An Ayurvedic Perspective on a Raw Food Diet
Winter is upon us and you might be wondering if now is the right time to start a raw food diet to carry you through the cooler months. With shorter days and cooler weather, there might be some other options that are better suited to the season.
If you're reading this article, you've probably heard about the raw food movement or the benefits of going raw; but Ayurveda might have the answers to some lingering questions you have about whether it's right for you.
Let's dive in!
Why Going Raw Feels So Good
There's no doubt that going raw feels good in body and mind. Its light and airy nature helps you feel radiant and fresh since raw food literally raises your vibration. Raw fruits and veggies are packed with enzymes and antioxidants. When grown in the sun, they are literally fully of the light - or what we know as prana - or lifeforce. Raw food can help balance your intake and help to manage weight loss, and with the right combination of tastes, they can help to cleanse and detoxify mind and body.
With benefits like these, who wouldn't want to go raw?!
Is It Right For Me
The choice of whether or not you should switch to raw food is a personal one and you might want to consider a few different factors such as:
Where you live and the seasons
Your Ayurvedic Constitution
Your current dosha balance - your vikruti
Why you want to choose a raw food diet
Let's take each one in turn.
How Location Can Impact a Raw Food Diet
Where you live and the specific seasons you're in can have a direct impact on what your body needs to keep it in tip-top condition. Your body is a reflection of both your surroundings and what you put into it.
If you're like me and transitioning from autumn to winter, the mere thought of a leafy green salad makes me feel limp. I want warm, moist comfort food that is going to warm me up from the inside (while I'm imagining a warm fire keeping me toasty on the outside).
But perhaps you're sunning it up in the tropics or the Middle East where I used to live, when even the winters felt like a cool summer's afternoon. These warm, moist climates are great for digesting raw food because the environment supports the body to digest cooler, drier foods.
As the seasons change, you may have noticed that your tastes change, and the type of food that your body craves shifts as well. So for me, a raw food diet would suit me better in the summer when both the internal and external heat are both there to properly process this type of food.
Raw Food & Your Dosha (Constitution)
We're all unique, so the diet that works for me won't necessarily work for you. Before deciding that raw is for you, consider what your body truly needs based on your Ayurvedic Dosha.
Once you know your Dosha constitution, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not lean, green, raw food is going to be the right choice.
Here's how it works:
Vata dominant people can still incorporate raw food into their diet, but going completely raw won't be the right choice for their body. Vata is pacified by warm, moist, and grounding food which is the opposite of Vata.
Vata dominant people can still incorporate raw food into their diet, but going completely raw won't be the right choice for their body. The best time for raw food with vata is when pitta is most active - which is 10 am - 2 pm.
With their inner fire already turned up, Pitta dominant people tend to have a healthy appetite and can digest raw food better than most. If you're feeling like there's a little too much heat lighting your fires, then going raw will help cool things down a little.
Pitta dominant people will still want to choose the right type of raw food to help keep them balanced. Becoming more aware of Ayurvedic tastes and the Ayurvedic qualities of specific foods will help them make the most of a raw diet.
Raw food has its moment in the sun with people who are Kapha dominant or who are experiencing an excess of Kapha that is leaving them feeling sluggish, heavy, or a little weighed down.
There is a but... while a raw food diet can help to bring some light and space to Kapha, it's cooling nature can also aggravate Kapha. Adding pungent spices to your raw food adventures and finding a balance between raw and warming foods can help pacify Kapha.
Why Go Raw Anyway?
With a deeper understanding of your own body, and the impact of a raw food diet on your constitution, the real question is why you want to go raw in the first place?
Think about your motivation and consider if there's another way for you to reach your health and wellness goals in another way.
There's no doubt that going raw feels good in body and mind. Its light and airy nature help you feel radiant and fresh since raw food literally raises your vibration. Raw fruits and veggies are packed with enzymes and antioxidants. When grown in the sun, they are literally full of light - or what we know as prana - or lifeforce. Raw food can help balance your intake and help to manage weight loss, and with the right combination of tastes, it can help to cleanse and detoxify mind and body.
Tim is a certified RYS200 hours Yoga Teacher. He certified as an Advanced Breathwork Instructor and currently studies Ayurveda with Yoga Veda Institute.
When combined with his experience as a life and leadership coach, Tim can help people make dramatic changes in their overall wellbeing.
To learn more, book a call with Tim at http://book.timsnell.co