Believe it or not, my lawyer recommended I read The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook. For those of you unfamiliar with Ayurvedic medicine, in yoga it is believed that there are three doshas that we belong to. They are divided up between air, fire and water/earth. When we get sick, it is because we are very off balance, too immersed in one of the elements/doshas. To find out your dosha, here is my favourite and most comprehensive dosha quiz for you to try. To learn more about the doshas in general, click here.
It is natural for us to lean toward particular doshas because of our personality but when problems with digestion and illness occur, it is time to look at what we are eating in order to find inner balance in our lives. I am definitely an air/vata person. I lean towards air because I am an air sign and because that is who I am. I live in my head, I am almost always cold, I focus on the future, I am sensitive and hard to pin down. When I am out of balance I worry, I don’t sleep, I have a lot of aches and pain, my skin gets very dry and I have a hard time concentrating.
What I found interesting about the cookbook is how it addresses these issues through food. For example, it makes sense that an air dosha would need moisture in food. Have I mentioned that my family calls me Saucy Suzie? I love sauce and need it on my food. Food without a sauce feels just plain wrong to me. Now I know why! I am supposed to stay away from drying foods like legumes. I don’t know if I have mentioned this but legumes have actually scared me most of my life! Seafood is also very good for me because it comes from the ocean, the largest body of water in the world. I CRAVE seafood. I love the idea that my foods are all inspired by water and moisture and my body seems to know this on an intuitive level.
All these moist foods are earth/kapha-inspired. Kapha people are very earthy, they like to stay in the same place, prefer stillness to motion and have a hard time waking up in the morning. For those with these leanings, it would make sense to move towards air and fire foods.
It gets complicated because I also have a ton of fire/pitta in me. As a result, really hot foods are actually quite hard on me and I need to be careful with things like spice. As much as I need sauce and moisture, because of the fire/pita energy in me I must be careful with my fat intake. I have learned through years of suffering with nightmarish acid reflux, reducing fat is absolutely essential to my diet. When I use low fat ingredients, it allows me to have the moisture without the pain of a volcano in my chest.
What this book has taught me to do is honour my body. My body truly does know best. I need moisture, warming foods and the ocean. Although I did not use the recipes in the book, I learned that the way I eat intuitively is truly the right culinary path for me. It has brought me balance and peace inside my tummy and my spirit.