Holistic Healing with Ayurveda and Indian Cooking
Ayurveda is the philosophy that every individual is connected to everything around them, and maintaining a balance connection is what keeps us healthy. Balanced relationships, a balance with our environment and a balanced work life are all important. However, what you eat, a balanced diet free of chemicals, preservatives and processed food, is just as important. However, this balance will look different for each individual, as we are each born with a different constitution, so it’s important to figure out what works specifically for you. Here is how you can apply Ayurvedic principles to your cooking and eating habits.
Assess your current situation
Have a hard look at the foods you eat on a daily basis. How much of it is processed, frozen, canned or precooked? Regardless of your constitution, these foods do more harm than good, so it’s safe to say you can cut them out of your diet without any negative effects. Choose whole, organic foods, like dried pasta, fresh tomatoes and vegetables instead of canned spaghetti.
Think of a meal as an event
Your meals should be the highlights of your day, not just something you have to do and rush through as quickly as possible. Don’t just take time to sit and enjoy the food your eating, take the time to prepare it, enjoy the process and creativity associated with cooking, and give yourself time after the meal to enjoy the satiated feeling of having eaten a delicious meal. This way, you will learn to appreciate everything that goes into creating a wholesome, unprocessed meal, you will realize how delicious healthy, fresh food actually is and will learn to appreciate the feeling of well-being associated with effective, easy digestion from unprocessed foods. Once you become accustomed to this well-being, the thought of returning to processed, synthetic food will become greatly unappealing.
Fine-tune your diet
Ayurveda states that each person’s constitution is made up of three “doshas” or qualities, in differing balanced amounts. Each dosha has a type of food associated with it. These are sattvic( in mode of goodness), rajasic (in mood of passion) and tamasic (in mode of ignorance). Sattvic foods are the juicy, fresh foods. They are easier to digest and stimulate the mind to be more sharp and focused. Eggs, lean, high-quality meats, garlic and caffeine are some examples of rajasic foods. They provide stamina and promote a decisive state of mind. Tamasic foods, like onions, mushrooms, meats and frozen foods, provide plenty of energy and the urgency to finish projects. Depending in which area you feel you are lacking, try increasing the amounts of food you eat of one type or another.
Ayurveda may seem like an incredibly complex philosophy, but applying it to the food you eat doesn’t have to be. Just remember, it’s all about balance, a balanced life, a balanced diet and balanced relationships. If eating something doesn’t make you feel good, invigorated and with more energy, chances are you can safely cut it out of your diet. Lose the chemicals and processed food in favour of a fresher, simpler diet and your body will thank you.
Here is one Ayurvedic recipe, which is considered to be sattvik and good for all doshas. You are sure to enjoy it.
Gulkand Milkshake is perfect on a hot summer day. Gulkand is a sweet preserve of rose petals. Gulkand Milkshake is a cooling tonic according to Ayurveda and has many health benefits such as improving digestion, purifying the blood, curing acidity, good for the eyes and skin. It also has a tantalizing flavour and aroma.
- 2- 3 Tablespoons of Gulkand*
- 2-3 Tablespoons of rose syrup
- 1 scoop of ice cream
- 500ml milk
- Make sure milk is well chilled
- Add 2 – 3 Tablespoons of Gulkand and rose syrup to the chilled milk
- Mix with a blender until nice and frothy
- Serve your Gulkand Milkshake with scoop of ice cream
* Gulkand, or Gulqand, is a sweet preserve of rose petals from Indian Subcontinent and is available from many continental and speciality food stores.