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It’s Hot Outside! Are You Making Yourself Hot Inside? - Fit Fem Trainer, Emma Harris
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian healing art that incorporates the heating and cooling qualities of food. Based on what is called your “dosha” or your “constitution” certain foods have a more balancing effect on your body or an unbalancing effect. You can find your dosha here. I personally am a Pitta, so my body is naturally hot and firey, others are Vatta and have a colder physical disposition and others are Kaphas who are more balanced between the two.
Foods each have their own constitution as well. Corn, wheat, alcohol, cinnamon, and dairy are examples of warming foods and sugar, lettuce, coconut, and cucumbers are examples of cooling foods. You can tell if a food is heating or cooling to your system based on A) when you crave them and B) what they cause in your body after you consume them, not whether or not they are warm/cold when you’re eating them.
These two ideas are connected by the Ayurvedic practice of eating for your dosha. This involves knowing whether or not you’re a hot body or a cold body and eating foods that help to keep you in balance. I have found that in adopting this knowledge (not a specific diet) but simply knowing whether a food is heating or cooling on the body I can help to adjust my state of being by keeping myself in balance. I have started to notice that when its hot outside my body has a tendency to overheat quickly, as I am a hot person and outside additional heat makes me overly hot; this causes me to crave cooling foods like fruits, juices, sugar, and salad.
When I don’t acknowledge whether or not I am eating a hot or cold food and I eat heating foods or drink heating beverages on a hot day I will become cranky, irritable, aggressive and impatient. I will have a short fuse and will be more likely to start fights if I get upset about something with a friend or family member. I have the choice to say to myself “It’s hot and therefore I am cranky, moody and upset because I am uncomfortable”, let that be that and question whether I am about to start my period. I can also make another choice, the powerful choice to remember what I have eaten that day and make a connection to acknowledge if I have thrown myself over the proverbial edge by creating too much heat in my body.
For example; I usually drink coffee in the morning but if I had an additional cup of coffee with some eggs, a sandwich for lunch with cheese, meat, bread, and mayonnaise, then for dinner pasta with olive oil, garlic, oregano and meat sauce and then for dessert had some ice cream; I can wonder why I had an overly cranky day in addition to humid weather or I can notice that I ate ONLY heating foods during the day.
Powerfully choosing foods that are within your diet that are balancing to your current state will not only help you to feel physically more balanced but it will also help you to feel emotionally more balanced. If you are a Kapha dosha and are generally balanced then you can choose to eat equally warming and cooling foods throughout the day in order to stay in check. If you are a Vatta dosha and are generally quite cool then as the weather gets warmer you may feel better about eating heating foods even though it is warm outside.
As the weather outside gets hotter and hotter make the powerful choice to balance yourself out and avoid foods that will overheat you. Here is a site to check out which foods are heating and cooling to help you make balancing food choices.
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