It’s Mikko here, Ambronite co-founder.
Bhawna was delighted to bump to me as well, as she had been recommending Ambronite to some of her clients in her Ayurveda consultation. We met over a lunch, and I got so inspired of her positive values in life and her knowledge of traditional Indian medicine, that I invited her to be part of Ambronite Ambassadors, and scheduled a proper interview.
"Before moving to Finland, I worked at Novartis as clinical safety scientist and gained experience in the field of research and medicine. So, I have combination of both the updated medicine, the technology and the science world, along with Ayurveda. Typically, people are really fascinated to hear more about Ayurveda. If I just tell them I'm a science writer or medical doctor, they might not be so keen to carry on the conversation”
What is Ayurveda exactly?
Ayurveda is 5,000 years old medical science, with root in the Indian subcontinent.. Ayur means life and Veda means Science — that is, science of life”
Ayurveda is a preventive science. We don't focus so much on medicines in the first call. We don't subside the symptoms — we cure the problems.
How does healthy eating and living show up in your own daily life — personally?
“For me the whole motive of healthy lifestyle is to be a happy person. To be satisfied with life. To be grateful.
Happiness, satisfaction and gratefulness go together in a circle.
And you're happy — if you are healthy.
If you're not healthy, either mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually or socially.
If you're unhappy in any of these aspects that makes you unhealthy. If you are sad, you not are not healthy. Even if you have a lot of money, you have a lot of food, you have clothes, you have everything, but you are sad, that doesn't make you happy. So, the whole gist is that you have to be a happy person and that's only possible when you are healthy.
So, in my personal life, I'm a very positive person. Positivity in everything. That’s one of my strenghts.
We have five levels to healthy livestyle.
Let’s start from the physical level
To stay healthy, going to sleep early is the most important thing.
That's the practice we always follow with my family. We have a dinner early and we go to sleep at 9-10 o’clock. We keep the phones outside. And we are just not pretending to sleep, we are actually sleeping from ten o'clock to at least two o'clock. It's the time when you have to be in a deep sleep because that's the only time when your body can detox. And if you get this rhythm to work, you are already 80% healthy. But if you don't sleep in that time of the day of the night, your liver doesn't get to detox properly, and it gets postponed by 24 hours.
Sometimes my kids wake me up at night, and just getting the first 5 hours of deep sleep is important, because my liver has done its work already. So, if it’s 4am in the morning and you wake up, it doesn’t matter so much.
If you had a good sleep your organs had a good rest.
Morning routines with kids — breathing
We typically wake up at around six o’clock with the family. The first thing we do when we wake up is that we all breath. We breath together. So I also make my children to do deep breathings in the mornings. Like 3-5 minutes, depending how much time we have. I've been teaching my children to breathe, open the nostrils and let the air flow to the lungs. We do it also in India, but I do it as a practice, because as they grow up, they should not forget the importance of breathing.
The lungs need to have that fresh air early in the mornings. After the liver works, also the lungs work. And after both liver and lungs work, the stomach works properly as well.
Then we drink two glasses of warm water.
Morning continues — being grateful
After breathing, we look at our hands together with the kids, and thank the god. I say out loud all the things we can be grateful for: we are healthy, we have everything we need and so on. And that’s how my children have used to wake up in the morning. It goes the other way around as well. For example, this morning, I didn’t sleep particularly well, and was about to sleep in a bit later, but my kids came to wake me up telling me ‘mama get up, we have to do this’
Cooking and eating with positive energy
The most important thing is that I make all my food at home. I cook them all the food, three times a day, from the scratch.
I chop a lot of things and I do a lot of cutting and cooking. It does takes a lot of time. But I love doing all that. And when I cook, I put my heart and my soul into that pot. During the cooking nobody should approach me in a negative way. So, I don’t allow negative emotions in my kitchen. No anger in my kitchen. No children fighting in my kitchen.
It's just me, my food, and our connection in between. I'm giving my energy and all the love of mine to the pot, so it can nourish the people who eat it. I believe that this is nourishing my kids and my family, and the cooking process has to go with the good energy.
And when we are eating the food, I don't allow even my husband to speak anything negative, e.g. some work related worries. Sometimes this happens of course, and I tend to ask if we could talk about it after eating.
I believe in a concept of ‘live food’ against ‘dead foods’. I believe in plant-based eating.
Eating the live cells is important to humans. I do not encourage anyone to eat dead foods. And most people today eat dead food — Dead food, dead bodies, dead animals. Because if you eat dead foods, your body becomes suddenly tired and you want to go to sleep. You become lousy and feel like sleeping on couch.
