Category Archives: Pitta

What balances vatas and pittas in kapha season?

This question stemming from several of you!

“What balances vatas and pittas in kapha season?”

Overall, vatas and pittas are going to be balanced by kapha season. Happy day!

I quickly made this crude little chart (it shows up reversed in the video), but in very simple terms, these are how the qualities shake out in kapha season.

 

In general vatas and pittas will be balanced by kapha season. In Ayurveda we talk a lot about the qualities and we use the opposite qualities to stay balanced.

Kapha qualities are: cold, wet, heavy, static (non-moving) and dull.

Vata qualities are: cold, dry, light, mobile, and rough.

All vata qualities except COLD are opposite of kapha which means, kapha will balance vata for the most part. However, vatas need to stay warm in their environment, body and diet in spring.

Pitta qualities are: hot, slightly-oily (a little wet), light, smooth, mobile and sharp.

All pitta qualities except wet are opposite of kapha which means, kapha will also balance pitta for the most part! However, anything too humid, wet, or oily will not suit pitta in spring. They should favor the dry qualities in their environment, body and diet.

In a nutshell, vatas and pittas should feel quite awesome in spring. If you are a kapha, learn more on how to balance your mind, body and spirit with this kapha seasonal bloom.

Much more learnings on my YouTube channel and Facebook page too.

XOXO!

 

 

Pitta Seasonal Bloom 2016

pitta_seasonal_bloom_blog

Pitta season is in full swing — it’s SUMMER time! Summer means sun, summer rain, sweat, swimming pools, popsicles, watermelon, bare feet, vacation, sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and…go find shade! There is so much to look forward to and I’m excited to share my Pitta Seasonal Bloom download with you!

Why is seasonal balance important in Ayurveda? Remember our Ayurvedic foundation, “like increases like.” Which means when the elements/doshas are dominant in us AND in nature, they can overflow and create imbalance in us. When we are imbalanced we start to feel like crud and if we feel like crud for too long, eventually we will notice physical ailments in our bodies or minds. SO! The goal in Ayurveda is to avoid feeling like crud and live optimally by staying in harmony with nature instead of working against it.

Pitta seasonal bloom has loads of diet & lifestyle tips for your mind, body and spirit. Here’s to a happy and healthy summer! *clink!*

dload_dk_pink_button

pitta_seasonal_bloom_promo

Dosha Snapshots

Ever want all the information about doshas in one place? You can have the dosha snapshots that I use in my in-person training classes!

dosha_snapshots

Each one of the doshas are summarized and easily accessible in this handy 4-page download. Bonus: Also included is a seasonal dosha chart and the daily routine!

dload_lt_orange_button

If you or someone you love does not know what a dosha is, the download is perfect. If you are a yoga teacher trying to explain doshas to your students, this would be awesome for them.  Or, if you just want a refresher on the doshas with all information in one place, this is for you too.

dosha snapshots

Ayurvedic Pizza Party

Pizza_party copy

Ayurvedic pizza party!? Pizza is not really Ayurvedic, but the world we know it has plenty o’ pizza. For us, pizza is definitely part of life — and if it’s part of life, it’s part of our Ayurveda. When you find yourself in the midst of a party, learn how to balance your plate for your dosha by checking out my pizza party tips on Banyan Botanicals blog.

A big shout out to my friends at Banyan Botanicals for promoting this playful excerpt from my book, In Your Elements. They are doing a FREE book give away! Wanna free copy of my book? Just enter here (scroll to the bottom). I hope you win! It’s a fabulous book and full of fun things like…pizza parties :)

ENJOY! And hit me with pizza party (or any other) questions any time. xo!

 

 

 

 

Bit o’ Wisdom {53}

Where_I_am_supposed_to_be

Super Itchy Skin Season

oil_drop

Hoooo. Welcome to “Super itchy skin Season” I mean, well, that’s probably not the official name of the season. Most would call it vata season or, fall. Anywho, if we have not already started practicing daily oil massage by now, our skin is probably letting us know it. We know it’s dry when our skin starts to show it’s texture and we can write the word “Dry” on the back of our hand with our fingernail (who remembers that commercial?). We know it’s dry when lotion buurrrns our skin (Why? Cause alcohol is one of the first ingredients in most skin lotion which dries it out further and makes it sting!). We might also wake up in the middle of the night with itchy-itchy dry scratchy legs like I did couple years ago and almost went nuts!

