So, I used to hand out these food charts to clients. I’ve compiled the information here from 5 sources from some of my favorite teachers’ books. I was so proud of this tool. Then, I realized this may have been a big mistake!
I realized that these charts were actually steering clients away from their inner voice.
Everybody just wants to be told what to do. “Give me guidelines and rules–just tell me what to eat!”
The only entity that is qualified to tell you what to eat in any given moment is your digestive system.
To make healthy food choices, you have to understand that what is healthy for you will vary with what is happening in your life (season, stress, depletion, transition, menopause, medications, etc). In ayurveda, we understand that there is no diet that is good for everyone (besides organic and fresh!).
These charts can further solidify the unhealthy pattern of your mind over-riding what your body is communicating with you.
Furthermore, our goal together is to help you reconnect with your 5 senses and your digestive communication (via tongue, stool, appetite, digestive symptomotology). In other words, we are trying to build awareness (not replace it with an iphone app).
So, it’s our senses that reveal the energetic qualities, and thereby the doshas, within a food. Only your mouth can tell you whether a tomato is sweet or sour and acidic. But you will only find tomato on one column. A ripe banana has very different qualities than an unripe banana. So it’s important to taste your food and assess the qualities, and see if they are balancing for you.
Lastly, its the final product we want to assess in energy, not the individual ingredients.
Cabbage is naturally a high vata food that causes gas. The way my mom cooks it with tons of ghee, ginger and cumin and asofoetida (carminatives)–its warm, moist, cooked, and spiced. The way she prepares it makes it vata balancing.
With all those disclaimers, the chart can be helpful in the beginning, to learn about balancing food choices with your brain.
These are PDFs to view and print. Enjoy!