Sara Garofalo: The Key To A Healthy Weight – Know Your Body Type

It’s almost summer. Finally. By now the heavy sweaters and sweatshirts, have made way for tee shirts, shorts, tank tops, maybe even bathing suits. All the clothing that will not hide the “covid fifteen” or winter weight we put on. I dread this time of year. As someone who has always had a weight issue, putting away the clothes that hid my extra poundage was a yearly ritual of anxiety.  With the weight issue came diet after diet after diet. I was on Weight Watchers long before Oprah, was exercising at Elaine Powers gyms after school, gagging as I tried to get down that suggested half a grapefruit each morning which promised to do something magical with my metabolism; I jogged, stepped, and worked out with Jane Fonda. It was all so hard to do, most times it would work for a while, and then I’d quit. It was like being in a constant battle with myself. 

I wish I had met Sara Garofalo, Intuitive Health and Life Coach and a Spiritual Mentor and Healer, who helps her clients lose weight using “intuitive eating.” One of the first things she says is that “we have to first accept ourselves, with whatever weight we are now.” We do this, she says, by using affirmations like, “I approve of myself, I salute the divinity within me, and I promise to maintain a healthy relationship with my body through my mind.” It’s called making a “mindful shift.”  

Sara had to learn this the hard way and had her own body issues, was overweight and bulimic. A strict diet suggested by a dietician took a toll on her health as she constantly counted calories, lost too much weight, drained her energy. The desire to see the world after high school found herself living in an Australian ashram where she first hears about Ayurveda and the mind-body connection. There are three body types, she discovered, with each one featuring a unique set of characteristics, and by knowing our body type, we gain invaluable insight into the how, what, why, and when about our eating.  

“I thought that eating salads and drinking smoothies was healthy, she says. “Yet I was bloated, constipated, and I couldn’t seem to drop the last 10 pounds,” she says. “Plus, I felt so uncomfortable in my body. I stopped cold smoothies and raw foods for quite some time and just focused on sauteed and cooked veggies and warm meals, and everything started to change, my digestive system improved, I was no longer bloated and constipated, and I started dropping the weight. The ‘a ha’ moment was realizing that cold raw foods are not actually ‘healthy’ (aka digestible) for certain body types.” 

Those three body types are known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha, with each having their own individual characteristics such as lifestyle, body structure, communication, mental state and personality traits.   Eating a diet that works against your body type may cause an imbalance, making it more difficult to lose weight, creating health issues, mood swings, and depression.   

For instance, the Pitta body type features a medium build, reddish complexion, sunburns easily; they are intelligent and focused, easily annoyed, and have a slow digestion. The Vata type have a quick metabolism, tend to be cold, with dry skin. They are usually active with not the best sleeping habits, may tend towards sleep disorders. Mentally quick. A preferred diet would include warm teas, rice, oats, beef, chicken and eggs. Then, there’s the Kapha type, characterized by wide hips, shoulders, thick hair, with good stamina, tends to gain weight easily. Slow digestion. A vegetarian diet is recommended, reducing heavy foods, and oily and fatty snacks. There are times when someone could have two of the body types with one being more dominant over the other. 

After learning that she had a combination of Pitta/Vata, she was able to work through her own body issues, by changing her diet, adding natural supplements, cutting down on gluten, dairy, processed foods, and sugar.  “I include good healthy fats like avocado olive oil, coconut oil…I eat primarily organic whole foods like basmati, sweet potato, potatoes, squash, zucchini, turnips, carrots, pears, cucumbers, melons, apricot, peaches, berries dried fruit and seeds. I eat grass fed meat and wild-caught fish. I’m primarily gluten and dairy free due to my sensitive digestive system. 

With her own practice in California, Sara offers the holistic and intuitive eating approach to clients.  One of her specialties is a healing session she calls RIM, for “Regenerating Images in Memory,” where her clients are guided through past experiences to find areas of trauma or grief that may be causing emotional eating, or other body-weight issues.  “I believe,” she says, “Mother Nature provides us with everything we need to live a healthy lifestyle and believe we all have the power to heal ourselves.” 

Learn more about intuitive eating and body types at loveholisticliving.com

VATA BOWL

Servings 2  Prep Time 10 min Tot Time 45  minutes 

Precook 1 cup of basmati rice 

AYURVEDIC SWEET POTATO

·        1 medium sweet potato, cubed

·        ¼ tsp turmeric

·        ¼ tsp cumin

·        ¼ tsp cinnamon

·        ½ tsp Celtic salt

·        ¼ tsp black pepper

·        1 tbsp coconut oil

·        Rosemary

AYURVEDIC ZUCCHINI

·        2 small zucchini, diced or spiralized

·        ½ tsp salt

·        ¼ tsp pepper

·        ¾ tsp ginger powder

        2tbsp olive oil

STEAMED KALE

·        A handful of kale

·        1 or 2 tbsp of water

·        Salt

·        ½ Lemon, squeezed

FRIED CHICKPEAS

To Make the Chickpeas:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp of paprika 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs

Top it with Avocado

PREPARATION

TO MAKE SWEET POTATO

Heat up the oil in a pan and add the spices, then add the cubed sweet potato.

