MAINTAINING BALANCE WITH FOOD
Posted: Dec 03 2013
Do you often feel like eating heavy carbs to feel better? Or sugary sweet donuts? There's likely scientific & philosophical reasoning to that.
During my yoga teacher training in Bali, I was fascinated in learning more about "Ayurvedic" medicine, the 5,000 years old practice of analyzing one's energy aka dosha's. Most importantly, how one can balance ourselves by the food that we eat.
Without getting into the nitty gritty details, the summary is that each and everyone of us are made up of 3 energy systems: vata, pitta, and kapha. We're all made up of a unique combination of these but are often skewed one way or the other:
Vata: Thin and lanky. They are very mentally and physically active and enjoy creative endeavors, meeting new people, and traveling to new places.
Pitta: Innately strong, intense, and irritable. They tend to have a medium build and endurance with powerful musculature.
Kapha: Strong frames and are naturally athletic as long they are exercising regularly to manage their tendency to gain weight.
Our tastebuds affect each of these energy systems and in different ways, allowing you to feel more "balanced" with certain type of foods. A summary breakdown here:
- Sweet, sour, and salty foods pacify vata.
Vata types need foods that calm their tendency toward anxiety and overactivity. Heavy, cooked foods served warm are the most soothing. Dairy products, sweeteners, and foods cooked or served with fats and oils pacify vata. Avoid spicy foods.
- Sweet, pungent, and bitter foods decrease pitta.
Fiery pitta needs to be cooled down. Serve foods at cool temperatures, but not ice cold which inhibits digestion. Pittas thrive on reduced amounts of fats, oils, and salt. Sweet, completely ripe fruits and all vegetables except garlic, tomatoes, radishes, and chilies are pitta-pacifying.
- Pungent, bitter, and astringent foods pacify kapha.
Sluggish, cool kapha needs to be stimulated and warmed up. Light, dry, warm foods reduce kapha. Use minimal amounts of fats and oils. Sweeten foods with honey, but never cook or bake with it.
I know I'm definitely a Vata & Pitta. If I have a long stressful day, give me a hot baked potato and a cup of sweet green juice, and you'll have me at hello.
Are you a Vata, Pitta, and / or Kapha?