Fall is here along with the cool and crisp air, beautiful colors in the leaves, and a harvest of delicious vegetables. These are all delightful changes the season brings.But along with those changes come the shorter, colder, and drier days of vata season. In Ayurveda, the vata dosha is therefore provoked as autumn progresses. Vata is related to wind, which is the principle of movement and governed by the either/space and air elements. You may have heard the saying, the winds are always changing . . .Â and just as the wind is subtle and changeable, the energy of vata means the body is strongly influenced by all those changes in the environment.
Do you have any of these symptoms of vata aggravation?
- Dry skin and lips
- Gas and bloating
- Little or low appetite
- Anxiety and fear
- Scattered mind or thoughts
Here are 5 diet changes you can easily incorporate during these changing winds.
- Eat foods that are in season. Right now, this includes root vegetables, winter squash, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squashes. These have the qualities of sweet, heavy, smooth, dense, and moist, and are very balancing for vata
- Add some grounding grains.Â Basmati rice, wheat berries, brown rice, sushi rice, whole wheat pasta and buckwheat udon noodles can all be especially grounding for vata.
- Oil it up.Â Include ghee andÂ other healthful oils such as almond, sesame, or sunflower in your cooking toÂ kindle agni, the digestive fire, and increasing overall absorption.
- Use warming spices. These include black pepper,Â ginger,Â cinnamon, and asafetida.
- Warm the body from inside out.Â Cook casseroles, soups, and stews, which are easily digested and can be very nourishing for vata, andÂ limit intake of cold and raw foods.
Plus, try this delicious, Ayurvedic vegetable stew recipe for fall.Ingredients:
- 1 cup of cauliflower
- Â½ cup of green peas
- Â¼ cup fava beans
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 tbsp. onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. of ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp. of turmeric
- 1 tsp. of cumin powder
- A pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- Himalayan ground salt, to taste
- 1 quart purified water
Instructions:1. In a large pot, heat the ghee and add chopped onion, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and cumin. 2. Cook the spices for 5 minutes. 3. Add all vegetables exceptÂ the tomato to the pot. 4. Add salt and water. 5. While water is boiling, lower heat and cover the pot. 6. Add the tomatoes after 5 minutes. 7. Once the beans are fully cooked, turn off the heat and enjoy!