Do you suffer from heartburn/ acidity regularly?
Do you have the tendency to feel hot?
Does your sweat have a strong smell?
Do you have oily skin/ acne/ rosacea?
Do you have inflammation in your joints?
Do you have the tendency to get angry easily?
Do you get frustrated when things don’t go your way?
Do you have a difficult time with being patient?
Then this means you are predominantly PittaDosha.
Pitta is the Ayurvedic Dosha (mind-body type) related to fire energy. As a best-selling Ayurveda author and expert, it is my dharma to bring this health system to the modern age and I’m so thrilled to be helping you out over with your resolutions. So let’s dive into what Pitta is!
Pitta is fire energy, therefore you will experience symptoms of fire in your mind and body. What does fire look like in the digestive system? You guessed it– heartburn. This will lead to hyperacidity, which causes acid reflux and loose stools. Pittas tend to have medium sized bodies, athletic physiques, warm body temperatures and oily skin/ hair. They have the tendency towards redness in their skin and hair as well.
Mentally, Pitta types have ambitious spirits who look for constant achievement. Whether it is starting a new business, taking up personal development, learning about a new topic or building their empire, they are always creating, leading and growing! However, all that fiery energy can burst into a volcano, causing spouts of anger and frustration. Pittas know what they want and when someone is getting in their way or moving a bit too slow for their pace, they get enraged.
While we all have some Pitta within us, when Pitta is out of balance, we experience the negative side, such as the heartburn, oiliness and impatience mentioned above. Even if Pitta is not your primary Dosha, you can experience a Pitta imbalance during periods of your life when you are overworking, over-exercising, overexerting yourself or not taking breaks for yourself.
Here are some health resolutions for Pittas:
- Eat cooling, hydrating foods. The best foods for you are leafy greens, bitter summer vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, herbs like parsley and cilantro, healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil and nuts/seeds, juicy fruits like pomegranate, berries and papaya, plant-based proteins like beans and lentils. Steer clear of spicy foods and beverages, including chili, hot sauce or sriracha. Tomato, garlic and onion are not your friends, as they will cause more acidity. Fried foods will also overheat your digestive system, making you more prone to acidity, inflammation and irritability. You can have a combination of cooked and raw foods in your diet, focusing on more cooked in the winter and more raw in the summer. Notice your how digestion feels after both—especially if you have some Vata in you, you’ll want to not do excess raw foods.
- The qualities of our foods are just as important as the nutrients. Cooling vegetables are the best for Pittas because they have hydrating properties, as they grow in the summer when the weather is hottest and we need refreshing foods.Spicy and heavy foods are not a good decision for Pittas, as they’ll lead to inflammation in the mind and body. A combination of raw and cooked foods, like a salad with some cooked vegetables, avocado and legumes mixed in, is an ideal meal.
- Stay cool. This may not seem like an issue for you in the Netherlands this winter, but Pittas have the tendency to run hot so hot yoga, saunas and intense sports is not a good idea for them, as the heat further imbalances Pitta. In the summer time, only exercise in the morning or afternoon when the sun is not too high in the sky. And if you go on vacation, don’t bake in the sun—Pittas are extremely sensitive to sunlight and easily get burned.
- Use coconut oil on the body and in cooking. Coconut oil is a cooling oil, which is why it’s mostly used in South India, where the climate is very tropical. Use virgin organic coconut oil on the body for an abhyanga self-oil massage. You probably won’t need much because of the oils already present in your skin but we could all use a little more oily love (in fact the word for oil in Ayurveda, sneha, is the same word for love.)
- Practice oil-pulling with coconut oil for your oil-pulling. Oil-pulling is essentially Ayurvedic mouth-wash. Just take a spoon of oil and swish it around your mouth for anywhere from 1 up to 20 minutes to allow the oil to gently remove the bad bacteria from your mouth without the good bacteria. Think of your mouth as your digestive system—you don’t want to put in the equivalent of an antibiotic in your mouth (antibacterial mouthwash) which damages both the good and bad bacteria. Instead, oil allows the bad bacteria to gently dissolve while keeping the good bacteria in tack.
- Switch your cooking oil to coconut oil. This makes a great base for stir-fries, stews, eggs or anything else you eat. It will add a cooling and refreshing flavor to your meal that will nourish your Pitta.
- Schedule your organized tasks for 10am-2pm, when Pitta time is highest. This is your best time for writing emails, getting work done, checking tasks off your to-do list and being your bad-ass Pitta self!
- Practice yin activities, such as yin yoga, pilates, walking in nature, swimming and dance. Pittas often overexert themselves, which can lead to depleted adrenals. Sometimes the body needs a break from high-intensity workouts (I know you love those Crossfit classes) to rest and recharge. Try switching to more restorative exercise classes and watch your body shift as heal your adrenals. Adrenal fatigue is the number one cause of belly fat so you may actually finally lose that stubborn belly fat when you exert yourself less.
- Take it easy. Pittas can take life so seriously. They focus all their attention on achieving a goal, then just set a new one in place when they get there (I know this because I’m a Pitta too.) However, you must remember the point of life—love, joy, family, fun, creativity, wellness, service—whatever it means to you. While it is incredible that you want to create so much, know that you are not more loved because of what you do. You are loved just as you are. There is no one you need to impress, including yourself. That doesn’t mean you should stop doing—however, it changes the energy around the doing. Instead of doing it from a place of fear that you won’t be worthy without it, you’re doing it from a place of pure worthiness and service. You are able to balance your fiery Pitta with your chill Kapha side and artsy Vata side. This is how you become whole.
The beautiful thing about Ayurveda is the mind and body are connected, so any balancing you do on one will positively effect the other! A more peaceful mind will lead to a more peaceful digestion, which will lead to a more peaceful life. Also keep in mind that you can be a cross between two Doshas so be sure to check out how to set health resolutions for Vata and Kaphas here to see how they apply to you.
Don’t know your Dosha? Take my free quick quiz over here and learn more about eating right for your Dosha in my new book: Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook.