Balancing Your Body With Ayurveda: Recipe for the Three Doshas


Tri-Dosha Split Pea Soup

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric, peeled and grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Melt the ghee in a small pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the peas, carrot, ginger, turmeric, and cumin, and stir for two minutes.
  3. Add the water, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium, and cook until soft (about 30 minutes). Add more water during this time if needed. Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

According to Ayurveda, there are three main body constitutions or doshas. Depending on which is your predominant dosha, you will have certain physical and psychological strengths and weaknesses, and certain foods and lifestyle changes will make you stronger or more susceptible to imbalance and disease.

So how do you know which is your main dosha?

To be completely certain of your constitution you would have to go through an Ayurvedic consultation with a professional who can read your pulse, tongue, and features, or you would need to answer a long and detailed questionnaire. However, there are a few general guidelines that can give you some sense of what your main dosha may be and what diet and daily habits will help you feel your best.

Vata Dosha

Characteristics: Thin, with dry skin and hair, and cold hands and feet. Energy comes in bursts. Tendency towards weight loss, constipation, hypertension, arthritis, weakness, restlessness, and digestive challenges.  Creative, loves change and new experiences, flexible and charming. When out of balance they easily become stressed, anxious, and can suffer from insomnia.

If you’re a vata: Avoid cold and dry foods such as ice cream, crackers, and dried fruit. Favor warming, rich, oily foods and spices such as nuts, oily dressings, warm porridges with cinnamon, and cooked vegetables and soups. Keep regular habits such as always sleeping, waking, and eating at the same time and place. Practice light exercises such as yoga, dancing, and walking, and keep the body hydrated by massaging it with sesame oil regularly. Keep stress levels to a minimum, listen to calming music, and find a fun and relaxing creative outlet.

Pitta Dosha

Characteristics: Energetic, with a robust digestion and a warm body temperature. Good sleepers, with a strong sex drive, and a voracious appetite. Very intelligent, witty, good speakers, and an enviable concentration power. When out of balance, they become argumentative and short tempered, develop rashes or other skin conditions, and suffer from ulcers, acid reflux, and indigestion.

If you’re a pitta: Eat cooling foods such as cucumbers, coconut water, and sweet fresh fruits. Avoid spicy, overly oily, or warming foods such as chili peppers and fried foods, and never skip meals. Practice stress management techniques, spend lots of time in nature, and take enough time to rest, relax, laugh, and have fun on a regular basis.

Kapha Dosha

Characteristics: Strong, great stamina, thick hair, large eyes, smooth skin. Regular digestion and sound sleep. Tendency to gain weight and develop allergies and respiratory issues.When out of balance they sleep too much, and can suffer from diabetes and depression. Loyal and patient, they live a very stable life, resist change (which can make them cling to negative situations), and enjoy a loving, calm mood.

If you are a kapha: Wake up as early as possible, dry scrub your body to get your circulation moving and then take a shower, ending it with some cold water to move your blood even more. Avoid dairy and sweets in general, and foods that are too oily like nuts and seeds. Eat lots of vegetables, drink ginger tea throughout the day, and try a weekly or monthly fast if possible. Use a neti pot to decrease nasal congestion. Avoid clutter and accumulating stuff in general, and make sure you exercise vigorously several times a week.

Here’s a recipe that helps balance all three doshas. You can start incorporating it into your diet right away.

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