Start with Ayurveda

ayurveda

Start with Ayurveda. Living according to the Ayurvedic principles will require a change from you. But it’s a change for better. You will feel better after a few days of proper food and exercise! I promise you. But the change itself can be tough. So here is a simple plan on how and where to begin your journey of Ayurveda:

DISCOVER YOUR AYURVEDIC NATURE (PRAKRITI)

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This is crucial. The whole concept of Ayurveda is based on the three characters: Vata, Pita, Kapha. Without knowing which one you are, you will not be able to eat the correct food, use the correct oils, do the correct type of exercises, ect… Ayurveda can tell you what to do in order to stay healthy and full of energy, but it cannot do anything without knowing your nature. Take the test here. Take your time to think before you answer. Remember, this is the first and the most important step into Ayurveda.

BUILD AND MAINTAIN A SPICE RACK

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Do you know why Ayurveda (and Indian cooking too quite frankly) uses so many spices? Because spices make your food digestible. What means that when you eat, thanks to the spices in your food, the food gets turned into energy, not into fat. So spices keep your healthy, slim, and energized. Sounds great, right?

In Ayurveda we favor cooked foods, over raw. So get ready to cook your meals from now on. In the western world, we tend to think that salads are a good idea. Ayurveda believes the opposite: only warm and cooked foods can give you energy. Otherwise your digestion focuses on chopping the raw ingredients. So you waste your crucial energy on digesting the food, instead of living your life.

Here are some of the basic spices, foods and herbs your should have to be ready to eat the Ayurvedic way.

GET THE OILS YOU NEED

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Oils are also very important in Ayurveda. We use them for cooking and for massaging our bodies. Once you know your Prakriti (nature, see the 1st point), you know which oils to use.

In cooking, you can use the oils you like for as long as they balance out the tastes you should have in your meal. So for example, when you cook, include all the 6 tastes, but add extra of … accordingly:

Vata: favor sweet, sour, salty

Kapha: favor bitter, pungent, astringent

Pitta: favor sweet, bitter, astringent

More about cooking the Ayurvedic way and the recipes, you can find on my blog in “Food”.

Another way to use oils is to massage the whole body. In Ayurveda we call this type of massage Abhyanga. It is a whole body massage, it keep you balanced, keeps your skin tight and young, and helps detox.

It is recommended to simply warm up the oil and to massage it into your skin, including feet, hair and the top of the head.

So here is the oil you should use according to your nature:

Vata: sesame oil, massage your body 4-5 times a week.

Kapha: sunflower oil, massage once a week.

Pitta: coconut oil, massage 3-4 times a week.

You can read more about Abhyanga in my post here.

LEARN THE 6 AYURVEDIC TASTES…

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…and add them all to your meal. Always! But add extra of:

Vata: favor sweet, sour, salty

Kapha: favor bitter, pungent, astringent

Pitta: favor sweet, bitter, astringent

So here is a general guideline to the six tastes:

Sweet: most grains such as wheat, rice, barley, corn; legumes such as

beans, lentils; milk, sweet fruits such as dates, figs, grapes, corn, pear, beetroot, coconut; cooked vegetables such as potato, carrot, cauliflower; sugar in any form i.e. refined, molasses, white, brown, cane juice…

Sour: sour fruits such as oranges, lime, lemon, pineapple, sour cherries, plum; sour milk such as yogurt, cheese, sour creme; fermented substances such as vinegar, soy sauce, sour cabbage; carbonated drinks  including soft drinks.

Salty: any kind of salt; any food which has salt added…

Bitter: Vegetables such as chicory; leafy vegetables such as spinach, green cabbage, Brussels sprouts; fruits such as olives, grapefruit, cocoa; turmeric.

Pungent: Spices such as chilies, black pepper, mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, cloves, cardamom, fresh herbs, oregano, mint, thyme; raw vegetables such as radish, onion, cauliflower….

Astringent: Turmeric, honey, walnuts, hazelnuts; pulses such as beans,

lentils, peas; vegetables such as sprouts, lettuce, most raw vegetables; fruits such as pomegranate, berries, rose, apple, most unripe fruits…

You may notice that some products are classified in more than 1 taste. It is because they have more than 1 taste. When you cook, gather your ingredients and check which taste is the main one. Remember to keep the main 3 tastes the ones that are suitable to your nature (prakriti).

It is also important to keep in mind which foods should not be combined together, as they make the digestion difficult. You can see those combinations here.

SWITCH TO THE RIGHT EXERCISE FOR YOUR NATURE

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Doing sports isn’t enough. Exercise  days a week, but give 50% of your capacity (below your tired point, because you don’t want to use your energy, you want to boost it). There are certain types of exercise you should favor according to your nature:

Vata: chose steady activities like yoga, walking, short hikes, short cycle rides, dancerobics….

Pitta: pittas should not overheat their bodies, they should stop when they start sweating. The preferred exercises are: skiing, hiking, jogging, swimming, mountain climbing…

Kapha: kaphas should try and get as much exercise as possible doing running, weight training, dancing…

But most of all: YOU SHOULD ENJOY EXERCISING! Otherwise you produce stress. If you simply do not like exercising, remain active: fly kites, walk dogs, play with kids, walk from\to work…

GET YOUR ROUTINE RIGHT

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In Ayurveda Dinacharya means daily routine. Each Prakriti (nature) has a certain routine at certain times to follow:

Vata: wake up at around 6 am. Breakfast at 8 am, lunch at 11 am – noon, dinner at 6 pm, and go to bed at 10 pm.

Pitta:  wake up at around 5:30 am. Breakfast at 7:30 am, lunch at noon, dinner at 6 pm – 7 pm, and go to bed at 10 pm – 11 pm.

Kapha:  wake up at around 4:30 am. Breakfast at 7 am, lunch at noon – 1 pm, dinner at 7 pm – 8 pm, and go to bed at 11 pm – midnight.

Don’t get dis-motivated by the morning hours 🙂 It’s just the general guidelines, you can move all of those activities to an hour earlier or later…

 

live by it day by day

I have committed to regular posts on my blog. I post recipes for the 3 doshas.  Yes, for you! So you can treat this blog as home. Anytime you run our of ideas for cooking, check it here for inspiration 🙂 I am sure you can use my recipes as an inspiration in your cooking and living. They are easy to make and quick. I hope they will help you.

In case of any questions, just leave me a comment or send a message and I will be more than happy to help.

Check out he blog and follow your category:

images images (1) epa04383191 A handout picture made available by NASA on 04 September 2014 shows a view of Earth taken by NASA astronaut Gregory Reid Wiseman of the US from the International Space Station (ISS) on space, 02 September 2014. The Expedition 40 crew has been busy on the ISS performing health checks and humanoid robot upgrades. A trio of orbital residents is packing up gear as they prepare to return home in less than two weeks. Commander Steve Swanson powered down and stowed Robonaut 2 after wrapping up its mobility upgrades this week. He installed new legs on the humanoid robot including external and internal gear as well as cables. This sets the stage for more upgrades in the fall before Robonaut takes its first steps as an assistant crew member. Robonaut was designed to enhance crew productivity and safety while also aiding people on Earth with physical disabilities. EPA/NASA/REID WISEMAN HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

I hope this help with starting off your Ayurvedic living. If any questions, or if you find something missing, post it in comments below, don’t be afraid to ask, I will reply for sure!

Happy Ayurvedic living!

Love,

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