Find Your Dosha: A Meal Plan for Body Type?

June 27, 2012 · 29 comments

One day last week, my coworker turned to me and said, “I thought of you yesterday.”

To which I raised an eyebrow and replied, “…in what context?”

Apparently, a Dr. Oz feature on T.V. recently screamed “Alyssa.” After researching to topic a little, I need to share it with you all.

This episode featured Ayurveda, the 5,000 year-old Indian ancient science of healing. It is the oldest surviving complete medical system in the world.

According to Ayurveda, each of us has a unique mix of three mind/body principles, which creates our specific mental and physical characteristics. These three principles are called “doshas.” Most of us have one or two doshas, which are most dominant in our nature. The three doshas are known as “Vata,” “Pitta,” and “Kapha.”

Take the quiz here to see what dosha describes you.

When one hears the description of a Vata, it is very likely he or she would, in fact, think of me, just as my coworker did.

Vatas (Creativity ~ Enthusiasm ~ Freedom ~ Generosity ~ Joy ~ Vitality) have a small frame, are either very tall or very short, walk quickly, speak quickly, and are enthusiastic and active. They prefer routine, but are thrill-seeking. Vatas to avoid confrontation and express themselves through activity and creativity. As my corworker said, each of those characteristics most definitely pertains to me.

Factors that increase Vata (i.e., things Vata-based personalities should avoid): Explosure to cold; no routine; eating to much dry, frozen, or leftover food or food with bitter, pungent or astringent taste; fasting; too much traveling; too much or inappropriate exercise; suppressing natural urges; abdominal surgery; not moisturizing skin.

For a Vata Body Type Meal Plan, click here.

Pittas (Ambition ~ Concentration ~ Confidence ~ Courage ~ Enthusiasm for knowledge ~ Happiness ~ Intelligence), on the other hand, tend to have a moderately well-developed physique with mascular limbs and a purposeful, stable gait of medium speed. Their skin is generally hot/sweaty and freckly and tends to rash easily and burn in the sun. Pittas spend moderately on luxury items and can be judgemental, articulate, learned and proud. They have a developed sense of responsibility and organize affairs well. They are also argumentative, but with a sense of humor.

Factors that increase Pitta: Exposure to heat; eating too much red meat, salt, spicy/sour foods; indigestion and irregularity of meals; exercising at midday; drugs, especially antibiotics; increased intellectual work/thinking; alcohol; fatigue; strong emotion

For a Vata Body Type Meal Plan, click here.

Kaphas (Caring ~ Centeredness ~ Compassion ~ Contentment ~ Faith ~ Fulfillment ~ Groundedness ~ Patience ~ Sense of being nourished ~ Stability ~ Support ~ Tenderness) are calm, steady, and considerate. They have patient personalities and are slow to anger. Kaphas are loyal, forgiving, and understanding, and they can be lethargic, even lazy, if not driven by others. Learning for them may be slow, but their memory will be strong. Kaphas generally are deep sleepers and require many hours of rest and are money savers.

Factors that increase Kapha: Exposure to cold; eating too much sweets, meats, fats, cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt, or fried food; excessive use of salt; excessive intake of water; taking naps after meals; “doing nothing”; sedatives and tranquilizers; doubts; greed; possessiveness

For a Pitta Body Type Meal Plan, click here.

While this school of thought is definitely interesting, I’m not 100% sure I buy into it 100%. I do know I fall into the Vata personality type, according to the quiz, so maybe I’ll keep avoiding cold temperatures, frozen meals, and too much traveling.

Oh, and abdominal surgery. I should probably avoid that, too. And while a meal plan made for the “vata” body type looks interesting, I think I’ll stick with the Fitmixer Boot Camp nutrition plan with which I’m having success.

Would you buy into the Ayurveda principles? Would you be willing to follow a meal plan prescribed for your body type?

The information highlighted in this post was compiled from numerous sources.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Taylor @ A Taste of Taylor June 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

Interesting… I just went through the quiz and found the diet described for me to be very similar to the one that I already follow. I don’t know though, I think it’s less important to follow these fads and more important to eat clean, whole foods! We’re smart, we know what types of foods make us feel good and which ones don’t! I do love Dr. Oz tho :) Happy Wednesday!
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2 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More June 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

I came up a pitta but vata was just behind. Definitely interesting but I’m with you on sticking with the FitMixer meal plan! ;)
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3 Kaelin June 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I saw this on Dr. Oz the other day and took the quiz, but seemed to be a mix of Pitta (efficient, learned, freckly skin that burns, argumentative, humorous) and Vatas (fast walker, tall small frame, prefer a routine, active, and enthusiastic). I am interested in how this would effect my health, but I am not ready to buy into a meal plan that eliminates certain foods. I am trying to walk the Intuitive Eating line right now after some “concerning” food behaviors, so I am not looking to set myself up for another control freak diet.

