“Trust your gut more than you trust the clock or your ‘mind cravings’ telling you what you should eat. What do you feel you need right now? What would nourish you the most? Eat when you’re hungry and be totally present with your food. It helps you regulate your metabolism and eat without guilt.”
Talya Lutzker is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of Ayurveda Every Day with Talya — an Ayurvedic lifestyle and nourishment hub. Talya is based in Northern California.
Since 2001, Talya has helped women reclaim their radiance through the time-tested practice of living Ayurveda, an Indian system of health and nourishment.
Ayurveda treats your whole being, not just your body, with captivating secrets to long-lasting wellness and beauty. Talya’s primary purpose is to teach you how to thrive.
Certified in Ayurveda since 2003, Talya teaches Ayurveda online and is best known for her RAD Cleanse seasonal eating programs and Ayurveda Starter School. She’s a celebrated cookbook author, massage therapist, Ayurvedic chef, and yoga teacher.
When she’s not teaching Ayurveda, you’ll find Talya cooking, riding her bike to yoga, and petting every dog in sight.
“[Ayurveda] means that my body is my mind, my mind is my emotions, and everything is connected.”
What does Ayurveda mean to you?
Ayurveda means so many things to me… I immediately think of my teacher, DeAnna Batdorff, and the way I was drawn to her — literally like a moth to the flame. She had a booth for her Ayurvedic treatment centre set up at a Health and Harmony Festival in California wine country circa 2001. I remember being overcome by the scents pouring out of her booth, the Indian aesthetic, and the idea that she could heal people by reading pulse and looking at their tongue. I was immediately captivated.
Ayurveda also means healing, persistence, and holistic living. It means that my body is my mind, my mind is my emotions, and everything is connected. Ayurveda has given me so much wisdom and insight into how to live so that I heal — ongoingly as a human being.
When did you discover it? How long have you been practising it?
I stumbled upon Ayurveda in April 2001 when I went to become a yoga teacher. They taught us the basics in our teacher training, but I didn’t really get it then. It wasn’t until a few months later, when I met my teacher, that Ayurveda captured my attention. I’ve been practising it ever since that first appointment with my teacher — June 2001.
What drew you to Ayurveda?
I’d always had lots of health issues — chronic constipation, weight gain, fluctuations between anxiety and depression, irregular periods, skin rashes, weak immunity, etc, but it was never anything major enough to make me stop and find out what I could do about it. In a certain sense, I thought my symptoms were normal. And, even though I was “into” health and yoga, I had no idea there was something more I could do to balance my body, mind, and emotions.
It wasn’t until April 2001 — when I was becoming a certified yoga teacher — that I woke up one day covered in an angry, red, irritated rash that covered large parts of my body. I literally woke up with an inflammatory response like none I’d ever known! I was scared and determined to not live with my skin like that.
Has it helped you with anything major?
YES! Ayurveda has helped me with EVERYTHING. In my first session alone, it was groundbreaking to discover that my Dosha was Vata-Kapha — and that I had very low fire on my birth pulse.
One of my first remedies was adding spices to my meals and eating most of my foods cooked. This was revolutionary! I lost 10 pounds in 6 weeks, found a spark in my spirit I hadn’t felt for years, and found passion for life.
Beyond that, Ayurveda helped me regulate my periods, achieve my ideal body weight, eliminate every day, heal auto-immune, and clear up my skin. I’ve been 100 percent psoriasis and eczema-free for almost a year. It took a long time to get there, but I did it. And I know Ayurveda is why.
Is Ayurveda part of your everyday life or just for your medicine cabinet or fall-back routine?
The name of my business is Ayurveda Every Day With Talya. So… every day!
What are your top 3 Ayurvedic tips that have worked for you?
Eating only when I’m hungry – trust your gut more than you trust the clock or your “mind cravings” telling you what you should eat. What do you feel you need right now? What would nourish you the most? Eat when you’re hungry and be totally present with your food. It helps you regulate your metabolism and eat without guilt.
Cleansing (Ayurveda-style) at least twice per year and doing Panchakarma annually. I’m so passionate about preventative medicine and using food as medicine. When you learn how to cleanse your body — and give your digestive system a well-deserved break — you set yourself up for long-term health. Plus, you learn to make healthy eating in a way that truly nourishes you a way of life. This has been essential to my healing.
Hydrate your body first thing every morning. We are so dehydrated as a culture — and hydration is one of the most powerful ways to “set the stage” for healthy kidneys and adrenals — the battery packs of the body. When you want energy, you need hydration. Hydration is key for immune health, hormone balance, and digestive health.
What surprised you most about Ayurveda?
How much I would love it, and how much it would become a part of who I am and how I live. It connects me to myself and nature in every sense.
Did you integrate it gradually or overnight for any particular reason?
I don’t think it’s possible to integrate Ayurveda overnight. It’s such a vast science and there’s so much to it — diet, body care, yoga, meditation, herbs, etc. I integrated as much as I could right away, because I was in pain and desperate for a solution.
But I didn’t do everything from the start. I gradually incorporated deeper practices and learned to cook all my meals over time. It also took time to make Ayurveda my own — so that I could check in with my body, find out what I needed, and give myself that. It took time to master the art of listening and it’s an ongoing study for me. I learn more about Ayurveda almost every day.
What is your favourite Ayurvedic recipe or go-to ingredient?
My favourite go-to changes — depending on the season, how I’m feeling, and what I need. But right now, I’m pretty obsessed with Golden Milk — made from turmeric, nutmeg, dates, and ghee.
What do you wish was easier in our society to make an Ayurvedic lifestyle more accessible?
I wish society put more value on LEARNING about our bodies — and how to care for them naturally, not just working out or doing things to look good.
The self-care movement is growing, but it’s still considered alternative. I wish it were mainstream. I wish people looked to alternative medicine with as much value, validity, and effectiveness as they do Western medicine. I wish people WANTED to care for their bodies in the way we do in Ayurveda.
Do people around you/in your circle of friends know about Ayurveda?
Yes! Because I’ve been practising it and teaching it for so long. I’ve inspired most everyone in my life to try Ayurvedic food, do one of my Ayurvedic cleanse programs, or receive Ayurvedic bodywork.
What’s the one thing you would encourage everyone to try or you think would benefit the majority of people’s health for the better?
One of my Ayurvedic cleanses! It’s called The RAD Cleanse and I teach them every season. It’s so valuable for learning how to live Ayurveda — and feel amazing in the process. It’s easier and more enjoyable than most people think.