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- How to Get Glowing Skin with Ayurveda
- Cutting Back on Caffeine
- Craving Sound Sleep? How to Doze in Rhythm with Nature
- Warm Up with Vata-Reducing Sweet Potato Pancakes
- Sugar-free diet: an Ayurvedic review
- Is Coconut Oil the New Toothpaste?
- Vamakukshi: Can a “Catnap” Help Your Digestion?
- Say Goodbye to Constipation – An Ayurvedic Perspective
Pitta Diet and Recipes
Pitta Diet and Recipes
Elements- Fire & Water
- Fleshy Smelling
Season- Summer, Early Fall
Time of Life- Puberty- 60 (Thought some say 30+)
Time of Day- 10 AM- 2 PM & 10 PM – 2 AM
Tastes that Balance Pitta – Sweet, Bitter, Astringent
Tastes that Increase Pitta- Sour, Salty, Pungent
In general, pacify pitta dosha with foods that are not spicy, oily or overly salty. Pitta dosha is composed of fire and water, so it tons to run hot and be slightly irritable. It is a sharp, oily dosha and should be treated with sweet cooling foods. Consuming sour, salty and spicy food will only serve to exacerbate any the sharp, spreading qualities of Pitta. Pitta is known to have a potent digestive fire, therefore, fermented and spicy foods will crank up the fire even more.
Specifically, avoiding fried foods, alcohol, coffee, spicy condiments (sriracha), fermented foods and excessively salty processed foods if you suspect you have a pitta imbalance. Due to their strong digestive abilities, Pittas do best with raw foods in moderation.
Pitta Diet Shopping List
Fruits- Sweet Fruits. Avoid sour fruits.
Apples, avocado, coconut, figs, grapes (dark), mango, melons, oranges (sweet), pears, pineapples (sweet), plums (sweet), pomegranate, prunes, raisins
Vegetables- Sweet & Bitter Vegetables. Avoid Pungent Vegetables
Asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, green beans, leafy greens, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, peas, parsley, peppers (green), potatoes, sprouts, zucchini
Grains- Favor Sweet grains. Avoid heating grains
Barley, Oats (cooked), rice (basmati & white), wheat
Animal Proteins- Avoid heating meats and proteins such as beef, lamb, pork and seafood
Favor Chicken or Turkey (white), Eggs (white), Rabbit
Legumes- All Legumes except lentils
Nuts- No nuts, too oily, but coconut is a great option
Sweeteners- Avoid molasses and honey
Maple Syrup is best, All sweeteners (save for white sugar)
Spices- Avoid extremely heating spices
Favor coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, turmeric and black pepper
Dairy- Avoid fermented dairy- yogury, buttermilk, sour cream, cheese
Favor Butter, cottage cheese, ghee, milk
Oils- Avoid heavy, heating oils- sesame, almond, corn, safflower
Favor cooling oils such as coconut, olive, sunflower and soy
Pitta Balancing Recipes
Recipe courtesy of Laura Plumb
- 2 c fresh Milk
- 2 t Turmeric powder, or a 2-inch coin of fresh Turmeric root, peeled
- A dusting of fresh cracked Pepper, or a small pinch of ground Cardamom, or both
- Put the ingredients in saucepan.
- Whisk the milk gently while bringing to a gentle boil.
- Serve and drink warm.
Warning: Wear an apron. Turmeric stains!
Dairy Free Golden Milk
- 2 t Turmeric powder or a 2-inch coin of fresh turmeric root, peeled
- 2 c fresh Almond milk* or Coconut Milk
- 2 t raw Honey, optional
- 1 t Ghee or Coconut oil, optional
- Add the ingredients to a blender on high speed and mix for a few minutes to heat the drink.
- Enjoy it warm.
For Pitta: Replace the honey with maple syrup
Recipe courtesy of Jenny Ahn
This Adrenal Tonic/Pitta-Reducing Tea was created by fellow Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist Isabel Castro.
Pitta type of people love to work and have a tendency to burn out! Try this yummy tea which I recommend to many of my clients, which they all seem to love, myself included to replenish the adrenals and calm the mind.
- 4 parts oatstraw
- 2 parts nettle
- 1 part spearmint
Add 2 rounded teaspoons to 2 cups hot water. Cover and steep overnight. Strain and enjoy 1 cup in the morning, and 1 cup in the afternoon, away from meals.
Honey Dew, Cucumber & Mint Popsicles
Ever hear the phrase, “cool as a cucumber?” Honeydew and cucumber cool your blood and offer a refreshing reprieve from the heat. As it cools, cucumber also detoxifies your blood and relieves stress.
Summer heat makes your heart beat fast & heavy. With so much overheated blood, you’ll notice the tip of your tongue turns red. The excessive blood flow aggravates your liver, and could cause your temper to flare.
Honeydew and cucumber refresh your body in summertime. They cool your blood, soothe your liver and calm your temper. Mint is a perky addition that cools you down by helping you perspire.
Rose Yogurt Lassie with Rose Water Tea
Recipe courtesy of Jenny Ahn
Yummy…one of my favorites!
- 1 cup of rose water tea (above)
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1-2 pinches cardamom
- agave or maple syrup for added sweetness
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix. Voila! Yumminess!
Plantain chips: Anytime ‘pick me up snack!’
