talking about Ayurvedic medicine.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Dr. Chaudhary has a very distinctive set of specialties. Her combined expertise in both modern neurology and the ancient science of health known as Ayurveda has uniquely positioned her as an expert able to utilize a wide range of strategies to treat her patients.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Like me and my dad, who are strong believers in integrative medicine, she's passionate about raising awareness for the need of a paradigm shift in contemporary healthcare that focuses on patient empowerment, and a health-based rather than disease-based medical system. Dr. Chaudhary has appeared on various media outlets where her teachings about Ayurvedic medicine have been applauded by a national audience. And now we get to learn from her today. Welcome back to the show!
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Thank you for having me back.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Oh, this is going to be so great. I mean, last time we dove in about Sound Medicine, your new book, and I learned a lot about mantras and other forms of sound medicine. And today we're going to teach our listeners all about Ayurvedic medicine…so I'm excited.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: I'm excited to share.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, where do you want to jump in with this? I mean, do you want to talk about some of the basic principles with Ayurvedic medicine, perhaps also how long it's been practiced for, and really where it came from?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people, when they first hear Ayurveda, they go, “Oh, that sounds foreign. That's something that is going to be super-strange.” Ayurveda actually just translates into “the science of life,” or “the knowledge of life.” And so, there's really kind of no approach that is more natural, because it's just a way of studying who you are. And the great gift that I have seen with Ayurvedic medicine is it gives us a roadmap into why we are the way we are — both physically, as well as psychologically. And as people begin to understand their makeup, they're able to make better decisions regarding their mental health, as well as their physical health.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So you said, where did it come from? This particular line of medicine came from India, it's over 5,000 years old. We don't know exactly how old, because we know that there's 5,000 years’ worth of written records, but it was an oral tradition. So we don't really know how old it is. But what's interesting to me is that when we look at other cultures, they had very similar medical systems to Ayurveda.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So, my theory is that there was a time on planet Earth where this was how we practiced medicine — and I wouldn't even call it medicine, because this was really just how we lived in balance with nature. And that this existed in multiple cultures, because when I looked at this on a global level, I was like, “Wait a minute. There's similar practices in ancient Russia, there's similar practices in Latin America, the shamanic traditions are very, very similar.”
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And so, Ayurveda is just the lineage that seems to have lasted the longest on Earth. And the fundamental principle is really that disease is a result mainly of lifestyle choices. There's a very small percentage that's genetic, but it's mainly lifestyle choices. And that's exactly what we're finding out now in modern medicine. And that food is medicine, and that plants can be medicine. And so it really looks at the natural world as your medical pathway into health.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Can you speak more about the “studying who we are?” I really liked that piece. What do you mean by that?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah, I'm so happy you asked that question. So this is a very common experience, and I had this experience, too, when I first was introduced to it as a physician. I think there's so many things about ourselves that we tend to judge, “Oh, I'm neurotic,” or, “Oh, I'm just a jerk,” or, “Oh, I get angry easily.” And what we don't realize is that those are actually tendencies that have both a physical basis, as well as a psychological basis — but that this connection between the mind and the body is so interconnected that you can shift even psychological tendencies by things like diet and so forth.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And so, when I say like who we are, it's why, like when you did the diet that your best friend did, it totally didn't work for you. Or when you exercised like your spouse did, it actually hurt your body. It's understanding your individual composition, and in Ayurveda, we call these mind-body types as doshas.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: So, Kulreet, what are the three main doshas? And how do you find out which one you are?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So the three main doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and the best way to find out your dosha really is to see an Ayurvedic practitioner, simply because sometimes there's a combination of doshas that can be out of balance. But if you don't have access to an Ayurvedic practitioner, there is so much that just in reading about the doshas, you can identify aspects of yourself and be able to identify which one you most closely represent. I believe you guys are actually going to put a link to the Dosha Quiz that I have on my website. That's just a really simple tool where you can go through the questions, and it gives you kind of an insight into this dosha, or these two doshas are most heavily present inside of you.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: When you understand what your dosha is, you can make choices that are appropriate for you — and not just choices that people say are appropriate for the masses. Drew, one of my favorite examples is somebody who is a Vata dosha — when they do a raw food diet, their health completely collapses. If you understand that you're a Vata dosha, you would know, “Oh, this is not working for me.” Or somebody who's a Pitta dosha, who loves spicy food. When you do some of these like weight loss measures, where they're adding a bunch of heating foods — they end up gaining weight. So it's just understanding like what choices are appropriate for you, and what your internal biochemical triggers are for your psyche, as well.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, speaking of the doshas, you mentioned Vata, you mentioned Pitta, and now the third one's Kapha. Can you speak more to those in general, and sort of their characteristics?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Absolutely. So in Ayurveda, we look at kind of all of matter, including the human body, being composed of these five elements — space, air, fire, water, and earth. And the doshas are combinations of those elements. So Vata is space and air, And that's why Vata tends to be smaller build, thinner boned, they tend to have very sensitive digestion. Can have things like gas resulting easily, can suffer from insomnia.