Vata pacifying pumpkin 'mac and cheese' brown rice recipe.

Vata Pacifying Pumpkin ‘Mac N Cheese’ Brown Rice Recipe

Try this Pumpkin ‘Mac and Cheese’ Brown Rice recipe to balance and pacify your Vata dosha this season.

This recipe is plant-based to reduce the digestive demand that meats and processed ingredients can have on a weak Vata digestion. 

Here are some of the Vata-pacifying ingredients in this recipe. After that, if you keep scrolling, you’ll learn about Balancing Vata Dosha In Autumn, The Ayurvedic Diet For Autumn and The Ayurvedic Lifestyle For Autumn. You’ll find the ‘mac and cheese’ brown rice recipe at the bottom. Let us know how you like it by sharing in the comments below!

READ MORE: Vata Diet: Everything You Need To Know

Pumpkin mac and cheese brown rice recipe.Brown Rice

A whole grain, brown rice is high in Earth Energy. It is excellent for balancing Vata dosha and Pitta dosha.

According to Ayurveda, it helps to soothe the nervous system, improve fertility, regulate the reproductive system, reduce anxiety, and reduce anger and inflammation.

From a western perspective, it is high in protein and fiber content, helping to improve bowel movements.

Pumpkin

One of the most sattvic foods, pumpkin pacifies all three doshas.

According to Ayurveda, this gourd helps to regulate digestion and is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It supports natural immunity, healthy blood flow, and healthy blood sugar levels. It also promotes a calm mind.

Tahini

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Very common in Middle Eastern cooking, it adds a lovely savory note and creaminess to any dish.

From the Western perspective, tahini is a good source of plant-based calcium and phytoestrogens, making it great for females with low or irregular periods and weak bones. Nearly 5000 years ago, Ayurveda stated that sesame seeds help to regularize periods and strengthen the bones, as well. They are also great for reducing anxiety and bodily dryness.

READ MORE: Rice + Ayurvedic Diet: White Rice, Brown Rice, Types Of Rice, The Doshas

How To Balance Vata Dosha In Autumn

In Ayurveda, the season of autumn (also called Sharad) is the season of high Vata dosha.

Between mid-September and mid-November, Vata dosha, or the dosha that relates to the Air and Space elements, gets easily provoked by the windy, shifty, crisp environment around us. We may notice more dryness in our skin, irregular bowel movements, and even dizziness. We may get bloated and gassy and feel abdominal and bodily pain.

These are all symptoms of increased Vata dosha, which we can all easily experience this time of the year because of the seasonal changes.

According to Ayurveda, increased Vata dosha can contribute to poor circulation, constipation, headaches, fatigue, arthritis, insomnia, and anxiety. If you have a Vata constitution, then special care must be taken during Sharad in order to keep digestive, physical, and mental balance.

The Ayurvedic Diet For Autumn

In Ayurveda, our bodies are thought of as a microcosm of the universe and the environment around us. Our bodies are in constant exchange with the elements of Air, Space, Water, Fire, and Earth in order to survive. Living in balance is to live in harmony with nature and your surroundings.

With excess Vata dosha in the environment this time of year, we must take special care to keep our Vata dosha in balance within ourselves.

Figs are great for Vata dosha. Plus vata pacifying pumpkin mac and cheese brown rice recipe.First, we can follow a Vata-pacifying diet. This is a diet that focuses on naturally sweet, salty, and sour flavors. A Vata-pacifying diet is warm, liquid, and slightly oily, which helps ground Vata dosha’s cold, unstable, mobile, and dry qualities.

In the body, Ayurveda states that a Vata-pacifying diet can help to ease digestion, the nerves, bodily dryness, and a sporadic, uneasy mind. 

An ideal Vata-pacifying diet includes foods like:

  • Whole grains that are “warming” like brown rice and whole wheat
  • Sweet vegetables like pumpkin, zucchini, squash, and sweet potato
  • Cooked fruits like apple, pear, berries, figs, and banana
  • Warming digestive spices like cinnamon, cumin, fennel, clove, and nutmeg
  • Warming, herbal teas like orange, cinnamon, and chai tea
  • Natural salt sources like seaweed, miso, and sea salt
  • Healthy fats in nuts, cold-pressed oils, and avocado

We also want to avoid or reduce foods and drinks that upset our Air energy, which would include:

  • Caffeinated, carbonated, cold beverages
  • Raw or cold foods
  • All beans and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts)
  • Pungent flavors like chili, garlic, or hot pepper
  • Dry foods like crackers, cereal, and packaged snacks

The Ayurvedic Lifestyle For Autumn

Because Vata dosha has a “mobile” quality, activities that are highly mobile and intense will aggravate Vata dosha, especially in persons with a Vata constitution. Slow, calm, grounding activities are preferred this season such as Yoga (Not Hot/Bikram yoga), steady walking, salt water swimming, and light Weight Training.

