25 March 2013


Part of the great thing about doing IIN is that I am going to be exposed to SO many different dietary theories.  My knowledge of the wide range of dietary theories that exist will benefit not only my future clients but myself as well!  On this journey I will be encouraged to try different diets (kind of scary for a vegan--I'll see what's entailed!) and seek out my own information as well as the supplemental resources IIN provides me.

Part of what I'm really excited about, too, is being able to share my newfound information with you all, here on my blog!  I hope to share not only objective, factual "stuff," but also my own personal experiences and discoveries, as they relate to the different diets.

That said, let me refer now to the subject of my post:  Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is, very broadly, a way of living with respect to one's dominant "dosha" as well as to the daily and seasonal cycles.  The three "doshas" that every person has is Vata, Pitta and Kapha (more information can be found about each of the doshas online), however, one or two typically predominates within the individual person.  If a particular dosha is off balance, it can lead to a whole slew of maladies.  Similarly, if a person is entirely in balance, he or she will feel optimal!

Ayurveda teaches how to balance oneself as well as how best to live in a way that supports YOUR dominant dosha[s].  Ayurveda teaches which foods to consume and which should be avoided, based on one's dosha, as well as which types of physical activities and lifestyle habits one should adopt, based also on his/her dosha.

There are numerous quizzes online you can take to figure out your dosha[s], if you don't already know it.  From there, you'll know which foods best support you and what you should do to live the happiest, healthiest life you can for your body.

I'm a Vata, which means the types of foods that nourish me are cooked, warm foods with heavier textures and added oils and healthy fats and those I should reduce are foods like leafy greens, most beans, mushrooms, cruciferous vegetables, et cetera.

Hmmmm.  The wannabe high-raw vegan in me is wondering HOW cooked foods can be better than raw and how POSSIBLY reducing leafy greens can be better for me.  Sprouts are a no-no??!

Well, part of IIN's program is being experimental and open-minded to other dietary theories so I decided, yesterday and today, to more closely follow the guidelines Ayurveda advises for Vata types and you know what?  I felt better.  Like, a lot better.  I still adhered to my vegan diet but roasted, steamed or sauteed what I might otherwise have eaten raw.  Additionally, I avoided certain foods--even those I thought I liked--based on the recommendations Vatas were encouraged to reduce.

You know what?  I felt even better there too.

So while it's weird and foreign for me to think that high raw isn't necessarily better, it isn't!  I'm talking about me, personally.  I know people who THRIVE on a high-raw or 100-percent raw diet but that's not me.  From experimenting, I've found that my physical body responds much better to cooked vegetables and warm foods than it does uncooked (for the most part) and cold.

I'm proud of myself for discovering this and being okay with it.  When I start seeing clients it will be important to keep this open-mindedness and understanding in mind.  Basically, the most important thing for ANYONE is to eat more fruits and veggies and less crap.  Saute, boil, steam, roast, stir-fry, grill...do whatever...just eat 'em ;)

Ayurveda also discourages eating raw food with cooked as well as combining fresh food with leftovers.  Similarly, it discourages eating fruit with other foods.  These relate more to food combining guidelines, though.  That'll be another post.

P.S.  Here's a little fun fact!  The five foods that BEST support me are listed below.  I found this list from listening to my body.

1.  Mangoes!!!
2.  Beets, roasted
3.  Squash, roasted
4.  Dates
5.  Almonds


  1. I love Ayurveda, and I think it actually offers some of the best diet advice out there. That said, I don't always eat for my Pitta dosha, either, often because I'm being persuaded by some other food philosophy. When it comes down to it though, I can tell that basic Ayurveda principles work amazingly for getting me balanced. I can always tell when I'm starting to lean more towards Pitta, and learning about the food that can "ground" you has helped immensely in those moments of frenetic vata-ness!

    1. Me tooooo!!!! And, yes, I agree. Its principles are clear and make total sense.

      I agree that life and social obligations make it difficult to constantly adhere to my dosha eating guidelines (sometimes I just don't want to!) but when I do, I always feel better.

      I mean, it makes such sense that the energy of the food we put into our bodies affects our mood, temperament and energy!

      Glad to know another Ayurveda fan ;)

  2. Wow, this is so interesting!! I've never heard of this before! I took the quiz and I got Pitta and it's so interesting to see what I am supposed to eat and avoid. It's very strange to have to do things that go against what you've been taught for so long so I can definitely see what you mean! I'm very interested in this and will definitely be doing some more research on it.

    Thanks for sharing the info!!

    1. Wow, I'm surprised you haven't heard of Ayurveda, Sarah! (I'm not saying this to make you feel bad--I'm just saying this because I know you've done SO much extensive research in an attempt to find some answers to your health issues).

      I'm THRILLED you took the quiz though!!! I hope you will experiment with it a little bit and post about your experience to your blog. Maybe it will help your symptoms...maybe it won't...but there's only one way to find out!

      Like I said, I've been sticking a lot more closely to the "diet" (ughh...don't like that word) lately and feel SO much better. I'll go in phases where I veer away from Ayurveda and then come back to it and I notice that WHENEVER I return to its principles, my body feels a lot better.

      You are so welcome :D I hope you will do some experimenting!!

      Ooh! And Friday (with my teaser) is just TWO days away!

  3. Laura, I'm so proud of you! You are going to be such an amazing coach! I'm so glad your're in my life and I agree with you so much here and have come to many of these same realizations about my diet, I'm just trying to listen to my body which can sometimes be challenging to fully hear everything. I'm headed to take my dosha quiz I forget what I am! Can't wait to find out and tell you!!!

    1. Thanks so much, hunny bunny! I have some surprising and very sudden news! I was requested to come out and interview for a job in San Francisco so I picked up and moved...in, like, the span of three days!!! I'm going to live out here for a little bit, save up and continue to pursue my IIN degree. I'm sad that we were just becoming friends but that does not need to change! Let's continue a long distance friendship! I'm going to start a new blog about my new California adventures so I hope you'll follow me :) Once I move I'll give you my address too and we can be pen pals! Hoppy Easter! xo