This cooler, windier time of year is considered Vata and can increase flightiness, constipation, anxiety and overwhelm. Combined with all of the Holiday parties and festivities it may also aggravate your sweet tooth. Out of the six tastes sweet is best for calming Vata and Pitta. No, this is not your free ticket to candy town. In Ayurveda the sweet taste comes from fruit, grains (rice, wheat ext.), dairy, natural sugars (maple syrup and honey), some vegetables ( sugary tubers like sweet potatoes and carrots) and even some sweet herbs like licorice. The sweet taste has a cooling and grounding affect, which make it one of the tastes that Kapha’s should have the least of.
When you crave processed sugars and carbs. there are three main things to look at: hydration, protein and sleep.
Are you hydrated? A lot of times when you are craving sweets, you are really craving the cooling quality and energy. Dehydration can cause your brain to feel foggy, and tired, just like when you don’t have enough glucose so your body tells you to eat something, because you have already over rode the feeling of being thirsty. Try keeping a water bottle or thermos of herbal tea with you.
How much protein is in your diet? Protein is a good source of energy and it helps slow down how quickly sugar is absorbed into the blood stream, allowing for less up and downs in your blood sugar. One of my favorite forms of protein is raw sunflower seeds with sea salt.
*Digestive tip #1 Having all six tastes on your plate can help prevent cravings.
*Digestive tip #2 Eat sweet things first (especially fruit), for better digestion.
Are you getting enough sleep? The afternoon lull can be caused by lack of protein and healthy fats or the fact that you’re actually tired. Your morning coffee has warn off and you may have skipped lunch. Food = energy, your body has learned to crave sugar and caffeine when it is tired, to refuel quickly. The fact is if you are doing this frequently it is affecting your adrenals and can have longer lasting unwanted affects. Getting 7-8 hrs of sleep a day is recommended. Some people think that by having the lighter coffee or sugar this will help them loose weight or avoid feeling heavy or gassy. In reality the lighter foods will aggravate Vata and cause flabbiness, because there is no nutrition. Spicing healthy foods with neutral herbs like fennel will help alleviate heaviness, where as coffee is dehydrating your body and can be habit forming, to induce elimination.
What step are you going to take to take your sweet tooth out of the drivers seat? Tell me in the comments below.