FASTING FOR YOUR DOSHA
Fasting is a safe and highly effective method of detoxifying and regenerating the body. There are hundreds of scientific and independent studies on the practice of fasting as a way of healing the body and as a way to prevent illness and other degenerative diseases. It is also one of the longest-running healing modalities on earth.
I have been guiding people through various liquid fasts for the last 8 years and have seen miraculous things happen. Most thrilling to me is when I witness people feeling high and victorious for accomplishing something they thought would be so difficult. When done correctly, it is not only much easier than imagined but pleasurable even.
My detox programs are founded on the fundamentals of Ayurvedic healing. One of the inherant principles of Ayurvedic medicine is that we all unique in our constitution. The system used to help us identify our uniqueness is known as the Doshas.
The following is my shared insight into how you can best work with the miraculous art of fasting for each of the three Ayurvedic doshas. If you do not already know your predominant Ayurvedic dosha, you can take my quiz to get a better idea. Remember, we are all a combination of all three doshas in various degrees, so it’s a good idea to read all of the dosha categories, in case you spot something that sounds JUST LIKE YOU.
I prefer not to think of fasting as a science, but more a juicy journey of self-healing and self-discovery. I have never stopped adapting and amending my fasting protocols and probably never will.
THE VATA DOSHA FAST OVERVIEW
Vata in general will not want to lose much weight being quite thin by nature but will benefit from the gained mental focus, overall detox benefits of fasting and really any experience providing something alternative to life’s normal routine. The Vata liquid fast should keep the liquid menu interesting and varied. You should have at least 5 or 6 different tasting liquids to enjoy throughout the day.
The Vata appetite is by nature erratic and changeable and digestion can be sluggish so liquid fasting should be accompanied by other colon cleansing practices.
VATA FASTING TIPS
Vata dosha can be less thirsty by nature so it can be useful to set a timer to enforce you to keep drinking the liquids on your fast.
VATA FASTING MENU OVERVIEW
Aim to have 50% sweet-tasting liquids and 50% savoury liquids.
100% warm/hot liquids, avoid cold drinks completely.
Drizzle oils (coconut, ghee, avocado, pumpkin) over soups
Don’t be afraid to add salt in soups, the extra minerals help ground scatty Vata.
VATA FASTING MENU IDEAS
- Miso soup- salty, gingery
- Chicken bone broth soup, salty, peppery, gingery
- Matcha almond milk latte, sweetened with honey or stevia
- Cacao almond milk or oat milk, sweetened with honey or stevia
- Golden Milk made with oat milk or almond milk
- Pumpkin coconut milk (full fat) soup
- Carrot and ginger soup with coconut oil drizzle
- Kiwi lassi to help with blocked or congested colon
- Tamarind juice to help with blocked or congested colon
- Any fermented drink like kombucha, kefir or beet kvass
Teas: Liquorice, green, black tea, chamomile, peppermint and ginger are best
Bone broth is rich in collagen and extremely helpful to the dryness-prone Vata dosha. Chicken broth (pesticide, antibiotic and hormone-free organic) is extremely beneficial to the non-vegetarian Vata. Bone marrow’s benefits are largely incorporated into many levels of Ayurvedic healing.
Vata dosha cheats are more for emotionally grounding than anything else. Best mini-cheats are prunes, raisins, cooked apples and cinnamon, steamed salted vegetables, small bowls of oats or rice porridge with seaweed salts or miso.
VATA FASTING EMOTIONALLY
Vata likes change and new experiences so should do quite well on the occasion fast, simply enjoying the novelty. It is important for the Vata dosha that can be quite ‘scatty’ without food to ground the body with rest periods throughout the fast. It is a time for renewal after all. Follow the body’s cures. If you’re tired, rest! If you’re energized, use the energy to do focussed work, creative projects or exercise.
THE PITTA DOSHA FAST OVERVIEW
Pitta dominated people have the strongest digestive power, or Agni and can digest almost any food. They also have the strongest appetite so fasting will be a greater challenge to the Pitta dosha vs. the other two doshas. However, Pitta typically has laser focus and strong will which will be their foundation for completing a successful liquid fast.
Although they have the strongest desire for food, they still don’t need huge amounts to become satisfied so conscious portions are helpful. It is rarely necessary to drink more than 3 litres of liquid a day on a fast so it’s helpful for the Pitta person to be aware once they have had enough. Their aggressive nature and approach can lead to overdoing it.
