In Ayurveda, autumn (fall) signals the onset of Vata season. As the weather becomes cooler, windy and dry, autumn has the similar qualities that characterize Vata-cold, dry, light, mobile, and rough, clear or empty.
A person whose dosha is predominantly Vata and is balanced, will be healthy, creative, and vivacious. However, when too much Vata accumulates in the body and the mind, imbalance may arise exhibiting physical and emotional symptoms such as insomnia, dry skin, constipation, pain, anxiety, overwhelm, unfocused and feeling exhausted. We all have a unique mixture of the three doshas-Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, in our constitutional make up. Anyone can become vulnerable to Vata accumulation during autumn and winter creating imbalance.
FEEL VIBRANT AND BALANCED THIS AUTUMN
Follow a Vata Seasonal Food Program
- Eat foods that are warming, fresh, and well-cooked to stay grounded and reserve internal moisture.
- Season foods with stimulating and warm spices such as fresh ginger, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric.
- Minimize or avoid cold, dry or uncooked foods such as salads and raw fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of warming liquids-herbal teas, ojas building drinks and hot water,
- Favor the sweet (not sugary), sour, and salty tastes and less of the bitter, astringent, and pungent ones. Eating root vegetables, whole grains, cooked greens, fermented foods, whole dairy products, ghee, avocado oil, almonds, sesame seeds, avocados, and sweet fruit are a few excellent Vata-balancing foods.
- Click HERE for a Vata balancing Food List
Follow a Vata Supportive Life-Style
- Create a daily routine. Wake up, exercise, eat meals, go to bed at roughly the same times each day.
- Begin the day with meditation and yoga.
- Give yourself a gentle Abhyanga self-massage in the morning or at night using organic nourishing, warming oil such as sesame.
- Wear fragrances that are calming, sweet, spicy, grounding, and warming such as lavender, geranium, and sweet citrus.
- Wear clothing with autumn colors such as reds, yellows, oranges, whites and stay warm.
- Keep your environment warm with minimal draft and comfortably humid.
- Go to bed by 10pm getting 8 hours of sleep and rise in the morning by 7am.
- Rest, rest, and rest to avoid physical or mental exhaustion.
Follow a Vata Balancing Exercise Program
- Exercise early in the morning and evening hours during Vata times 6 am-10am and 6pm-10pm.
- Consider slow, gentle, strengthening forms of exercises such as walking, moderate hiking, swimming, biking, yoga, and tai chi.
- Follow a yoga practice that is fluid, slow, smooth, steady, and grounding.
- Best yoga poses are Forward Fold, Mountain, Warrior I and II, Child’s, and Legs Up the Wall.
- Get adequate rest after exercising
VATA BALANCING RECIPES
1 cup Basmati Rice
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
4 whole Dates (dried)
1 tbsp Ghee
2 pinches Salt
3 cups Water
Chop dates. Heat a medium saucepan on low, and add ghee. When it melts, add uncooked rice. Stir continually for 2-5 minutes, until it smells sweet and all the rice is coated with ghee. Add the spices and dates. Stir for one more minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover pot and lower to a simmer. Cook until rice is tender about twenty minutes.
Source: Joyful Belly
1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 small onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (minced // 4 cloves yield ~2 Tbsp or 12 g)
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger*
1/2 cup broccoli florets (diced // or sub green bell pepper)
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup snow peas (loosely cut)
1 Tbsp curry powder
(coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, dry mustard, cinnamon, cardamom, chiles)
1 pinch cayenne* (optional)
2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk (sub full-fat for richer texture)
1 cup veggie broth
Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
1 cup white quinoa (rinsed in a fine mesh strainer*)
1 Tbsp agave nectar (optional)
FOR SERVING optional
Fresh lemon juice
Cilantro, mint, and/or basil
Red pepper flake
Sautéed tofu, or grilled chicken
If serving with coconut quinoa, begin by washing thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Add to a medium saucepan over medium heat and toast for 3 minutes. Add light coconut milk and 1/2 cup water (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is light, fluffy and the liquid is absorbed. Set aside until serving.
In the meantime, heat a large saucepan or pot to medium heat and add coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, broccoli and a pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened – about 5 minutes.
Add curry powder, cayenne (or chili pepper), veggie stock, coconut milk, another healthy pinch of salt and stir. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
Add the snow peas and tomatoes in the last 5 minutes so they don’t overcook.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added another pinch or two of salt.
Serve over coconut quinoa (see other options below in notes) and garnish with fresh lemon juice and herbs.
* You can sub 1 tsp ground ginger per 1 Tbsp fresh.
* You can sub 1 dried red chili, diced per 1 pinch cayenne.
*An alternative to coconut quinoa would be plain quinoa, millet, coconut rice, or white or brown rice.
*Curry slightly adapted from Tyler Florence
*Coconut quinoa adapted from Cookie and Kate
3 Tbsp ghee
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 cups chopped sweet onions
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable stock
2 cups water
1/4 tsp of orange zest
Chopped chives and parsley for garnish
Melt the ghee in a soup pot over medium heat and cook the onions and carrots, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 5 to 8 minutes. Do not let the onions or carrots brown. Sprinkle a tsp of salt over the carrots and onions as they cook.
Add stock or bone broth and water, ginger, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the carrots soften, about 20 minutes. Purée the soup with a stick blender, or working in small batches, pour the soup into a blender and purée until completely smooth. Only fill the blender bowl a third full with the hot liquid and keep one hand pressing down on the cap of the blender to keep it from popping off. Add additional salt to taste. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley.
Yield: Serves 4-5
Modified from Simply Recipes ~ https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/carrot_ginger_soup/
Wishing you a healthy and joyful autumn,
B Well Ayurveda Health Coach, Ayurvedic Health Educator