We are what we eat

Most of us will consider the food choices we make as a reflection of our internal state – if we are stressed out, our eating style will be affected by it. Conversely the food we consume affects our bodies as well as the mind. Each and every cellular molecule in our body is created from the food we put into our body, including the water we drink and the air we breathe. Besides nourishing our bodies, food affects the quality of our lives, our moods, energy and our overall physical and mental health.

It is also too easy to lose our connection to the food we eat, and how we eat it. How many times have we felt pressed for time and we eat on the go, consuming what’s convenient and fast, rather than adequately nourishing our body. We have learn to block out signals from the stomach, suppress our cravings, rather than trying to really understand and determine what our body requires.  Often many of us have eaten something simply because “it’s there,” rather than because we’re actually hungry for it.

Yoga teaches us to be mindful of all our lifestyle choices and how they impact us. When your life is balanced and relaxed, your diet routine is set right. When I turned to yoga, I never imagined how it could transform my eating habits. I was going through a difficult phase and started experiencing symptoms like a high heart rate, a racing mind, and complete inability to stop and calm down. These, in turn, affected my eating habits and my body was experiencing a lack of nourishment.

Through consistent meditation and asana practice, I could find myself making small changes to my food choices. My mind was calmer, more focused and aware, I gave more importance and respect to food as it was the source of energy for my body.

Practicing awareness and mindfulness has made me question where my food comes from and it extends beyond going to the supermarket to purchase, say an apple. It helps me gain a deeper understanding of the evolution of the apple from seed, to photosynthesis, to plant, to farmer’s hand, to transportation, and finally to me.

The mindfulness of yoga has taught me to listen to my body, make nutritious choices, and consume enough food to fill my stomach. I had a newfound relationship with food, where I began feeling it was my responsibility to supply my body and mind with the right energy sources.

My Dosha Smoothie

Smoothies are great, who doesn’t love a good smoothie?  You get to put loads of lovely fruits and veggies together, blend them up and there you have it, a tasty chilled drink that fills you up. So with my love of smoothies and learning about the doshas I just had to make a smoothie only using the foods that are related to my dosha, I call it the ultimate smoothie. Firstly by doing this I did research and took a few different quizzes (just to make sure) to know what my Dosha was. Upon this search, I discovered that my body type is predominantly Vata. So know I needed to know what foods were good for my dosha body type, Vata. So again I did lots of research and came up with a long list of foods for Vata dosha bodies. So from this list, I chose out a few things that I could make my smoothie out of.

 

The list of ingredients for my ultimate smoothie:

-Blackberries

-Raspberries

-Blueberries

-Strawberries

-Half a banana

-Avocado

-Cucumber

-Cilantro

-Oats

-Natural yogurt

-Coconut flakes

 -Almonds

-And chia seeds

topped up with coconut water to help blend it all together.

 

In the end, my smoothie was delicious and super healthy. I’m always suggesting my friends who don’t have a blender, to go get one! I rant on firstly about how love smoothies, especially a strawberry and banana smoothie, YUM! I tell them that making smoothies is really easy and can be really yummy and healthy at the same time. For me personally, eating food and trying to gain weight has always been a hassle, and sometimes it really handy to just blend something up quickly to give your body what it needs. You can even buy powdered nutrients and protiens to put in your smoothies to enrich it even more, but that isn’t for everyone. 

Smoothies make mi-so happy

Smoothies make mi-so happy. 

I love smoothies — healthy or unhealthy, I love them all. I always have frozen berries, avocadoes, bananas, mangoes, ice cream, etc. in my freezer waiting to be blended into a delicious smoothie. Sometimes I make healthy choices by making a protein or fruit smoothie or I go to the extreme by making an ice cream milk shake. The healthy choices are usually made in the morning and the unhealthy choices in the evening.

Since we have yoga training in the morning, I’ve been going to classes with an empty stomach because I have no idea if I’ll have to do kapalabhati or asanas. And most of the time when I have cycling classes in the evening, I come home by 9pm devastatingly hungry that I feel like the calories are burning from my bone marrow. I want to eat a meal, but if I eat solid food, I might torture myself the next morning. Therefore, the go-to solution was to have a smoothie.

Since we’ve learnt about the three gunas (sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic). I’ve tried making a delicious smoothie with a sattvic effect that also satisfies my evening sugar cravings. Recipe below!

