Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Kapha lifestyle, Kapha diet

Although Kaphas tend to have weight issues most of their adult lives (Kaphas tend to be thin in their youth), you certainly have the advantage of having the simplicity of following a diet and lifestyle that complement each other to achieve mental and physical balance as well as helping you to lose weight. Easy!

I have already outlined the general food guidelines for Kaphas in a recent post. But since Ayurveda is not exclusively about food, we need to address the other factors that will soothe or balance your Kapha dosha in a spiritual and mental way, to assist in weight loss and also make you feel your best.

Here is what Ayurveda prescribes to Kaphas to create mental and emotional balance.

KAPHA ROUTINES

~ aromatheraphy using essential oils with warm and spicy aromas, including eucalyptus, pine, musk and sage

~ surround yourself with hot and vibrant colours, especially red

~ listen to calming music like raga at sunset or before bed, between the hours of 7 and 10 pm

~ every day, give yourself a 10-minute dry massage using a silk or cotton glove, paying extra attention wherever you have fatty deposits

~ meditate first thing in the morning and do invigorating yoga stretches

~ engage in heating activities or sports, making sure you get your heartrate up for 15-20 minutes every day

~ fast one day a week on liquids, having broths, herbal teas, and diluted fruit or vegetable juices

~ drink green tea with fresh ginger 2-3 times a day


It's important to have a Kapha-pacifying lifestyle if you are a Kapha, not only to complement your Kapha-pacifying diet for weight loss but also to counteract the mental and digestive sluggishness that is characteristic of Kaphas. You'll notice that all foods and activities recommended to Kaphas have a heating, spicy, invigorating quality, all of which cleanse your body of excess fluids and give you the energy to be and do your best.

42 comments:

mo said...

thanks for the very interesting and sadly totally appropriate info! i will try to work myself up to a weekly fast, and pick up some musky aromatherapy!

how i wish i were a pitta!

xo

Frannie said...

Hello, Kaphalicious! I'm glad you took a look at this post, and despite the sad truth of it all, it's also encouraging, don't you think? ; ) Also it's the month of Aries so it'll be cosmically easier to start new habits and routines!

xo

p.s. if we were all Pittas we'd be a bunch of Gladiators ; )

genpren said...

The fast isn't that bad. Just make sure you drink a lot of liquids. I drink apple juice watered down by half for most of the day. Also hot broth. Everytime you feel hungry, drink. I find that by the end of the day I'm so much more awake and aware. The only real difficulty are social obligations, which usual involve food or drink. I try not to make a big deal out of it and just order what I plan to have... tea. Food habits are also an issue. Even though I don't feel hunger pangs, the number of times I think about food or eating (around certain times of day) highlights how much of our eating patterns have nothing to do with actual hunger.

whatiateyesterday said...

Hi there,

I just discovered your site yesterday and really applaud the wealth of information your provide. I am new to ayureveda and have decided to learn more after a recommendation from my yoga teacher that I my dosha (classic kapha) may be out of balance. I hope to slowly make changes that I can live with and I feel sure that your blog will help me through that. Thanks in advance for that!

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Good for you! I'd love to hear how it's going for you, with adopting Kapha-balancing habits and diet. Starting bit by bit is definitely a good way to integrate a new way of eating and thinking, and as you start to feel better, you'll want to do it more :-)

Genpren, liquids are totally a saviour during fasts! Try the vegetable tea as well, such a great detox drink (hot or cold) that is completely alkaline.

Anonymous said...

As to fasting, I was told by my practitioner to liquify the foods I would normally eat, making it easy on the digestion. The point of the fast is easier assimilation, not to starve yourself or only drink juices.

luccy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trisha said...

You recommend Raga music. Are there artists your fond of? I tend to find ones that don't settle me, just irritate. I prefer female for some reason. Thanks:)

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

I personally like Ravi Shankar, though I'm sure there are lots out there. Any other recommendations, anyone?

Prasant said...

I came across your post randomly, useful information! I think I might be a kapha as well.

I'm actually a saxophonist specializing in south indian classical music, which is completely raga based, in case anyone is curious.

http://www.prasantmusic.com

Thanks again for the info.

Best,

Prasant

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments, Prasant -- and your music is incredible! I hope all my visitors go on to your site to hear some of your beautiful music. All the best!

Prasant said...

Thanks, I will keep an eye out here for recipes.

Best,
Prasant

Rebecca Lynn said...

