Ayurvedic Lifestyle

Ayurvedic Diet – Healthy Choices for Healthy Lifetime

Ayurveda keeps a close eye on digestion. “You are what you eat”.

Many of you have tried different diet plans and still not feel better, when this is the case it’s time to switch to Ayurveda and start following the Ayurvedic Diet plan and making it a part of your healthy lifestyle. Ayurvedic Diet plan follows your natural body instincts and your Mind-Body type so all your food choices will be your very own!

Just by knowing which qualities are balancing for your Ayurveda Body Type, it will help you to make the right decisions. Ayurveda is based upon the laws of nature and uses the lifestyle management and the proper nutritional protocols to balance the Tridoshas. For example, if your predominant dosha is Vata, warm soup is a better choice than an ice cold salad. If you have a predominant Pitta dosha, you will do much better with raw food and salads, as well as vegetarian dishes, which might be an excellent choice for you. Stay away from fried foods and salty, spicy, and sour tastes as they usually heat up the body. Eat more of the sweet, bitter (greens) and astringent foods. If Kapha is your dominant dosha, you will do best with light choices, lightly steamed/cooked veggies, as well as light vegetarian dishes, are a great choice for you. Stay away from heavy oils, cheese and fries stuff.

Ayurveda recognizes six tastes and it’s quite important to have all of these 6 tastes in your diet every day. The six tastes are:

Sweet – rice, barley, corn, wheat, pasta, milk
Sour – lemons, cheese, yogurt, whey, vinegar, sour cream
Salty – rock salt, sea salt, pickles
Pungent – chilies, black peppers, cayenne, ginger, garlic, cloves, cumin
Bitter – spinach, fenugreek, leafy greens, turmeric, lettuce, grapefruit
Astringent – pomegranate, beans, lentils, walnuts, cashews

Including all six tastes in your diet contributes to feeling satisfied at the end of a meal. Cravings are often caused by not having all of the six tastes in your daily diet. Many people often omit the bitter and astringent tastes (and add those unwanted pounds!). When you have something bitter or astringent at the end of a meal, it actually reduces your desire for sweets.

Ayurveda favors seasonally grown foods. Leafy greens grow in summer and cool the body so they are summer foods. Root veggies, squash, pumpkin, nuts and beans are readily available, and are ideal in fall because they are heavy, sweet and moist – balancing Vata. Nature creates fruits and veggies which helps us be in harmony with Nature and create balance. If you start making changes in your foods according to seasons, you will be able to prevent many diseases.

Ayurvedic Lifestyle – Doing the right thing at the right time!

In the present day lives and busy schedules, it’s common to follow the same routine without paying much attention. Have you noticed that your energy is high in the morning that would start declining as the day goes by? Do you change your food accordingly?

Ayurveda is all about doing the right thing at the right time. It recommends guidelines – daily and seasonal – that help to make your daily activities more productive and to create peace with the changing seasons to stay balanced. During the day, at certain times, certain Doshas (natural tendencies) predominate. Accordingly, Ayurveda recommends daily guidelines for you to follow and make your days productive.

For example, morning begins with Kapha predominance, so you may sneeze or sniffle in the morning or your allergies may get worse. Kapha time is a high endurance time, so you get more work done. If you start your day early, your whole day’s work will be done by noon or 1:00 pm. Pitta dominates around noon, so you get hungry and if you don’t eat, you get angry. This is the best time for digestion and metabolism. Vata is next. It is the best time to get your body rolling and have some exercise.

Daily Routine for your Dosha

Ayurvedic daily routine was developed to put our lives in harmony with nature’s rhythms. Our body is a clock. Every organ has a definite time of maximum functioning. Morning is the respiratory time, noon is stomach time, afternoon is liver time, and early night is colon time.

Dawn and dusk are Vata times, early morning and evening are Kapha times, and midday and midnight are Pitta times.

6a.m.–10a.m.   Kapha 
10a.m.–2p.m.   Pitta  
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Vata

6p.m.–10p.m.  Kapha
10p.m.–2a.m.   Pitta
2 a.m. – 6 a.m. Vata

Here are the basic features of Ayurvedic daily regime, which is the art to bring the biological and doshic clocks in harmony.

Wake up

Vata - 1/2 hour before sunrise.
Pitta      1 hour before sunrise.
Kapha   1 1/2 hour before sunrise.

Wash your face, mouth, and eyes.

Drink a glass of water: Warm for Vata, room temperature for Pitta and Kapha.

Evacuation: Even if you don’t have the urge, sit on the toilet for a few minutes, without forcing. If you do it every day, following your glass of warm water, the habit will develop.

Clean your teeth and scrape your tongue.

Massage with the oil appropriate for your dosha

Bath or shower.

Exercise: Do yoga postures and breathing exercise (pranayama).
Meditation: Spend 15-20 minutes or more in meditation or prayers.
Mealtimes: Follow the dietary guidelines for your leading dosha.

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Breakfast

8 am

7:30 am

7am

Lunch

11 a.m. – noon 

noon

noon – 1p.m.

Dinner

6 p.m. 

6-7 p.m.

7-8 p.m.

Sunset:

Meditate for 15-20 minutes.

Bed time:

It is recommended to go to bed between 10 and 11 p.m.

Seasonal Variations

As Doshas revolve around the day, they revolve around the seasons too. Spring is the Kapha season, while Summer is marked with Pitta predominance. In fall and early winter we have to follow a Vata balancing lifestyle. You rightfully change your clothes according to the season. Your favorite summer attire may be – cotton t-shirt and shorts – to cool you down. As fall approaches, you change into warm-ups and sweaters to keep your body warm. Your winter jacket is warm and heavy because Vata is cold and light as compared to your spring jacket which is warm but light because Kapha is cold and heavy. If you follow an Ayurvedic seasonal routine, you can be free of many diseases, and feel your best.

Learn how to make the right choices and choose foods that create health!

Here are a few seasonal Diet & Lifestyle guidelines:

      
Fall Routine:

  • Vata types tend to have dry skin, keep your skin from drying out
  • After you shower massage organic sesame oil into your skin from your feet up to your face
  • Make sure you use your Nasya oil (nose oil) or put a little sesame oil in your nostrils which is ayurvedically recommended this time of year!
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Keep yourself warm and go to bed around 10 p.m.

Spring Routine:

  • Rise and eat breakfast around 7am
  • Take a brisk walk in nature or have a vigorous exercise routine.
  • Take a cup of hot ginger and lemon water to stimulate digestion and cut through any mucus that has accumulated overnight.
  • Eat baked, grilled, broiled foods with lot of spices, rather than steamed, and bland foods.
  • Lunch should the biggest meal of the day (sun is the strongest)
  • Massage the body with sesame oil treated with ginger or mustard – once a week.
  • Dinner the lightest meal of the day (ideally fasting from 7pm to 7am)

Summer Routine:

  • Take early morning or moon light walks or swimming for exercise.
  • Use coconut oil for massage as coconut oil is cooling.
  • Eat liquid nourishing breakfasts such as almond milk
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid going out in the hot sun.
  • Do not eat salad at night as it will aggravate vata.
  • It is important to get to bed before 11pm as pitta peaks at around midnight.