There are 3 chapters dedicated to nutrition in my book In Your Elements. Get your copy on Amazon!
If you are unfamiliar, Ayurveda sees nutrition in a very different, refreshing way!
The basic Ayurvedic nutrition guidelines below have a lot to do with how we eat, not just what we eat.
Based on the 'one size does not fit all' principle in Ayurveda, nutrition is not generalized, it is personalized. So while it might feel confusing, "Just tell me what to eat!" food is totally not totally black and white. And honestly, who wants to eat black and white food anyway?! ;)
Food should be full of rainbow colors, varied tastes, made from high quality foods, and most of all it is to be enjoyed!
So while there are foods that are "better" for you based on your dosha, don't let that confuse or frustrate you, especially if you are new to this perspective on nutrition.
Just try eating...
Hohkay! We have some poop talk happening today! My dear friend emailed and said she was only pooping sad little balls. Poor thing.
That made me sad, so I put together some ideas to get her poo back on track.
QUESTION FROM YOU
Hey Mon, I'm not sure you want to hear about this, but my poop has been coming out in little balls lately. From what I research, it's a lack of hydration in the colon, but I drink freakin water all day long!! It could also be sugar, processed food and alcohol (just wine in my case). I love my wine, but I've cut back a lot. I've never been a big processed food eater, but it could be the sugar. The halloween candy has been a-flown into my mouth as of late. I think I need to do a little detox. Also, from your article I gleaned that it's a vata thing and I need to eat more oils/fats. I'm not really sure how much tho? I'm already dealing with a hefty 5lb increase because of those damn candies,...
The body's internal digestive fire is called our agni. When agni funtions properly, whatever we have eaten gets digested and absorbed by the body's tissues. Then the body eliminates waste. Pretty simple.
However, when doshas or tissues are imbalanced due to lifestyle, diet, negative emotions, etc., agni becomes weakened or disturbed and therefore cannot digest food properly.
In Ayurveda, "You are what you digest." If you can't digest it, you'll get imbalanced!
This undigested food (and emotions) turns into ama, which is a toxic, sticky, cloudy, smelly substance that can spread from the digestive tract to other parts of the body. From there it can lodge itself into crevices (sometimes large crevices) causing clogs in channels, blood vessels and cell membranes. Yeah, eu. It's gross.
How many times have you eaten on the go, while working, during an intense conversation or while...
Learn more on optimizing your digestive fire, what food is best for your dosha and so much more in my book In Your Elements on Amazon.
Agni, our digestive fire, is responsible for processing and absorbing the foods we eat. The function of agni is the main contributor to our physical and mental health and when agni functions properly, we thrive. But when agni malfunctions, we get sick and we can accumulate ama (toxins).
Visualize agni as a little fire burning behind our belly button, responsible for digesting and assimilating our foods. But, agni needs to function properly or there will be problems. Let's think about real fire for a sec: Fire functions properly by burning and transforming substances. Or, fire can go wild and crazy if there's too much wind (think, heartburn). Or, fire can get snuffed out by too much wetness or heaviness (think, weight gain). Or, fire can have a slow low...
Welcome to Ayurveda!
The doshas are 3 energies that are made from 5 great elements: space, air, fire, water, earth. We have all three of the doshas in us, but one or two will be most dominant. When we understand which dosha governs our body-minds the most, we can craft our diet & lifestyle to suit our individual needs. When our doshas are balanced for who we are as unique individuals, we will enjoy optimal health!
For more on what doshas are, I briefly explain them in this video.
Questions should be answered based on authentic, pure you and not what happens to be true recently. Afterall, life habits can imbalance us over time. If it's very hard to choose between two answers, pick both, but for the most part try to pick only one that feels most true to you.
Add up the totals for each v, p, and k at the end. Which ever number is the highest, that is your dosha....
Here we go! Kapha's vices!
Unless of course, you are a kapha. Then you can skip those and read on because the spotlight is on you, baby. By vices, I mean stuff that you reach for that is opposite of what you need for optimal health.
