Category Archives: ayurveda

Dieting To Balance A Vata Dosha

 

When dieting to balance out a Vata Dosha, it is crucial to stick to a routine and take things slow.  This will clean out bad habits by creating a process that will keep Vata’s grounded.  There are a few basic principles to abide by that revolve around what you eat and when you eat.

Vata’s should be eating 3 or 4 meals a day, leaving 2 hours between each meals.  So eating a snack is very important to stick to this timeframe.  You want to consume your last meals 2 or 3 hours before you go to sleep.  With lunch being the biggest meal, Vata’s can consume only poultry and fish during this time.  Red meat and raw foods are hard to digest for a Vata, as you have a delicate digestive system.  The key hear is to keep foods warm, cooked and moist.

As a Vata think one pot meals.  Things like crock-pot meals, rice mixes and lots of grains should be your recipes.  The most nutrition you will get comes from whole grains like barleys, rice and quinoa.  When it comes to vegetables, always cook them as they can aggravate a Vata.

Other items to eat are beans that will cook in under 30 minutes.  Using easy to digest beans, split peas and lentils will avoid upsetting the cold nature of Vata.  Nuts, seeds, honey, oils and spices are all things to be incorporated into the diet.

Vata personalities are the most addictive.  When it comes to addictive substances like caffeine and alcohol, moderation is essential.  You should cut back on your caffeine intake to once a day.  While alcohol should be limited to 2 or 3 servings a week, with those servings spread out from each other.  Avoid iced beverages and processed foods completely.  Know when your falling into bad habits and keep yourself in check with a schedule.

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The Power Of Meditation

Meditation can be a powerful tool to not only your mind, but your body as well.  It function to make our mind peaceful and calm so we can accomplish tasks with a clear head.  It relieves our stress and strain, while enhancing our ability to face challenges.  It keeps our body in shape, helps our nervous system, helps our minds, our alertness, improves our perception, and helps us to properly express ourselves.  Meditation is food for the soul and a lifeline for the body.  It facilitates a disease free body, a confusion free mind, inhibition free intellect, and sorrow free soul.  By meditating, you are helping to create a violence free society.

It only takes a few minutes a day to gain more energy and focus for the day.  Many people believe they don’t have an extra 10-15 minutes to sit down and meditate.  However, meditating will actually clear your mind to focus on tasks, which will free up more time in the long run.

Watch this video below for a quick and simple breathing exercise to help clear your mind.

AOL.co.uk -Video – Om Meditation Anywhere Anytime

Gain Weight Through This Ayurvedic Diet

Drink Lots of Water:  

The typical saying for this is to drink 6-8 glasses a day.  In Ayurveda, the practice is to drink as many glasses as there are hours a day.  So if you are awake for 12 hours, you should drink 12 glasses of water.  You also want to avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee because they will dehydrate you.

Consume Dense Foods:

You want a diet consisting of 70% protein.  Foods that are heavy like meats or wheat, generally hold more substance.  You want to avoid a vegetarian like diet.  If you are vegetarian, make sure to consume plenty of milk, yogurt, cheese and other sources of vegetarian protein.

Use Foods That Increase Lubrication:

Foods like yogurt, nuts and oils are great for building up the Kapha dosha, as your muscle is made up of 70% water.  Stay away from foods that are dry, rough, light or hard.

Consume Vegetables Whole:

It is better to eat vegetables in larger chunks, than diced up and finely chopped.

Stick to Flavorful foods

Foods that are sweet, salty and sour can increase the earth, water and fire elements in your body.  Stick to the real flavors, not the artificial kinds.

Make a Routine:

Have a daily schedule for your food intake, making sure to leave plenty of time between meals.  It should look a little something like this:

6-8 am: The first meal of the day and should be a smaller one.

9-11 am: Mid morning snack, which should contain nuts and heavier fruits like bananas, avocado, mango etc.

12-2 pm: Lunch and should be the main bulk of your meals.

2-4 pm: Afternoon snack consisting of fruits and snacks.  It can also be things like oatmeal cookies, flax cookies, cheese, etc.

5-7 pm: This is your last meal of the day and should be a smaller one.

 

 

Learning Your Dosha To Fight Imbalance

One of the central teachings of Ayurveda is the theory that a healthy body exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily energies, called doshas.  These three doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are the body’s functions that are responsible for all physical and mental processes.

The tridosha theory in Ayurveda comes from the 5 elements that comprise our world – space, air, fire, water (Jala), and earth.  The three doshas are a combination of these elements which take form in the human body.

Vata: (Space + Air)

  •  Vata is movement, the body in motion.  It controls the respiratory system, our heartbeat, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions.  Vata circulates our blood flow, pumps air through our lungs, moves food through our digestive track, and eliminates waste.

Pitta: (Fire + Water)

  • Pitta regulates the body, controlling its metabolism.  It deals with the body in a transformative state.  Pitta handles the digestion of food, release and absorption of hormones, production of heat, and the cooling of the body.  If Vata is the energy that moves nerve impulses through the brain, Pitta is the energy that converts those impulses into thoughts.

