Using Food As Medicine: Ayurveda

Food is truly a practice of restoration. Nutrition can balance mental health, which you can read more about, here. At Wisdom Within Counseling, my marriage and family therapy practice in Niantic, I offer nutrition support as food issues can be emotional. As a psychologist near East Lyme, you can learn even more tips to balance your mental and emotional health in person. But for now, below you will have a chance to learn about Ayurvedic practices and how to rebalance your mental health and improve your nutrition through food.

At Wisdom Within Counseling, I offer a holistic and skill- based approach, so you can live a life you love. Therapy in Niantic can take many forms. One morning, I may teach you about Ayurveda, where as, another evening, you may want to talk and have a more traditional talk therapy session. In Ayurveda, there are three doshas in the practice of Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the three doshas. Each dosha has a quality and element. Vata is air and ether, Pitta is fire and some water, and Kapha is earth and some water. Seasons, conversations, life experiences, environments, smells, and evening times of day have an impact on your energy state. These also influence whether you feel balanced mentally.

For instance, some people run hot and some people run cold. Others sweat a lot and others don’t sweat much at all. Some people have rounder faces while others have narrower faces. When you come to a therapy session in Niantic, we will have a chance to go over all of this and more in greater detail. This all relates back to a person’s Ayurvedic constitution. Everyone has a different percentage of each dosha. Then, the influences of the external world play a role, so we are constantly working to rebalance ourselves. Here are some examples to help explain the “qualities and elements,” of energy swirling within you.

Vatta-   lanky, tall, slimmer, prone to insomnia, trouble sleeping, creative, musicians, usually pick to eat fruits and veggies, but often too much can be aggravating/unbalancing. The Vata dosha thinks situations over, but this can lead to worry, anxiety, and bubbly personalities. fast metabolism. Coffee and caffeine aggravates vata as well as rough foods.

Pitta-   muscular, medium build when compared to the other doshas, focused, driven, motivated, natural leaders, prone to addiction/alcoholism, adultery, and anger. Good digestive fire and metabolism. Pitta has great inner fire, but too much can lead to addiction and is like a wildfire. Competitive sports aggravate pitta. Marriage therapy and couples counseling in Niantic can have bits and pieces of Ayurveda woven in to give you and your partner a greater understanding of each other. Read more about couples therapy, here.

Kapha-   compassionate, romantic, loving, nurturing, grounded, earthy, prone to being over weight, depression, builds caring, longterm relationships, and is prone to lethargy. Slow metabolism.

Unbalancing and Aggravating Your Doshas

Eating french fries and buffalo chicken wings while drinking alcohol in the heat of the summer with undoubtedly aggravate Pitta. What does aggravation or unbalanced Pitta look like? They might get impatient, angry more quickly, say something very critical or sharp, look more red, experience a blood pressure increase, and even have heartburn.

Instead, Pitta would benefit from having a cooling refreshing salad with crisp romaine, cool cucumbers, and some fresh, cool fruit. Pitta is balanced by raw, crunchy, and fresh veggies and fruits in summer.

Kapha is prone to the elements of earth and some water, so dairy can be too heavy. If Kapha were to have sugary cereal and whole milk for breakfast and grilled cheese for lunch, they may feel congested with more mucus, feel allergic to pollen/dairy, watery eyes, stuffy nose, trouble breathing, take a nap, and have tiredness.

In the Spring months, Kapha is balanced by warming foods such as ginger and cinnamon. They are do well with dry, stimulating foods such as broccoli, mung beans, and whole grains. Kapha is aggravated by sweets too.

Vata runs cold, so if a fan is blowing air directly on their skin such as from an AC, they may feel irritated, frazzled, worried, tense, rigid, chilly, and not hungry. Then, in the colder months, Vata needs warming foods, such as a roasted sweet potato with butter or ghee. Salads that are cold and drying are contraindicated for vata in the winter.

If any of these tendencies sound like you, I would love to have you come in for therapy at Wisdom Within Counseling in Niantic, Connecticut. Additionally, if you are across the miles and are interested in therapy, either traditional talk counseling or yoga therapy, I offer distance counseling options of Pen Pal Life Coaching, here. Distance Video Therapy, here, and Email Therapy.

Call/text for your free 15 minute phone consultation 860-451-9364 to learn more about Ayurveda and your constitution. Read more in book your session online and WisdomWithinCt.com!

Written By

This article was written by Katie Ziskind, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, 500-hour Registered Yoga Therapist, is the owner and clinical psychologist at Wisdom Within Counseling in Niantic, Connecticut. Finding a family therapist in Niantic has been very difficult until now. Katie also offers teletherapy and distance counseling. Katie Ziskind LMFT, RYT500 combines her highly effective specialties of art, yoga, music, and animal therapy alongside talk counseling. She is an expert with children, adolescents, teenagers, and the young adults. She offers therapy for teens in Niantic. Parenting sessions and couples therapy for parents challenged by their children, are also part of her practice. As a psychologist, is affirming and open to the LGBT community. She specializes in yoga therapy for  athletic individuals who have a sports injury and have been through trauma. Contact her today by texting or calling 860-451-9364.