 

The Mi-So Sattvic Smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

  • Coconut Milk – one and a half (1 1/2) cup
  • Water – half (1/2) cup
  • Avocado – half (1/2)
  • Banana – half (1/2)
  • Baby Spinach – one (1) handful
  • Dates – two (2) pitted
  • Turmeric Powder – two (2) pinches
  • Cinnamon Powder – one (1) pinch

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Just put them altogether in a blender and blend till smooth.

 

Namaste & Enjoy

– – Miso

Recipe: Sivananda Cookies

If you are looking for a delicious, healthy post yoga snack then look no further! This recipe comes from the Sivananda centre in London, where they have cookies freshly baked for students to tuck in to after class. They make multiple batches of these cookies in a day for all of the hungry mouths awaiting them!

This recipe is refined sugar, dairy, and egg free – so perfect for those working towards a sattvic diet.

I have tried a few alterations in the past (adding desiccated coconut to your cookies is a particularly good one!) so feel free to let your imagination run with any additional ingredients. Enjoy!

 

Sivananda Cookies

 

3 cups of oats/oatmeal

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ a cup of raisins

½ a cup of almonds

½ a cup of walnuts or hazelnuts

¾ a cup of coconut oil

1 cup honey

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ a cup of almond or soy milk

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Add all dry ingredients (oats, flour, spices, raisins, baking powder) to a large bowl and mix gently together
  • In a food processor, grind walnuts/hazelnuts and almonds until they are in small pieces and add to the dry mix
  • In another bowl, combine honey, milk, oil (all non dry ingredients) and mix together.
  • Combine the wet and dry mixes and use your hands to ensure thoroughly mixed. Take a spoonful of the mixture and roll into a ball. Place on an oiled baking sheet and flatten it so it is about 10 centimetres in diameter. Repeat with the rest of the mix.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden! Leave to cool slightly on a wire rack, and then dig in!
  • Not suitable for those with nut allergies.

Diet and lifestyle

I want to talk about how I manage my diet based in my daily life, my believes and my mental health.

Ayurveda (complete knowledge about life) is balanced in 5 elements that can or can´t be in our body, they are: earth, fire, water, air, space/ether.  A different and unique combination of those five elements determines our body, mind and spirit type, some of them cannot be changed prakriti because we were born with it, but doshas can be change depending in your life and behavior. Based on a quiz we did in class I learn that there are 3 types of doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This types of doshas are conformed by physical appearance, physiological processes (diet, climate, activities, country, etc.) and behavior, depending on your dosha you can have a specific diet who can keep you balanced, concentrated and active the way your body needs it.

 

I´m Pitta in an 80%, what means my characteristics are:

 

Area Characteristics
BODY TYPE medium size, warmer, reddish skin tone, metabolic medium and built muscle faster than the other doshas.
PERSONALITY tense, control freak and leaders.
IF ITS NOT IN BLANCE inflammation, workaholic, dehydration and hypertension.
ELEMENT Fire.

 

Yoga diet is divided in 3 categories (3 gunas):

Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic.Sattvic foods is pure, what they do is increase your energy and prana. satvik diet is that it’s light in nature, easy to digest, mildly cooling, refreshing and not disturbing to the mind. According to Ayurveda, this is the best diet for physical strength, good mind, good health and longevity. Rajasic The type of food is very natured spicy, bitter, sour, pungent, dry and excessively and exit the passions, making mind restless and uncontrollable. Rajasic food stimulates speed, sensual pleasure and physical activity.  On the other hand, Tamasic foods make one feel dull, sluggish and perhaps even lazy. Unfortunately, this is the kind of food the large majority of the population consumes in this day and age, this type of food I´m not able to eat.

According to Ayurveda and yoga, food is responsible for the individual’s physical, mental and spiritual development. Since food is the source of vitality, errors in diet will cause disorders. This is why we should be aware of the properties of the food we eat. When “aware” I mean we need to listen to our body and our mind, be careful with how we feed our body. Even though some type of food may belong to the sattvic group we might not being feeling pure and refreshing, in this type of situation we can choose not to take it and change it, there is a big variety we don’t need to force ourselves just because its in the sattvic group.