Most of you guys know by now that it’s time for OILS. Maybe we should rename it “Oil Season.” That sends a better message. Oils soak into our skin (especially warm oil – it’s heavenly) and also create a barrier to the outside cold, dry air. If we use oils daily, we won’t get super-itchy-skin or wake up in the middle of the night with itches. As a bonus, applying warm oil massage promotes sound sleep and can be used as a relaxation technique to unwind before bed.

Here are some ways to sneak in oils each day:
• Daily Oil Massage (yes, even for busy people), ideally in the morning before shower.
• Keep a small bottle of oil at your desk. Use like you would lotion and apply to forehead, cheeks, hands, arms, shins (if you start rubbing oil above your knees at work, people will think it’s just weird). Make sure it’s rubbed in really well.
• If you didn’t do massage in the morning then apply warm oil to your bod in the evening. Dump some oil in a pot on the stove and heat it (careful! It heats very fast and will continue to heat in the pan even when removed). Apply with strokes up and toward the heart.
• Rub warm sesame oil on hands and feet before heading outside in the cold.
• Eat oils too. Our skin is dry because our insides are dry. Favor vata-balancing diet with plenty of healthy oils this time of year.

And below are some of Monica B’s Favorite Oils (Confession…I have a lot of favorite oils, but these guys are tops).

It’s important to choose oils that benefit your dosha the best. Our friends at Banyan Botanicals have a nice variety of oils to choose from.

Vata-balancing oil. Warm, nourish and ground.

Pitta-balancing oil (will nourish but also cool). Calm, sooth and cool.

Kapha-balancing oil. Invigorate, warm, revitalize.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.38.56 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.39.07 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.38.52 PM

 

Another one of my favorite luxurious brand of oils are from Boditonic. These would make awesome gifts or a nice bit of pampering for yourself. The baby scent is my favorite (it’s a calm, very light ylang ylang). The original scent is also good — it’s more lemongrassy. If you order from Boditonic, say hi to Adam and tell him Monica B sent you. It will make him smile.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.36.15 PM

Made in small batches with care by Adam at Boditonic.com

 

IN YOUR ELEMENTS is here!

IN YOUR ELEMENTS IS HERE! 

 

Cover

EEEYAAAH!!!!! THE BOOK IS DONE!

Who’s going to hold hands and jump up and down with me?! Who’s coming over to my house? Where are you people when I NEED you!? ;) You guys, after 1 1/2 years, my Ayurvedic book is COMPLETE! READY FOR THE WORLD! *high kick* *clap hands* *shake booty*

BUY IT HERE.

In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life is a vibrant mix of Ayurvedic wisdom, humor and practicality all rolled into one book. In Your Elements was created for those of us who believe in the power of the individual and that true health stems from within.

My lovely book walks you through fundamental Ayurvedic foundations and includes over 70 questions, exercises and oodles of tips to help you along the journey. The whole book is a customized look at your life including, your daily routine, dosha quiz, menus, recipes, home therapies, exercise recommendations and more! As a bonus, Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic practitioners will LOVE this book for their classes and clients, respectively.

Launch_samples

So Monica B, what’s next?
We are going to have a proper launch party webinar in October with yours truly as the host. I’ll do a little chat, we will have book give-aways, I’ll answer any questions and we will have a PAR-TAY together online. That is coming SOON so keep your peepers out and be ready to “woohoo!” Oh! And if you have not signed up for my newsletter yet, definitely do that.

For now, go buy the book! Love it up. Share with friends. There will be SO MUCH MORE very soon! XOXOX! Monica B

 

Ayurvedic Shopping

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.29.03 PM

 

Ayurveda touches every part of our lives, right? So it would make sense that Ayurveda even touches on shopping! Is that the best news you’ve heard all day? Ayurvedic shopping! Permission to shop. Healthy, personalized shopping?! Yep, you betcha.

