Ayurvedic Diet & Recipes
Abundance of green
The days and nights stretch out into a vast field of sunshine and greenery. As summer arrives (most welcome!) after a wet spring, we are surrounded
by warmth and abundance; everything feels good! In the flurry of fun, it's easy to get caught up and forget our health. Sadly, a failure to listen to
our bodies during the warm summer months can result in some unwelcome consequences come very early Autumn (and earlier for pitta types).
If care isn't taken, the extended hours of sun, fun and frivolity can have an excessively heating and draining effect on the body, causing pitta
to rise. Excess pitta, left unchecked can leaving us feeling hot, dry, easily frustrated and suffering from skin rashes (hives anyone?) and loose
motions. Not what you want when there is still fun to be had!
Green a-plentiful? Body beautiful!
To ensure mind-body balance is maintained through the heat and activity of summer and to ensure the dosha stay nourished and well-functioning, Ayurveda recommends a diet of predominantly fresh produce. THINK GREEN! With vegetation growth in full swing in summer, now is the time to increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Most important are though delicious, fresh higher-water content foods such as cucumber and courgette which maintain internal moisture during hot sweaty afternoons. Fresh herbs such as chives, coriander, parsley, basil and mint are ripe for the picking and should added to meals as often as possible to support digestion. During summer, due to the heat, majority of the blood supply in the body sits in our extremities, leaving agni slightly weakened, or burning excessively (tiksnagni). Adding digestion balancing herbs to meals prevents indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating and, being naturally high in anti-oxidants and nitrates, naturally cleanse cleanse and cool the blood and liver. As these tissues/organs are the main seat of pittas and prone to fatigue in summer, nutritive herbs are just the ticket to help keep you clean, calm and cool.
Alkaline? Feeling fine!
Fresh veg and herbs should be most often paired with white meats, white fish, lentils, beans, peas, pulses. Favouring a slightly more vegetarian (less acidic) diet will reduce excess heat in the digestive tract which can cause heartburn and loose motions. Food should be mostly sweet, bitter and astringent (lentil salad anyone?) as these tastes increase vata and kapha and reduce pitta. Again, think green and vegetarian. I know you might be thinking, but what about my BBQ?! We're not saving don't have it, we're just saying if you don't want (or worse, already HAVE) heartburn and ama symptoms then mix it up a bit.
Lets get fruity!
Summer is the best season to enjoy some of mother natures most delicious bounty! With agni erring on the hotter side summer is an ideal time to add sweet juicy fruits such as melon and more oily cooling foods such as coconut and avocado to your diet. Remember though, mixing too many fruits together (incompatible food combinations) in a smoothie or fruit salad can be taxing on the agni so make sure you only pair like-fruits together such as a berries (strawberry, raspberry etc) if you want a medley. Also, if you want to enjoy your fruit with yoghurt or cream, we recommend coconut or soy yoghurt as an alternative as dairy which does not mix well with fruit.
Daring to dairy
My favourite bit of summer just has to be that it is THE best time of year to indulge (though not to excess!) in dairy. Summer is the time to add more organic ghee, fresh cheese, takra (yoghurt smoothie) and butter to your diet. Fresh dairy pacifies the heat of pitta (unless it's aged or mature) and gives moisture to the body. If you are vegan you can replace dairy with delicious cashew cheeses, nuts oils or a delicious glug of extra virgin olive oil on mid-day salads - yum!
Clean Beets N Greens Kitchari
Beets 'n' Greens keep you fresh and clean! Struggling with Acne? Skin rashes? Volcanic eruptions of emotions? Or excess weight and digestive issues! It sounds like you could do with a gut and liver cleanse! What better (and more delicious) way to promote natural cleansing than with Faith's Beet n Greens Kitchari. Perfect all year round but is absolutely QUEEN come Spring Cleanse season.
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!
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.