Kapha: (Earth + Water)

  • Kapha is the structural foundation of the body in the form of lubrication.  It builds the body and forms its skeleton, muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons and skin.  Kapha ensures the smooth function of joints by lubricating the body.  It is the body at rest through strength, stability and solidity.

Everyone is made up of three doshas, but they will differ between individuals.  Primarily we will have an affinity towards one dosha.  It is important to realize what that affinity is, in order to properly balance your body.  You can take a quiz here to find out which body type you are.

When we live against our natural attributes, we begin a pattern of unhealthy life choices that cause mental and physical imbalances.  This is cured by aligning your everyday habits and diet with the natural fulfillments within your dosha. For example a Pitta may experience heartburn after eating spicy food.  This could be counteracted by eating more cooling or alkalizing foods instead.

Take the quiz, learn more about your body and how you can attain proper equilibrium.

Here are some recipes for spice-water that can help your body type’s imbalances.

Vata Balancing Water

Pitta Balancing Water

Kapha Balancing Water

 

 

 

Prevent Sickness Through Healthy Eating

Getting sick is the worst.  Sore throats, runny noses, and fevers are some of the most dreaded things about winter.  Thats why It’s always best to prevent any potential sicknesses from ruining your day.

This video shares ways you can keep your immune system strong through a healthy diet.

Joy McCarthy, a holistic nutritionist , gives advice on 5 food categories to keep your body healthy:

  1. Vitamin D – Recommending a minimum of 1000 IU per day, some common foods for this are; salmon, eggs and sardines.
  2. Carotenoids – This is a family of vitamins like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and lycopene that are good at boosting natural killer cells.  Carotenoids are found in foods like kale, sweet potato, or any vegetable that is colorful.
  3. Probiotics – These are the good bacteria that your body needs and is common in foods like kimchi, miso paste and kefir.
  4. Zinc – A great influencer for immune cell function, foods like mushrooms, spinach, and asparagus will help keep the immune system strong.
  5. Selenium – This is good for boosting natural killer cells and mobilizing cancer killing cells.  You can find selenium in foods like oats, garlic, lemon and honey.

These helpful tips are another great way to keeping your life in balance.

An Ayurvedic Approach To Soothing Your Aliments

Winter is finally here in full force.  This is the time of year where we overfill our bellies, bundle-up and hibernate away from the freezing elements.  Often winter is the time where we find we are at our biggest imbalance.  Whether it’s a cold, stress from the snow, or too many drinks at the holiday party, our imbalances are everywhere.

The correct remedy is essential to keeping your everyday life manageable.  To sooth your aliments there are many approaches you can take.  You can turn to modern day medicines like Advil or NyQuil, or you can take a more holistic approach.

The Daily Beast lists some alternative Ayurvedic remedies that are cheap and effective to bringing your life back in balance.

1. Fever—Crush a handful of basil leaves and a 1 inch piece of ginger. Press the mixture into a sieve with the back of the spoon to squeeze out the liquid then add 1tsp of honey. Drink ever 4 to 6 hours.

2. Acid Reflex and Indigestion – Chew a few basil leaves after a meal. The simple act of extra chewing will help create additional saliva which can aid in digestion.

3. Hair Loss—Take one part cinnamon to two parts honey to 3 parts olive oil, mix it together and apply to areas of hair loss for about a half hour then wash away.

4. Hangover—Make yourself a cup of coffee and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. While drinking that eat two bananas and let the peels soak in a glass of water. Once you finish the cup of coffee wait a little bit to digest then drink the glass of water.

5. Menstrual Cramps—Eat two tbsp of flax seeds during your period because of their hormone balancing lignans and phytoestrogens.

6. Snoring—Take a cup of warm milk and mix in a tsp of Turmeric powder. Drink it before bed. This one I can personally attest to as a miracle cure. I actually find that having this once keeps me snore free for up to a week.

7. Whiter Teeth—Make a paste by crushing some basil leaves with the zest of an orange. Put it on your teeth for about twenty minutes then wash it off.

8. Improved Memory – Have a tsp of good quality raw honey with a pinch of cinnamon before bed to give your brain the glucose it needs to work all night long processing and repairing.

9. Allergies—Mix one part cucumber juice with one part beet root juice and three parts carrot juice. Drink it once per day.

10. Nasal Congestion – Put some black pepper in a pan and heat it on high for a couple of minutes the breathe in the fumes through your nose.

11. Headache—Take the rinds of a couple of lemons and squash it into a paste. Apply to the forehead for fast relief and follow up with a cup of green tea with half a lemon squeezed in.

12. Anxiety—Squeeze fresh orange juice into a glass then mix in one tbsp of honey and one tbsp of nutmeg for a daily tonic to help ease your stress.

13. Dry Skin – Mash together two bananas with two tbsp of honey and apply it to the skin for about fifteen minutes before washing the paste off.

14. Hypoglycemia or Low Blood Sugar – Make a tea from hot water and licorice powder which you drink twice daily.

15. Common Cold – Add a tsp of ground black pepper and a tsp of ground turmeric to a glass of warm milk.  The Daily Beast also suggests the “Less Doing” method which prescribes zinc and lime.  Take 100mg of zinc when you wake up, followed by four 8 ounce glasses of water with a whole lime throughout the day.  Then finish off with 50mg of zinc right before bed.