As you are learning more about the doshas, it’s super fun to watch them in action. People-watching is one of the most fascinating things in life, so toss in some Ayurvedic knowledge and you’ve got entertainment for years.

You remember our doshas right? Vata, pitta, and kapha are the three doshas that govern our personalities, physical builds, emotional tendencies, and the nature around us. Let’s take a peek into the shopping world of the doshas.

How they spend

Vata shopping: Vatas will spend money as fast as they make it. Like the windy beings they are—*whoosh*—cash goes flying out of their fingers as soon as they walk out the door. Vatas are most prone to impulse buys, which may result in buyers remorse, because they didn’t think through their purchases first. Or, maybe they just changed their mind. They will promptly return the item to get the cash back, and then buy something else just as quick. A vata wardrobe has a lot of variety so they can look like a different person any time they wish. Vatas have the hardest time deciding what to wear in the morning and will try on several outfits (often making a mess) before they settle and head out the door in the nick of time, or even a teensy-bit late.

Pitta shopping: Pittas don’t love to shop. They only shop out of necessity and they usually know what they want to buy ahead of time. So, a pitta person will show up at the store, have someone help them find what they need (if they don’t call ahead and put it on hold first), pick it out, and go home. They do not lurk, browse, or window-shop. Nada. They just want to get what they need and move on with their day. Pitta wardrobes tend to be the least creative and they might wear the same thing often. They like to rely on simplicity in their wardrobes so they don’t have to have to think about it too much—their time is better spent on other things. Plus, reliable clothes keeps them punctual—a pitta’s favorite thing.

Kapha shopping: Kaphas love to shop. They love to saunter, browse, touch, linger, and enjoy. They also really like stuff (kaphas are the sticky dosha, and like to collect things). Kaphas are inspired by the creativity and loveliness of items in stores–it brings them lightness and happiness. Once a kapha finds something they love, they will buy the same thing in navy, khaki, red, and black. Even if multiple colors are not available, they might buy an extra piece just in case. They have elegant tastes and will spend on high-quality items. Just the same, if there’s a sale, it’s a kapha-extravaganza and they will buy all the multiples of things at the sale to keep them in a closet (for a rainy day that never comes) or give them away as gifts.

Now, you might be curious to know what kinds of clothes these specific doshas will buy? Just as different as their spending and shopping habits, their clothes will be different, too.

What to buy

Vata: Vatas are almost always cold, so they like anything fuzzy, puffy, fleecy, sweatery, hooded, and thumb-holed (it keeps their little wrists covered). Vata’s clothes will likely have a baggy fit, which makes them look bigger than they are (for them that’s good because vatas tend to be small-framed) and more importantly, allows for movement, so they can continue to wiggle around in true vata fashion. Vatas like to wear layers because they tend to get cold and change their mind. Colors that are best for vatas include warming colors that absorb heat like black, charcoal gray, chocolate brown, reds, oranges, purples, corals, and hot pink. These colors also compliment their olive skin and are “autumn” colors, which is also vata season.

Pittas: Pittas will look for clothes that compliment their muscular build, are well made, a good fit, and of good value. Because pittas run hot and sweat easily, they do best in soft, breathable, natural fabrics with a proper fit. In the heat, pittas will opt for loose, flowing clothes. However if clothes are too loose, pittas will feel “sloppy,” and if clothes are too tight, pittas will get hot and crabby. Colors that are best for pittas are cool spectrum colors found in nature like teal, sky blue, cobalt, pale blue, emerald green, sea foam green, white, and yellows. These colors also compliment their naturally pink skin and are “summery” colors, which is pitta season.

Kaphas: Kaphas always look put together. They accessorize with jewelry, shoes, purses, and head ensembles (as if their awesome looking hair isn’t enough). Kaphas will wear clothes that usually hug the lower body and are blousy on top. This shows off their rockin’ curves and gives their upper body room to breathe (for their big chests—to hold their big hearts). If anything around the chest or stomach is too tight, they will not feel good. Kaphas feel best in dark and warm colors but the fabrics should be lightweight, so they don’t weigh down kapha. Colors that are best are oranges, purples, reds, pinks, blues, and greens. Any colors that evoke vibrancy are great for kapha, since these colors are “spring” colors, which is also kapha season.