Recipe courtesy of Manju Joshi
- 1 Green plantain, peeled and cut in round pieces according to desired thickness
- 2 Tbs Coconut oil or ghee
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a medium skillet, add the coconut oil then the cut plantain.
- Let cook for a minute
- Turn and cook for another minute. Keep turning till both sides are lightly brown or brown if want them a bit crunchy.
- Add salt and pepper, toss well
- Remove plantain chips from heat and serve warm or cool
Note: if you are allergic to bananas, you may be allergic to plantains
Recipe courtesy of Jenny Ahn
This is another version of pitta-reducing tea, very similar to the one above and just as yummy.
- 4 parts nettle
- 2 parts oatstraw
- 1 part spearmint
- 1 part rose
Add 2 rounded teaspoons to 2 cups hot water. Cover and steep overnight or for 20 minutes, and serve warm.
(I like to add almond milk and sucanat to the tea and drink it as a replacement for chai in the summer.)
Add adventure to your corn on the cob with cilantro and coriander butter. Cilantro & lime add a refreshing twist that helps you celebrate summer. Coriander adds a delicate touch of sweetness to the butter, making this simple recipe your new backyard favorite.
When fried chicken and heavy potato salad drag you down, making you feel like taking a nap, this tasty corn on the cob treat keeps your party hopping. The light and zesty qualities of cilantro, coriander, & lime lift your mood & restore your pep. Corn itself is a diuretic, making it a light, supportive choice at a festive summer barbeque.
Perfect for a Summer BBQ
Corn is an excellent choice in the summer thanks to its sizeable potassium content, a mineral we lose through profuse summer sweating. Its sweetness eases the heat of the day while coriander helps digestion. This is quite helpful when appetite loss is a common effect of long, hot days.
Cool cilantro is an antidote for a hot, sizzling summer day as well as pungent foods commonly found at a barbecue like tomatoes and chilis. Coriander and cilantro are different parts of the same plant, coriander being the seed while cilantro is the leaf. Although the leaves are cooling, the seeds are slightly warming. Gently warming coriander seeds aid digestion and detoxify the blood.
Note: This recipe may be drying for Vata types, especially on a hot day in the sun. As a remedy to its drying qualities, add a pinch of salt!
Hibiscus Mint Sun Tea
Luscious and vibrant pink hibiscus, interspersed with bright green mint, delights your eyes as well as your taste buds and blood. You will feel soothed by this tea which is nothing short of beautiful.
Hibiscus with mint is particularly refreshing on a summer’s day. Hibiscus improves liver function, bringing your liver taxed by the heat cool relief.
Aromatic mint disperses fluids and heat, leaving a cooling aftereffect. The two together create a sense of opening and relief, like letting out a big sigh. Your body will feel calm and relaxed.
This variation on sun tea is perfect for cooling down on a hot day. Using heat from the sun instead of boiling water allows the herbs to retain a great deal of flavor.
Note: Vata should take caution not to drink too much Hibiscus, as its cooling qualities could squash your appetite & delicate digestive fire.
Bananas with Lemon Juice and Fresh Cilantro
Banana with lemon juice and cilantro is a sweet, refreshing, restorative summer snack…
Bananas and Electrolytes
Bananas are a great snack after a summer sweat because they restore electrolytes. Their high potassium content nourishes both the nervous system and the muscles. Eye twitching and muscle spasms in general are early signs of electrolyte imbalance. In early summer, a twitching eye may be your sign to curb excess sweating in early summer as well as a cue to enjoy healthy tropical treats with bananas.
Bananas also have a high sugar content. Under the wiltering summer heat, the high sugar and complex carbohydrates of banana may leave the stomach feeling a bit heavy. The lemon and cilantro aid the digestion of these complex carbohydrates.
Lemons in the Summer
Why is lemonade the most popular beverage of summer? Apart from their resemblance to a ray of sunshine, and juiciness to rival a summer waterfall, lemons open the pores and help you sweat. Sweating actually help keep your body cool. Among herbalists, foods that help you sweat are known as diaphoretics. Diaphoresis, the dilation of pores and blood vessels close to the surface of the skin, is your body’s way of turning on the air conditioner.
When the heat makes you feel like youre turning to mush, the astringency of cilantro helps tone and tighten inflamed tissues and digestive tract. Cilantro is also very cooling to the liver and an anti-inflammatory. Also a diuretic, cilantro is a perfect addition to meals to combat water congestion in early summer. Don’t like cilantro? Try mint instead.
Zucchini Soufflé with Watercress Salad
Beat the heat and use up those zukes with this cooling summer zucchini recipe, modified from The Yoga Body Diet by Kristen Schultz Dollard and Dr. John Douillard, DC.
- 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 whole eggs
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 bunches watercress (about 3 cups), rinsed and chopped, tough stems discarded
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat four 1/2 – cup ramekins or oven-safe coffee mugs with ghee or coconut oil. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with ghee or coconut oil, add the zucchini, and reduce to medium heat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes,until the zucchini starts to brown. Set the skillet aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the whole eggs, egg whites, cilantro, goat cheese, flour, baking powder, salt, and zucchini, and mix until well combined. Divide the egg mixture among the 4 ramekins, and bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the soufflés are puffed and no longer runny in the center.
Divide the watercress among 4 plates. Drizzle with the olive oil. Serve immediately with the soufflés.