Imagine what it could be like to not get a cold every winter or every few weeks, to not feel like you’re eating for energy, or to not take a pill every time you have a headache. Ayurveda can be your guide to balancing yourself, so these issues of stress, weight, and illness fade away. You can wake up feeling clear with a natural glow.
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” -Ayurvedic Proverb
Ayurveda is a healing medicine. Often in Western medicine, it tries to fix you once you’re already “broken.” Ayurveda works to heal through a preventative measure. This is why Ayurveda and Western medicine work in together to create healthy individuals. Food and digestion are one of the most important things you can do to help yourself on a physical, emotional, or mental level.
We’ve all heard: “You are what you eat.” Ayurveda goes a step further in saying, “you are what you digest.” This means that no matter what we are eating, it is important to have the highest functioning Agni (digestive fire) and assimilation processes to get rid of Ama (toxins stored in our fat cells). As well as to get the most nutritive power from our food. In Ayurveda you want to improve and regularize three main things: absorption, assimilation, and elimination. The next part is to see an Ayurvedic practitioner to correct any imbalances and find the best foods and herbs suited to your physical constitution.
To do this it is important to have a sattvic (balanced, pure, fresh) diet. This means avoiding any foods that are too rajastic (fiery) or tamasic (spoiled) foods. Sattvic foods are easy to digest and make you feel energized after consumption. The don’t make you feel heavy, lethargic, or over- stimulated. They are foods filled with prana (life force)! Not frozen or overly-fried foods where the prana has been compromised. Sattvic foods, naturally help build up your immunity and fight illnesses or inflammation.
Ayurvedic Grocery Staples:
Oatmeal- steel cut or rolled
Ghee * the most recommended in Ayurveda
Coconut oil (especially in summer)
Sesame oil (especially in winter)
Seasonal fruits and Vegetables for Winter in California:
An Ayurvedic Staple
· 1 cup brown basmati rice
· 1⁄2 mung Dahl (split mung beans)
· 2 tbsp spicy oil
· 1⁄2 tsp salt
· 1 tbsp masala
· 1 tsp ground sesame seeds
· 1 tbsp coconut oil
· 3 cups boiling water
· 4 tsp ghee
Extra: Saffron, coriander seeds, cumin seeds.
Rise rice and dahl in warm water then drain. In a large pot sauté rice and dahl with 2 tbsp spicy oil for 3-4 minutes. Add water, masala spice, salt, ground sesame seeds, and coconut. Cook on medium heat until rice is cooked. Garnish with cilantro and serve with 1 tsp ghee and any other toppings specific for your dosha:
Vata- ginger, extra ghee
Pitta- cilantro, coconut
Kapha- chili flakes
(You can also play around with the proportions of rice to dahl doing 1⁄2 & 1⁄2. As well as use different types of rice, quinoa & other grains with a wide variety of dahl /mung beans.
Healthy Heart Beets Recipe
1/2 cup of Red lentils
1/2 cup of white basmati rice
6 cups of filtered or tap water
Freshly grated or finely chopped ginger (1 teaspoon)
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 medium size nicely chopped red onion
1/2 t brown mustard seeds
1/2 t cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 medium size zucchini (nicely chopped)
2 medium size summer squash (nicely chopped)
salt to taste
1 tablespoon of ghee or sesame oil
Mix the lentils, rice, water, add turmeric, salt, ginger and garlic in a big pot in a medium heat. Cook for about half hour until it looks like a porridge. Turn off the heat. In a separate sauce pan, add ghee or sesame oil in a medium heat. Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Heat it until it’s brown. Turn off the heat. Mix this in the kitchari. It is now ready to serve. You can garnish it with some chopped cilantro or add few drops of lemon.
Simply Spiced Beet Greens
1lb beet greens, washed well 1⁄4 t black pepper
2 cloves garlic
2T sunflower oil
Chop beet greens & add to pot with 1C water, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile sauté cumin and garlic in oil. Add to pot with beet greens & simmer 20 minutes or until tender.
Come to our next workshop March 18, 2017 on Ayurvedic Cooking! Check below for more details.
Santa Cruz Ayurveda