Ayurvedic Summer Guide

Please enjoy my ayurvedic summer guide or as I like to call it, Pitta Seasonal Bloom! :) Wondering how to stay balanced for summer? An oldie but GOODIE…a super-mega charged GOODIE, in fact! :) It’s not new. But it’s a GREAT refresher for you. And a good introduction to Ayurveda for your friends and family. Especially the ones who have no idea what that Aaaayyyyurrr stuff you talk about really is :) Share among the people! Let’s keep improving how people LIVE! Thanks and love you! xo! (And yes, still working on the book)

Click on le photo to download this lovely little ayurvedic summer guide, Pitta Seasonal Bloom.

Ayurvedic summer guide

 

 

Favorite Summer Foods

favorite_summer_foods

 

Something totally mind-blowing occurred on accident (don’t you love it when that happens?!). On facebook yesterday I asked, “What is your favorite in-season summer food? The one that shouts, ‘YAY! Summer!’ when you eat it?” I got a bunch of great responses and then had a teeny epiphany.

Examples of what you said were your very favorites: Mangoes, watermelon, cucumbers, all sorts of home-grown tomatoes (<–lots of people said that one!), cantaloupe, peaches, fresh basil (w/fresh mozzarella), corn on the cob, cherries, berries, asparagus, nectarines and ice cream!

**Monica’s MIND BLOWN here**

Um. Kay. Notice anything about these foods? Like, what they have in common?

ALL these foods are fruits and vegetables!! Almost ALL these foods are pitta-balancing! It’s pitta season and isn’t it amazing (in the true sense of the word) that nature perfectly makes available the VERY best foods for the season! On top of it, we actually CRAVE and APPRECIATE those foods! **is your MIND BLOWN yet?** Perfect by design, these foods are all wonderfully light and cooling, which keeps our pitta levels down (in all of us) and balanced so we don’t overheat and get cranky.

One food that is not pitta-balancing are tomatoes. But vatas and kaphas can have them, and love them! Pittas can have tomatoes in small amounts, but they should be small and sweet like cherry tomatoes. Overall, tomatoes are heating and can be a bit too acidic for pittas and in the hot weather (like, don’t inflame your eye like my ma did once). Tis why it’s good to balance hottie tomatoes with cooling cilantro (like in fresh mild salsa) or cooling fresh mozarella (like a caprese salad). See how nice they go together?

I also couldn’t help but notice what didn’t make the list: bread, rice, mac n’cheese, grilled cheese, meats, potatoes, root vegetables, pumpkin, chili, stews, pasta. Those foods make us feel heavy and hot this time of year and are therefore more balancing in the winter to keep us grounded and warm :)

Tip: The more red in color the tomato is, the more of the fire element it has in it. So if you are a pitta, you might want to pick the cute yellow or orange ones for a sweeter taste.

For those of you who weren’t on the facebook party, you’re not left out! What are YOUR favorite summer foods?? Tell us! It would be quite a most awesome party if we all showed up with our fruits and veggies together! Under a sun umbrella of course. And with good music. And the vatas would dance. Party on! XOXO!

Snacky.

 snacky

question_mastheadI’m a vata/pita girl. Vata is most present. I eat as following: breakfast (8.00) mostly oatmeal with fruit, raisins, spices and nuts. lunchtime (13.00) I eat my diner and @dinertime (18.00) I eat soup with one slice of bread. In between (10.30 and 15.30) I try to eat as less as possible, fruit with some nuts but I notice it’s not enough because @ 16.00 I’m mostly very, very hungry. And because of that the change is higher that I eat not so healthy things like chocolate in the evening. What should I do?

Great question! First of all, whenever you are hungry, eat. The body is telling you it needs food. Now, there are guidelines. For a vata-type person, they could easily spend the day snacking away, which is not good. So! Make sure you are eating enough lunch, remembering it should be the biggest meal of your day. If you are having a nice, hearty lunch and are still hungry at 4:00, then have a snack. If you eat dinner in super-starvation mode, you will likely overeat too late at night or have munchy chocolatey things :) It takes 4-6 hours for us to digest a meal and it sounds like you are doing that in about 4 hours. No problem, just honor that hunger by having a substantial, hearty lunch and/or a snack around 4:00pm to tide you over. Does this help?