 

But, I´m not a 100% pitta because I got hyperthyroidism (physical alteration) who makes me gain weight, being cold all the time, be dull, tired, distracted, etc. So I have a different diet to help my body feel better and healthier. Besides the pitta diet I need to take away soy products, dairy products, gluten products & certain chemicals that are processed.

 

Since Pitta is associated with the fire element, Pitta-pacifying foods consist of those that are cooling, hydrating and subtle. These help to balance moisture, achieve optimum temperature and neutralize any excess acidity in the body. As such, Pitta should increase intake of sweet, astringent and bitter foods and decrease that of salty, sour or pungent. As a general guideline, hot, spicy and fried food should be avoided, as well as fermented foods such as sour cream or alcohol. A more comprehensive recommendation of foods that Pitta should consume is shown in the table below:

 

New diet with 3 Gunas

First week of Yoga Teacher Training, we learned about the food categories based on 3 Gunas, which is Sattvic, Rajasic & Tamasic. This is interesting!!!

After the class, I ask myself what is the percentage of food between this 3 gunas that I consumed all the while? My answer is ” I ate coffee, tea, milo, milk, hawker food, Japanese food, Korean food, Chinese food, western food, fruit juice, soy milk… fruits and salad too… emmm…Roughly 5% (Sattvic), 15% (Rajasic) & 80% (Tamasic)…”
OH OOoo….almost all is under Tamasic & Rajasic…
Looking into the food range, sound difficult to have full Sattvic now a day, unless today we have own farm, own cow to supply fresh milk, own land to plant organic vegetables…etc, otherwise there is no way to have full Sattvic diet. In fact, Tamasic & Rajasic food are not all unhealthy food. There are still a lot of healthy food with rich of vitamin, protein, mineral and so on…that human body require daily. We don’t have to eat Sattvic food to become healthy right? The most important to reduce unhealthy food and take balance diet everyday.

So, I do some analysis and finally I split Tamasic food into 3 types which is suit to me.
1. Tamasic Healthier – Whole meal, low fat, low sugar, non-processing and non-preserve.
Exp:Whole meal bread, Chicken breast, fish, mushroom, low fat milk, beef…etc
2. Tamasic Average – Normal hawker centre food, Bread, Rice, biscuit, taufu, chocolate, frozen vegetable…etc
3. Tamasic Unhealthy – Fast Food, fried food, snack, preserve food, processing food..etc

Next, I’ve adjusting my daily meal percentage to roughly 35%(Sattvic), 8-10% (Tamasic), 50-55% (Tamasic type 1&2), and 2-0% (Tamasic type 3) and my new diet begin…
Instead of eating fried “you tiao”, economy beehun..etc plus coffee, now my breakfast changed to cereal, whole meal bread, milk and banana. Not much changes for lunch, I’m taking normal meal in coffee shop, just try to avoid taking Tamasic type 3. For dinner, I took only fruits, nuts (almond, cashew, raisin…) and vegetables.

Results after 2 weeks:
Not really seen any obvious changes physically yet, my weight maintain… but I can feel not that sleepy even without coffee in morning. Also One thing can be sure, I became “more willing” to get up from bed in morning, compared to last time I keep snoozing my alarm clock many times, then late to work…haha!!! Furthermore, I seem like not very rely on coffee to make me awake anymore. Sound good!!!

Looking forward to see what is the changes along the way, will keep this diet for a period of time and observe…
Cheer!!!

