Once, on a whim, my mother and I took an “Ayurvedic Dosha Test” on the internet. For those of you not familiar with Ayurveda, it comes from the Sanskrit phrase meaning “The Science of Life,” and it is comprised of various practices meant to maximize one’s physical, mental, and spiritual health.
One of the facets of Ayurveda is the idea of the three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. A dosha is a combination of the foundational elements of life (in Ayurveda these are air, water, fire, earth, and ether), that manifests in humans as various physical or mental traits. According to Ayurveda, perfect health exists when the three doshas are in balance.
While all three doshas exist in every human, we all tend to have a dominating one or two. This is kind of how the Ayurvedics view personality type. For example, people who are primarily Vata dosha, which is the combination of air and ether, tend to be physically thin, dry-skinned and always cold, and mentally creative but flighty, while Pitta people, who are governed by fire and water, are most likely athletically built and have a ruddy complexion, with a quick wit and high intelligence.
After taking our test, Mom was primarily Vata, especially physically, with Pitta as a close second. I was strongly Kapha. Kapha is the combination of water and earth, and what does this combination make? Mud.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. Mud can build sturdy structures, and hold things together. In all people, the Kaphic energies govern the structure of the body: the bones, muscles, and tendons, and the lubricating “glue” that holds it all together. Kapha people tend to be strong and sturdy, as well as mentally happy, calm and loving.
On the other hand, one can become stuck in mud. Kaphas are often stubborn and while slow to anger, tend to explode when it finally comes. They are slow to accept change and often become stuck in ruts and habits.
This is absolutely true of me, though I have found that when I finally do get out of my rut (whether by choice or by force), I am often pleasantly surprised.
Enter the PBJC, or Peanut Butter and Jelly Cereal. For months, my go-to breakfast has been a bowl of granola (either store bought or, before Darling Daughter, homemade) with oat milk. I would have this morning after morning, and honestly, on the days when I didn’t have it, even if the reason was because Hubby and I had made yummy pancakes or french toast instead, I found I missed my granola and oat milk.
Then one day a few months ago, I woke up to find we were – gasp! – out of oat milk! How did this happen?? It was the ungodly hour of 6am that only those working night shifts and those with young children (along with the odd early bird) get to know, and the grocery store wasn’t open yet. Besides, my bowl of cereal was what I needed to have the energy to leave the house to begin with. What to do?!
Around this time, I had recently introduced my Dear Hubby to that most American of foods, the PB and J sandwich, so we had peanut butter and jelly in the pantry. As I opened the pantry and saw the jars, a light went off in my head.
Into my bowl of dry granola I scooped roughly three tablespoons of peanut butter and three teaspoons of strawberry jelly. I mixed it up so that it was well combined, and took a tentative bite.
Wow was that good! The granola had that satisfying carbohydrate taste that bread does, as well as added a nice crunch. And then of course, there was the delightful contrast of salt and sweet from the peanut butter and jelly. Over time, I switched out the granola (wow, another change!) to puffed spelt, which was lighter in the belly (and in the wallet), and gave a pleasant crisp instead of a crunch.
So now, several months later, I have found myself in this new rut, this new habit. I wonder what will come around to break it next?