Ayurvedic Diet & Recipes
As the cold, dark nights lengthen and the last of the sun disappears beyond the bare trees, the world turns wet and icy. The change in weather and
the innate qualities of our environmental causes Kapha to naturally increase, making us feel dull, heavy, sleepy and sluggish. Winter heralds cravings
of closure, quiet and hibernation, which (although being quite soothing for vata and pitta types) can cause aggravation for our kapha friends.
Vata and kapha prakriti people are also be susceptible to SAD (seasonal effective disorder) and other low mood conditions due to lack
of warmth and positivity from the sun's energy.
Let the sunshine in
To ensure we are able to sustain a sunny state of mind (enthusiasm and positivity) as well as an abundance of energy during cold dark months (holding the sun in our hearts and minds until its return in spring), now is the time to enjoy food which which reflects the qualities of the sun. Look for ingredients which are warm and colourful (red and orange). Choose ingredients which have a warming effect on the body (such as ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, pepper, garlic and asafoetida) etc to keep yourself nice and toasty.
Sour, pungent and astringent.
In winter, flavours on the plate should be mostly sour, pungent and astringent (kapha pacifying) as these stimulate metabolism keeping you warm and encouraging a good flow of circulation and lymph. Pungent tasting foods (such as herbs and spices) are typically antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral and keep the immune system strong. Sour tasting foods also support the immune system as they are typically higher in vitamin C and are able to cut through mucous thus preventing bacterial and viral proliferation in the lungs and throat which cause sort throats and chest infections. This is SO important in winter as there are more germs hanging waiting to take us down but who has time for that!? Astringent foods (such as lentils, beans, peas, green foods and 'dry' tasting vegetables such as cauliflower) are light on digestion (and in their innate quality) helping to steady winter weight gain and enjoy more energy. Astringent foods, being dry in quality, also naturally scrape excess congestion, cholesterol and other congestive materials from the bodily channels (blood vessels, digestive tract, lungs etc) which may cause heaviness, pain, sneezing, wheezing, high blood pressure or inflammatory conditions. Although, not the most delicious of the 6 tastes (which is why many people avoid it), Astringent is vital - good health is simply impossible without it!
Light is might
As the heaviness and moisture in our environment increase, choose meals which are lighter (but sufficiently heavy to keep warm) and drier than Autumn (think stew with barley or buckwheat rather than soup and potatoes). Moderate sized meals should include smaller portions of lower fat proteins, hot, dry, aged grains and should be enjoyed in warm dry spaces (blanket optional but suggested).
Set the sweet aside
Although you may still be craving all of the the heavy, sweet, moist indulgences enjoyed during the dry season of autumn continuing to eat this way through the wet winter (unless you have a drier winter unlike the UK) is likely to increase allergic and ama conditions which will cause your problems coming Spring. These will present as allergies, hay-fever, tiredness and swelling. To avoid this, as we move into the rainy season, heavy kapha-increasing foods should be tapered off, hot and dry foods should be increased and the mind and body should be preparing for the for a spring detox.
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.
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.