Okay, I know you're saying, "The Ayurve-WHAT? Dosha-WHAT? What the hell is this guy into now?"
This is a great smoothie recipe for anyone, but I wanted to write it specifically for guys who might be Goggling on phrases like…….
"Why is my mind racing in the middle of the night?"
"Vitamin D supplementation affects my sleep"
"Why do I wake up warm or hot in the middle of the night?"
"Tongkat and other natural testosterone boosters/male enhancement herbs wake me up at night"
"Why does Vitamin D make me feel great in the daytime but keeps me too wired at night?"
I was losing sleep after discovering my favorite herbs and supplements
The short story (I hope not TMI), I wanted to set out to prove instead of ever having to take meds and man-made drugs for male vitality, a man can keep his youthful vitality and virility indefinitely just by natural solutions that rebalance the body. See my Top 10 Male Enhancement herbs and superfoods.
They made be feel incredibly great in the daytime, but a little too "wired" at night, and my sleep was being interrupted. I ABSOLUTELY had to find a solution, especially since I think Vitamin D is the "Holy Grail" for overall health…FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN!!!
"Dosha" for Dummies
I'm a Pitta Dosha [I think] ….What are you?
Different people have different Dosha balances. I determined I was a Pitta type. Although, sometimes when I look at the characteristics, like the always racing mind, jovial nature, and dry skin of the Vata, maybe I'm a cross between Pitta and Vata.
When I took an Online Dosha Test, it told me I was Pitta dominant, so I went with that, (p.s. I took several online tests and they all came up Pitta, or Pitta/Vata)…….
cucumber is considered a "cooling", Pitta pacifying food . I add it to my smoothies (recipe below). Great for the skin also!!!!
For the "ump-teenth" time, "Let thy food be thy medicine" -Hippocrates, 430BC
In a nutshell, I learned that Pitta can be aggravated by eating too many so called "heating" foods, and Pitta body types have to eat more "cooling" foods.
Not talking about heating as in cooked vs. uncooked, but heating and cooling as pertains to the type of energy released by the food, and the chemical reactions in the body as we eat.
Fennel is a cooling, Pitta pacifying veggie that I add to my smoothies.
Crazy, but I swear it works!!!
I was taking 1500 IU of Vitamin D a day for starters, and it woke me up at night.
It started to come together when I realized I was waking up warm or hot…..
However, after diving into eating as many "cooling" foods as possible, three months later, I am taking 12,000 IU per day of Vitamin D (the recommended amount for optimal health), and my sleep is very good.
Your "Dosha" is not my Dosha
Keep in mind, everyone has their own unique Dosha Type and Balance.
Your food intake affects your Dosha balance, and eating too many of the wrong foods for your Dosha type can throw your Dosha out of balance, affecting the body in many ways, such as acne and bad skin, moodiness, anxiety, or in my case, sleep issues.
I read somewhere in my research that Pears and Aloe Vera are to of the best cooling foods to pacify the Pitta Dosha. Pears work well in my smoothies, I dice them up and freeze to help give the smoothie a "frothy" milkshake taste. The riper the better
You have to be your own doctor with your Dosha
…or as I sometimes say, "You sometimes have to be your own Lab Rat"
I went straight for the jugular, and eliminated almost most heating, Pitta aggrivating food from my diet for 3 months (I always go "cold turkey" with food experiments to see what works or not).
I continued with my supplementation with Vitamin D just to see what would happen, expecting nothing (except more bad sleep)…but discovering everything.
Cantaloupe and Honeydew melons are "cooling" fruits and Pitta pacifying fruits. I dice them up and freeze to throw into my smoothie with the other fruits, and it masks the taste of the veggies to keep a fruity taste to my smoothies. And a tasty food to eat fresh!!!
Heating foods (and/or foods that aggravate Pitta)
I [temporarily] eliminated from my diet for a three month test. It DOES NOT mean they are unhealthy in any way, moreso how the body's energy management system reacts to them. Obviously, I was overloaded with too many "heating"/Pitta Aggrivating foods, just by chance
blackberries and raspberries, strawberries and cherries, peaches
salmon and fish
all meats except chicken and turkey breast
apple cider vinegar
cacao (It felt think is heating and was aggravating my pitta, but not sure)
spinach (note most other green leafy veggies are "cooling")
tea (I think all tea and coffee is heating)
Wild Honey (I think a small amount of honey would have been OK, but I cut it all out)
salt (I found myself using a little pink Himalayan salt with not adverse effects)
eggs (egg yolk is heating, egg whites are cooling, but I'm not into egg whites)
grains (some are heating, other's cooling, so I cut them all out for the test just in case)
spices(since I couldn't judge them all, I took them all out temporarily)
potatoes fried in coconut oil (potatoes are actually "cooling", and coconut oil uncooked is cooling/Pitta pacifying, but anything cooked coconut oil cooked its Pitta aggravating)
….note that all of these foods I intend to gradually bring back into my diet because all foods on this post are amazingly nutritious, I just have to find the right balance
Figs are a "cooling" Pitta pacifying, Pitta soothing food. I get them mostly dried, they taste just like the inside of those Fig Newtons when I was growing up…duh!! Also very high in magnesium, important for prostate and overall health. Helps sweeten smoothies
Cooling and/or Pitta Pacifying, Pitta Soothing Foods
I tested them out for 90 days to prove my Dosha theory as it related to lack of sleep
Pitta Pacifying Meal Plan
Breakfast (smoothie, ingredients below)
Lunch: (Oatmeal and Pumpkin Seeds, normally a 11:am bowl and 2:pm bowl to keep me full)
Dinner: Baked Chicken Breast dipped in raw Olive or Coconut Oil (a little Pink Himalayan Salt was OK, no other spices)
Pre or Post Workout (evenings): Smoothie( ingredients below)
Snacks All Day : Dates, Raisins, Cantaloupe, Oatmeal, Cashews (cashews may not be "cooling" but they worked for me)
My Full Pitta Pacifying Food List
(all foods affect your Doshas, I simply used ones I like the taste of, or ones I already eat. Look up your favorites online)
Sweet Bell Peppers
dried or regular figs
Chicken Breast and Turkey Breast (most other meats and fish [except shrimp?] are heating/Pitta aggravating)
BTW, AS A QUICK COMMENT, TRUE AYURVEDA EATING PRATICES RECOMMENTS EATING FRUITS BY THEMSELVES, NOT WITH VEGGIES OR MEATS OR WHATEVER. I CAN'T SAY I FOLLOW THIS, THAT IS A "NEXT LEVEL" CONCEPT, EVERYTHING IS A PROCESS…………
…believe or not, this was all I ate for 3 months, with a decent amount of "slips ups" here and there (never ate so much oatmeal in my life, but my life and future wellness is better for it!!)
