Psychologically, kapha people tend to be calm, tolerant and forgiving. However, they may become lethargic. While they may be slow to comprehend, their long term memory is excellent. When out of balance, kaphas tend to experience greed, envy, attachment and possessiveness. In the external world, kapha tendencies toward groundedness, stability, and attachment help them to earn and hold onto money. They tend to have diseases connected to the water principle such as flu, sinus congestion, and other diseases involving mucous. Sluggishness, excess weight, diabetes, water retention, and headaches are also common. Kapha can become more aggravated as the moon gets full because, as biologists have discovered, there is a tendency for water retention at that time. Winter is the time of greatest kapha accumulation and following the dietary and lifestyle changes are most important during that season.
Dietary guidelines for kapha are:
30-40% whole grains: rye crackers, dry cereals, and cooked grains
20% protein: chicken, turkey, boiled and poached eggs, rabbit, small amount of goats milk, and most beans (including garbanzos, adukis, pintos, black beans, red lentils, navy and white beans, split peas, and black eye peas)
40-50% fresh vegetables with an optional 10% for fresh or dried fruits. A daily salad is good.
Get plenty of exercise
Avoid heavy foods
Avoid iced food
Vary your routine
Avoid fatty, oily foods
Avoid iced drinks
Eat light, dry food
Remember that your progress toward balance and health is proportional to how well you stick to the guidelines of diet and lifestyle. Old habits sometimes die hard and your changes may be very gradual but, to achieve progress, the changes need to be made. You are in charge of your own rate of change.
If you wish to learn more about Ayurveda, there is a bibliography at the end of this booklet. We highly recommend Dr. Lad's Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing for a conceptual understanding of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. For guidelines and explanations about the Ayurvedic approach to food and healing we also recommend Usha Lad and Dr. Lad's cookbook, Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing.
Lad, Vasant. Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing. Lotus Press: Santa Fe, 1984.
Usha Lad & Dr. Vasant Lad. Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing. The Ayurvedic Press: Albuquerque, 1994).
Morrison, Judith H. The Book of Ayurveda: A Holistic Approach to Health and Longevity. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1995, A Fireside Book.
Svoboda, Robert E. The Hidden Secret of Ayurveda. Pune, India, 1980; reprint, The Ayurvedic Press: Albuquerque, 1994.
Svoboda, Robert E. Prakruti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution. Geocom Limited: Albuquerque, 1989.
Svoboda, Robert E. Ayurveda: Life, Health and Longevity. Penguin: London, 1992.
Frawley, David, and Vasant Lad. The Yoga of Herbs. Lotus Press: Santa Fe, 1986.
Frawley, David. Ayurvedic Healing. Morson Publishing: Salt Lake City, 1989.
The above books are recommended in the order of the simplest to the most complex, from those containing basic Ayurvedic knowledge to those with resource and reference information.