Wei Veen

5 swaps I’ve made in a quest to achieve a Yogic diet

In yoga, energy can classify itself in three Gunas – Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. These three qualities are within ourselves and and motivate/demotivate different actions and attitudes that we take. When it comes to food and drink, the three Gunas can translate as follows:
Sattvic – foods that are pure, fresh, natural, unprocessed and will nourish the body in a balanced way. Whole grains, proteins like nuts, and pulses. Foods low in salt, sugar, spice.
Rajasic – stimulating or altering foods with excessive flavour – spicy, sweet, saline. Alert the senses and thus over stimulate the mind.
Tamasic – food that intoxicates a person or make them feel dull, lazy. Alcohol is included in this category, as is food that has been burned, fried, preserved.
The yogic diet encourages a sattvic approach to food and drink – which in modern society can be a challenge! Not only because we are surrounded by rajasic, tamasic eateries and products that are well marketed, but also because we use food as a social bonding activity.
Here are some simple swaps I have made in the past three weeks to (slowly) help shift myself to a more sattvic approach to food and drink.
1. Processed Sugar < Fruit Sugar 
I have a real ‘sweet tooth’. I often use sugar as a reward/treat, or an energy boost if I’m physically or mentally tired/stressed. It tends to help initially but I always slump a few hours afterwards and hunt out more sugar! Over the past few weeks I have swapped biscuits, sweets, for fresh fruit.
2. Sweet Drinks < Herbal Tea 
Historically I am not someone that has been hooked on sweet drinks/fruit juices/fizzy drinks, however as soon as I moved to Singapore I found myself drawn to the array of choices on offer when it comes to drinks! We are told through advertising that these are the most ‘thirst quenching, energising’ drinks but in actual fact they offer empty calories, damage teeth and make us produce more gas!!
I have swapped these drinks for herbal teas (with ice) or cold water. I have found this to be an easy switch and it has actually helped my energy levels and appetite to become more stable!
3. Plain Carbohydrates < Whole Grains
Back in the UK we LOVE to bake!! This means that many people consume a lot of bread, cakes, rolls, biscuits, pizza. Carbohydrates are important for a balanced diet but in aiming to move to a sattvic frame we should avoid foods that are over processed or too much food that will make us feel sluggish and have a tamasic effect.
I have reduced my bread intake (I’ve found there to be less temptation which is good!) and lean towards whole grain rice, pasta, carbs when possible. It makes such a difference to energy levels!
4. Dairy < Alternatives 
Traditionally dairy would be incorporated as part of a sattvic diet. However in recent years with mass production of milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt we have been exposed to the mass methods of production and treatments of animals which do not align with a sattvic existence.
I have reduced my dairy intake and have found some great alternatives – coconut yoghurt, almond milk, adding bananas and chia seeds when baking rather than butter. I will consciously aim to make these swaps in future!
5. Eating ‘on the go’ < Mindful Eating
This swap has been a big one for me! Working in a busy job in London, despite my healthy approach I often find that I cram time to eat in. Most days I would eat at my desk or en route to a meeting, and meal times were never planned! I have learned that even pure, sattvic foods become rajasic when eaten on the go as the action promotes a restless state of mind.
I am now taking time to appreciate my food in all stages: buying – preparing – serving – chewing – swallowing – digesting.
I have found this super helpful and has solved a problem I often face which is that I over eat and bloat (probably from shovelling food rather than appreciating it!).
I still have a way to go but am happy with the difference I have noticed thus far when incorporating some of these simple swaps.
Give them a try!
Abby

Yoga for a Happier Digestive System

Since six years old (or maybe even further back), I’ve suffered from constipation. It’s been common for me to empty my bowels once to twice every week. My family and friends who know about my constipation, used to say it may be because I don’t drink enough water or eat enough fibre, but that’s wrong. I drink at least 2 litres of water per day and eat a well balanced meal with enough fibre.

To ease my constipation I’ve tried incorporating yoghurt in my diet (which helped a bit) but stopped due to frequent skin break outs and a stomach bloat. As well as taking probiotic supplements, which didn’t seem to make a difference.

As time passed, I’ve ignored my digestive problems, telling myself that maybe my body takes a longer time to move the waste out of my bowels. But then as I commenced the 4 week yoga teacher training course, I’ve been going to the toilet to empty my bowels every single day. EVERY SINGLE DAY! AND SOMETIMES EVEN TWICE A DAY! It’s been an amazing feeling, where my stomach feels empty and at ease.

I haven’t changed my life style, diet, sleeping patterns, etc. The only new thing that was incorporated into my lifestyle this past week has been yoga practice (asanas and pranayama).  Five days of yoga in a row, practicing the asanas along with pranayama for minimum two (2) hours in the morning before lunch.

One might suggest it’s because I’ve been “exercising”, but the answer is no. I’m a freelance spinning instructor, teaching minimum of five 45 minutes classes a week. I “exercise” enough, thank you very much. Sure you can get an “exercise” out of yoga, but I’d say I’ve been moving my body a lot more in different angles and planes, twisting my body along with proper conscious breathing which probably massaged my colon internally, thus stimulating elimination.

