“Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy.” - Gary L. Francione
If you are thinking about going vegan or are committed to it already, there is a lot of goodness in store for you. And you may also want to apply or consider applying the ayurvedic principles to the vegan diet, so that you stay balanced and healthy.
Ayurveda retreat India looks at each individual and customizes their needs accordingly. An individual approach to nutrition is what happens with ayurveda. Hence, when you follow a vegan diet, the nutritional principles closely follow that of ayurveda. This helps vegan balance their individual constitutions and its a win-win situation for all.
What happens when you follow a vegan diet on the principles of ayurveda is that, there are many food items replaced. For example, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ghee are now replaced with alternatives, such as avocados, coconut oil, raw almonds, raw tahini and even more.
Let’s take a look at the seven ayurvedic tips for vegans.
Get to know your dominant dosha
There is a particular energy pattern within each of us which is as unique as our fingerprint, say ayurvedic experts. This pattern is formed with a combination of three energies, also known as doshas. The energies are vata which is air and ether, pitta which is fire and water, and kapha, which is water and earth. There is a typical dosha in everyone, in their constitution, and one of the doshas is always dominant, which results in a unique kind of physical, mental and spiritual characteristic. And this comprises our Ayurvedic constitution. You must first identify the dosha you belong to or which is dominant in your body and then go ahead to choose the foods you eat.
Eat right for your type
When you have identified the dominant dosha in your body, there are ayurvedic cookbooks that will teach you how to eat right for the dosha type you have. The Indian traditional healing system teaches us that there are particular type of foods that can help bring balance to your constitution, and there are those foods that bring imbalances too. For example, you could suffer from congestion, bloating and gas. If you have pitta as a dominant dosha, then you may want to avoid hot and spicy foods which overheat you more, and lead to inflammation, acne and acid reflux. Instead, you should consume foods that are cooling, such as cucumbers and coconuts. In most ayurvedic cookbooks, the foods are coded according to the type of doshas we have, hence we must look for recipes that lower the dominant dosha.
Try and figure out if this vegan diet is right for you
A lot of people can adapt to vegan diets, but if one dominant dosha type should avoid heavy and animal or dairy based foods, it would be kapha. This is because, this dosha tends to lighten up the constitution of our bodies and the energies as well. If you have pitta as your dominant dosha, it means you have strong digestive fires in your constitution, and this dosha could do very well on a vegan based diet. Those with vatta as their dominant dosha should proceed with caution. This is because they already have the qualities of dryness and lightness in them. Such doshas need very heavy and dense rich sources of food items. Such sources are needed to help nourish and ground such doshas, and they come mainly from the animal kingdom. If you have vatta as your dominant dosha, you then may have to work a little more harder to find the right source of protein and fat in your diet. This will help you stay grounded, moist and stable.
Eat foods that are as close to nature
Following a vegan diet doesnt guarantee that you are following a healthy diet, say experts. There are tons of processed vegan foods out there, which are very difficult to digest, they have preservatives in them, or maybe too much sugar and salt, and are unnatural, and they have a lot of concentrated protein isolates in them such as soy protein isolate. All of this is not good for the body, and hence you must consume foods that are close to nature as possible to keep the body’s constitution healthy and balanced. Choose mostly organically sourced foods that are from farm to the table. This way you are assured that there are no pesticides used in the local farming of these foods and that they are fresh and nourishing for the body. Ensure that the Ayurveda retreat India you join serve you such foods, or else it would be a waste to join such wellness centers that do not provide you foods according to your dosha types.
Supplements could be another choice of food for vegans, check out this super greens expert as it contains all the natural ingredients for vegans.
Eat foods ripened by the sun
According to ayurveda, one must consume foods that are ripened by the sun. This is because it contains the life force or prana, and as a result this will give your body the most amount of nourishment and energy. You must try and cook seasonal foods that are organic and from scratch. The plant kingdom has a lot of good sources for proteins, such as seeds, nuts, lentils and beans and even naturally fermented soy products such as tempeh and tofu too. The more you have foods that have been ripened by the sun, the more life force comes into you. This brings more vitality and vigour in your body. Ensure that the vegan retreats you do your yoga at serve such foods. This would be an added bonus to your healthy lifestyle. If you are doing yoga at home, and following the ayurvedic diet, then choose to shop for locally sourced foods that are seasonal.
Have a variety of foods
Are you eating enough of greens to get enough iron in the body? Or maybe are you having enough of nuts and seeds to bring in to the body enough protein? Sometimes what happens when we transition to a vegan diet is that we overdo the diet, and may overeat certain items of foods. According to ayurvedic experts, when we overeat even a healthy type of food, it can bring about an imbalance in the body. Hence, one must eat in moderation and a variety of foods at the same time to ensure that there is balance and harmony in the body. They say variety is the spice of life, so learn new recipe and make each meal a well-balanced one. Choose a variety of foods to spice up things on your plate for all three meals. There are many ayurvedic cookbooks that teach you how to eat healthy and not be bored of the same.
Observe how the food you eat affects you
Self-inquiry is very important, and when you follow the ayurvedic way of vegan diet, it is important that you listen to the body. You must pay attention to the way you feel after you consume certain types of foods. Find out which of the foods bring into your body the vitality and vigor, life and health, vibrancy and strength. Also find out which of the foods you consume make you feel lethargic or low, bloated or undernourished. Your body should be used as a lab, just as the ancient yogis did once a upon a time. And you should conduct your own experiments. There are chances that you might feel very hungry or spaced out when you are on a vegan diet, and that is okay. Your body might even demand that you eat some animal based products or dairy to stay balanced. However, if you notice that your skin has cleared up and your digestion has improved, and you feel healthy, strong and balanced in harmony with your body, a vegan diet may then be the best for you.
Om Is a Yogi and Solo Traveller, He is always on the lookout for interesting places to visit. It took him 25 years of his life to realize where his true calling lies, but once that was done, there’s been no looking back. Since the last ten years that he is on the go, he has been sharing his travel experiences by writing about them. Currently, he's blogging at Retreat Kula, a platform to book yoga retreats