Certain foods are not easily turned into healthy nutrition; among them are the following:
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Heavy and oily foods
- Eggs and cheese
- Excess of sour, salty tastes
- Leftovers and processed foods
To this list could be added a few specific foods that inhibit transcending and therefore are not advisable for meditators (mushrooms, onions, garlic, and peanuts).
Food is meant to be eaten fresh, right off the stove or right out of the garden–the fresher the better, and the easier to digest. Old food and leftovers, even when reheated, do not produce balanced and proper nutrition. Frozen food in general is also good to avoid.
Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes destroys the body’s capacity to assimilate nutrition. Air and water pollution is equally detrimental.
Finally, here are a few more tips, handed down in the Ayurvedic tradition, aimed at maximizing nutrition.
The best possible foods for the body are fruits, vegetables, and dairy products raised in your area, as these foods have thrived on the same air, water, nutrients, and sunlight that you grow on. Milk should always be boiled for assimilation.
Have your largest meal at lunch, when digestion is strongest. Dinner should be a modest meal that can be digested before bedtime; breakfast is option and in any case should be your smallest meal of the day,
Eat at the same time every day.
Besides not snacking, avoid eating at night, which disturbs your digestive rhythms and disturbs your sleep from the food that is undigested.
Dine either alone or with people you genuinely like–family is best.
Negative emotions, whether yours, the cook’s, or those of the people around you, have a harmful effect on digestion.
Be grateful for natures’ unending gift of food, and respect it as you do yourself.
Dosha – Discovering Your Body Type
VATA: Thin body, quick, changeable mind, vivacious manner. Seems unpredictable to others, under pressure grow excited and anxious.
PITTA: Medium body, orderly and decisive mind, forceful manner. Strikes others as intense,under pressure, grow angry and abrupt.
KAPHA: Heavyset body, calm, steady mind, easygoing manner. Others see as relaxed – under pressure they balk and grow silent.
Rarely does a person express only one pure body type. Most of us are a mixture of two or even all three types, but one type generally predominates.
Pacifying Diets For Doshas
VATA Pacifying Diet – Favor:
Warm food, moderately heavy textures
Added healthy fats, olive oils, flax oils, butter, sauces
Salt, sour, and sweet tastes
Soothing and satisfying foods
(Vata – a cold, dry dosha)
KAPHA Pacifying Diet – Favor:
Warm, light food
Dry food, cooked without much water
Minimum of butter, oils or sugar
Pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes
(Kapha – slow to be affected by food)
PITTA Pacifying Diet – Favor:
Cool or warm but not steaming-hot foods
Moderately heavy textures
Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes
Less butter, oils or added fat
(Pitta – strong digestion and hot dosha)
Dosha Is Susceptible To Different Disorders
VATA – Insomnia, chronic constipation, nervous stomach, anxiety and depression, muscle spasms or cramps, PMS, irritable bowel, chronic pain, high blood pressure, arthritis.
PITTA – Rashes, acne, heartburn, peptic ulcers, early balding, premature gray hair, poor eyesight, hostility, self-criticism, heart attacks and Type A behavior.
KAPHA – Obesity, congested sinuses, chest colds, painful joints, asthma, allergies, depression. Diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic sluggishness in the mornings.