Here are a few other tips to balance Vata Dosha this season.

Massage

Apply warm sesame or almond oil to the soles of the feet, the temples on the head, and the ears daily. This is best done in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before bed.

Stay Warm

Bundle up! Vata dosha is easily provoked by cold weather (and cold foods). Keep your body warm, and avoid damp, chilly, windy areas.

Keep A Journal And / Or Meditate

Begin the day, before breakfast, writing down one thing in a journal that you are most grateful for today.

With eyes closed, spend the next five minutes sending love to that moment/person/thing and pay attention to the joy that it has brought into your life. Sit in that joyous space as long as you like.

Warm Water In The Mornings

Coffee and caffeinated beverages dehydrate and aggravate Vata dosha. After you wake up, try siping 2 large glasses of warm-to-hot water. This will hydrate you for the day and ground your excess Vata energy.

In addition to the above tips, try this Vata-Pacifying Recipe! 

Pumpkin ‘Mac And Cheese’ Brown Rice Recipe

Vata pacifying pumpkin 'mac and cheese' brown rice recipe.

What You Will Need

Serving Size: 2

  • ½ cup peeled and boiled pumpkin (you can also use butternut squash)
  • 2 tbsp creamy tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, but adds “cheezy” flavor)
  • Pinch cumin powder (optional)
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions

Simply blend all ingredients for the sauce in a small food processor. Pour over cooked brown rice, mix, and serve! If your Vata dosha is very high, add 2 teaspoons of ghee to the rice when mixing.

READ MORE: Vata + Pitta Pacifying Breakfast Recipe: Sweet Potato Pudding Recipe With Hot Chai

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Kristina received her BS in Engineering from Harvard University and a MS in Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After experiencing a tremendous shift in her health on an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, she became a Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor through the Narayana Academy of Ayurveda. Her passion for Ayurveda led her to Southern India, where she lived in a South Indian ashram, volunteering for Ayurvedic Health Programs and pursuing further depth of well-being through meditation and sattvic food. She is the Founder of Blissfud Ayurveda (www.blissfud.com) and creates sattvic, plant-based recipes to nourish mind, body, and spirit. She currently lives in Panama with her husband and works online with clients around the world to bring the ancient science of Ayurveda into their own kitchens.

4 comments

  1. There are many signs of dosha imbalance and whatever symptoms you get will depend on the dosha involved. Some signs are irregular bowel movements (less than once a day or more than 3 times a day), not-smooth stool (dry, diarrhea, mucusy), irregular skin (dry, oily, red, etc), fatigue, heaviness (feeling weighed down) or lightness (headaches, dizzy), pain anywhere, irregular/scanty/profuse periods, irregular digestion (bloating, ulcers, acidic, reflux), spasms, low/ high blood count or liver enzymes, feeling very hot or very cold, any irregularity on the tongue (white/ yellow/ brown coating, cracks, red spots), and many more signs! Mentally, signs include anxiety, anger, and lethargy. Basically, it is if anything is not happening regularly and smoothly

  2. Hi, I’m curious but how does one find out if the doshas are out of whack?

    • Excellent question! You will have different signs depending on what dosha is imbalanced. However, general signs are skin issues (dry, red, acne, oily, patchy, etc), irregular digestion (less than one bowel movement every day or more than three per day), a white/yellow/black coating on the tongue, cracks or red spots on the tongue, cracks/ spots/discoloration on the nails, fatigue, not getting a full night’s sleep or feeling tired all the time, muscle issues (spasms, inflammation), irregular/ scanty/ heavy periods, headaches, pain, dizziness… mental signs include anxiety, anger, laziness, depression. There are many signs. Signs of clean health in Ayurveda include regular, smooth bowel movements, smooth bright skin, abundant energy, and pleasant bodily smell (stool, sweat, urine, breath are not foul). I hope this helped!

    • There are many signs of dosha imbalance and whatever symptoms you get will depend on the dosha involved. Some signs are irregular bowel movements (less than once a day or more than 3 times a day), irregular stool (dry, diarrhea, mucusy), irregular skin (dry, oily, red, etc), fatigue, heaviness (feeling weighed down) or lightness (headaches, dizzy), pain anywhere, irregular/scanty/profuse periods, irregular digestion (bloating, ulcers, acidic, reflux), spasms, low/ high blood count or liver enzymes, feeling very hot or very cold, any irregularity on the tongue (white/ yellow/ brown coating, cracks, red spots), and many more signs! Mentally, signs include anxiety, anger, and lethargy. Basically, it is if anything is not happening regularly and smoothly

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