Vata dosha in Ayruvedic medicine contains the elements of air and space. As we move into the fall and winter these seasons bring out this dosha (according to ayruvedic medicine doshas are the 3 primary elements which make up the physical world including us humans). To keep vata dosha in balance consider the following to prepare for the coming cold weather:
• Cut down on dry and light foods such as pop corn, toasts, rice cakes etc, ice cold foods and drinks, junk food and too much alcohol
• Emphasize warm nourishing foods, sautéed, stir-fried, or steamed vegetables, and, if you are not a vegetarian, sea food, turkey, and chicken. Take dairy products in moderation. Avoid taking any cold drinks and have daily herbal teas and warm drinks. If your digestion is weak, a cup of warm water after meals will help you reduce the gas and bloating an will help with faster digestion.
• Decide upon a daily routine and do your best to stick to it
• Keep yourself warm. Drink plenty of warm water and herbal teas
• Get up early in the morning and do little exercise, even if only for 5 minutes
• Meditate in the morning, it will help to ground and to set an intention or focus for the day.
• Plan the day ( but be reasonable and do not schedule too many activities)
• Massage the whole body with sesame oil (or if unavailable a good moisturizer) two three times a week.
Try avoid too many cold foods like like ice cream and cold juices and believe it or not not too many cold salads in the diet. Nuts are good but in moderation. Grains like basmati rice, oats and quinoa. Spices that are a bit milder such as cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, sage, or thyme. Stewed fruits are lovely and warming this time of year.
The main idea for fall and early winter is “keeping yourself warm, grounded, and moisturized”
Recipe for an excellent grounding Vata tea
4 Cups water 1 tsp Fennel Seeds 1 tsp Coriander seeds 1 tsp Cardamom
Procedure: Boil water in a pot. Add slightly crushed fennel seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom pods. Boil for 2 more minutes. You can add maple syrup, honey or sucanat to sweeten. Serve hot