Tri-Dosha Menus

trifecta_menus

Tri-dosha menus

From my hands and heart to yours, here are three dosha menus in ONE post for your downloading and sharing ease. Groovytown!! *high kick!* These menus are not meant to box you in, rather, they are created to expand your mind into the world of foodie concoctions that are awesome for you.

Something to keep in mind, if you eat a “wrong-for-your-dosha” food, don’t stress about it! Just do better next time, it will not kill you. In fact, someone once told me, “You cannot kill anyone with Ayurveda.” SCORE! Well, I suppose if you struck the wrong marma point hard enough you could, but that’s beside the point. If your body responds well to the food you are eating, keep doing that! If you are not digesting well, try some of the menu recommendations according to your dosha and see if you begin to feel better.

Again, there are a myriad of foods we can choose and frankly we should have a diet balanced in all six tastes, organic when possible, and eat with a happy mind. If you do all those things, you will be in far better shape than you did before you found this crazy lil site :) Enjoy your dosha menus and if you like these, please please share!

Any other questions I can answer or Ayurvedic information you are dying to know about? Email me! monica@heymonicab.com. XOXOX!

 vata_menu

pitta_menu

kapha_menu

 

Pitta Menu

 

As promised, here is the pitta menu! Overall, pittas tend to have great digestion. But! Let us not abuse thine great digestion, dearest pittas. Just because you can digest a tin can, doesn’t mean you should. You can digest a lot of things well, including red meat. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. And, well, because you like rules, I know I won’t have to preach too much about you eating the right things because you always want to do right. But I also know you can be stubborn. So, mold the ideas on the menu according to your likes, but really try to adhere to the main foods that are good for you. A steak once in a blue moon will not kill you. A steak once a week won’t kill you either, but you’ll probably end up with heartburn and unwanted pounds. See what I’m sayin? Balance, my good people, balance. Ok I’ll stop yapping. Pitta menu (click to download and print it) !!! Share share share! xoxoxo!

Note: When you download, you’ll get all 3 dosha menus. Pitta is on page 2 :)

pitta_menu

Ayurvedic Rules

question_masthead

All right, Monica! Two questions for you. First, I was thinking of trying to practice this Ayurveda way of life you’ve been talking about. My dad has had a lot of health problems lately and I’ve been thinking it might be time for me to try to fight these things before they start with me. Could you point me in the right direction on where to start…a book, recipes, how to take small steps at first? And second, if I’m a Kapha, do I need to follow those Ayurvedic “rules” all year long or do they change with the season. I’ve been reading your posts for a while and I’m a little confused. If it’s vata season, do I follow vata “rules” or do I follow Kapha all year long? 

All right, Jen! :) Thank you for your questions. First of all, check out this article on where to get started. That should help guide you in the right direction! To sum it up briefly:

1) know your dosha(s), or at least somewhat close. You will discover more about yourself as you go! That is to be expected.
2) read the seasonal bloom that sounds most like you a) vata b) pitta c) kapha
3) eat good foods that come from a good place.
4) follow the daily routine

Second, super awesome question. Seasonal rules do apply to everyone to some extent, but you will mostly follow the kapha rules all year long. Your “go to” Ayurvedic rules will be to use the kapha-balancing lifestyle and nutrition guidelines (in the seasonal bloom) because YOU are a kapha person. Yeah? Make sense? The reason why seasons are important is because of the “like increases like” rule in Ayurveda. In spring (kapha season), the likelihood that your kapha will increase (allergies, sniffles, congestion, weight gain, etc.,) is much higher because the surrounding nature is very kapha-like too. So, kapha nature + kapha Jen = too much kapha. See what I mean?

