One of you wrote to me and said, "Hey, Monica B, what does Ayurveda say about milk and cheese?"
Great question! Is it good for us, bad for us, good for certain people or certain seasons? Lots to think about!
Some people absolutely love it and it does really well for their body. Some people are actually intolerant of it and can't have it at all.
So I wanted to talk a little bit about what does milk and cheese exactly do for our bodies and who it's good for.
1) sweet and
Cheese is heavy. It is coating, and sometimes it can be sweet, which is cooling, and sometimes it can be sour, which is heating.
Sweet cheeses are soft and more milky like cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, especially fresh mozzarella and burrata. Ricotta also falls under the sweet category.
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Ever wonder if we are supposed to feel hungry? Like what if you feel hungry all the time? Or what if you never feel hungry at all? How hungry should we feel?
Sometimes we're taught that we're actually not ever supposed to feel hunger so we should eat five to six meals a day to avoid getting hungry.
Years back I saw a nutritionist and was told to eat five or six meals a day to never get hungry. And what happened? I gained some pounds within two weeks! My pants were tight and everything was tight. I felt heavy. I felt just really overall kind of awful. I knew it wasn't working for me.
It wasn't until I discovered Ayurveda that I figured out why eating all those small meals left me feeling so terrible.
So, what does Ayurveda say about hunger? It is good to feel hungry! Yay!
1. It is a signal from our digestive...
Have you ever wondered, "How much water am I supposed to be drinking every day?"
We're told to drink, "eight glasses of water." Or, for weight loss, "drink a bunch of water before your meals so that you don't feel as hungry!" I've even heard if you divide your body weight by 1/2 and and turn that into ounces, that's how much water you should drink!
Vatas, you would think would need a lot of water, because they are the driest. But along with the water, they also need a healthy amount of oils. You're like, "Why? Water is hydrating!" It is hydrating, but think about this. If you do something with your hands in water for a long time, like let's say you're washing dishes, your hands get very dry. So for vatas, because they have a dry constitution, they will need a good amount of water, but they need some oil to provide the unctuousness they need.
Pitta is the dosha that needs the most water because pittas are...
Soooo...raise your hand, if you have kind lost your appetite lately. Or, notice any strange cravings, like you just want a bowl of cereal for dinner or a piece of fruit for lunch?
You're not crazy! It's because we are moving right into pitta season! In pitta season the fire + water elements govern the weather, the greater nature surrounding us.
We tend to think of summer as hot/fire, so you might be thinking, "But wait, it's hot...like increases like, so I should be starving." Good thinking! But notice that water element.
Spicy, saucy, savory foods don't really sound good to us right now, it's counterintuitive to what's happening in nature. Instead we start craving pitta-balancing foods that are cooling and sweet like sweet fruits, sweet cereals, maybe ice creams! We no longer order a hot chai, we ask for an iced matcha.
In fact, I just...
One of you wrote to me and said,
And I was like, "That's a good question. I have like five, maybe eight things that she could do!" and then I was like, "Dang, she said one, I've got to think of one."
So I did it. I thought of one thing that is hugely impactful, and achieves great results and I'm excited to share it with you!
Something important to note, the one thing is not very exciting. In fact you might be like, "Meh, that's it?" but I want to understand the benefits you'll notice because that's where the goodness is!
My one recommendation for the small change to make is, to make lunch the biggest meal of the day.
And why do I say that? Because usually we're at work, or we're in the middle of our day, we're rushing here and there. We grab...
photo credit: This is my daughter Alella when she was teeny. We stuck a mustachio on her and...photoshoot! We were sleep deprived and slap happy. She has a pitta tongue with a wee bit of milk on it :)
Below is an excerpt from my book In Your Elements. Get your copy on Amazon!
If you didn't know what your tongue says about you, well, I'm gonna share! Our tongue tells us a nifty story, we just have to know what to look for.
A simple practice: Every morning, first thing, check your tongue. It will most likely have a little coating on it, so if you have a tongue scraper, scrape it a few times. Look again. If it is pink, that's a great sign. If it is white you may have ama, which is toxins or undigested food stuffs.
Come along and let's learn what other things Ayurveda says about our tongue!
Besides a white coating, there are other things we can look for on our tongue. If there is redness, it can...
Quick lesson on kapha dosha: Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure. Kapha type people will have a very well-built structure in their body and are very steady in their mind. They don't get really stressed out or angry like a pitta and they don't get anxious or worried as much like a vata. They're pretty steady, easy-going, peaceful, and happy.
But when their food is too heavy, kaphas can feel very heavy in their body, and in their mind — because kaphas already have a well-built nature.
Why? Because vegetables light, astringent, and bitter — which are all the qualities and tastes that balance kapha.
The bitter and astringent tastes are foods that "break the body down" which are balancing for kapha. These tastes...
In fact, they have completely opposite qualities. Yogurt is a channel clogger and not good for any dosha — it can really screw up peoples' digestion. It starts out too cold and damp, but then digests very hot. It dampens digestive fire and when combined with fruit, it becomes a double whammy Ayurvedic no-no because fruit + diary are considered a wrong food combination.
If you have any problems with allergies, slow metabolism, cloudy mind, lethargy, tendency toward being cold, heartburn, acid reflux, burping up food, sinus problems and/or chest congestion, try stopping the yogurt. Just try it for two weeks and see how you feel. You can always go back to yogurt if you want, but my guess is that you will feel better.
BUT! We're not talking about yogurt, we are talking about lassi! Beautiful channel opening, digestion enhancing lassi!!
For a roadmap on how to use Ayurveda in your daily life AND much more on Ayurvedic nutrition, Grab a copy of my book In Your Elements on Amazon!
Ayurvedic nutrition has such a different and refreshing lens!
Is there such a thing as "Ayurvedic food"? No. Food is food.
So don't stress about whether food is "Ayurvedic" because there is no such thing. Yay!
What matters is a) the quality of food — is it high quality or low quality and b) are the "tastes" of the food — and whether those tastes balance your dosha.
Having a balance of the six tastes in our diet creates harmony in the body and mind. Each taste contains certain elements (space, air, fire, water, earth), so depending your dosha, there are tastes that will be more balancing for you than others.
The tastes that balance vata are: sweet, sour, salty.
The tastes that balance pitta...
Some of the biggest challenges my clients and students have is figuring out their food.
I know that a lot of you get confused. "Should I be eating this? What's good for me?" We go looking for online articles for answers. We go looking for online videos. We try and make all the cool recipes that people are making and sometimes our digestion ends up funky. Sometimes our minds end up feeling funky about that too because we're like, "What the heck? I don't even really know what I should be eating for me."
I'm going to give you three ways to not overthink your food so that you can feel a little bit more empowered in this area.
The first thing is so simple. You're going to be like, "Duh," but it really is.
Write down, grab a piece of paper and a pen if you have it handy or just think in your mind. What...