PITTA FASTING TIPS
The success of the Pitta fast will depend on having a strong will and drive to complete the fast and a well-organized fridge full of liquids ready to drink and take with you on the go.
PITTA FASTING MENU OVERVIEW
Ayurveda does not recommend drinking or eating icy-cold liquids or foods unless under very hot weather conditions. However, the Pitta dosha is with the most ‘fire in the belly’ so as long as the weather is not too cold, the Pitta dosha can handle colder drinks. With the strongest digestive power, Pitta can digest almost any food and so they can fast on pretty much anything they like, following a few basic guidelines. Pitta on a fast should be prepared to have some little “cheats” of raw or fermented vegetables or fruit to keep them in the game.
PITTA FASTING MENU IDEAS
- Celery juice or other green juices in the AM to alkalise
- Any vegetable combo juice extraction
- Wheatgrass shots or other super greens
- Smoothies with avocado and/or nut butter to satiate
- Soups of any kind- Vegetarian preferable
- Fruit lassies (mango, berries) with coconut yoghurt or coconut milk to satiate
Teas: Cooling plants like rose, peppermint, fennel or coriander
The pitta dosha would probably not need a cheat since they are so driven. However, if they did, it would be best to have some cooked sweet potato, any raw or cooked vegetable, grapes, avocado, mango, raw coconut or banana.
PITTA FASTING EMOTIONALLY
A type of dominance or competitive edge is intrinsic to the Pitta nature. It can be helpful for the Pitta dosha to keep a logbook of their progress and fasting menus to check back on or to compare with future fasts.
The Pitta person will like to check things like weight loss, muscle mass and keep a tight record of the experience to ensure dominance in the field of fasting. It can also be helpful for the Pitta person to have a fasting buddy to keep them motivated to succeed. Overcoming the sensation of hunger on a fast can be challenging for Pitta, but luckily they have the focus and determination to rain victorious over any objective they set their mind to luckily hunger is mostly a mindset issue on a fast.
THE KAPHA DOSHA FAST OVERVIEW
Kapha people, in general, eat more for social inclusion, boredom or loneliness than for actual appetite, which can result in unnecessary extra weight. This means that of all three dosha’s, the Kapha dosha will benefit most from regular fasting.
Kapha dominated people actually need the least amount of food than any of the three Doshas. If the fast is done correctly and consciously, the Kapha dominated person should find fasting quite easy and enjoyable.
KAPHA FASTING TOP TIPS
The main challenges for Kapha folks are emotional-eating and overindulging so make sure you are supported by the people you cohabitate with and have them back your decision to do a fast before you start.
If weight loss is the objective, exercising while fasting is imperative for the Kapha dosha to get results. Kapha dosha needs the most exercise of all three doshas so they must prioritize daily exercise during their liquid fast, even if it’s just 2 x 20-minute daily speed walking sessions.
KAPHA FASTING MENU OVERVIEW
Kapha’s are the only Dosha who should water fast and historically have used abstinence from food to access their more devout spiritual nature.
After a few times successfully liquid fasting, the Kapha dosha dominated person could consider experiencing a 24-hour water fast to see how they do. Kapha dominated people can easily skip meals and should occasionally skip meals to keep them light.
KAPHA FASTING MENU IDEAS
- Celery juice or any green extract/juice
- Cayenne, lemon, ginger, maple syrup with warm water
- Alkaline spring water
- Raw coconut water
- Matcha tea made with water or oat milk.
- Miso soup
- Nettle or any green leaf (spinach/kale) soup
- Vegetable and kombu broth
- Beet kvass or kombucha or kefir or any fermented drink
Teas: Matcha or any green tea, black tea, rooibos tea or artichoke tea are all good choices.
Coffee: Weakly brewed black coffee is excellent for the Kapha dosha who is not caffeine sensitive. The bitter taste and stimulating effect of black coffee can really help the Kapha dosha move past their emotional and physical sluggishness and keep them motivated to continue the fast.
Since Kapha dosha can easily feel uneasy being an outsider, it is handy to have some “cheats” on hand when around other people. Things such as raw apples, pomegranates, raw coconut, dried apricots, prunes, raisins, carrots, celery or cooked potatoes are helpful cheats for Kapha.
THE EMOTIONAL KAPHA FAST
Emotionally, missing out on the connection with others when sharing meals is the hardest part of a fast for the Kapha-dosha dominated person. Kapha people would do well to have a fasting partner or fast in a group to keep them company, motivated and supported. Or they could ask someone they love to set up daily motivational ‘check-in’ calls.
Thanks for reading!
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