Here's a brief description of vata traits from Chopra.com:
"Those with a predominance of Vata dosha usually have a thin, light frame and excellent agility. Their energy comes in bursts and they are likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue. Vatas typically have dry skin and hair and cold hands and feet. They sleep lightly and their digestion can be sensitive.
Vatas love excitement and new experiences. They are quick to anger but also to forgive. When Vatas are in balance, they are energetic, creative, and flexible. They also take initiative and are lively conversationalists. When unbalanced, they are prone to worry and anxiousness and often suffer from insomnia. When they feel overwhelmed or stressed, their response is, 'What did I do wrong?'"That's me! Except not really the "quick to anger" part. According to Ayurveda, each dosha should eat certain foods to balance their dosha. I ordered The Vegan Ayurvedia Kitchen shortly after starting my studies, so I could try eating for my dosha. On Tuesday, I planned an entire day of dosha-balancing meals. It started with Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes and Breakfast Greens.
These pancakes are gluten-free, which is best for vata's digestive issues (I don't actually have any gluten issues, but it was fun to play along). You soak raw quinoa in water overnight and use a blender the next day to make a batter. And then you fry them up in coconut oil (good for vata's dry skin and high metabolism). They actually have a similar texture to flour pancakes! And so easy to make. The recipe is literally just quinoa, water, and coconut oil. And I added in blueberries and cinnamon (recommended for vata).
The breakfast greens are kale, cooked with fennel seed (just a tad because I'm not crazy about it) and topped with nooch, flax oil, and ume plum vinegar. They were really good and a nice balance to the maple-sweetened pancakes.
My morning snack at my desk was something totally unique to me — Sauerkraut Toast! This is toast with raw almond butter and my homemade kraut. The recipe suggested sprouted grain toast, but I used my last slice to make croutons for my salad for lunch (more on that in a few), so I used half a slice of 12-grain bread.
Lunch was Cooked Zoodles with Garlic Olive Oil & Pine Nuts, plus a Vegan Caesar Salad.
The zoodles can be cooked or not, depending on your dosha, but vata aren't supposed to eat a lot of raw veggies because they're tougher to digest. And even though I don't have gluten issues, I do get gassy when I eat a ton of raw food. So I opted for the vata-friendly blanched zoodz. I tossed them with olive oil and a clove of minced garlic.
The caesar was my fave meal of the day! The dressing was cashew-based and so delicious and tangy. The croutons are made with garlic and coconut oil on baked sprouted grain bread. The salad was just romaine and red onions. It's all tossed with a homemade parm made with ground almonds, sesame seeds, and nooch. Very good! And just a little bit of raw, not too much. Also, lots of good fat for my vata constitution!
My afternoon snack — before spinning class (one of the few activities I can do with my hurt foot) — was Sweet Orange Date Rolls. These medjool dates are stuffed with raw walnut butter with a little squeeze of fresh OJ and agave, topped with coconut flakes and fresh mint. These three little dates kept me full through spin class.
Dinner was Kitchari! I'd never had kitchari, but Hillary from My Cat Loves Daiya blogs about it all the time, and I keep wanting to try it. It's a mung bean and rice stew that's supposed to be super healing and detoxifying. The book suggests eating it topped with lime juice and kraut for vata types, and I added some Trader Joe's Green Dragon sauce cause that's what Hillary does and it always looks so good.
The kitchari was really light and satisfying! And honestly, after a full day of eating for my dosha, I felt pretty great. My digestion was spot-on (no gassy issues!), and I just felt energized and healthy. Next time, I'd probably add more protein sources because I did find myself getting hungry more often than usual, but my body is just used to a large amount of protein.
I love The Vegan Ayurvedic Kitchen cookbook. All of the recipes are marked to let you know if it balances vata, pitta, or kapha, and increases or decreases those traits. I'll definitely be trying this meal plan again.