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Saturday, February 23, 2013

My new life plan

Ayurvedic Diet or living whatever you want to call it

What is the Ayurvedic Diet or what they call “Doshas?” Apparently we are put into one or more of three categories of our body. It is a science, a religion, and philosophy, a way of living everyday. This isn’t about just losing weight for me it is all about healing and how to heal my body of its own ailments. We know that for those of us who are out of balance we tend to feel irritated and are quick to anger or is that just me? I have just found out that I have been out of balance according to these principles that I will share with you today. I am embarking on a major change in my life trying to eat the right foods and to balance my Dosha in hopes that I will begin the healing process.

First I guess I should give you a little background about me. Well, I am an obese or should I dare to say “Morbidly Obese” as that is how all my doctors see me through the veil of weight and not me as a person in pain. For a big girl I used to be able to run around and play with the children I worked with everyday. I never had any troubles teaching them how to play Soccer, Basketball, Football, tag, hide in seek, and any other wonderful game they wanted to play. My daily life was very busy and I would work 10 or more hours a day and go up and down flights of stairs several times a day. I was not in pain at all. I was able to sit down on the floor and get up more than 10 times in a day to chase a three or four year old child down the hall who couldn’t talk and teach them how to ask for more “Chase.”

Well over a year ago I was hurt at work pretty badly. I now have constant back pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, and muscle spasms in my back. I wake up at night hurting all the time and before being injured I could sleep like a baby which I did every night. Now I wake in throbbing pain in my body and it is tiresome to listen to the doctors tell me that it’s because of my weight. Well I have been fat for more than 15 years and had no issues hiking, biking, playing, running, swimming, and doing anything else I pleased.

So some of my anger has put strain on me emotionally and I was sitting with my nail lady the other day and she told me to look up the Ayurvedic diet. It isn’t really a diet. But more of a way of life and how to live in balance each and every day, so I thought well why shouldn’t I be trying to do this too? Maybe it will ultimately help my pain and allow me to feel happier each day.

So I have decided to do it and thought I would blog about how each day goes and to share with you what I have learned about this. I hope you follow me and watch to see what changes present themselves and to what extent.

So here we go first I will talk about the three Dosha’s so you know more information about them. They are considered the source of life and when in balance we are in touch with all of ourselves mind, body, and spirit. “All Ayurvedic literature is based on the Samkhya philosophy of creation.”(the roots of the term samkhya are two Sanskrit words: Sam meaning “truth” and Khya meaning, “to know.” Now let’s talk about the three Doshas.

Kapha Dosha:  Kapha is present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm and liquid secretions such as mucus. These people tend to be big and have broad shoulders. They tend to gain weight easily and are very slow and sluggish as is his/her digestion. Did you know that if you are a “Kapha Dosha” you shouldn’t eat or drink anything cold? No ice cream or milk or even ice water, which I love by the way. I am a Kapha and have decided to go on a quest to lose weight and to balance my body. People that are Kapha are loving and supportive. His or her elements are water and earth, which is what I connect too more than anything. When around water I feel that all will be healed. When a Kapha is balanced people feel stable, forgiving, loving, and supportive. When out of balance a Kapha feels insecure, greedy, and possessive. They will have difficulties with congestion and suffer many sinus issues. One will find it difficult to lose weight but easy to put it on. The Kapha has a sluggish digestion and are slow as it is. They tend to be slow learners but have great memories. They are loyal and stable in relationships and tend to be seen as the “rock” in the relationship.

A Kapha should increase their garlic intake daily to battle the congestion they suffer. You can do this by adding it to food or taking it as a supplement. Since water is the main element these people tend to have issues with water retention. Since Kapha’s are so slow getting up and moving or exercising every day is key to losing weight or keeping weight off. They should not eat fatty oily foods that are fried, eat sweets, or salt due to the sluggish digestion. Instead they should focus on eating spicy foods or adding spice into their meals. Such as drinking ginger tea or making a turmeric tea with lemon and honey. The only sweetener that should be used is honey if you can use sweetener. Since these people tend to feel cold they should avoid cold drinks or treats such as ice cream and milk. Instead they should drink warm liquids including warm water no ice water.

Pitta Dosha: Pitta is translated as “fire.” This element “fire” can be interpreted as the heat-energy that Pittas have and so they tend to have a pretty fast metabolism. These people tend to have medium builds and have good muscle tone and tend to feel warm. They have a very good and strong digestion and are usually very energetic. They can eat almost anything they desire. They tend to be very intelligent, focused, and ambitious and somewhat a perfectionist.

When out of balance they tend to suffer from excessive anger, suffer from inflammatory conditions such as headaches and rashes. They have digestive issues like reflux, diarrhea, and ulcers. They tend to become overstressed workaholics and may suffer from other addictions as well.

Pittas should avoid eating spicy foods, alcohol, coffee, vinegar, and acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes. These are usually their favorite foods to indulge in. Instead they should indulge in sweet foods such as mangos and melons. Of course there are other foods as well and later I will discuss foods for each Dosha.

Vata Dosha: Vata is the principle of movement and “Air” is the main element. So in the body “Vata” governs blinking of the eyelid and movements of the muscle and tissues, pulsations of the heart and all expansion and contractions. These people tend to be the slenderest of the three Doshas. They have difficulties gaining weight. They tend to be cold all the time and have dry skin and hair. They tend to learn really quickly but then also forget things quickly. They enjoy change and are very creative. They are very excitable and can suffer from anxiety.

Out of balance these people can suffer from poor digestion with lots of bloating and constipation. They can have very dry nasal passages and tend to get the flu and colds easily. Many will suffer from insomnia and have fatigue.