Yoga really does purify your body, especially your colons. I look forward to continuing this regular practice (partly) for a happier digestive system. You know what they say, happy tummy equals happy me.

 

— Miso

The Yogic Diet: Cranberry Banana Bread

The Yogic Diet

Food has such a powerful impact – affecting our physical appearance, physiological processes and emotions. With such a diverse variety of food items to choose from, making small changes in what we eat and observing the effects these have on our body help us to decide which foods best nourish our bodies and minds.

The Yogic Diet comprises 3 main gunas (categories): Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Sattvic foods are seen as pure, wholesome foods that increase energy and prana (life force) within us. These leave us feeling calm, refreshed and alert, and are generally primary sources of energy so are largely plant-based. Sattvic foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts and oils, whole grains, legumes, honey and mild spices that have not been processed.

Rajasic foods are said to be stimulating, such as spices, caffeine, tobacco, processed sugar, onions and garlic. They make one overly alert and thus difficult to find calm.

On the other hand, Tamasic foods make one feel dull, sluggish and perhaps even lazy. These include alcohol, meat, fish and mushrooms, as well as foods that have been frozen, fermented, reheated, fried, stale or laden with preservatives. Unfortunately, this is the kind of food the large majority of the population consumes in this day and age, be it due to convenience such as microwave meals or taste preference, it not only provides insufficient prana to the body, but also inadequate fuel for the mind. From a nutritional perspective, some of these food items may not necessarily be harmful to health – for example frozen vegetables or meat still retain majority of their nutrients, but the process of freezing has depleted its prana. 

Besides that, the manner of preparation and the way it is eaten can also determine the guna. Food that is prepared with love and awareness is Sattvic, while overeating or scoffing down your food is said to be Tamasic, even if the food itself is Sattvic. Thus, we would ideally have wholesome foods prepared with love and care, eaten in a mindful and relaxed manner.

The effects of food on our body can perhaps best be seen in meditation. During mediation, the 2 main issues are an over-active mind, brought about by ingesting excessive Rajasic food, and conversely, falling asleep due to too much Tamasic food. Thus, Sattvic foods are best for attaining the balance between the 2 to quiet the mind whilst maintaining alertness to explore our thoughts.

Cranberry Banana Bread topped with chia seeds and butterfly pea flowers 

Ayurvedic Doshas

Ayurveda translates to complete knowledge about life. It focuses on balance of the interplay between the body, mind and spirit, where imbalances lead to illness. There are 3 main doshas (changeable body types) –Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each body type is associated with the 5 different elements – Vata goes with air and space/ether, Pitta goes with fire and Kapha goes with water and earth. Your dosha is determined by 3 main criteria: physical appearance, physiological processes and your behaviours or mindset. By doing an online quiz, we found out our doshas, where most people have 1 or 2 dominating doshas. Besides that, we learnt about the health conditions each dosha is more susceptible to, and how to alter our diet to prevent this. I have summarised some characteristics of each dosha below:

Properties Vata Pitta Kapha
Element Air, Space/Ether Fire Water, Earth
Stature Thin Medium Large bones
Skin type Dry skin Oily skin Good skin
Metabolic rate High Medium, warm temperature Low, but strong immune system
Mental characteristics Quick learner, spontaneous and likes change Opinionated, intense focus, usually a leader Easygoing, friendly, slow learner but retains information well, likes routine
Weaknesses Poor at managing finances, fickle Domineering, poor anger management Frugal
Medical conditions susceptible to Constipation, restless sleep, arthritis, depression, anxiety Inflammation, hypertension, coronary heart disease Metabolic syndrome: Obesity, type II diabetes, high cholesterol

Let food by thy medicine

In Ayurveda, diet plays an important role in affecting our physiological processes, acting as both a preventative and therapeutic measure. There are 6 main Ayurvedic tastes – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent, which are also associated with the elements as shown in the table below:

Ayurvedic tastes Elements Dosha suitable for
Sweet Earth, Water Vata, Pitta
Salty Water, Fire Vata
Sour Earth, Fire Vata
Pungent Fire, Air Kapha
Astringent Air, Earth Pitta, Kapha
Bitter Air, Space/Ether Pitta, Kapha