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Pitta is a combination of fire and water. And so, as you can imagine, they tend to be…their temperament tends to run a little bit more heated, they tend to be very, very passionate, very driven. They are oftentimes at risk for the “itises” — all the inflammatory conditions and skin conditions. They tend to be, like, more moderate build. And these are the people who are, like...they have very good muscle definition. It always used to annoy me because my husband, he has a Pitta body type, and he just naturally has muscle. He will pick up a glass of water and get toned…and I had more of the Vata build. It's like, I could exercise all day long and I would build, like, maybe a strand of muscle. But that is actually my build, and so now I've come to respect that.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And Kapha is the bigger build, it's a combination of water and earth. And so, these are people who are naturally built bigger. And even when they're completely in balance, they're not going to be a size four. And so it's really important to understand that about them…but when they are out of balance, they can tend to be overweight, or formation of tumors, or things like diabetes, or sinus congestion.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And so, once you understand what your main dosha is…and most people have some kind of combination. And of course it changes, like, over a lifetime and it changes seasonally, because we interact with nature and we change over time. But once you understand just like these three tendencies, then it's much easier to understand, like, “Why do I feel different in the summertime, which is predominantly Pitta season vs. winter?” Or, especially for women, “Why is my body changing so much after menopause?” Because all of a sudden, Vata starts to come up.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I was going to ask you that, because I was thinking to myself, “Okay, is someone always a Vata, or are they always a Pitta, or are they always a Kapha?” And then I guess when you look at someone, you're sort of saying, “Okay, well they have some Vata qualities. They might have some Pitta tendencies. And that's kind of what you do — you sort of look at all aspects of those doshas, and then kind of figure out, like, this person's more predominant in this one?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah. So we're actually born with one or two doshas being predominant. But I mean, if you think about your own life, are you the same as when you were a teenager? I mean, didn't life kind of change certain things about your body and mind? So what happens over time is that our environment also starts to carve out certain things in us physically, as well as psychologically. But those underlying tendencies are still there — but now, for example, with the amount of technology that kids are on, so many kids have Vata imbalances, even if that wasn't there underlying dosha.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So our world definitely does influence us. It's amazing, because almost every single woman I've seen like go through menopause, one of the biggest things that they struggle with is weight gain. But that is actually a Kapha imbalance, because they did not have their excess Vata and Pitta removed, or brought into balance right before menopause. And so some of these imbalances come out as a secondary imbalance.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And so, if you treat the underlying condition — and as I was saying for women in menopause, it would be reduce the Vata and Pitta. They won't gain the weight and their weight will actually start to come down, without all of that crazy exercise and dieting. Not that I think you shouldn't be eating healthy, but when you're trying to treat the secondary imbalance first, it's a complete uphill climb.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: When you're with someone one-on-one, how quickly are you able to decide what dosha they are, predominantly?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Now, it's pretty fast. But this is after seeing, gosh, I mean over 10,000 patients. Now, it's pretty fast because there are certain things that you notice immediately about their body. There are certain things that you can tell about their speech, how they interact with you. I'm at a point now that…because usually we also check the pulse in Ayurvedic medicine, that by the time I've looked at the person's questionnaire and then physically just looked at their picture, I'm at a point where I don't feel anything different in the pulse. You get a very, very, very strong feeling.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: But the fun part, and this is the part that I really love, is figuring out why do they have their imbalance? So clearly, there are food choices that they're making, there's usually issues in terms of exercise and sleep, but that's the easy part. But the fun part is really figuring out, like, what has been some of the emotional trauma in their life, and what are some of the psychological blocks that also manifest as an imbalance? When I get to work with people and help to release them from that, I mean, it's really nothing short of magic because you see the body completely shift as the traumas are released.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, speak more to that…that I'm very interested in.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Well, so, I'm thinking of one patient in particular, she always comes to mind. I have so many wonderful, wonderful stories of patients who have gone through this. This is a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, and I always start with first balancing the body, because if you don't balance the body, emotional trauma is very difficult to release. And so we had spent, I think, it was the first like six to nine months roughly where we were detoxifying the body, bringing the doshas into balance. I was teaching her how to eat, getting her on a better sleep cycle, all of the basic stuff.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And then we started to finally be able to get into some of the deeper things. And as we started to do that work, and this involves a combination of things — things that I'm feeling in my interaction with her, things that are coming up in the pulse, and also starting patients on a meditation program. And we did this one cleanse for the liver. And after the cleanse, she said, “Oh my God,” she said, “My parents, they never wanted me. I was an unwanted child.” And just that realization, she said, “It's not that I haven't known that, but there's just this, like, visceral acceptance that they were in an unhappy marriage, I was an unplanned pregnancy, and the strain that my birth had on their marriage — that got translated into, literally, like, I picked that up and absorbed that on a cellular level.”