These people should avoid crunchy/dry foods, carbonated drinks, and cold/raw veges. Their ideal diet would contain warm foods that are cooked like soups, cooked cereals, cooked veges and warm or hot milk.

So want to know which one you are? Go here and take the Dosha quiz http://www.doctoroz.com/ayurvedic-body-type-find-your-dosha

Ok for the foods you can eat for each Dosha.

Kapha: Should use foods that are lighter and the opposite of things you crave or eat all the time. Foods that are heavy you shouldn’t eat. You can have spicy foods and spice it all up. All veggies are up for grabs except for sweet ones such as sweet potatoes.

 Fruits that is good for you to eat apples, apricots, berries, cranberries, dried figs, mango, peaches, pears, pomegranates, prunes, and raisins. Aggravating fruits lemons, oranges, pineapple, bananas, dates, and grapefruits.

Grains such as barley, lentils, buckwheat, corn, quinoa, and basmati rice, rice cakes, rye and wheat bran. Aggravating grains or ones you should try to avoid are cooked oats, brown or white rice, wheat.

Legumes are your friends and you should actually eat these instead of meat but if you aren’t a vegetarian than chicken and no red meat at all. 

Legumes and Nuts that you can have- Adzuki beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Chickpeas, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Red Lentils, Split Peas, and White Beans are balancing.

 Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashew, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Psyllium, Sesame, Black lentils, Mung Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Soy Beans, Tempeh, Walnuts and Tofu are imbalancing and should be avoided. You can have some of these if you love them just don’t over due it or you will have symptoms of you Dosha being aggravated.

Meat should be dark meat of chicken and turkey and eggs. All other meats are aggravating to a Kapha.

Herbs, Spices and Condiments - allspice, Anise, Basil, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Mint, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Peppermint, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Star Anise, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric, Wintergreen are balancing.

Dairy - Ghee, Goats Milk and Diluted Yogurt (diluted 1:4 yogurt:water) are balancing. Butter, Cheese, Buttermilk, Cow's Milk, Ice Cream, Sour Cream and Yogurt are aggravating.

Pitta: Fruit - Apples, Avocado, Berries, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Mango, Melons, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Pomegranate, Prunes, Raisins, and Watermelon. Sweet fruits are balancing. Sour fruits are aggravating.

Vegetables - Artichoke, asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, green beans, leafy greens, mushrooms, okra, parsley, parsnip, peas, potatoes, squash, sprouts, zucchini. Sweet and bitter vegetables are balancing.

Grains - Barley, Cooked Oats, Basmati Rice, White Rice, Wheat, Wheat Bran, and Wheat Granola are balancing. Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Oat granola, Quinoa, Brown Rice and Rye are aggravating.

Legumes and Nuts - All beans except black and red lentils are balancing. Coconut, psyllium, pumpkin and sunflower are balancing.
Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Filberts, Flax, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios and Sesame are aggravating.

Meat - Chicken white meat, turkey white meat, egg white, freshwater fish, shrimp (in moderation) are balancing.

Beef, egg yolk, duck, lamb, pork, venison and seafood other than shrimp are imbalancing.

Herbs, Spices and Condiments - Maple Syrup, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Barley Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, and other sweeteners except for honey and molasses.
 Coconut, Coriander, Cumin, Dill Fennel, Ghee, Mint, Orange Peel, Peppermint, Saffron, Seaweed, Spearmint, Sprouts, Turmeric, are balancing.

Chili peppers, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Ketchup, Mustard, Lemon, Mayonnaise, Onions, Pickles, Salt, Sesame Seeds, Soy Sauce and Tamari are aggravating.

Dairy - Butter (unsalted), Cottage Cheese, Mild Soft Cheeses, Ghee, Cow's Milk, Goats Milk are balancing.

Salted butter, Buttermilk, Hard Cheese, Feta Cheese, Sour Cream and Yogurt are aggravating.

Vata: Fruit - Apricots, Avocado, Bananas, Berries, Dates, Fresh Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemons, Mango, Melon, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapple, Plums, Strawberries. Sweet fruits are balancing. No dried fruits.

Vegetables - Artichoke, Asparagus, Beets, Carrots, Cucumber, Green Beans, Leeks, Mustard Greens, Okra, Olives, Onion, Parsnip, Potato, Squash, Watercress, Zucchini. Cooked vegetables are most balancing. Avoid raw vegetables.

Grains - Amaranth, Oats, Rice, Wheat, and Wild Rice are balancing.

Legumes and Nuts - Adzuki beans, Almonds, Black lentils, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Flax, Hazelnuts, Mung beans, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Pumpkin, Red lentils, Sesame, Soy cheese, Soy milk, Sunflower, Tofu, Walnuts all are balancing.

Meat - Beef (occasionally), Chicken or Turkey (white meat), Duck, Eggs, Freshwater Fish, Seafood, Shrimp

Herbs, Spices, Condiments - Brown Rice Syrup, Honey, Maple Syrup, Molasses, other sweeteners than White Sugar, Allspice, Almond Extract, Anise, Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Coconut, Cottage Cheese, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ghee, Ginger, Mustard, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Spirulina, Tamarind, Tarragon, Thyme, Pickles, Salt, Seaweed, Soy Sauce, Turmeric, Vanilla

Dairy - Buttermilk, Cow's Milk, Cheese, Goat's Milk, Goat Cheese, Yogurt. All is moderation.

The information for the foods to eat for each Dosha was taking from this site http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/2/a/ayurveda.htm

I hope that you will follow me and each day I will blog an new comment about how it is going with this new life plan of mine.