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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.