Eating for Pitta

When I feel anxious I usually turn to my kitchen. I know my food cravings are largely emotional, so I’ve decided to look to Ayurvedic medicine–an Indian practice of treating the mind and body–for my calming solution.

Several years ago, I visited one of the most well-known Ayurveda centers in the world: The Ayurveda Institute. I was referred to a highly recommended Ayurvedic doctor, who explained there are three essential constitutions–I think of it as types of energy but I know it’s more than that–a person can have (a combination of these is also possible): Vata aka air, Kapha aka water and Pitta aka fire. You must know your constitution to understand what your body has in excess. After this, the imbalance can be treated.

For example, I am Pitta (fire) therefore I need to work on cultivating Kapha (water). I went to The Ayurvedic Institute to treat an acidic stomach. The herbs and dietary recommendations I was prescribed helped me. Since I am a fire-y person I was told to wear blue, say relaxing mantras and eat foods that lacked the usual spice I crave. The idea that what we crave to eat is bad for us was a new idea for me; when I crave a food sometimes I wonder if it’s because of a nutritional imbalance whereas in this tradition the craved food is the result of excess.

So this week I am consulting a book I bought at the institute, Ayurveda and the Mind, to cultivate balance. I will let you know my results.

You can learn what your constitution is by going here.

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4 responses to “Eating for Pitta

  1. PushDumpFatButton

    Reblogged this on Push Dump Fat Button.

  2. A subtlety in your post about wearing blue got me thinking about a person’s state of mind and the influence of our environment on our thoughts and feelings. I can see how what we do physically is a result of our mental state and vice versa. I notice that when the house is in disarray, I feel anxious and tend to crave sugar which further exacerbates my feelings of anxiousness. I’ve also noticed that when I wear black, I tend to elicit dominance and am a bully to those around me. Thanks! Great post!

  3. Have you read/seen Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook? She is very into Ayurveda πŸ™‚

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