Sweet + Warming Slow Rice Pudding

all is here, and with it comes cold, fast winds. In Ayurveda, fall and early winter are considered Vata seasons, which means we may tend toward Vata-type imbalances, such as feeling "spacey" or ungrounded, cold hands and feet, variable digestion, and dry skin. To balance the dry, cold and mobility of fall, it is recommended to eat foods that are the opposite: warming, moist and grounding. Thankfully, the tastes sweet, salty and sour are also balancing during this time. Read More

Vata-Balancing Diet for Fall & Early Winter

In Ayurveda, fall & early winter are considered Vata seasons, because they are high in the air and space elements.  With this, comes the qualities of air and space: dry, cold, rough, mobile, light and subtle.

Some Vata-imbalance symptoms that may occur during these seasons due to an excess of the air and space elements are:

- Cold hands and feet
- Dry, hard constipation
- Dry skin, lips, hair
- Asthma
- Light-headedness, restless mind, dizziness, "spacey"
- Insomnia, difficulty staying asleep or falling back to sleep after waking in the night
- Fast walking, fast talking, chattering
- Anxiety, fear, depression

Many of these symptoms can be eliminated or avoided by following a Vata-balancing diet and lifestyle.    This includes:

- Foods that taste sweet, sour and salty
- Foods that are moist and heavy
- Foods that are warm (avoid raw foods during Vata season)
- Root vegetables
- Soups and stews
- Whole grains, especially rice, quinoa and oats
- Plenty of good oils, such as olive, coconut, avocado and walnut
- Plenty of protein, including meat, eggs and fish (avoid beans, as they contain an excess of the air and space elements)
- Warm or hot water
- Digestive teas such as fresh ginger, cumin, coriander, and chai teas
- Plenty of warming spices in food

Lifestyle is equally as important as diet in maintaining a health mind and body.  During Vata season, follow a regular routine, stay warm and keep activity and stimulation to a minimum.  Practice yoga and meditation to stay grounded and focused and spend time in a hot bath or sauna.

Not all people have to work hard during this season to stay balanced, but following a seasonal routine that changes throughout the year is beneficial for everyone.  Vata-types tend to have to work harder during this time to stay healthy.