That said, during summer (pitta season), you won’t have to worry about your kapha increasing, but your pitta will increase (which warms and balances your kapha) because it’s pitta nature time. Everybody’s pitta increases in summer which is why we crave ice cream, fresh fruits, cool water, etc., Same as, everybody wears warm coats in the winter to add another layer of warmth. Now, you might be thinking, “Okay but what if my pitta goes really high in the summer!? How would I know?” If you are naturally one dosha, it’s not likely that another dosha will overtake your entire being based on seasons alone. If you follow the diet and lifestyle guidelines according to your dosha(s), you will be mostly on track. Adjust to the seasons by eating seasonal foods and that’s all you really need to worry about…at least for a beginner :)

Does this help? Anybody have more questions on this? Happy to clarify if I’ve left something out. Miss you too, Jen!! Love you! xoxox

Hot Mama!

hot_mama

HEAT WAVE!! A show of hands, who is on the east coast or in the midwest in the midst of this summer humid heatwave? Pitta galore! Holy moly.

Two days ago my mom sent me a txt message, “Something bit me in the eye lid. Getting the swelling down.” Photo below shows a big cucumber slice on her eye. HA! I love how it’s the butt-end. Because she knows cucumbers are cooling, it was a good Ayurvedic college try! ;)

Mom_Eye

The next day she wrote and told me that her eye was still swollen and that she was headed to the eye doctor. Bummer. After her visit, she said the doctor didn’t know what was wrong (this is when my ears perk up because if doctors don’t know…Ayurveda usually does!) but gave her antibiotics for 10 days. Then my brain started putting pieces together. Eyes are governed by pitta which is heat and there is a heatwave where she lives. Hmmm. I asked if she had eaten anything with ginger in it or anything else spicy. She said she did have ginger and that she put hot pepper flakes on her pizza the night before. Ah-hah! Ginger and pepper flakes are both heating. Then I told her I would not be surprised if she had a rash or hives on her legs (heat does that too). She said she DID have hives! Ah-HAH, Ah-HAH!! {Ayurvedic happy dance!} Then she tells me that she was outside that day horsing around in the back yard doing yard work (Mom, you know better than to do that in the heat…) too. So, that added more heat.

Now, let’s Ayurvedically put this together: My mom is a pitta/kapha (more pitta) + 90 degree heat + ginger and pepper flakes + gardening in the hot sun = puffed out eyeball and hives…because she’s overheated!!

Yikes! She needed to cool down quickly and here are some bits of advice I gave:
• No alcohol, no spicy foods, no peppers, no tomatoes
• Eat lots of fresh summer fruits and vegetables
• Pasta or rice are okay
• Ice cream or frozen fruit mash (yonana!) are good for quick cooling
• Cool the feet (feet relate to the eyes!) by walking on cool grass after sundown. (Mom beat me to it and stuck her tootsies in a bucket of cool water. That works too!)
• Drink aloe vera juice or coconut water
Cucumber or mint water are good
• Water in general is good

Helpful? Any other hotties out there in need of a cool down? And if so, how did YOU chill out? :) Inquiring minds would love to know…do share!

Gentle, Pitta.

question_masthead

Amazing site, really! We have been reading and studying on Doshas for a while now. I am a pita and my wife a kapha. This is a struggle at times and seems to more so since the winter solstice. My energy levels seem to be a bit higher lately and I feel she kind of resents this. I don’t want any more chaos around and the different levels of energy seem to disrupt the peace in the home. ANY ADVICE?

Thank you for reading and I’m so glad you and your wife are learning all about Ayurveda together :) That said, great observations! Also note that since it’s nearing spring, her kapha levels will be higher and your pitta will continue to feel calm, smart, and invigorated by the cool weather. Usually, kaphas are inspired and smiley at the energy that surrounds them from pittas and vatas. So first question, do you know for sure she resents your energy or are you just presuming by the way she reacts? Can you ask her? Pittas love to ask questions to understand facts for themselves. However, they sometimes lack asking “touchey-feeley” or emotional questions. I encourage you as a pitta, to gently ask. Don’t push her (if she’s feeling stuck, you can’t push her – cause she’s kapha – and static), but try instead to touch her heart :) You will find your answers there.

At the same time, maybe try inviting her to do inspiring things with you. Again, don’t push, just invite! Whether your invigorating pitta energy includes activities or new ideas or new strategies, keep it light, fun and inspiring. What you want to avoid is giving her a “challenge” or encouraging her to “compete.” It’s not in her nature and will likely turn her off. Gentle touch, gentle approach (not a sharp approach), speak from your heart not your head! And! Perhaps embrace some of her slowness too! Rest is necessary to grow and get stronger (which pittas love, yes?). I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes and thank you for your question!

