Health & Wellness

Why I am gluten free series, Part Two: The Doshas


This was written on a thank you note from one of the fantastic women that went on our Indian adventure. She was a Vata, and had a soft spot for Kaphas like me.

We tend to be very grounded, not overly emotional, and good support structures. Yay.

But physically, we tend to be thicker (ahem, overweight) if we’re not careful, and we have to be very careful about the food combinations we eat in order to not turn our stomachs into compost heaps (i.e. nothing digests; it just sits there; stewing).

This means, while we’re great friends, we’re lousy food buddies with the other two doshas. While we’d love to share a pizza, that mozz is too much. And how much gluten is in it? It’s better if there isn’t any. And could it be pesto? Tomato is too indigestible. But I’d LOVE jalapenos on it, and hot sauce and crushed red pepper, even though they give everyone else heartburn. Ice cream for dessert? How about coconut ice cream? But not too much, or I won’t be able to digest my dinner, as the coolness from the coconut would kill any digestive enzymes I’ve been able to muster.

I’m the life of the dinner party.

After I returned from India, I still ate gluten. Well, drank gluten. I realized peristalsis was not working for me with things I had to masticate, so I thought I would buck the system and just drink beer.

And then, the beer would sit in my stomach all night and I’d wake up full and still digesting beer. I’m pretty sure the alcohol part was processed (no one’s mentioned to me that I was inebriated in the AM), but I’d still wind up not being able to eat until lunch because there just wasn’t any room!

I actually wound up losing about 25 pounds over three months after my Panchakarma cleanse. My intestines were in maximum nutrient absorption mode, and I was sticking very close to the Aryuveda kapha diet (except for the beer part). But because it was a much lower dosage of gluten in my diet, it wasn’t fat I lost (my BMI has stayed about the same the whole time), it was inflammation! My joints got smaller!

Now of course, I’ve gotten off script every now and then. I found myself eating way too many gluten-free carbs in the AM and not enough protein (started to slip into veganism… unintentionally – I just couldn’t digest a lot of stuff on my own!). It seems that being vegan and only eating nuts, seeds, and salads could still have you pack on weight… If your dosha is kapha.  A Pitta or a Vata might be fine on that.

Spicy food is still my best friend. I don’t do a lot of raw vegetables now (lightly steamed helps break down the plant fiber which makes it easier for a kapha to break down). I’ll do some harder cheeses (less lactose) or goat cheese, but now that I’ve seen this video, I’m rethinking dairy altogether. I also take a digestive enzyme supplement when I eat denser meat, and that seems to be working much better!

So I’ve been talking a lot about the doshas, but you probably don’t know which one you are. The best quiz to take is from Deepak Chopra (I love this man) and you need to take both Part 1 and 2 to get a better picture of who you are. I’m a mind and body kapha, but I can also tend to slip into mind vata if I don’t eat enough fat. The Bestie is a vata mind and pitta body. The husband is all pitta. Yes, I make everyone take the quizzes.

I’ve also gotten fairly accurate at figuring out which dosha a person is. One of my protégé’s is a kapha thru and thru and he refused to accept it. He then ate tacos every day since the start of the new year (it was a resolution) and got into such a kapha imbalance that Western medicine doctors have declared he’s probably celiac and lactose intolerant. I call him #MiniMe.

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