Pitta-Pacifying Food 

Most of the class is Pitta dosha, so I made a pitta-pacifying cranberry banana bread to celebrate the end of our first week of YTT200. Since Pitta is associated with the fire element, Pitta-pacifying foods consist of those that are cooling, hydrating and subtle. These help to balance moisture, achieve optimum temperature and neutralise any excess acidity in the body. As such, Pitta should increase intake of sweet, astringent and bitter foods and decrease that of salty, sour or pungent. As a general guideline, hot, spicy and fried food should be avoided, as well as fermented foods such as sour cream or alcohol. A more comprehensive recommendation of foods that Pitta should consume is shown in the table below:

Pitta Pacifying Food Chart
Pitta pacifying food, source: https://www.theayurvedaexperience.com/blog/pitta-diet/

Cranberry Banana Bread Recipe 

As we practice asanas for 2h a day, we need to replenish the glycogen we’ve consumed, as well as provide our brain with the much-needed fuel for the afternoon of theory. Since our brain’s main metabolic energy is glucose, which we derive mainly from carbohydrates, I thought banana bread would be a generally sattvic snack to fuel us through YTT (which is also gluten-free). It has elements of Pitta-pacifying ingredients such as sweet overripe bananas, oat flour and cretan honey, astringent cranberry raisins and a small amount of cinnamon that contributes to the bitter taste. I’ve also topped it with chia seeds which absorb water to keep us hydrated and is rich in fibre to aid digestion. Besides that, butterfly pea flowers have anti-oxidant, anti-depressant properties that reduce stress and hypertension, and is beneficial for hair and skin.

 

Cranberry Banana Bread ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cretan honey
  • 3 eggs
  • Cranberry raisins
  • Chia seeds
  • Butterfly pea flowers

Method 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°
  • Add the dry ingredients into a bowl
  • Mash the bananas and add them into the bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients and mix well
  • Fold in cranberry raisins
  • Grease baking tin (I like to use the inside of the banana peel, it works pretty well!)
  • Pour the mixture into the baking tin and top with chia seeds and butterfly pea flowers
  • Bake for 25min, then leave in for another 5min with oven off
  • Enjoy!

And there you have it, a quick easy pitta-pacifying snack fix. Would love if you gave the recipe a try, let me know what you think!

Kyla x

Food for Doshas

VATA

Naturally cold, dry, rough and mobile Vata needs food which has the opposite qualities.

They need warm, moist, dense and oily food.

Through food they can change their negative qualities which are dry skin, bloating, gas, indigestion, anxiety, insomnia and others.

Fruits

Choose sweet and nourishing food. Avoid overly bitter and astringent fruits such as cranberries. Same goes for dry fruit, it has to be completely avoided.

Apples can be eaten cooked, bananas have to be well ripe, watermelon during hot weather only. All the fruit should be eaten 30 minutes before meals as it helps its digestion.

Vegetables

All the vegetables have to be cooked as they are easier to digest. Raw vegetables should be avoided or eaten in moderation when the digestive system works well and is at its peak (lunch time). Root vegetables are very good for Vata.

Grains

Grains in general are well tolerated by Vatas as they are grounding, nourishing and easy to digest. They have to be eaten warm and barley should be on the bottom of the list as it is a rather cooling kind of grain.

Legumes

Legumes are easier to digest than meat, but in Vatas in weaker digestive system they could wreck some gassy havoc. If cooked they have to be well done and with the use of spices such as cumin as it helps assimilation.

Dairy

Choose ghee, goat’s milk, goat’s cheese and goat’s yogurt, kefir and unsweetened-regular yogurt. Avoid frozen yogurt, ice cream, and non-organic dairy products.

Nuts and seeds

Any raw and unsalted nut is great for Vata as they have all the characteristics they need.  Soaked almonds are the best for them.

Avoid salted and roasted nuts.

Animal products

Favor meat that is moist, sweet and easy to digest.

Chicken. Beef, eggs and fish are great.

Avoid venison, lamb and pork.

Oils

Oils are very good and pacifying for Vatas. The best choice is almond oil, EVO, Coconut oil, mustard oil and sesame oil.

Avoid canola, corn, palm and peanut oil as they are too light and tend to be rather processed.

Spices

Spices are very good for Vatas, they only have to be careful about overly spicy food and use in moderation some spices such as:

Cayenne, chili powder, fenugreek, horseradish and neem.