A while ago I was browsing the bookstore I live nearby and found a cookbook that was ayurvedic. I wasn't totally believing in it, and then the other day I bought the natural health bible and found I was a kapha and everything that the characteristics were exactly right for me.
Disappointing, yes. But it's really great to have found your website!
And for the main reason I'm saying this, I see some are wondering some good raga music.
I'm not sure if music that I have is actually raga, but the putumayo world music is great, there's sahara lounge, which I'd say is close to what you're implying. I'd check out the putumayo cd's.
Thanks for the great blog, and hope this helps! :)

astaga.com lifestyle on the net said...

good post about lifestyle.thanks for sharing with us

Ayurvedic Medicine said...

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Anonymous said...

So... feeling overwhelemed. Everything I eat and like is on a list that I "shouldn't" be eating. I must take this slow or I will quit. Are Kaphas quitters if we don't take to things easily? Is there something easy I can do to start the train of change? I feel like a big (haha) loser. Feeling scared and overwhelmed.
Kathleen

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Hi Kathleen,

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling overwhelmed! The good news is that Kaphas are not quitters. That said, it is very hard for Kaphas to change their ways (the flipside of not being a quitter). You are very right in feeling that you need to take it slow, or it will be too much change and every ounce of your body will want to revert back to old ways. Re-read the first paragraph of this post :-)

Starting slow can mean something as simple as adding more raw fruits and vegetables to your diet... drinking green tea with ginger when you're feeling low energy... wearing vibrant hot colours. These sound pretty pleasant, no?

Kapha season is when it's cold and wet, so how about you give yourself the whole summer to transition with these simple and pleasant routines and then as winter approaches you can try taking on something more, like the dry massage, invigorating stretches or liquid fasts once a week. Who knows, maybe after the summer your mind and body will be ready for more!

Best of luck.

Juhi said...

Hey Fran..... Your site is absolutely wonderful and what I loved most here is that you don't overwhelm your audience with information overload.
I am a pitta-Kapha dosha prakriti with 37% Pitta and 51% Kapha. And tell me about changes and how I hate them :-(
Could ypu give me some really easy tips so that I can atleast start with some weight-loss, a problem that I have been struggling for since times immemorial

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Hello Juhi!

Thanks for visiting and for saying such nice things about my blog. I'm glad you enjoy it! I too am Pitta-Kapha so I can relate to your issue. In my opinion, it would be best to increase your Vata which will give you physical energy to be more active by also feeling "lighter" with more wind in your sail, so to speak (as Vata is Air). You can do this by replacing Kapha foods (which tend to be heavy and rich and bready and saucy, like cheese and pasta and desserts) with Vata foods (which are airy and light like crisp fruits and vegetables, crackers, chickpeas, etc), and add a bit of heat with spices in your food and drinking green tea with ginger.

Also, try getting lots of fresh air, proper sleep, and walking or your favourite activity. Hope this helps get you on your way!

Anonymous said...

hello,
thanks for all this fab info. i am kapha vata apparently and feeling very heavy. it is summer where i am at the moment so i am fortunate it is a hot and dry climate. I really need to lose some weight and develop some better habits. i exercise for about an hour a day at least, walking or swimming. Any other advise you have to help me shift this weight. i think i retain water too and are prone to eating even if i am not hungry....grrrrr! thanks

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Hi to the last commenter! I know how annoying it is to feel heavy in hot weather, but it will work to your advantage since Kaphas do well with heat. If you would like to know what foods to eat to support weight loss and shedding retained water, check out:

http://franlife.blogspot.com/2006/03/kapha-foods.html

Even though it's hot, don't drink too many fluids, and for sure eliminate salt from your diet. Eat fresh vegetables, apples and other crisp fruits, and drying grains like quinoa. Your daily exercise sounds perfect, keep it up! Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

thanks Fran, I just checked out the link. I definately feel better being in the heat, I am trying now to battle cravings for sugar after meals. Eating a few dates helped as I thought they are natural but looks like I should stay away from them being mainly kapha. Any ideas to battle the sweet tooth post meals? Also are almonds a complete no no?

Claudia Davila said...

Glad that page had helpful info on it. I understand your sweets craving after meals! Would you consider some of these options?

- kapha-friendly friuts like apples and pears

- a digestive ginger and/or mint tea (cold or hot) with a little honey

- brushing your teeth after eating (I find sweets taste "off" after freshly brushed teeth and it gets rid of the craving) (to support this further, follow with a small glass of water and going for a walk or another gentle physical activity to change the routine of wanting a sweet after eating)

Let me know what you try and how it works for you!

