What is an Ayurvedic diet? Ayurveda has long used diet as a central principal in creating and maintaining health within our bodies and minds. An Ayurvedic diet has created practical principles on how to select your food, time your meals and how to avoid ama, also known as toxicity. We have compiled our knowledge and found ways that you can harness the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda diets and incorporate it into your lifestyle to create health, vitality (also known as, ojas) and energy. Select the right Ayurvedic diet food for your dosha Ayurveda is based on the principle that every one of us has a unique makeup of energy or mind-body constitution, known in Ayurveda as your dosha. Our doshic imbalance, or as it is known in Ayurveda, our vikruiti, is a combination of the two elements that are heightened within our makeup. Ayurveda believes that by eating foods that decrease or help manage these heightened elements, you can restore harmony within your body. Discover your dosha here. Vata Food If you have a Vata Dosha, and are governed by the elements of space and air; your dosha is naturally cool, light, dry and rough. The best foods to eat to help counteract these characteristics are warm foods, (both relating to spice and temperature), hydrating food groups like soups and stews and comfort food that is full of healthy fats like olive oil, organic cream and avocados. Pitta Food However, if you have a Pitta Dosha and are therefore governed by the elements of fire and water, you will find that your body tends towards hot, oily, sharp and light qualities. The best way to balance your body is to eat cooling foods like peppermint, cucumber and parsley. Pitta’s also profit from eating a diet that is rich in astringent food groups like pomegranate, green tea and legumes. Kapha Food Those with the Kapha dosha are most affected by the elements of earth and water, which can be expressed by the qualities of cool, oily, smooth and heavy. Ayurveda suggests that Kapha’s should eat foods that are light, warm and dry to counter these effects. For example, Kapha’s could incorporates beans, popcorn and vegetables in to their diet as a means to restore balance. Eliminate snacks. According to Ayurvedic principles there are three stages of digestion that must occur. These stages cannot be rushed and are a part of your bodies natural way of maintaining balance and getting the most nutrients out of your food. Interrupting this digestive cycle or stages with constant snacking leads to an incomplete digestion and the accumulation of toxins or ama. For this reason Ayurveda suggests that you have three meals a day and avoid snacking as much as possible. Eat until you are satisfied, not full. If you were to imagine that you could gauge how full you were on a scale of one to ten; with ten being that Christmas day lunch overfull feeling, where you wished you were wearing stretch sweatpants; and therefore one is a completely empty stomach. Ayurveda suggests that you want to eat when you feel you are at a two; and eat until you feel you are at a seven. The reason for this is that if you eat before you feel you are at a two; then Ayurveda asserts that you risk interrupting your bodies digestive cycle. Moreover that eating past a seven means you are taking large portions of energy away from other parts of your body to digest the excess food you are consuming. Aside from weight gain, overeating increases your bodies production of free radicals; which speeds up the aging process.