You see, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave the foods and habits that keep increasing that dosha! Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things.
When we analyze our sweet kapha friends they are happy-go-lucky, inviting, generous, the best listeners (and huggers!), able to handle a lot of work with grace, peaceful minded, and rock a curvy goddess-like physique. Kaphas can also be stubborn and impossible to move, can gain weight easily, have depression (though you probably wouldn't be able to tell), tend toward emotional eating, and if pushed too far they will hold a grudge.
When I see a kapha person who's skin looks dull/gray, their...
Ok guys, let's talk about pitta's vices, which stems from the previous post on vata's vices.
Remember, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave the foods and habits that keep increasing that dosha! Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things.
Taking a look at pitta, we know pitta people are sharp-minded and sharp-tongued. They are direct, focused, witty with a great sense of humor, hyper-organized, detailed, play by the rules, ask a ton of questions, and are usually found in leadership roles.
So when I see a pitta person with a big burger on their plate, copious glasses of wine or cocktails, pouring extra Tabasco sauce on their nachos with jalapenos, and following it all up with a piece of chocolate lava cake (with ice cream), I know they have a pitta imbalance. Why? Because a balanced pitta would not eat that much or crave those things. By the way, that there pitta would be running for the heartburn medicines to calm that craziness down! ;)...
Sometimes people think I have magical powers because I can often predict peoples' diet and lifestyle habits even if I don't know them very well. The way someone behaves (and eats!) gives me a lot of insight into their doshic make up. And not only that, but also gives glaring information about the dosha that is imbalanced.
In Ayurveda, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave foods and habits that will keep increasing that dosha. Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things!
Let's take vata for example. Vata people talk a lot, move a lot, do a lot, lose focus, forget things, skip details, are creative, are dramatic/moody, love to be spontaneous, and are naturally bubbly. My brain automatically says, "Vata." Now, when I observe one of these vata people drinking a lot of coffee, skipping meals yet eating candy as a food group, drinking lots of diet Coke or carbonated beverages with ice, I say to myself, "Vata imbalance." Why? Because a balanced vata would...
As you are learning more about the doshas, it’s super fun to watch them in action.
People-watching is one of the most fascinating things in life, so toss in some Ayurvedic knowledge and you’ve got entertainment for years.
Ayurveda touches every part of our lives including, shopping! Is that the best news you’ve heard all day? Ayurvedic shopping! Permission to shop. Healthy, personalized shopping?! You betcha.
You remember our doshas right? Vata, pitta, and kapha are the three doshas that govern our personalities, physical builds, emotional tendencies, and the nature around us. Let’s take a peek into the shopping world of the doshas.
Vata shopping: Vatas will spend money as fast as they make it. Like the windy beings they are—*whoosh*—cash goes flying out of their fingers as soon as they walk out the door. Vatas are most prone to impulse buys, which may result in buyers remorse, because they didn’t think...
Vata season is windy, cold, light and dry. Brr. Don't forget your oil massages in the morning! Before your shower, warm some almond oil and give yourself a head-to-toe massage for about 15 minutes. Daily in winter is ideal, but at least once a week.
Benefits of applying warm oil to the whole body
• Brings strength, tone, and suppleness to the body and all tissues
• Makes our skin more elastic so we look younger (anti-aging!)
• Strengthens and improves vision
• Gives the body nourishment inside and out
• Increases longevity
• Helps us have sound sleep!
• Strengthens our ojas (immunity)
• Tones our tissues, bringing vigor and vitality to the body
• Improves circulation to extremities and internal organs
• Calms vata and pitta while helping kapha flow
Benefits of applying oil to the scalp
• Helps hair become soft and glossy, sometimes thickens it
• Works directly...
If you never seem to have enough oomph for the day or are feeling burnt out, these are my tried and true ways to get your energy back!
They are easy, within your own power, and won't cost you anything but a little discipline.
Life is too short to go through our days energy-less. Regain your gusto with these practices.