Yes, meat is allowed on an Ayurvedic diet!

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September 20, 2022

There is a common misconception that an Ayurvedic diet is a vegetarian diet. But that is not true!

When it comes down to it, Ayurvedic principles are all about bringing balance to the body, mind, and soul.

In fact, here is an anecdotal tale…

I once heard of a woman who was away at an Ayurvedic retreat. While there, she was very focused on eating in line within the traditional Ayurvedic ways. 

But, after days of the practice, she began intensely craving sweets.

At the front desk, there was a bowl of mint candies. For days she found herself staring at the mints and longing for them.

Finally, she broke down to her mentor and told him what was going on. She said “I am trying so hard not to eat sweets, but everyday I find myself craving the mints at the front desk!” 

Her mentor chuckled at her sincerity, walked over to the desk, grabbed a mint, and told her to go ahead and enjoy it.

He explained that Ayurveda is not about depriving, removing, or avoiding things in the diet. It’s about bringing balance to all areas and senses - savory, salty, acidic, bitter, and yes even sweet!

Once she listened to her body and truly savored the sweet mint (which was the best tasting mint of her life after all that craving) her body, mind, and heart were happy and satisfied.

For the rest of the retreat she was able to freely enjoy the food and the experience without the obsession over the mints.

This is why I love Ayurveda. It calls us to tune into our bodies and the seasons, to listen to what we need and to eat seasonal offerings from the earth…this includes meat!

Do you know what Ayurveda says about food? 

“The life of all living things is food; the entire world seeks food. Complexion, clarity, good voice, long life, understanding, happiness, satisfaction, growth, intelligence are all because of food.” -Charaka Samhita

Ayurveda accepts meat as an important and nutritional form of food. 

The ancient Ayurvedic master Charaka even goes as far to say that no other food excels meat in producing nourishing effects in the body!

I love when ancient principles align with more modern day principles and reconfirm each other across different belief systems. I think at that intersection is where real facts and real truth can be found.

Ayurveda, Weston A. Price Foundation, Indeginous and Traditional Diets, Keto, Paleo, and more all confirm that meat is one of the most highly nutritional and healing foods available.

Eating meat, as well as any food in Ayurveda, is totally dependent on the individual constitution and personal health care needs.

Every food offers its own distinct medicinal properties, even meat! 

Here is a quick overview. But as with everything in Ayurveda, it goes deep. So if you are new to this, don’t worry. I know it’s a lot of info to take in:

Chicken - Is an aphrodisiac and nourishing. It clarifies the voice, promotes strength, and produces sweating, which is good for cleansing the system.

Beef - Is beneficial for rhinitis, irregular fever, dry cough, fatigue, increased appetite, and building muscle.

Lamb - Is anti-parasitic, supports cognitive function and digestion and has a mild laxative effect.

Mutton (sheep or goat) - Is very similar to our human body tissue. It is deeply nourishing and does not block the flow of body channels. 

Fish - Is strength promoting, nourishing, and considered an aphrodisiac. But, in Ayurveda, it is believed to cause skin diseases and is not recommended for daily use.

Ayurvedic principles suggest eating meat at mid-day.

By that time, your digestive “fire” will be the strongest, and a strong digestive fire is perfect for digesting a heavy nourishing meal like meat.

Traditional Ayurvedic cooking and pairing is also important when preparing meat.

It is suggested to cook meat in ghee, season with aromatic condiments like black pepper, and pair with acidic fruit like pomegranate.

Meat prepared this way is considered to be balanced, deeply nourishing, and strength giving.

Ayurveda takes into consideration the big picture and focuses on healing through balance.

I see an obvious parallel between Ayurveda and regenerative farming. 

Nature “naturally” provides all the nutrition we need in perfect balance and harmony. The closer our farming practices are to nature, the more nutritious and nourishing the food will be. 

Natural, clean, and nutritious pastured meats like ours at Wolf Oak Farm are a foundation for good health. 

So, go ahead and “eat that mint”. Listen to your body and feel free to enjoy meat within balance as well as ALL the other foods you crave!


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