A TASTE OF AYURVEDA WITH REGINA
"In school you learn a lesson and then are given a test. In life you are given a test and it's up to you to learn the lesson" - Anonymous
Favorite Yoga Pose:
Ayurveda, the study of the science of life, is an ancient healing practice with origins come from India. A more practical, accessible way to think about Ayurveda and living according to its philosophy is to approach it as living in harmony with the rhythms of nature. Its approach to balanced health is that of treating each person according to their unique psychological, emotional and physical condition.
Ayurveda emphasizes in its teachings that focus should be on practical, everyday tools that hone our abilities to “pick up on” signals from our environment. What we are surrounded with or what we choose to surround ourselves with, continuously informs us as to what is supportive and non-supportive. I am always encouraging people to go beyond just the elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth. There is actually so much more to this ancient science. It truly is a way of life and is everywhere in our lives and can be applied to so much in your life beyond diet and the five elements.
THE DOSHAS The Doshas: Biological Humors
Vata + Pitta + Kapha
Our entire planet and all that exists within it are made up of five elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements combined make up the Ayurvedic Doshas- vata, pitta and kapha- biological humors that are constantly out of balance. The goal of Ayurveda and yoga is to create balance and harmony within the body, mind, and senses.
VATA: Space+Air (MOVINGdry, light, hard, rough, cold), Fall and Winter
PITTA: Water+Fire (SPREADING hot, sharp, penetrating, oily), Summer
KAPHA: Water+Earth (STRENGTH heavy, cold, wet, hard, smooth), Spring
Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is between June (beginning with the Summer Solstice) and September (Fall Equinox). Pitta season is characterized by being hot, often very humid, sticky and sweaty. For some, this is a welcomed relief from the cold and dark of winter. Some body types enjoy the heat and humidity while others may be absolutely miserable. Those with an aversion to the cold who are predominantly vata dosha often love the warmth that summer brings. Those with a particularly strong pitta dosha tend to loathe the heat and humidity of summer.
For those of you with high pitta who are particularly ornery with the combo of high heat, humidity, excessive sweating and maybe more prone to breaking out, I’m offering up some food tips on how to keep pitta in check during the summer months.
A key concept in Ayurveda is like increases like. In other words, the more of something you put into your body, the more it will increase that corresponding dosha, thus brining it out of balance. In regards to pitta dosha, one does not want to bring more heat or fire into the body when pitta season is happening or when pitta is running high in the body. You want to cool pitta down.
INVITE IN MORE COOLING FOODS AND SPICES
As a rule, during summer pitta season, favor sweet, bitter and astringent foods. Astringent isn’t a normal part of the North American diet but is excellent for keeping cool. Try foods like kale, collards and dandelion greens.
MY TOP FAVORITE PITTA COOLING FOODS:
My number one favorite cooling food is coconut. I love it and can’t stop singing its praises. If you don’t like coconut well then I feel sorry for you. If you are allergic then no worries, there are more foods and spices that are on offer. Coconut in all forms is excellent for cooling pitta:
- Coconut mana (melt the mana in a pan on very low heat and mix in organic carob powder to make liquid yumminess beyond your wildest dreams)
- Coconut oil on everything including massaged into your skin (best lotion you will ever use)
- Sugar-free Organic Coconut yogurt, shredded coconut mixed into your chia pudding or anything else you want to add it to
- Coconut milk added to your DECAF coffee drinks (I know you all are cutting down on coffee so I don’t have to lecture you on that
Sugar free aloe beverages are excellent for cooling the body during pitta season. Sugar free versions might be hard to find but if you are able to.
Cardamom, Cumin & Fennel Seed
You can't go wrong with these spices not only to cool pitta but also can aid in digestion. Favor dishes that call for these spices to stay cool during the summer.
OTHER FOODS, SPICES & BEVERAGES TO FAVOR:
Basmati Rice Mangos
Sweet Potatoes Avacado
Ginger ( powder) Squashes
Turmeric Sweet Berries
Cooked carrots Cooked beets
Millet Gluten Free Oats
Cardamom Organic, grass fed, pastured whole milk
Clove Sweet apples
Cilantro Sweet berries
Fennel Coconut Water
Organic chicken Organic Turkey
WHAT TO AVOID:
If like increases like then it’s important to keep the spicy, sour and excessively salty foods in moderation during pitta season. These foods will only increase pitta dosha making symptoms like anger and skin breakouts worse.
Hot Peppers Chili
Tomatoes Garlic (raw)
Onion (raw) Shell Fish
Eggplant Bell Peppers
Yogurt Hard Cheeses
Alcohol Non-organic Soy
Frozen Food Microwaved food
Corn (unless it is non-GMO) Canned food
The key is to eat seasonally. Favor what is featured in the produce aisle at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Eating seasonally will ensure that you are living in accordance with nature’s rhythms but will also help keep pitta dosha in check.
Find Regina at: (@Wolfmedicinemagic)