Ayurvedic Diet & Recipes
Hearty and Wholesome
As Autumn rolls around, warm sunny evenings give way to the drawing dark. Days shorten and the dusk of the year brings with it cold, crisp winds.
The increase in coldness and dryness means Vata is prone to disturbance (dry lips anyone?). Fortunately, as the world closes the harvest opens!
Following the wisdom of mother nature becomes so easy at this time as an abundance of colourful, delicious, hearty and wholesome foods
begin hitting the shelves. Leafy greens are replaced with sweet earthy roots such as turnips, pumpkins, squash and carrots. Salads are swapped
for hearty grains such as wheat, barley and oats. Active days and long evenings surrender to a natural desire to
slow down and begin a gentle retreat indoors and inwards.
The power of the grain
In the UK, from early August the grain harvest begins (celebrated as Lammas or 'loaf mass' in ancient Celtic religions) heralding a natural shift in nutrition from the predominantly fat and green-food based diet to a gradually heavier, more carbohydrate-rich, diet: the perfect remedy to soothe increasing vata.
Once upon a time, a carby Autumn diet played a pivotal role in building much-needed fat in preparation for harsh winter months and potential food shortages. Although (with the advent of supermarkets, over-indulgence and obesity) 'fat building' may be the last thing of of us want, a gradually more grain dominated diet is is crucial for maintenance of vata. Failure to move from summer salads to a vata pacifying diet in Autumn can result in unwanted insomnia, back and joint pain, gas and bloating, coughs and colds come Winter. Making the move to predominantly sweet (grain-based), sour and salty taste (vata-pacifying) based diet is still not only still relevant but focal to maintaining health.
Warm, calm, cosy eating
To encourage good digestion of sweeter heavier foods, meals also should: include warming, agni boosting spices (such cinnamon, garlic, hing, cumin, coriander and cardamom); be served warm or hot; always be taken as part of a routine (at set times of the day); eaten slowly and consciously to regulate erratic vata energy and support proper absorption of nutrients. Meals are best digested when taken with small sips of warm/hot water or herbal tea (check out CCF Tea below!).
All-Seasons Simple Tridoshic Kitchari
Ayurveda's ultimate healing food - kitchari - also known as a hug in a bowl is a soothing combination of soft mung dhal and rice mixed with digestive spices, vegetables and healthy fats. Kitchari is delicious, easy to digest, suitable for for all dosha, low in calorie, high in fibre, Agni strengthening and gut cleansing.
Kheer - Sweet Rice Porridge
Kheer (meaning milk in Persian), or Indian rice pudding, is a popular yet simple dessert made of milk, rice, cardamom and sweet ingredients such as dates or raisins. Kheer can be enjoyed as a healthy alternative to contemporary desserts or can even be enjoyed as breakfast in Autumn to nourish and soothe Vata, aid sleep and soothe dry skin.
Creamy and Fragrant Rice Porridge
In Ayurveda, rice is considered a nectar. It's simple, sweet, nourishing yet easy to digest! This is such a simple and delicious meal (or snack) that can be eaten on its own or with a side at any time of day. As it's such a speedy meal, we highly recommend enjoying for breakfast as an alternative to porridge!