OK, so food is a really big thing in Ayurveda. Huge. I hesitate to start here because – lets not get discouraged. There are plenty of strictly fun ways to pamper yourself using Ayurveda. But the food is fundamental. Planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning – all take up time in our day. Do you have the time? How can we make time? Could we make it fun?
The thing is, in Ayurveda, food is medicine. Food is prevention. Food is life. If you have heard the term prana, you may know it means “breath”. But there is also “prana” in food. And the prana in our food is the food’s “life force”.
Have you noticed that you digest some foods well and others very poorly (buuurrps)? This has to do with your dosha type. Pitta types can usually handle the raw veggie platter at Thanksgiving. Kaphas hit up the couch after turkey to “watch football” (snooorre). Vatas will either run around cleaning up or think of a fun game to play with the kids.
Regardless of our dosha, we want to eat a LOT of prana-filled foods. That means that the food’s gotta be fresh. The more recently out of the ground or off the vine, the better. Eating the food in as un-processed a state as possible is the absolute best.
If we can take a look at our current life and time (or lack thereof), we can find ways to fit cooking into the day. Crockpots are Genius. I recently enlisted my son to assist me with dinner, and he was a gi-normous help. It takes time to prep veggies, but he got ‘er done for me and I got that meal on the table in record time. It was total synergy, because I was given the joy of his company, he was off the screen, and I know he felt valued. Free labor plus a self-esteem boost! What life hacks can you wrangle to get it done? Prep vegetables while on a conference call that you can mute?
Food can be a hot button topic. Listen, these amazing, do-it-all, lovely ladies of the screens are getting healthy meals made for them. They are paid to look good and there is a lot of lighting and war paint involved. These Instagram darlings are also young and genetically blessed! Just enjoy their fashions! (easier said).
We can learn to use food to love and nourish ourselves. We can. It’s ok to have treats; to treat yourself. The closer you can get to treating yourself in ways that will calm your doshas is the best. Like a vata taking regular warm baths, or a pitta person enjoying cool lemonade on a hot summer day.
If we want to eat well, we need to figure out how to get freshly prepared food to our mouths and stomachs. Maybe you cook it, maybe your sweetheart does. It may help to have a formula – cooked veggie with a grain. Keep it simple.
Over time, healthy options become truly satisfying in themselves.
Cozy Carrot Soup (Recipe Below)
During this time of year, eat plenty of cooked veggies such as baked sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts and sauteed spinach or kale (I have done this exactly twice in the last few weeks, but goals). Make it palatable by having rice, pasta, or bread with it. The taste of vegetables is acquired, and then they are heaven.
Make big batches of soup, freeze some (the -ish here is from ayurveda insisting that everything I eat much be absolutely fresh, as in cooked right this second – Hello holidays! Freezer soup is a better option than Pizza Hut.)
Eat home cooked food whenever possible Eat freshly prepared (steamed, sauteed, baked) vegetables with some type of grain (use sauce if you need to (BBQ, Sweet & Sour, etc).
However you do it, get ‘er done. The most important thing is to eat fresh vegetables prepared and eaten right then and there – get that done however you can. If one of those boxed up dealios you get where it’s got the ingredients ready to go works for you – do it! Better than fast food by a million. Throw some olive oil and garlic in a pan and saute up some spinach! It’s yummy in bread! Or find a place that has lots of simply prepared vegetable dishes on the menu and get takeout.
If you cook it yourself – even if you can’t afford organic veggies – it is automatically about a million times healthier than any processed food. Start with a few basic recipes and build from there.
Easy Carrot Soup – from Moosewood Cookbook, loosely recalled
- 2lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
- Couple celery stalks
- 1/2-1 Onion
- 6 cups broth or water
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- lime juice if you’re fancy
Cut up the celery, carrots and onion, saute in some olive oil, add 6 cups broth or water, boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Add soy sauce and peanut butter and puree the soup.
Perish of deliciousness