Vata Menu Question


I happened upon your site through way if your oatmeal recipe so I decided to explore some other pages. I am very excited about what you’re doing and enjoy your zest. I am just wondering about your recommendation for dried fruit and nuts as a snack as I have heard (or read, I think in one of Dr. Vasant Lad’s books) that dried fruits are no good for vata since the constitution lends itself to dryness. Could you please explain this? Also, your site is the first place I have read that brown rice is no good for vata. I thought it was classified as part of a sattvic diet and therefore compatible with all doshas. Finally, I had read that beef is good for vata yet I find here that not to be the case. All of the information I’ve gathered is pretty much from dr.lad. He is a higher up at the ayurvedic institute and even some if the info they have posted conflicts with his earlier work. Like I said earlier I love what you’re doing and I am not looking to criticize I am simply looking for clarity. I will be overjoyed once I’m back in school learning it for myself.

Yes, would love to lend some clarification based on the vata menu you are referring to. Dried fruits are indeed dry, but some are also sticky and sweet. Dates, raisins, prunes are all good for vata. A vata person could pair these with warm tea and/or warm water to “fluff” them up – to give the water quality back. For example, constipation is a dry problem, but prunes w/warm water and tea (on an empty stomach) will help. NOW! Prunes ideally should be soaked in water (raisins too) for best results, but having them with water can help. Keep in mind, vatas are usually a) picky eaters not wanting to soak anything in water and b) they are usually grab-and-go types, hence my trying to make life easier for them by saying, “eat dried fruits and nuts!” See? I got your back.
As far as meat goes, vata does need some meat for strength. Think of them like a bird. They have mostly grains and fruits, but sometimes they need a good worm :) That said, beef is rajastic/tamasic (depending on where it comes from) and too much meat can easily affect the sensitive vata mind. And yeah, brown rice is very hard to digest. Pittas can usually handle it (and sometimes not) but the others should steer clear.
And all this said, there are several sources/books that contradict each other with Ayurvedic foods/menus, even by teachers who have been doing this a long time. So much depends on the individual and situation. A bit of advice though: if we look at our foods as WHOLE foods rather than individual pieces, we will fare just fine :)

And please let me be clear, I LOVE DR. LAD! He makes me cry (in a good way). Every time I see him my heart lights up and tears plop out without even trying. He’s so wonderful. I wish I knew everything he does :)

4 Responses to Vata Menu Question

  1. Tmice826 says:

    You make total sense. I am now crystal clear. Thanks : )

  2. tmice826 says:

    This question and your response does shed some light on a bit of confusion I am having, especially when trying to eat to support your dosha, but also eat seasonally. To further clarify, as a vata in the spring, would I indeed include some of the bitter, astringent and dry veggies/grains, but add moisture and perhaps oil to them to keep them from aggravating my vata, yet still clearing away the winter gunk? And following my instincts is a no go, as I’ve never really been in tune with nature nor observant of its changes when it comes to food, because the supermarket stocks it all, and all the time. Thanks

    • Monica says:

      Hi Tressey, Thank you for your question. If you are a certain dosha, that should be your main diet (example if you are vata, you should always try to eat warm, goopy foods, year round. That is your staple and foundation). You might alter it a bit during seasons, but that does not mean a vata should start eating a kapha diet in spring. My suggestion is to follow the diet for your dosha (or your increased dosha, to bring it back down) first. Seasons will guide what we eat based on foods are in season (farmers markets are good for seasonal foods) so we incorporate more of those into our meals, but we should not completely switch to another dosha’s diet just because of that season. Does that make any sense? xo

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