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And in the next few months we worked on helping to release that trauma — and including things like EMDR, like, certain psychotherapy methods that I find are extraordinary. Within two months of her coming to that realization, and then helping her to uproot that trauma, she was just a completely different person — the pain in her body was no longer there. Now granted, she had done the physical work, but it was when we did the psychological work that some deep internal block finally released.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And in Ayurveda, what we say is these emotional blocks actually block the flow of energy to the organs. And when there's a blocked flow of energy, the body doesn't know how to heal itself. When we hit that point, and that's always my goal for patients who want to go that far, because it is a difficult journey and you need to make sure that you have the support in your life to do it. But when we hit kind of like those epiphanies, well, that's really kind of like, I feel like the soul work that Ayurvedic medicine was really developed for. Like beyond just healing the body…when you start to develop techniques for healing the heart and the mind, it's so deeply fulfilling.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: That is the most fulfilling part of medicine that I'm finding, too. It's just challenging sometimes to get there.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: It's very challenging! But that's why I rely so heavily, for the first stage of it, on the physical tools. Because usually when the physical body does get more balanced, then they automatically start to dive into that material. They can't help it, because it's just the next spontaneous level of healing that happens.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, as you're saying all these things, I'm always feeling overwhelmed thinking about how many factors could be at play with someone's health, and looking at their doshas and everything. Let's say this woman that came into you with rheumatoid arthritis — how did you know where to go first with her? I mean, is it always working on more the physical body first, like with foods and lifestyle stuff? I mean, how do you begin this process with someone?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: I always do, Drew. I always work on the physical body first. I think you're asking too much from somebody to go into these deeper areas until the physical body is stronger. I see that in my own journey, that until my physical body got stronger, I wasn't able to really look at my own emotional blocks. And for me, it's a really, really simple system. I know it sounds complicated, but if you ask any of my patients, they'll always say like, “I didn't even know I was working on the psychology until it just spontaneously started coming up.”
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: But my first step is always heal the gut — always, always, always heal the gut first. And that's one of the basic tenets of Ayurvedic medicine, that when you have a strong gut — and I'm talking about the physical gut. When you have a strong gut it's called Agni, or digestive fire — you're able to start to burn up old toxins, both physical and emotional. So I always begin with that. And then as their digestion becomes stronger, then I start working on their daily routine. When are they eating their biggest meal? When are they going to sleep? Because once you get in sync with your circadian rhythms, now you have your entire body is just trying to support your wellbeing.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: That's like having a walking pharmacy working on your behalf, like, every second of the day. So that's always my approach is like, get back into your natural daily routine and heal the gut. And then, the next steps almost…they honestly start to happen spontaneously. That's usually the point where I start to bring in like a meditation practice, using typically mantra meditation — as we talked about when we talked about sound therapy. And then it just becomes very spontaneous. The thing is, for people who aren't ready to take the next step, that's okay, that's when they stop. And usually they'll come back to it in one or two years, when they have the support in their life to take that step.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now for the gut-healing that you mentioned, is that going to change depending on someone's dosha — or is there like kind of a similar protocol, so to speak, that you're going to use for most people?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah, you're so intuitive. So it's both. It's very dosha specific, but then there's some core things that we tell all of our patients to do. There's certain foods that nobody's really going to tolerate on a regular basis — things like caffeine, or alcohol, or processed foods. So for every patient, I always have them move towards more of a whole-food diet, heavily plant-based.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And that doesn't mean that they don't eat meat, but that the majority of their plate should be filled with vegetables, and we slowly work them up so that they're eating a naturally high dietary fiber diet. But it's all according to their dosha. So what a high fiber diet might look for a Pitta patient may be very different than a Vata patient, and a Vata patient we need to add in like more grains than a Kapha patient. So there's those little kinds of tweaks.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I see. Okay, okay. And then I guess comparing this to functional/integrative/naturopathic medicine, probiotics play a major role with gut health in the West. What's the role of probiotics with Ayurvedic medicine? Is there a role?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So first of all, in Ayurvedic medicine — and Ayurveda was one of the inspirations for functional medicine, and many naturopathic schools include information about Ayurveda. So Ayurveda has been an inspiration for a lot of natural traditions, just because it's been around for so long. But in Ayurvedic medicine, I always look at probiotics as like, sending Girl Scouts into world war. You've got to prepare the environment for these probiotics to survive.