It takes energy from the body to digest these dead foods, and it’s not really nourishing it.
If you eat plant-based, vegetables, fruits, raw foods — you don’t feel tired. Just like with Ambronite. You feel energetic. It’s different.
My kids are living witness of our healthy lifestyle.
They have amazingly good skin and they have a hundred percent attendance in daycare. Me, my husband, my children, we always have a hundred percent attendance, not even a single day sick leave for a long time. And that's something cool. My daughter even got this like diploma from the daycare last year to give credit that she had no sick leaves. Many of the other children had wide variety of flus and pneumonia. Many other parents are wondering what we do differently. Nothing that much — mostly it’s just plant-based eating.
Small things can make such a big difference. Taking care of two small children and running the family is of course stressful. So, sometimes I’m stressed as well, but I’m never sick. I don’t always sleep well, but I never take a day off. I account most of this for the I get from plant-based foods live cells."
I’m curious to learn what type of people come to your Ayurveda consultation — what type of challenges your clients face?
"We have all kinds of people coming. For the first three years though, nobody would approach me for a general consultation. People would approach me for a specific condition after they would have tried all kinds of other treatments. Later, I’ve started to get general consultations as well and people want to understand about their body, body type and what are some individual considerations they would benefit following.
My specialty is on the pregnancy and maternity side, so I do get lot of women approaching me who are not able to have children. Besides mothers, there are people really from every walk of life coming to our consultation. From construction workers to university researchers. From alcoholics to people with chronic diseases.
Interestingly, there are also several medical doctors who have taken our consultations. We’ve e.g. had a modern medical doctor, specialized in skin care, coming to our consultations, because he couldn’t found a way to cure his skin problems with the knowledge and tools he had available. Psychiatric doctors from the local hospital have visited and so on."
You mentioned that you have recommended Ambronite to some of your clients — can you shed some light on these conversations? Anonymously of course.
“Actually, I never recommend Ambronite in the first consultation, but if I get follow-up consultations, I’ve brought it up with some clients.
Let me tell you a story of one client. A typical story I’ve heard so many times.
There was this mother approaching me and coming to my consultation because she had heard me being ‘a meal expert'. She asked if I had few recipes to give to her, because she said she hasn’t any time to cook. She and her husband had respectable careers and were really busy, they said they were working crazy hours.
In these cases I say, sorry, you’re in the wrong place. If I see my client doesn't have time and faith, I don't give any advices. Because when you are coming to Ayurveda, you have to give your time, because cooking takes time.
This particular client was like “Okay, please give me four 15 min recipes". I said, okay, I can give you 15 minutes recipes, but you need to take into account 15 minutes of chopping foods, 15 minutes of cleaning and the whole thing takes an hour. There is nothing less than an hour. "I don't have an hour” the client said.
And at the same time, their children had all kinds of chronic problems because they didn't eat vegetables. Pizzas and pastas were their typical diet, and now the kids have grown to teenagers, and they have all kinds of chronic skin problems, acne and so on. The diet played a big role there.
It is a very common scenario that the mothers don't want to cook. The moms don't have time to cook and the children don't eat vegetables.
Then, after a few months, they realize the condition is really bad because it's not only on the physical level. It also goes on the mental level as well. The kids might get a bit aggressive. They might get social problems, even ADHD-type of symptoms. Lifestyle diseases and psychosomatic diseases. It's like an explosion in various dimensions. It's on the skin, GI-tract, knees. There starts to be problems with sleep. It's a big list. It's like a whole package because you're not eating right."
How, when, where you use Ambronite - what do you think about it?
"I have actually never been a breakfast person and my body cannot take in larger meal in the morning. I can eat something little in the morning, like an apple, but because of this I’m often times really hungry already around 9 am.
So, Ambronite is good way to start the day. It’s a healthy combination of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. I use it around three days a week, during mornings.
My husband usually shakes Ambronite for me, as I’m a bit of rush in the mornings preparing the kids for the day care. Actually, my husband takes Ambronite actually more often than me, maybe five days a week."
How would you summarize your iki-gai (reason for being) or purpose in life?
"To go ahead with positivity. To live a healthy life where you have a strong body, a strong mind and you laugh a lot.
Also, my purpose is to help people finding a way for more balance in life, and to find yourself truly. And that doesn’t need to changing your true self. Because each one of us are individuals, and need to be treated as individuals. Helping people to maintain the uniqueness and at the same time lead life happily in a balanced way. Bring happiness to people around me, to make this world more balanced. That’s really inspiring."