Claudia Davila said...

Oh, and Kaphas are best avoiding nuts because they're cool, moist and heavy -- all qualities you're trying to reverse in your body.

No foods are "prohibited" but something like almonds would be best consumed once in a while and in small amounts. (As opposed to them being a regular source of snack/energy and in quantities larger than, say 5 almonds, or in the form of almond butter which is delicious but deadly, speaking from experience ;-)

Anonymous said...

your fab thanks Fran! i will try all those things.

Anonymous said...

I've just turned 20 and decided to change my life style and the way i treat my body, do you havae any tips on how i can make this change and how it can go along with my normal life as a college student.

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Thank you! :-)

To the last comment, good for you for deciding to take care of your body. It takes many people their whole lives (and then illnesses) to make the change. For a college student, besides maybe seeing a nutritionist or naturopath to help you with a personal health program, there are a handful of important things you can do. Get plenty of sleep; don't drink too much alcohol; have fresh fruits whenever you can; avoid packaged, processed or microwaved meals; move around as much as possible through walks or biking or swimming, etc.

Hope this helps :-)

dining table said...

Kapha lifestyle is so new to me. I read some articles about this and it is a very interesting lifestyle. I am looking for more info about. Thank you for this post.

annoyed said...

darn it, all the GOOD and satisfying food aggravates Kapha!! Not fair, Vatas have it made.

sunny said...

Hi Fran,

I know this is an older post, but I just stumbled across your blog in search of information about the kapha diet. As others have noted in their comments, I'm not happy with the 'do not eat' list, but at 46, I'm tired of being overweight and sluggish. I used to be a vibrant normal sized woman until the birth of my third and last child. I was never able to loose the baby weight that just magically disappeared after the first two. 17 years later I still have it and more!!! :(
Anyway, I find your site so full of helpful information and recipes!! Its great to finally understand part of the reason its been so difficult to loose the weight and maintain a healthy size.

Thanks again,
Ana

Yaz said...

Im so glad I found this page! I discovered a couple of liver spots on my 36yo hands this week and started researching liver diets, and stumbled on a quiz to find out Im Kapha and it all makes sence now! And luckily I love all of those vegetables on my good list! But not the fruit, I react to stone fruits ( apricots, plums, cherrys, olives, peaches) but can have the apples luckily. My big thing is that I drink loads of water, at least 2 litres a day. Ive always thought this was a good thing, I certainly have good soft skin for it, but now Im reading that I shouldnt drink so much of it? Ive also always drank lots of wine ( that Im happy to quit) and loved my cheesy creamy sauces. I dont have a sweet tooth though, so givng up sugar is not a problem for me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Fran,
Your website is so interesting, thank you.
I have Hypothyroid for which I take Thyroxine and lactose intolerance. I am trying to give up Gluten which seems to be helping.
Do you have any suggestions on my diet, by the way I am a vegan and eat curries and legumes. many thanks.
Your help is appreciated.
I am a Kapha.
regards
NC

Claudia Davila said...

Thank you for your comments, sunny and Yaz and NC (and annoyed;)!

Weight is such an issue for many of us -- I myself have been struggling after weaning my child from breastfeeding. Every case is unique but generally weight gain means too much kapha, so of course eliminating heavy, fatty, juicy foods is step 1.

Being a vegan Kapha is a good combo since many animal products make things worse for Kaphas, like eggs (yolks) and most dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream...). That said, if you eat tofu it should be low-fat (soft not firm) and eaten cooked with spices. Click my Vegan and Vegan Options links in the left-hand list, and also my tips for being a healthy vegan:
http://franlife.blogspot.com/2008/01/tips-for-being-healthy-vegan.html

Best of luck to everyone!

Everythings Gonna B Alright said...

I'm really enjoying reading about all this info. I've been gluten free for just over a month, had a day of gluten, and feel horrible again. I'm wondering if I need to delve further into my diet? I also need to exercise somehow. The trouble is, I am ALWAYS tired. It's so hard to motivate to exercise when I'm just ready to crawl into bed! Any suggestions there? Do you really think 20 mins 3 times a week would make a huge difference? I guess I have to suck it up and just do it. I'm so tired of being tired!

Claudia said...

Hi Anonymous and Everything!

I'm sorry I don't know enough about hypothyrodism to be able to help you, Anonymous. I think it's a very good idea to stay away from dairy and gluten/bread products, they wreak havoc in general and certainly causes/exacerbates kapha issues like hypothyrodism. Keep it u!

