Given I had been reading and researching into a bit of Ayurvedic philosophy, I thought I would touch on doshas (body types). The practice of Ayurveda says that our bodies are made up of three different types. These are – vata, pitta, and kapha. The doshas are made up of two universal elements (combination of air, fire, earth, water and ether) and can become unbalanced at times. If you know which dosha you prominently are, you can re-balance yourself though a variety of ways. Today I am touching on foods to help re-balance yourself, and will touch on a variety of other methods (eg, herbs, aromas, oils, mantras, teas etc) in the near further.
Which dosha are you?
It is very possible you can fit into two or more doshas.
Vata- The vata person usually has a slim or light build. They are usually a creative type, and can be sensitive to energies around them. They get cold easily, so prefer to be in warmer climates. They usually have clear eyes and tend to have dry skin.
Balancing Vata Foods- Easily digestible foods. Boiled and steamed vegetables, spices such as cinnamon, cardamon and black pepper, ripe fruits, nourishing soups and casseroles.
Pitta- The pitta person usually has a medium-muscular build. Red hair and fair skin is a physical trait commonly found in a pitta person. They can become irritable and fiery easily, but also confident and great speakers. When balanced, the pitta type usually has excellent digestion, a strong appetite and can eat whatever they like.
Balancing Pitta Foods- Moderates amount of dairy (if that is your jam), raw and cooked vegetables, sweet fruits, rice, oats, coriander and cardamon.
Kapha- Kaphas have a heavier build, have oily, smooth and radiant skin with larger eyes. They are stable and easy going but can become sluggish and depressed when unbalanced. Kaphas enjoy warm and dry climates.
Balancing Kapha Foods- Avoid excess eating. Corn, rye, barley, strong spices such as paprika, garlic and mustard, fat free dairy (once again, if that is your jam), ripe fruits (avoid banana), honey instead of sugar.
This is a very brief overview of the dosha types. There is a large amount of information online where it goes into more detail about the types. Like previously mentioned, you could fall into a few types, so don’t worry if you couldn’t put yourself into a type from my brief information.
I do know, however, that I am prominently the vata dosha. I decided to eat balancing vata foods today to see if it effected my mood, energy levels and thoughts. I read that vata doshas should eat warm soups and casseroles. This resonates with me a lot because I crave both soups and casseroles daily. I am very happy Sydney is finally changing seasons, so I was able to make a soup for dinner.
This soup requires minimal ingredients, takes about 30 minutes to make and is great for the vata dosha because of the vegetables and spices which work to balance the body. In saying this, it is also great for any body type because of the nourishing and healthy ingredients.
Quick & Minimal Ingredient Vegan Lentil Soup (dosha balancing food)
2.5 cups cooked lentils (I bought mine in 2 x 400 gram cans)
4 stalks of celery* (diced)
2 carrots (diced)
1 brown onion (finely diced)
3 cups baby spinach
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 litre vegetable stock
2 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper
*I kept the celery leaves on for extra flavor and vitamins.
1) In a large saucepan heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and add in the diced onion. Cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
2) Add in the garlic, carrot and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
3) Stir in the curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric and salt and pepper.
4) Add in the vegetable stock and coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5) Add in the lentils and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes (depending on how thick and flavorsome you want it).
6) Turn off the heat and stir in the baby spinach.
Do you guys know much about Ayurvedic philosophy? Does anyone have any book recommendations?