I would love to dig deeper into a more complex evaluation on what Dosha type I truly am. Thanks for sharing!!

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4 clare @ fittingitallin June 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I’m mostly Vata – even a massage therapist could pinpoint that once! I think Ayurveda is fascinating….
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5 Kristen @ notsodomesticated June 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I was a Vata. But honestly, I’m not buying it. ;)
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6 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots June 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I learned about this diety theory through my classes to be a health coach, I found it to be very interesting as well.

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7 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers June 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Interesting… but I’m with you, I think I’ll stick to my tried-and-true plans.
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8 Yellow Haired Girl June 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Interesting… I’m a pitta, but with vata just one point behind. I always like seeing different approaches to diet. But I agree, I’m gonna stick with how I do things already :)
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9 Tina @ Best Body Fitness June 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Interesting. I’m apparently a Pitta which sounds about right…until it tells me to avoid spice and coffee. Yea. Not gonna happen. ;)
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10 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss June 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

there’s no way I’d be able to do that, either. ;)

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11 Jenny June 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I LOVE the idea of Ayurvedic principles, but once I learned I was Pitta and thus recommended to abstain from BOOZE, I was like, NO THANK YOU .

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12 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss June 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

I like your style.

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13 Amber K June 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I am a mixture of all three, with an emphasis on Pitta. I would buy more into it if I actually thought I could stick to the meal plan! lol
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14 Jamie June 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I’m a vata too! D$ always makes fun of me for liking my drinks room temperature. Interesting.

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15 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss June 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

ME TOO. get that ice outta mah face!

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16 Julie @ Running and Riley June 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I’m a Pitta and could NOT do this….I checked out once I read that I should give up jalepenos and tomatoes. Not gonna do it.
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17 Emily June 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I just watched this episode this morning (reruns play in the a.m. here) and I found it very interesting. I’m definitely a Vata; I even have the digestive issues. I think I’ll be doing some experimenting soon!

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18 Alysha @Shesontherun June 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I would have trouble following any meal plan, but I think one based on body type makes a lot of sense.
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19 Lea June 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I’ve been reading about Ayurveda some and it’s pretty interesting. I don’t know about the meal plan though. I took the quiz and I was pretty much 50/50 Vata and Kapha, which has pretty opposite meal plans, so I don’t know how that would work…
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20 Trisha June 28, 2012 at 12:24 am

Definitely interesting but the quiz was a bit strange. There were numerous questions where I couldn’t answer definitively so I just had to pick one so I certainly don’t think it’s super accurate. Reading through the Vata & Kapha meal plans, there were a lot of differences from what I normally eat/like to eat.
I firmly believe in eating right for your blood type, but I’m not sure I buy into this theory.
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21 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss June 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

I need to look into eating for your blood type! I haven’t heard of that one.

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22 Easa June 28, 2012 at 1:50 am

I have actually wondered about you, Alyssa, as to your Ayurvedic expression. We were talking a lot about this at dinner tonight, not about you, but about many of my friend’s tendencies. I have one friend who is doing a gigantic art piece for me who thinks she is pitta-kapha but I think she’s 99% vata.

Katie is most definitely a pronounced pitta, one reason I love her blog dearly.

Shoot, Alyssa, you might actually be fairly balanced. I see pieces of all 3 in your writing. I wonder how you see yourself? I guess it’s hard to have a take on someone just by reading their blog, but I see a lot of kapha and pitta in some of your writing, though I agree vata is present and accounted for.

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23 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss June 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

I’ve never thought about how I may come across in my writing. :) Interesting! I was feeling like I was most definitely a veta, except for the facial structure. I definitely have some pitta-kapha stuff there. I also emotionally probably have some kapha.

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24 Kristin @ FoodFash June 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

I’m a Vata too! I love stuff like this, thanks for sharing!!
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25 Em @ Living & Learning June 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

mine as a tie between kappas and pitta, which I guess makes sense I share qualities of each!
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26 Jessica June 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I am a Vata. But I really don’t buy into it. I just eat healthy, whole foods and move often. Boom. :)
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27 Michelle (Better with Berries) June 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

I think I’m a Pitta – but I don’t know if I’d be up for following a meal plan. I like to just stick with what I love and what works for me!
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28 Rachel July 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I’ve heard of this… very cool.. I’m a vata all the way haha especially with the being sensitive to cold :)

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29 Electra @ Vanilla Bean Lean July 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm

SO SO interesting, thanks for sharing! Although I’m with you – rather my clean eating to a plan like this, it’s still so interesting to see! I just read your fitmixer progress post – congrats girl! You rock!
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