In Ayurveda, freshly prepared meals contain foods that are whole, living, and fresh from the earth, providing a necessary component for circulation of movement within your body; life force (prana). This energy is ingested in the body ad increases flow of all movement in your blood, in your mind, but most importantly in your digestion. This is why cooking at home is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. Fast food and processed food contain zero life force and do not support the human body in a sustainable way. Starting a habit of cooking at home can help with daily routine, improve quality of sleep, establishing a healthy gut microbiome, better absorption of nutrients, less brain fog, and much more. To prevent it from feeling like a chore, here are some details to keep in mind as you start.
Seek out Seasonal– Seasonal foods are freshest and best found at your local farmers markets. There they will have what is in season, and usually harvested that morning. Seasonal foods serve a great purpose to the human body. Eating what is available during different times of the year will only benefit you.
Find Local – Local fruits and veggies provide nutrients that one would need in that certain region. It does not have to be transported across long distances and can be picked and sold same day. This is the best way to ensure your body is getting nutrient dense foods. Local also covers the other bases of being seasonal and most of the time organic.
Organic is best – Opt for organic produce. The less pesticides on your food, the better it is for your body and for the environment. These days, organic foods are becoming more accessible as well as less expensive.
Keep it Simple – Stick to the basics when beginning to cook at home. A simple oatmeal dish in the morning for breakfast, sautéed vegetables and protein for lunch, and a light soup for dinner is a great place to start.
These are the fundamentals to always keep in mind when starting your home cooking journey. They are also great starting point if you ever find yourself off track fur to busy schedules or traveling. As you become comfortable with cooking for yourself, we encourage you to start including spices and experimenting with flavors. Spices are crucial in Ayurvedic cooking because they hold key components in aiding with digestion. Some spices and herbs to always have on hand are:
- Cumin Seeds
- Mustard Seeds
- Coriander Seeds
- Black Pepper
- Fresh Ginger
These are very basic ingredients you can find anywhere, that also help to significantly improve digestion.
Cook with other people! Cooking an Ayurvedic meal for a large group may sound difficult, but a making it a group experience dramatically improves the quality of the food. Another way to make it easier is to allow everyone to customize their plate with specific spices that work for their dosha. You can also make Tridoshic meals that are very simple yet extremely nourishing.
The key factor about cooking at home is that you are making a fresh and healthy meal for your body. A fresh meal that helps with digestion will then help in the assimilation of nutrients that dictate how the rest of your body functions. This is especially important for your brain! A healthy gut equals a healthy mind. Be open to mishaps that may happen in the kitchen and don’t focus on being perfect. Don’t eat feeds you don’t like either! Cooking and eating should be enjoyable so prevent any negative feelings by making food you know you are going to love.
Join us on August 21st in our latest workshop “Mood and Food” for a more in depth look at cooking at home as well as the connection of food and your emotion well being. For more information click here!