- Ayurveda strongly recommends that you eat when and only when your body feels hungry. Don't pay attention to the clock or try to fit in the "recommended" number of meals into your day. Listen to your body's needs. Same goes for thirst, drink room temperature water when you are thirsty, not just to meet the need to get in a certain quota. However, do sip water throughout the day.
- As a general guideline the quantity of food to be consumed at each meal is what would fit comfortably in two cupped hands, and no more.
- Remain seated while eating and avoid television or reading during meal times. It is recommended that each morsel of food be chewed at least thirty times before being swallowed.
- The properties of vata are cool, dry, rough and light. Eating food that is warm, moist, oily, smooth and nourishing neutralizes excess dryness, which will balance excess vata.
- Avoid anything cold or frozen, including chilled beverages, raw produce and carbonated drinks. Dry foods such as popcorn, beans and crackers are all foods that increase vata. Limit your intake of caffeine and nicotine and avoid grains like barley, buckwheat, couscous and millet.
- To balance vata drink warm or hot fluids and eat soup or stews.
- Eat avocado, coconut, olives, buttermilk, cheese, eggs, whole milk, wheat, nuts, seeds, berries, melons, summer squash, zucchini and yogurt. Make sure the majority of the vegetables you consume are well cooked and garnish with ghee, coconut oil or olive oil.
- The properties of pitta are hot, light, intense, pungent, sharp and acidic. An excess of pitta in the system displays as having a fiery temperament and a hot body temperature. Eating food that is cooling, stabilizing and sweet will help keep you calm, cool and composed.
- Avoid pungent or sour vegetables like tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, beets, eggplant, onions, radishes and spinach. Fruits like grapefruit, apricots and berries are to be avoided.
- Avoid warming spices like ginger, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek and cloves. Chili peppers and cayenne should be avoided completely.
- Beef, eggs and seafood aggravate pitta and are best avoided. As do buckwheat, corn, millet, brown rice, and the oils of corn, mustard and sesame.
- Do eat bland vegetables like asparagus, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, okra, lettuce, green beans and zucchini
- Kapha's qualities are cold, heavy, oily and intense. Cold damp conditions aggravate kapha, while warmth helps to balance. Foods that are warm, light and dry are best for this elemental type.
- Avoid fruits like oranges, bananas, avocados, pineapples, peaches, melons, dates and figs. Vegetables to avoid include zucchini, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and other tubers as they are juicy, sweet vegetables which will increase kapha in the system.
- Also avoid grains of oats, rice and wheat.
- Eat apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries and apricots. Include spices such as ginger, pepper, cayenne and black mustard.
- Chicken, turkey, seafood and eggs are all beneficial to kapha.
These are just a few of the recommendations for eating to your body type. For a complete list, the mind, body, green web site is chalk full of information. www.mindbodygreen.com
Eating to maintain a healthy body weight is more about understanding and listening to your body than it is about following an eating plan that was created for mass consumption.