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Eating my Dosha

September 30, 2009

Cornucopia

After some fascination with Ayurveda in its entirety, I decided that I would like to partake in one of the foremost practices of the tradition—diet.

Much like the rest of the tradition, diet is contingent upon the individual’s Dosha and the season. So, if you’ve been passing soft stools lately (you easy Kapha, you) then better lay off the filberts. Ok, I made that one up.

If you’ve been keeping up, you should know already that I’m a smoldering Pitta (predominantly) and so most my dietary guidelines are hinged on that principle. My normal dietary habits fall in between ravenous scavenger and the “see food” diet. Thankfully, I generally tend toward some healthy stuff, so as I embark on this journey I won’t spend too many wistful nights missing that bag of Doritos or the calming mush of a Twinkie exploding into my mouth. What, too graphic?

I don’t want to bore anyone with a running list of what I can and cannot eat, lest I should end up mirroring Great Aunt So-And-So with her up to the moment illness and subsequent new health regiment…but maybe just some of the fun ones. Yes: Figs, Grapes, Avocado, Brussel Sprouts, Amaranth, Ghee. No: Almonds, PORK, LAMB, Chia, SALT, BUTTER,YOGURT. GASP! Ok, so there is some good stuff that I’m getting in the deal, but seriously, what is Amaranth? And while I lament the fact that I’m not Indian, it’s true and thus have no means of acquiring Ghee. R.I.P: Pork, Lamb, Salt, Butter. I will miss you terribly.

Other than eating specific foods to balance your Doshas out, there are quite a few other interesting practices that have already (on day 3) lead me to believe that I will achieve little success in this lifestyle outside of an ashram. Now, three meals per day and light healthy snacks are two things that I can certainly get behind but there are quite a few others that I find myself to have irreconcilable differences with. Because I live in New York City is highly unlikely that I will find myself eating each of my three meals at the same time of day. It is also unlikely that it will ever be quiet ANYWHERE that I happen to take my meals. With all of the rushing and the noise, how am I to be expected to prepare my meals with not a trace of stress? I am a neurotic, stress-ball…take or leave the city.

All said though, I do enjoy a challenge and this is just what I am expecting. I can already see some good coming out of this. Perhaps I will appreciate meals more, and will not hoover my food as if there were an unspoken race at the dinner table. Just maybe I will not need to eat as much as a prepubescent sumo wrestler once I get my pacing down. Maybe I won’t be as stressed. And who even knows…maybe I’ll achieve balance.

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