Pitta’s Vices

 

pittas_vicesOk guys, let’s talk about pitta‘s vices, which stemmed from the previous post on vata’s vices. Remember, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave the foods and habits that keep increasing that dosha! Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things. Taking a look at pitta, we know pitta people are sharp-minded and sharp-tongued. They are direct, focused, witty with a great sense of humor, hyper-organized, detailed, play by the rules, ask a ton of questions, and are usually found in leadership roles.

So when I see a pitta person with a big burger on their plate, copious glasses of wine or cocktails, pouring extra tabasco sauce on their nachos with jalapenos, and following it all up with a piece of chocolate lava cake (with ice cream), I know they have a pitta imbalance. Why? Because a balanced pitta would not eat that much or crave those things. By the way, that there pitta would be running for the heartburn medicines to calm that craziness down! ;)

In my observation, an imbalanced pitta craves: very sugary sweet desserts and chocolate, spicy foods, red meat, alcohol, and they tend to eat large portions of food.

The vice-rites (vice favorites) all increase heat, with the exception of the sweets. Pittas are already hotsie-totsie due to their fire nature, so having heated foods and drink will make the fire stronger. Hello heartburn, high blood pressure, loose poop, and that sparky lil temper! Pittas have a naturally strong agni (digestive fire) and when it increases above their natural state (called tikshna agni) they will want more food than they really need. So they have strong hunger, but weak digestion and this causes weight gain. Pittas tend to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and appreciate any release from stress they can find, which is part of the reason they turn to alcohol or food to relax. Sweets are cooling* which is normally good for pitta, but eating highly processed sweets and chocolates will give them a sugar high. Then they’ll crash and be upset they are unproductive. See? I know people sometimes :)

Now that we understand what pitta’s vices are, let’s end on a positive note and highlight some of their virtues.

In my observation, a balanced pitta craves: lots of fruit, veggies, healthy carbs, lots of water, and pure proteins like lentils, organic meats, and red meat only on occasion

When pittas eat the right foods and are truly balanced, they are chronically witty (these are the people that make you spit milk out your nose) and make the best out of being focused and present. They don’t let worries or stress shake their consistent stride toward their goals. They make inspiring leaders with a loyal following. If I saw a smiling, glowing, fire-goddess eating a hearty rice bowl with protein, vegetables and aromatic mild spices, with a cooling mint tea, I would think she’s pretty close to her natural pitta self. And she might even enjoy a piece of dark chocolate for dessert.

Okay pittas, do any of these vices sound familiar? If so, yay! Because now you have the knowledge and root cause behind your behavior and you can fix it. If you have other vices, do share with us! We’re in this together, one big healing hug at a time. X!

*Pittas tend to have a sweet tooth because the sweet taste is cooling. Sticking to fruits with natural sugars is best, but a piece of dark, slightly bitter chocolate is okay too as a treat and would be enough to satisfy them.

A dosha match made in heaven

Match Made in Heaven. Ayurvedic heaven that is.

 A little match made in heaven: I received this email from one of my dear readers who was curious about inter-doshic relationships. Just as food, exercise and nature influence the doshas, people do to! Here is a sweet story about how a vata/pitta person and a kapha person form complete unity and balance each other. I’ve highlighted areas in orange italics to demonstrate why compliments attract :)

I’ve (vata/pitta) recently gained a very special friendship with someone who is pretty much kapha (everyone loves a kapha). She’s down-to-earth, happy, easygoing, curvy physique, etc. She’s all girly and about clothes and has perfect hair (kaphas love to look nice and have nice things). I’m older and a smaller person who prefers sportswear—I feel I’ve got my shoes covered because I have one pair brown and one pair black (pittas like comfy clothes and keep it simple so their mind can focus on more important things). So we walk along, rather quickly (vata/pitta making kapha move quickly – great!), and we talk about everything under the sun (talking and listening is therapy – tridoshic).