And to Everything, I know feeling tired all the time makes it so hard to motivate for exercise! It sounds like you have lots to get rid of from your body if going gluten-free felt so good and then a little of it made you feel so bad. For sure, delve further into it! And don't stress about running. Start with walking, just 10 minutes every day, then 15, then 20, and then one day you'll feel so good you might jog the half block home :-)

Best of luck!

subodh said...

I am Kapha-Pitta prakruti.I am suffering from allergies and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Allergies

1. Mucus secretion in nose(sometimes) and throat(daily).
2. Mucus congestion in throat,nose,chest.Tea/Coffee causes congestion to break and increase mucus secretion.

Mucus production increases after
1. Food (It depends on food quantity . More the food quantity more is the mucus)
2. Sleep
3. Cold Weather
4. Rest(The more I keep myself active less is the mucus production )

The mucus production is more if metabolism is low, brain activity is low,hunger is low.

I have taken ayurvedic medicine for 2.5 yrs and 70% mucus production was reduced.

Irritable bowel Syndrome

1. 2 - 7 bowel motions in a day.
2. Motions are semiloose.
3. Gas (More the motions less is the gas)
4. Low hunger (more the motions more is the hunger)
5. Anal burning after motion
6. Tea/Coffee triggers bowel motion.


What foods should i eat and avoid. I am already taking homeopathic medicines so I am not looking for any medicine. I am

looking for how can i keep my lifestyle so that I maintain good metabolic rate but my weight is very less ( 52 Kgs ) so dont

want to increase so much metabolism that my weight decreases further.

Claudia said...

Hello Subodh!

Looks like you are being very pro-active in looking after yourself and taking care of yourself. And in fact, you've answered your own questions! All the things that increase your symptoms are things you should eliminate from your diet and lifestyle.

I am not a professional ayurvedic doctor, please don't take my ideas as professional advice. If you've seen an ayurvedic practitioner in the past you can ask them what foods to eat and avoid! Most people don't have the priviledge of having an ayurvedic doctor :-)

Please see this list of kapha-friendly foods as a general guideline:

http://franlife.blogspot.ca/2006/03/kapha-foods.html

I hope this is somewhat helpful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Fran,
Wauw I am sooo happy I just found your life-inspiring site!
I just learned about ayurveda but it makes so much sence to me and why my body is not working very well. I am a kapha-pitta, I have to much kapha and I definitely need some fire in my diet and life.
I have been troubled with cronic headache (tension) for 20 years, since I was 10. I've tried all kinds of treatment with very little succes, and now I wonder if it's the food that can all this? I have a very sensitive digestion and I feel my liver is not working well.
I have been living in Mexico(I am from Denmark) for the last 6 months and my hormone system is now also not functioning, to low eostrogene.. SO I feel like I am struggling quiet a bit at the moment and would like to know if you have any further suggestion for my diet, lifestyle or supplement than your suggestion for food, yoga ect for Kaphas on your site?? I already do yoga and running. I am desperate to get some results and free my headache! Is there a cleanse that would be a good kick-start?

Claudia said...

Hello to the last commenter! I am happy for you that you are discovering a natural way to obtain health!

I feel your pain about your headaches. I can definitely not diagnose or recommend supplements online and actually I am not an ayurvedic practitioner, just someone who loves ayurveda!

But I can tell you that I feel similar things to you. I am Pitta-Kapha, and get headaches from either having neck/shoulder tension that moves up to my head, or from eating foods that are bad for me and my digestions.

When it's a tension headache, I get a massage or, better yet, physiotherapy, and that helps very much. When it's food related, I know it's from dairy (cheese), too much bread, or too much heavy, fried food. Try eating in a way that helps balance your kapha, 100% for a week, plus physio, and see how that feels to you.

I wish you the best of luck in better health!

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Anonymous said...

hello, I just found out yesterday that i'm a kapha and i have all the symptoms. The thing is that I love chocolate and sweets and dairy products even though they are not so good for me. It sounds impossible for me to eliminate them from my diet... I tried to eat from the kapha list today so my main meal was vegetables with lots of spices and kinoa but i felt so heavy after it and it felt as if it's the wrong food for me and not the other way around. please some help before i quit.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hello, love the site and comments.
I just discovered I am a Kapha, I will be following all guidelines for diet and lifestyle... I do not see Coconut Oil or Hemp Milk on the list for Kapha. Not allowed? Thank you for your site and dedication to health and wellness- laura