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And so, the first step is always reducing the inflammation, and making sure that your diet provides prebiotic fiber to create a healthy home for these probiotics. And then, I'm a big believer in using natural probiotics. And so, in Ayurvedic medicine we typically recommend a drink called lassi, which is, it's just a spoonful of yogurt in water with some digestive spices — and you drink that at lunchtime. And so, I think it's really important for you to know that your probiotics are alive, and that's hard to do sometimes when they've just been on the counter for X number of years. So it's having literally a living relationship with your probiotics, but you have to first make sure that your gut will support their habitat.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah, that's such an important piece. I think also, too, I love the fact that you're working on the diet first and really focusing on the gut. Because what frustrates me in medicine is people come in and they don't want to make any changes with their diet at all. They say, “Doc, just give me the pill…I just want my rheumatoid arthritis to go away.” And I say to them, like, “It's not that simple. The way that we really work on healing is focusing on the gut, and really focusing on the foods you're eating,” and like all those things. And so, I love that aspect about Ayurveda because it's so important for people to understand that diet is really the true foundation for health.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah, you can't run anywhere. I'm not somebody that has my patients on 20 supplements. If I have somebody who comes in on 20 supplements, I'm like, “You're not sleeping well and you're not eating well, so let's first start there.” I'm lucky at this point, because I went through the same thing when I first started — but now, people really know if they're going to come see me, they're not going to be like, “I don't want to change my diet.” They're coming to see me because they're like, “Go ahead. You're the surgeon, go ahead and excise all of my bad habits from my life.”
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Right. Well, you mentioned a liver cleanse on that one rheumatoid arthritis patient. I'm curious what other, sort of, detox — or what's known in Ayurveda as Panchakarma-type therapies you use?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Oh gosh…have you ever gone for Panchakarma, Drew?
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I have not, and I really would like to.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: You and your wife are going to have to put that on your bucket list, and I will absolutely help you to find the right place. I really recommend going to India, although, there's wonderful places in America, also. But Panchakarma is a detoxification theory that is so unique to Ayurvedic medicine. Many people are surprised when they're having it that it's such a powerful detox because it's enjoyable. It's a different series of, like, different kinds of massages or other types of treatments. Sometimes we're using steam, sometimes we're applying, like, oil into the nose. There's a variety of different treatments that we use.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: But one of the reasons it's so powerful is there's a lot of oils often used, and it helps to remove the lipophilic, or fat-loving toxins from the body. These are the hardest toxins to get out, we usually remove less than 1% of these a year. And these are the toxins at once they get into our fat cells, they are endocrine disruptors. And even when you do a cleanse at home, usually you're getting rid of the water-soluble toxins — you do not access these.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So Panchakarma is something that I definitely recommend for everybody annually if they have a chronic disease. But I do it every single year just as health maintenance. We've done studies looking at how Panchakarma has removed up to 50% of lipophilic toxins in the course of seven to 14 days. I mean, that's just unheard of. And so, one of the fastest ways to rejuvenate the bodies is just getting rid of all of these environmental toxins that we're absorbing through the plastics, through just all of the man-made or human-made chemicals that we have now incorporated. So it's a profoundly transformative treatment. And if you're lucky enough to include this as part of your overall health maintenance, you're going to reduce the amount of disease that you experience over a lifetime. But you're also just going to age better.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: In a typical Panchakarma, would it last seven to 14 days, or is that...what would you say?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yeah, that's typical. I usually recommend 21 days, especially if you're going to go to India, I go, “Look, you're going to India anyways.” But 21 days…there's something about a 21-day cycle. And you've probably heard about this, too, but there's something about 21 days where you start to release cellular memory. And so usually like the first week of Panchakarma is all the physical clearing.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: The second week of Panchakarma, and this is usually when everybody wants to leave, because it's all of the toxic emotions and thoughts that come up. And people really start to feel like they're losing their mind a little bit, because it's all this stuff you don't want to deal with, and suddenly you're faced with it. And then the third week is kind of like the magical week where, okay, you've processed so much physical and mental toxins, and your body really starts to like pull the herbs that are given in the treatments, like deeper into the tissues and that's where the regeneration happens. So when I go, I typically do 21 days for that reason.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Do most people lose weight during that time?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Yes, yes. Now, if you're underweight, you won't lose weight. I've had people that were worried, like…I used to be very, very underweight as a teenager and in my twenties, and I would always go for Panchakarma and I'd actually gain weight, because my tissues were getting nourished.