Thursday, February 27, 2014

:: pitta, kapha, vata...what? ::

I spent last weekend at the fabulous Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, out in the Berkshires. It's such an amazing gem out in Western Massachusetts, and I'm going to devote a whole blog post on it soon. But for now, I want to write more about the ayurveda workshop I went to and how I'm going to try to integrate it into my life. There is SO much to learn about eating with the seasons and giving your body what it needs in this world of crazy chemicals and bioengineered "food".

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. And a portion of that is diet. There is sooooooo much to learn, and I know approximately .000001 % of it now, so I'm not going to attempt to explain it all. But I took a quiz similar to the one here to determine how I should eat. Not only are the results based on the physical (how we store fat, how active we are, where we hold stress) but also the emotional and behavioral (how we love, how we react to criticism, what we fear). Fascinating, seriously. There are three "doshas" listed below (source):

Vatas tend to be thin, light and quick in thoughts and actions. Change is a constant part of their lives. When Vata is balanced, we are creative, enthusiastic and lively. But if Vata becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia or irregular digestion.

Pittas are the most lively and tend to be muscular, smart and determined. If balanced, we are warm, intelligent and a good leader. If out of balance, Pitta can make us critical, irritable and aggressive.

Kaphas tend to have a heavier frame, think and move more leisurely and are stable. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, congestion and resistance to healthy change.

Our workshop was given by Dr. John Douillard and was based chiefly off his book The Three Season Diet. He says that eating with the seasons and with our doshas makes our digestion better, helps us lose excess weight and removes issues like bloating, indigestion, etc.

The 3-Season Diet: Eat the Way Nature Intended: Lose Weight, Beat Food Cravings, and Get Fit

While I'm still trying to master what foods to eat when, I'm starting with his suggestion of eating only three meals a day (no snacking! no grazing!) to stabilize blood sugar and avoid spiking (and to give the body a rest from constantly digesting) and a really big lunch with just a tiny dinner. So far, I'm sleeping better at night with no big meal in my belly. I'm going to give it a few weeks before I step on the scale and see what's happening there.

Has anyone tried an ayurvedic diet? I am a SPONGE for this stuff right now!

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  1. I have not tried this but I would love to read more about your progress and the results.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

  2. Same! Would love to see your results!