Last night in Yoga Teacher/Holistic Coach Training we were discussing eating for our doshas. Dosha is an Ayurvedic term that according to Deepak Chopra’s site is described as, “From the five elements [air, water, earth, fire, space], the three doshas are derived—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Known as mind-body types, the doshas express a particular pattern of energy—unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.” To determine your dosha, you take a quiz, and my type is Kapha.
The Kapha dosha is ruled by Earth and Water, so the resulting qualities are heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft and oily. The prescribed eating regimen to for Kapha is to eat beans, leafy greens, and veggies and to eat smaller portions of meat, grains, fruits, yogurt, dairy, salt, fermented, fat, fried foods, sweets, and iced foods. My immediate reaction was NO MORE SWEETS? NO MORE DAIRY? I’m from Wisconsin where the 2 main food groups are meat and cheese. I grew up on all the “smaller portion” items and didn’t meet a brownie, French fry or burger I didn’t like. Now I would spend the rest of my life eating beans and veggies. After hearing all of this I figured my life was just about over.
After I made a run to McDonalds (just kidding), I thought through this prescribed way of eating and what did it really mean? Why do I love food so much? Why was I so attached to it? One of the characteristics of a Kapha is that we tend to be overweight and have a bitch of a time losing weight. Was that me? Check. My mom was (and is) an excellent cook and we had home cooked meals WITH dessert almost every night. Thankfully we didn’t have any fast food in my town, or who knows what state I would be in. Three square meals a day, hunger queues be damned. Snacks? You betcha. My dad still makes the best popcorn (with melted butter!) in town. I certainly don’t blame my parents—we were fortunate to have food on our table and relished (no pun intended) time eating it. I realized I was filling my body with things that were already in abundance in me—heavy, solid, oily. No wonder I had more pounds on me than I should.
And I read the fine print. It didn’t say YOU CAN NEVER EAT THE FOLLOWING ITEMS, EVER, NEVER. I’m not good with absolutes, and I am a master of justification. It said “smaller portions” and “avoid”. Could I do that? What might happen to my body if I ate more beans and veggies? The only way to find out was to try it.
So I started eating one vegetarian meal a day, then two. I made delicious lentil soups (once I educated myself on the elusive lentil). I stopped snacking in between meals. Sometimes I eat three vegetarian meals a day. And you know what? It isn’t bad. In fact I kind of like it. No more heavy lunches where I want to sleep by 3. Minimal cravings for sweets. I. Feel. Good. And I dropped 10 pounds since January.
Do I indulge once in a while? Sure. I don’t beat myself my up, and I don’t feel guilty. I ate a certain way for over 40 years, and it’s only been a few months of the new way. But I hope to have 40+ more years on this planet and I think the new way is going to keep my quality of life at its highest. My next goal is to master the crafty leafy green veggie. Dandelion greens, anyone?

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