Her Kapha-like personality and my Vata/Pitta thing has made for a few interesting observations on my part. One day I was hovering in the ether, all anxious and stressed (vata problems) about something that, “wasn’t quite right” in my world. (vatas are the most intuitive) I was walking along, waving my arms, ranting and fussing (vata, vata, vata). She let it all play out and then just said something like, “People just sometimes don’t cooperate. Good thing we have you around to keep us all on track.” (kapha, always keeping the peace and giving an ego boost at the same time) Then gave me a big hug (kaphas give the best hugs), which, of course she is very good at, and I, of course, crave (vata is pacified by physical touch). I have to admit I chuckled to myself later when I recalled that episode (laughter is some amazing medicine – tridoshic).

This is proving to be a very great friendship for us, as she’s offered love and nurturing to me (kapha qualities), and I’ve been able to offer objective, realistic advice (pitta qualities) as well as keep her moving with regular exercise, and listen to stories of her past that she still grudges about (kaphas hold grudges if pushed far enough).

Thank you for sharing with us, dear reader! Sounds like a match made in Ayurvedic Heaven :) Anybody else have an example of someone who balances you? xoxo.

Ayurveda is not magical

Hey guys! Often when people think of Ayurveda, they associate it with the image below. Seemingly magical remedies that really don’t make logical sense.

The girl has Shirodhara treatment - indian oil massage.

Am I right? It might seem mysterious, exotic, pretty unattainable, maybe luxurious or elitist, and even a little weird. Like gross, who would put their head under warm oil while it drips all over their HAIR! Eu! And then how do you get it all out?! ;)

Well, shirodhara (SHEE-ro-DAR-uh) is the name of the therapy where the oil flows onto the forehead from one side to the other, almost in an oval pattern. Unlike all the photos you see, there is actually a person (or should be) moving the oil stream from side to side. Anyway, my point is that while this therapy is truly awesome (if you could feel it’s awesomeness, you would BEG for oil to be dripped all over your hair), it’s a teeny weeny part of Ayurveda! Shirodhara is not accessible to most people, it can be expensive for treatments, and it’s not something you can do daily.

I have good news. Ayurveda is so much more than shirodhara, herbs and other “magical” remedies. 90% of all imbalance can be corrected with diet and lifestyle. Do you know what a magical remedy is? Eating really good food that comes fresh from the earth, not from a lab or a GMOed seed. Another magical remedy is getting enough sleep each night and turning off computers early enough so we can unwind. Sleep does magic for the mind to help it rest as the body restores itself. One of the best magical remedies is getting daily exercise (yes daily, discipline!) even if it’s a 20 minute daily walk. Drinking enough water to keep the body supple and flowing is also another magical remedy. It keeps the mind clear and focused, channels flow easily, and our bodies stay buoyant instead of shriveled. My favorite magical remedy is breathing. It’s so magical and easy that we forget it’s even there ;)

Friends, when you think of Ayurveda and talk about it to your comrades and loved ones, remember that Ayurveda is simple. Ayurveda is life. Ayurveda is nutrients, rest, movement, hydration, and taking in enough oxygen. If you don’t have these things, then don’t bother with the fancy shirodhara therapy, the spas, the herbs, or the massages. Start simple. Start with what you already have within your power. And if you aren’t doing those simple things yet, then start practicing :) That is where you will find your results and where you will live your best life. And once you get the hang of that then run, do not walk, to your nearest Ayurvedic spa for an indulgent shirodhara session :) xoxo!! You can DO it!!!

If you want to practice the real deal (it’s accessible, simple and fun!), you might want to check out my book IN YOUR ELEMENTS. It’s a workbook! And I talk like you! Ain’t no mystery or magic, it’s chock full of real life, easy ways to keep you feeling awesome every day.

What About Sprouts?

Recently I got a question from one of you pittas about sprouts and sprouted bread. Sprouts in general are in pitta phase of life so they increase pitta. They are not a seed (kapha), nor are they yet a plant (vata). So sprouts or sprouted seeds of any kind are stuck in puberty! They can create digestive problems (bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, cramps) and skin problems too! You would be better off having a nice healthy grained bread or any grains (all good for pitta) without the sprouts. :)