 

PITTA

Pittas are hot, oily, sharp, and pungent. That means cool, juicy, sweet and dry food.

They need food to counterbalance their negative properties such as oily skin, heartburn, hyperacidity, impatience, overheating, ulcers and others.

Fruits

Pitta should favor sweet, juicy and astringent fruits. They should avoid sour and acidic fruits.

All the fruit should be eaten 30 minutes before meals as it helps its digestion.

Apples should be sweet and ripe, so should be bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, mangoes, oranges and so on.

Pittas do better without excessive sour fruits like grapefruit and lemon or the above-mentioned ones if they are not sweet.

Vegetables

Sweet, bitter and/or astringent vegetables are the best for Pittas. They do best with raw vegetables.

Pittas need to avoid vegetables which are pungent, heating and spicy or sharp such as garlic, chilies or onions. Also, nightshades are not recommended for them. Vegetables to reduce or avoid are:

Daikon, eggplant, leeks, mustard greens, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, raw onions, radishes and turnips.

Grains

These should be a staple in Pittas’ diet. Favor those which are cooling, drying and grounding. Avoid those which have heating properties and yeasted bread.

Therefore, Pittas should go for amaranth, barley, couscous, oats, quinoa, rice, spelt and wheat. They should avoid buckwheat, corn, millet, polenta, rye and yeasted breads.

Legumes

Legumes are fantastic for Pittas. They have to avoid the processed form. Choose black beans, chickpeas, lentils, mung daal, split peas, tempeh, tofu.

Dairy

Pittas should go for soft cheeses and avoid sour dairies.

Choose butter (unsalted), ghee, goat’s milk cheese and yogurt and organic yogurt (homemade, unsweetened).

Avoid frozen yogurt, salted butter, buttermilk, hard cheese, sour cream and store bought yogurt.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts are not ideal as they are oily. Seeds are good though s they are cooling.

Choose almonds if they are soaked overnight, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Animal products

Pittas do not do well with animal products. They should be very limited and restricted to chicken, eggs and fish (saltwater)

Oils

In moderate amounts. The best choice is EVO, Coconut oil, flaxseed oil and ghee.

Avoid canola, corn, soy and peanut oil as they are too processed.

Spices

Pittas love spicy food as it stimulates their internal fire, they should keep the level at bay as it throws them off balance. Eat in moderation. Avoid cloves, garlic and pepper.

 

KAPHA

Kaphas are dense, heavy, oily and sweet. They need more light stimulating, dry, bitter pungent and astringent food to balance their lethargy, weight gain, swelling, mucus build-up and slow metabolism.

Fruits

Kaphas should favor fruits which is light, and minimally sweet or sour. Fruits like apples, apricots, berries, cherries, cranberries, lemons, limes, pears and pomegranates. They should avoid avocados, bananas, coconut meat, dates and mangoes.

Vegetables

Vegetables should be the center of Kaphas’ diet. Thy should avoid vegetables which are oily, heavy, dense or watery such as stews, mashed potatoes, tempuras and stir-fries. Their digestive system is weak so it’s better if they go for lightly cooked dishes such as steamed or roasted vegetables. They are better off avoiding raw food. Kaphas should avoid olives, pumpkin, potatoes, and squashes.

Grains

Kaphas should mind their grains portions. Stay away from pastas, breads and pastries.

Legumes

Legumes are fantastic for Kaphas as they are astringent. Cooked with cumin will make them more digestible. They should avoid miso, kidney beans, soy beans, soy cheese, soy sauce and tofu.

Dairy

Kapha should avoid dairy completely.

Nuts and seeds

Better avoided, they can choose soaked almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Animal products

Kapha should limit the intake of animal products as they tend to be particularly heavy for them. Chicken ,eggs and freshwater fish could be an exception as long as taken moderately.

Oils

In moderate amounts as Kaphas are oily in nature. The best choice is EVO, Almond oil, flaxseed oil and ghee.

Avoid processed heavy oils.

Spices

Spices are very good for Kaphas. They have real medicinal properties and Kapha should particularly enjoy ginger, cinnamon, coriander, chili powder, cayenne. They should try to limit the intake of salt as much as possible.

 

 

Chiara G. (Pitta) May 2018