Fry on low-medium heat for about 15-20 min until cooked.

TO MAKE ZUCCHINI

Heat up the oil in a pan and add the spices, then add zucchini.

Fry on low-medium heat for about 15-20 min until cooked.

TO MAKE CHICKPEAS

Heat up the oil in a pan and add the spices, then add drained chickpeas.

Fry on low-medium heat for about 10 min until cooked.

TO MAKE KALE

Heat up water. Add Kale, squeezed lemon juice and salt

Fry on low-medium heat for about 5-10 min until steamed.

MAKE YOUR AYURVEDIC VATA PLATE

Combine all of the Ingredients: rice, sweet potato, kale, zucchini, chickpeas and avocado and enjoy it!

AYURVEDIC KAPHA QUINOA SALAD

Servings:6-8  Prep Time: 20 min  Total Time: 30 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp coco aminos
  • 2 scallion stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 cup soaked and rinsed organic quinoa
  • ½ cup finely chopped kale
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced,
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber or zucchini, chopped into small cubes
  • ? cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup, kale

To Make the Chickpeas:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon  turmeric powder
  • 1/2  tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika 
  • ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs

PREPARATION

1. Add quinoa to a fine-mesh strainer, and then rinse under cool water for 30 seconds to a minute. Alternatively, add the quinoa to a bowl and cover with cool water. Move the quinoa around the bowl, and then drain the water and repeat once more, so the quinoa has been rinsed.


2. Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Move the saucepan off of the heat and cover for five minutes. This extra time allows the quinoa to steam and “fluff up.” Uncover, and then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. For the chickpeas. In a separate pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika, salt, mixed Italian herbs. Add your cooked chickpeas to the pot and sauté until the spices, herbs, and chickpeas “marry.” Put your cooked chickpeas in a bowl and set them aside.

4. Make the salad. When the quinoa has cooled slightly, in a large bowl, combine the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, kale, cilantro, corn, and scallion with coco amino, lime juice and olive oil.

COLLARD GREEN-RAINBOW WRAP

Servings: 1 wrap  Prep Time: 10 min  Total Time: 15 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Collard Green Leaf
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • 2 ounces shredded chicken or sliced firm tofu 
  • 3/4 cup julienned beets
  • ¾ cup thinly shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup julienned carrots
  • ¼ cup of sprouts

Serve it with a side of brown rice

TURMERIC ALMOND BUTTER DRESSING

¼ cup of almond butter 

1 cup water

2 lemons, juiced

2 tsp turmeric 

2 tbsp maple syrup

1tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Cook 1 cup of brown rice according to the package directions
  1. The stem of collard leaves is very tough, so you’ll want to remove it before wrapping. Cut the stem off of the collard green leaf and then shave it down using a small knife so that it’s flat. This will help prevent the collard leaf from breaking at the end and make it easier to roll up.
  2. Spread leaf with hummus. Top with beets, sprouts, cabbage, tofu and carrots. Roll the collard wrap up just like you would with a burrito, tucking in the ends as you go so that the filling stays inside.
  3. Slice the wraps in half. Serve with dressing for dipping, if desired.
  4. FOR THE DRESSING: Combine all the ingredients in a Vitamix and blend for 1-2 minutes at high speed. Store it in a jar in the fridge. Good up to a month in the fridge.

Recipes and photos courtesy of Sara Garofalo

About MJ Hanley-Goff (123 Articles)
MJ Hanley-Goff has been contributing to Woman Around Town since its inception in 2009. She began her career at Newsday in the early 90’s and has continued writing professionally for other New York publications like the Times Herald-Record, Orange Magazine, and Hudson Valley magazine. Former editor of Hudson Valley Parent magazine, she also contributed stories to AAA’s Car & Travel, and Tri-County Woman. After completing her novel and a self-help book, she created MJWRITES, INC. to offer writing workshops and book coaching to first time authors, and college essay writing help to students. MJ is thrilled and honored to write for WAT for the amazing adventures it offers, like reviewing concerts, people, authors, events, and tourist attractions in New York, and around the world. “I enjoy drawing attention to the off-the-beaten path kinds of stories,” she says. “It’s great big world out there, with so many talented and creative artists, doers, and thinkers.”