Henceforth, My New Daily Smoothie Recipe
(my "baseline" ingredients, I will gradually add back "heating" foods, while monitoring my sleep)
Watermelon (diced up and frozen)
Cantaloupe and Honeydew melons (diced and frozen in my smoothies and eating fresh)
Sweet Bell Peppers (fresh)
Broccoli (fresh, the abundance of fruit in the smoothie hides the taste)
…note, the total amount of my fresh veggies is about one Glad Sandwich Bag of full of veggies
dried or regular figs
pears (diced up and frozen )
The Protein Powder for my Smoothies: I used Garden of Life Protein in my 3 month experiment, but no longer recommend it because it has been found to be heavy in lead and other metals, I would now recommend hemp protein, not sure if Hemp is heating or cooling but it does not seem to aggrivate Pitta
I'LL REPEAT, TRUE AYURVEDA EATING PRATICES RECOMMENTS EATING FRUITS BY THEMSELVES, NOT WITH VEGGIES OR MEATS OR WHATEVER. I CAN'T SAY I FOLLOW THIS, THAT IS A "NEXT LEVEL" CONCEPT, EVERYTHING IS A PROCESS…………
Basil is a GREAT "cooling" Pitta soothing/pacifying food. Basil by volume is very high in magnesium as well. When you look into magnesium benefits, you will see it is most important for overall health
Fruits, the riper, the better, for pacifying Pitta
There seems to be a "grey area" with fruits, I had to let my body decide, in that if something affects my sleep then I will eliminate or scale back.
As a general rule, ripe fruit are Pitta Pacifying unrupe fruits are Pitta Aggrivating. Some fruits are specifically listed as Pitta aggrivating, so I avoided them just in case. I stuck with ones that were specifically listed as Pitta Pacifying/Cooling, mainly pears, Cantaloupe and Honeydew, Watermelon, raisins and dates.
Broccoli is an amazing "cooling", Pitta pacifying food that I probably would seldom eat, but now I bring it in everyday in my smoothies. The sweetness from the fruit, Hunza raisins, and figs of my smoothies totally mask the veggie taste.
BTW you might never master sleep if you don't learn the concept of 90 minute sleep cycles.
….imagine all the people that could be free of dangerous man-made insomnia drugs and meds, and live a more energetic happier life, and be sharper at work with this info!!!
Watermelon is a great "cooling" Pitta pacifying food. I like to dice up and freeze and add to smoothies for a sweet fruity taste .
Finding my Dosha = "Cancer Free Me"
It's all so important because I am convinced Vitamin D supplementation will almost guarantee a cancer free, diabetes free, and probably disease free life, and for sure it will allow me to keep my youthful vitality for decades to come
Attempting to eat like this forever would be somewhat "complicated" for my eating style, where I like to eat healthy, but I like to eat what I want at any given time.
Nonetheless, sleep is no longer an issue for me, but I do like to utilize the Dosha concepts in my food, when I get a little "wired". A couple of the cooling foods my body chemistry truly loves, like Basil and Figs.
Nonetheless, remember, everything for me is a process, I try things, learn a little, try to write about what I learn, and let my natural health and wellness technicques evolve, and hopefully learn from others…….
What an Herbalist I have become!!!
The success of this experiment have given me the most personal pride and joy of anything in my wellness journey. I have taken an almost seeming impossible problem, did my homework, got into the trial and error of it all, and resolved the problem.
Now I feel connected with the secret wisdom of the ancients, and of course, I expect a few of the "unenlightened" folks to comment and say this is all "baloney", but that that's cool…
…..or, shall I say, that's "Pitta Cooling".
Coconut water and uncooked coconut oil are cooling, Pitta pacifying foods.
UPDATE 3/10/2014 – I don't supplement with Vitamin D pills anymore, they just don't "feel" right for my body type. I eat Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon which is one of the highest food sourced Vitamin D's available.
Without Vitamin D Pills (which I recommend if they work with your body type, my best friend loves them) I feel totally balanced and sleep very well.
Besides, my vitamin D scores were higher a few years back from when Wild Salmon was my main Vitamin D source (my blood test score was 46.6), than they were after this Vitamin D supplementation experiment (my score was 41).
Just saying that to say I no longer "need" a Dosha Balancign smoothie, but I do want to take advantage of many of the new cooling foods I've experimented with.
UPDATE 7/11/2014 as I said above. I longer take vitamin D supplements or testosterone boosters that get me too wired, because they do not work for my biochemistry.
So the dosha smoothie is no longer necessary, and I'm back to many of my "heating" foods I listed above in my regular smoothie, but am sleeping like a rock. However I do still like to use as many cooling foods in my smoothie, like basil, because my body likes them…………
~stay healthy (and stay in balance with your "Doshas")~