Ayurveda is the science of life, the sister science of yoga, and finds its origin in the Vedas. The concept of the Universe made of five elements (space, air, fire, water and earth), which combine into three doshas of vata, pitta, and kapha. These three dosha types create every individual’s unique constitution, and all of us have elements of each. Individual diet plans, strength of tissues and digestive fires, and levels of toxins (ama) all play a role in implementing an Ayurveda diet.
Much like yoga, the key concept of Ayurveda is finding balance. While we have many fad diets using celebrity endorsements, perhaps the long-standing success of Ayurveda should be sufficient endorsement.
1. Warm Lemon Water First Thing in the Morning – This warm elixir is full of vitamin C and alkalizes the body. All liquids should be room temperature or warm and never taken during a meal for optimal benefits in digestion.
2. Include 6 Tastes in Every Main Meal – Ayurveda classifies food into six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent). Each taste acts to balance the appetite and digestion.
3. Prepare Food with Love – When we make our food, energy is transferred. If we are stressed or angry, this energy transfers to the food. Instead, make your meals with love and gratitude.
4. Eat Foods that Balance Your Dosha – For Vata type, eat foods that are more heavy or warm; for Pitta, eat foods that are cool or dry; for Kapha, eat foods that are light, warm.
5. Eat Sattvic Food – Foods that are fresh and rich in nutrients like fresh fruits, almonds, mung beans, fresh seasonal vegetables and leafy greens and almonds are some.
6. Eat Fresh and in Season – Eat foods that are fresh and free of genetic modifications. Foods that are canned or frozen lose their nutrients and lack prana (vital life force energy) and chetana (living intelligence).
7. Ayurveda Teas – Fennel, cumin, black pepper/ginger, and licorice are all wonderful options for tea. Add cinnamon for taste and to regulate insulin levels.
8. Have Ginger Before Meals – Ginger in tea or a small cut piece will help stimulate the digestion process.
9. Include Spices – Turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and peppercorns are all wonderful spices to add to your foods. They reduce Kapha, which is key to weight loss.
10. Variety – Make your daily food an adventure, and avoid eating the same thing every day. This will ensure you eat in season foods, too.
Incorporating some simple Ayurveda tips, maintaining a regular yoga practice and keeping a cheerful disposition will ensure a healthy body, inside and out.