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Oh, wow.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Now when I go, especially once you get into your late forties and fifties, there's a certain amount of just fluid weight that you can't get rid of. And that kind of just a hormonal weight that just it'll accumulate in certain spots. And when I go for Panchakarma, that's just like gone. It's so wonderful.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Right, right. Well, this is kind of a side question here, but when you're in the States compared to living in India, I mean…number one, how much is your diet changing, and number two, where do you feel better?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Oh my gosh…Drew, this is such a good question. This is a question that my husband and I talk about regularly because I really am…I have a bi-continental life now. So fortunately, my diet doesn't change too much just simply because it's very, very plant rich. I have a very high fiber diet and again, something critical for hormonal balance in today's world. So the vegetables kind of change, but the overall, like, what I'm eating in a day doesn't change.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: There are certain things, especially the spiritual tradition of India and the degree of flexibility and resilience you need in India that I just absolutely love. There, it's just like, you can go…meditation and all of that. I mean, that's like the land where it originated from. So you can be around masters that just, they take you so deeply within yourself. But still, it's a third world country and I'm still a woman — and I'm a foreign woman. Even though I'm Indian, I'm considered a foreign woman.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: So my life there is very restricted. I can't walk out by myself, it's not safe. I can't travel by myself. I will never have the same say that a man has in my position. And people think that's true in America…it doesn't even compare to India. So there's certain aspects of India that I just absolutely love, but I'm like, it is a third world country, and it's still sorting a lot of stuff out, and there's a lot of poverty. And usually when there's poverty, poverty affects women differently than it affects men.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: And so when I come to America, I feel just this total expansion in terms of my career, my creativity — so, it's so liberating because I can drive myself anywhere I want. I, kind of, go back to being like me…but then there are certain things that I deeply miss about the spiritual tradition of India. So I just feel very fortunate that I am an American woman that gets to have this very intimate relationship with India. It's a very blessed position to be in.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Oh, that's great, that's great. I think when you have that comparison, sometimes you can be in the position of looking at where you're at and saying, “Oh, the grass is greener, right? Let's go over this area.” But you actually realize that where you are now can be a very great place to be.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, for our Wellness Wisdom segment, if you had one simple “pearl” of wisdom with regard to using Ayurvedic practices in daily life, what would that be?
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Oh, that's a wonderful question, and that's really easy. I think people oftentimes think that in order to get healthier, they have to do something huge, and they have to give up their life, sell their children, get rid of their spouse, quit their job. And what I have found about Ayurvedic medicine is that the emphasis is so much on doing something simple on a daily basis. And that when you do something simple on a daily basis — some positive health habit — that the benefits that you accumulate from that are more powerful than trying to do, like, a one-week getaway. It's just those simple things that you do every single day — going to bed so that you get one extra hour of sleep every single day, going for a walk for 30 minutes, choosing just one meal a day that is healthy. Those are actually the gold nuggets for a lifetime of health.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Beautiful, so simple. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: Thank you for having me. It's always a pleasure to speak with you.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: And yes, I will take you up on that offer to perhaps meet you over in India with my wife, and we will do a Panchakarma.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: You got it. It's a standing offer for whenever you come.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Thank you.
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary: All right. Bye-bye.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: That's our show for today, folks. If you have a question or an idea for a show topic, please send us an email or share a post with us on Facebook. And remember, if you like what you heard today and you want to be an active member of the Be HEALTHistic community, subscribe to our podcast at BeHealthisticPodcast.com, or on Apple podcasts, or wherever you download your favorites. You can also find more great content and information from us and the Healthy Directions team at HealthyDirections.com.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Thanks for joining us today. I'm Dr. Drew Sinatra, and this is Be HEALTHistic.
Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be HEALTHistic, powered by our friends at Healthy Directions, with Drs. Drew and Steve Sinatra. See you next time.
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Meet Dr. Drew Sinatra
Dr. Drew Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and self-described “health detective” with a passion for promoting natural healing, wellness, and improving quality of life by addressing the root cause of illness in patients of all ages. His vibrant practice focuses on treating the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and finding missed connections between symptoms and health issues that are often overlooked by conventional medicine.