Life is not easy is it? We are invited to graduation parties, 4th of July Barbecues, birthday parties, anniversaries….and the events just mount up. What is a person to do who is following her Ayurveda plan? I am often reminded of these challenges by my clients and here is what I tell them.

Real life has pizza parties, birthday parties, weddings and graduations – eating is pleasurable and we should thoroughly enjoy it. When did eating become so complicated for us? It is easy to be confused, the rules of nutrition seem to be constantly changing. Not so in Ayurveda, the rules remain constant; it’s the seasons that change.

So, let’s see what a Vata, Pitta and Kapha decide to do at this barbeque. Let’s join the party.

First – let’s take a look and see what is on the table:

1.       A big bowl of salad with leafy kale and spinach as the base, chick peas, cooked and then chilled broccoli, carrots and green beans.

2.       A large plate of grilled veggies including mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, cooked broccoli, sugar snap peas and carrots.

3.       A large, warm loaf of crusty bread and roasted garlic butter on the side for smearing on the bread.

4.       There is grilled chicken that has been marinated in olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper

5.       The veggie burgers have olive oil brushed on them and are topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil from the garden, and garden-fresh tomatoes.

6.       Whole wheat rolls are warmed and lightly toasted for the burgers.

7.       Baked beans simmering in a crock pot.

8.       Fresh grilled corn on the cob.

9.       There are lots of condiments including olive oil, chili flakes, sunflower seeds, ranch dressing and balsamic vinaigrette dressing, as well as ketchup and mustard.

How will they build their plates?

Kapha, knowing they need a lighter fare, would pile half their plate with salad and add some balsamic vinaigrette. They would take a veggie burger, ditch the mozzarella and add a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes. They like the idea of the beans, then realize that these beans are loaded with sugar – so take a piece of corn instead. They prefer their corn naked, so don’t add sugar or garlic butter. They would take one piece of bread and although they may longingly look at another slice, they know that too much bread makes them feel heavy and sluggish.

Pitta would pile 1/3 of their plate with salad and dressing. Because Pittas have a good appetite, thy will probably have a veggie burger and a piece of chicken. They would stay away from anything a little spicy, so ditch the mustard and garlic and although thy may take a second look at the tomatoes– they know that it may give them heartburn later. They go for the corn and some baked beans relishing in the sweet taste.

Vata would skip the salad altogether and gravitate towards the grilled veggies knowing that raw veggies will make them bloated later. They will make a beeline for the warm bread adding lots of olive oil and garlic butter. They will probably pick at a piece of chicken, put it down – forget where they put it, start all over with a veggie burger and pick at that too, because they filled up with bread.

At the end of the day:

Everyone had a good time at the barbecue. Kapha felt joyful, light, clear-headed and happy because of the veggies and not too much heaviness from the burger or bread. Pitta was content, full of humor and wit because the bitter greens in the salad helped their mind stay clear and emotions cool. They didn’t get heartburn from an overly spicy meal with garlic. Vata was hugging everyone and telling stories with their hands flinging in the air – and for once they did not feel bloated! Instead, they were grounded and satisfied from their grilled veggies, bread – with extra olive oil – and chicken.

By knowing themselves and by making the right choices, these three left the summer barbecue feeling happy and satisfied. None of them will have digestive problems later that night. They will all wake up the next morning feeling happy, clear and full of vitality.

The key is knowing yourself and then you will find you can customize your plate no matter where you are. Let me know if you are finding eating out a challenge and tell me what you do to manage it? Set up a complimentary consultation to learn how to eat (in any situation!) for your body type.