Having been a devotee Yogi for approximately 8 years, it was not until this past summer that I wanted to start living a Yogic lifestyle. I really wanted the peace, calm, and balance I felt in yoga to transgress past the classroom. As luck would have it, my gym was offering a workshop about learning to eat in accordance with Ayurvedic principals. Ayurveda is a rather large topic. I am just scratching the surface of this philosophy of living. In a nutshell as explained by the Kanyakumari Ayurveda Education Center: "Ayurveda assists the body in journeying back to optimal health by balancing the five elements in the body and mind through the uses of herbs, diet, colors, aromas, lifestyle changes, yoga, and meditation along with the other five sense therapies." In essence Ayurveda believes that food can actually cause disease and cure it. The results of eating Ayurvedically changed many aspects of my life for the better.
Cooking an Ayurvedic meal may appear complex especially considering that every meal should include the six tastes (which are Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent). However, there's a lot of liberty to eating like this. As a rule of thumb I would say is have protein in your meal (not meat based protein as most Ayurvedic cooking is vegetarian, but rather Basmati Rice-which is a complete protein, with or in place of beans or legumes), some greens and in seasons vegetables. It's always best to eat in season unless you are trying to balance one of your doshas.
When I started eating Ayurvedically (at least three times a week), my skin cleared, my frustration subsided (my dosha was off), my body felt better, and my elimination increased. Play around with making an Ayurvedic meal and be creative. Just remember fresh food, no frozen.
(you'll need a Rice Cooker for this Recipe)
1 Bunch Organic Green Kale, or any other green (such as Swiss Chard)
3-4 Organic Carrots
1/2 Medium Organic Cabbage
1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice (White or Brown)
4-5 small potatoes (just not Russet)
1 Organic Lime
1 Ginger Root
Ghee (click the word to learn how to make Ghee or use Organic Butter)
Measure out the rice and place in the Rice Cooker. Rinse and chop the kale, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes and place in the Rice Cooker. Add the Coriander, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper to taste. Then add from 2 1/2 cups to 4 cups of purified water (the basic rule is 2 cups to every 1 cup of rice. However, if you want your meal to be very moist add more water. The more water the more moist the meal, and the longer it will take to cook). Mix all the ingredients. Cover the Rice Cooker and put on "Cook." The Rice Cooker will automatically turn itself off when it is done.
While your meal is cooking, cut the lime into quarters. Then peel 1/3 of the ginger root of the skin. Finely chop the flesh of the ginger with its grade.
When your meal is ready serve immediately, add the Ghee or butter to taste. Top off meal with ginger and a squeeze of lime to taste. Enjoy!