These plans should serve as a basis. For best results you should adjust things to fit your individuality. Using this plan for 21 days will give you a good idea where to make adjustments. Without the advice of a professional Ayurvedic doctor or trained practitioner I would advise you to follow the guidelines for the plan best suited for you for the 21 days, after which you can begin to make adjustments. These are general guidelines.
Another noteworthy point is that I am beginning with people who may be eating a “Standard American Diet” (SAD). Thus, the plan includes information on reducing canned, frozen and processed foods from the diet. If you already eat a whole food diet, but find that you are unsatisfied with it, look closer at the times to eat (see chapter 12) and which foods are the best for you from the lists in chapter 15. This will usually make sufficient enough changes to help you become healthier. Please note that there is a certain amount of humor in these plans to lighten the changes!
Day 1- Begin by deciding to do the most difficult thing – eat regular meals at regular times! Figure out which times you can eat three meals and a snack or four light meals in the day. Once you have done this stick to it at all costs. This may be the single most important factor in stabilizing your metabolism and nutrient absolution.
Day 2- How hungry are you? Decide if your appetite is strong and constant; constant but slow; or changing most of the time. A pure Vata type will normally have somewhat of a variable appetite and digestion. You need to increase your power to assimilate the nutrients in your food and stabilize your appetite to a more even level. Buy the digestive spices listed in chapter Thirteen, grind them up and begin to take them before meals (two times per day is enough). Eat cooked food! Eat less raw foods.
Day 3- Go by “cold-pressed”, organic sesame seed oil. It should be clear and it will cost more than you are used to, don’t worry; a bottle lasts a long time. Throw out the following things – all other oils and margarine. As of today begin to rub a few drops of sesame oil on your temples each night, if your sleep is disturbed rub it on the bottom of your feet also. Begin to use sesame oil to cook – you can buy and use sunflower or olive oil (also cold-pressed) for non-cooking dishes like salads. Today you can also go and buy some grains, fresh nuts and anything else that you may want from the same store that sells organic oils.
Day 4- Drink two large glasses of warm water right when you wake up – between 6 to 8 am. Begin to eat when you eat, instead of doing a thousand other things at the same time (like reading this). Reduce by 1/3 the amount of cigarettes you smoke (if you smoke).
Day 5- Reduce coffee or tea intake to a maximum of two cups per day, preferably drink them after you eat something. Avoid drinking coffee or tea before meals. Sell your microwave oven.
Day 6- Stop drinking soft drinks (colas, etc.). Eat nuts when you want, but don’t mix them with fruits or other foods. If you have a fall of energy in the day eat fruit or buy a good quality of honey and mix ½ teaspoon of it in warm water to pick you up.
Day 7- Stop drinking anything ice cold or cool with meals. Drink warm water with food if you need liquids.
Day 8- Stop buying canned food (keep a can of tomato sauce for that emergency pasta dish), frozen food and food in boxes. Go to the store or farmers market and buy real vegetables. Take them home and look at them – yes, you are actually going to have to cook them! Cook some grains (the ones that you bought last week and have been looking at all week) and vegetables and eat them!
Day 9- Don’t beat yourself for not taking your digestive spices and missing meals last week – just do it now. Get serious about living better and enjoy life.
Day 10- Look for cookbooks that say something like – “1001 Ways to Cook Rice”. When you find there aren’t any stop mixing weird stuff together like nuts and salad, fruits and lettuce, begin NOT to mix things together unless they are cooked (more that two or three things is still not advised even when cooked). Mixing too many foods together is hard to digest.
Day 11- Stop all raw foods for now. Eat green salads with oil and vinegar or other oily kinds of sauces to antidote the raw leaves – no raw carrots or other foods besides lettuce for the moment. Fruit is still OK.
Day 12- Reduce your coffee or tea intake to one cup per day – after meals. Cut the cigarettes again by 1/3 (if you smoke and don’t want to stop, don’t worry, you won’t have to reduce more than this!).
Day 13- Cut out dried foods like cookies and chips (sweet or salty doesn’t matter, it is the dryness). Begin to cook apples or pears or other fruits and eat them for snacks or desserts.
Day 14- Eat one meal per day of grains and vegetables that you cook yourself – you don’t need to spend more than 20-30 minutes to prepare a meal.
Day 15- Congratulate yourself! You made two weeks already! Go out to eat and have a good time! (Remember to take your digestive spices before you go and not to drink the ice water!)
Day 16- If you are still eating in fast food places for lunch, stop. Eat a sandwich and have a soup but avoid fast food like the plague. Keep nuts or fruits for snacks.
Day 17- Reduce eating meat (if you eat meat) to not more than three times per week. Dinnertime is fine to eat meat when you do, buy organic and prepare it yourself – avoid restaurant meat dishes.
Day 18- Throw away any white sugar you have laying around and buy non-refined sugar. Its time to empty your cupboard of those hidden cookies and potato chips. Don’t buy any more. Cooked apples with raisins and cinnamon taste much better anyway.
Day 19- Empty your freezer, but this time give the contents to your neighbor; keep the frozen pizza for emergency rations – save the ice cream for your Pitta type friends who aren’t interested in their health. Don’t eat any yourself!
Day 20- Invite a vegetarian friend over or invite yourself over to their house and have them cook you a meal. Feel their skin, look into their eyes to see if they are healthy – if they can do it so can you! Give them your coffee machine when they or you leave. If you go over to a friend be careful not to buy anything – like insurance or stock – as it may disrupt your digestion to think about business.
Day 21- Eat two meals of cooked grains and vegetables each day that you make yourself. You are on your way! Avoid dry, cold, raw and processed foods 85% to 90% of the time and you will be in good health. Remember to drink two large glasses of warm water each morning and take the digestive spices at least twice a day before meals. Stimulants (coffee, tea, wine, beer, alcohol, refined sugar, and cigarettes) are especially aggravating for Vata types and should be avoided as much as possible.