Eating For Your Ayurvedic Body Type
I've been sitting in my boyfriend's coffee shop (Little Owl) all morning trying to write a blog post, but getting distracted by my friend's behind the bar, and the regulars next to me. It's a lively shop with lively conversations and an amazing community feel. Maybe not the most ideal place to write but I tend to get inspired by the topics that come up. There is one regular in particular who I usually end up chatting with at the bar. This morning we got to talking about people and how certain cultures are still living the way they always have without the influence of technology or current social constructs. I mentioned how difficult it is for people in North America to know what to eat because we are a mixture of inspiration from other cultures, and so disconnected from the simplicities of food. It is my goal to help people eat clean, eat simply, and eat guilt-free to inspire a healthy life, and to live from a place of loving kindness. That's kind of how I look at culturally eating. The plant based Mediterranean diet, the meat based German diet, the macro based Asian diet, etc. It's understood. North America has so much to offer that figuring out how to eat can be a challenge.
I strive to apply the concepts of yoga philosophy in all areas of my life, even when it comes to nutrition. I am drawn to a plant based diet with healthy amounts of lean meats and animal based protein (fish, chicken, grass fed beef/bison), ancient grains, leafy greens and veggies/fruits, and of course I soulfully indulge in sugar from time to time :)
In Ayurveda there are three doshas (vata, pitta, kapha). The dosha's are the three bodily energies that make up the human constitution, also known as the Tridosha Theory. The general Ayurvedic concept is that health exists when there is a balance between all three doshas. Usually we are one dosha more than another, but typically a blend of all three in some way. I am VATA/air. You can take quizzes online to find out your type, and you should.
On a simple level I'll give you a breakdown of characteristics and eating styles for your type. I find I naturally connect with my Ayurvedic body type, VATA. Intuitively or consciously I'm not sure, but I do, and it works.
VATA | AIR
Characteristics: sensitive, spiritual, running late, can't sit still, forgets to eat, daily routines are overwhelming, flighty, memory problems, easily confused, not too present.
Organs to noursih: nervous system, colon, bones.
Foods to reduce: low-fat foods, cold + raw foods, needs very careful planning if vegan or vegetarian.
Foods to increase: warming, lubricating, grounding, heavier foods to calm, good quality oils.
Beneficial foods: lighter foods like eggs + fish, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, + grains.
PITTA | FIRE + WATER
Characteristics: Type A personalities, compelled to accomplish things, focused, organized, never misses meals and is crazy when a meal is skipped, workaholic, doesn't do well in humidity, creates problems that don't exist.
Organs to nourish: liver, gallbladder, spleen, small intestine, blood, eyes.
Foods to reduce: excessive spices that are too heating, red meat.
Foods to increase: sweet + bitter foods, cooling + astringent, sweet tasting spices.
Beneficial foods: peppermint tea, fresh lime, lighter proteins (chicken and fish), dark leafy greens (bitter and cooling) sweet veggies.
KAPHA | EARTH + WATER
Characteristics: grounded, stable, solid, clear about the ways of the world, sensual, strong sexuality, sense of physicality, steady appetite, slower metabolism, resists exercise and moves slower, often trying to lighten up.
Organs to nourish: lungs, stomach, body fat, lymphatic system.
Foods to reduce: high-fat foods, heavy + fatty proteins, dairy + gluten, red meats and starchy veggies.
Foods to increase: drying and heating foods, pungent spices, lighter grains, light protein, veggies.
Beneficial foods: beans, quinoa, spinach, dandelion, salads, cayenne, pepper + ginger.
I hope this helps and I certainly hope you take the quiz! It's really interesting to see in depth how you align with your energy and how these foods are a natural way for you to eat. It's simple and straightforward and doesn't promote a huge diet or huge restrictions.