School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
Feel Calm & GroundedSoup is an excellent way to nurture your body. It is soothing and reassuring when you're feeling frazzled. The natural dryness of fall tends to trigger anxiety, triggering scattered thoughts and disarray. Soups replenish moisture which calms your nerves and soothes your mind. Cooked garlic and onions are grounding and calming for a wired brain, making this meal a hearty and supportive treat. Butternut squash soup helps you relax at the end of a long day at work.
Immune System BoostGinger, garlic and onion are a combination used ubiquitously in Asian cooking known as "tri-root." It is highly beneficial for stressed immune systems. Garlic and onion are known immune tonics as they are antimicrobial and improve circulation. Ginger and black pepper's fiery character protects you on cold, damp days, making this soup a fail-proof immune-boosting tonic. Butternut Squash Soup with its immune support spices is a gem for fall illnesses. It is dairy-free, yet heavy enough to keep you feeling strong and satiated while fighting off a cold or flu.
Comfort Food that Helps You Lose WeightButternut squash isn't just a comfort food for the senses, it is also an ideal comfort food for weight loss and diabetes. Its mild diuretic qualities drain excess "dampness," meaning it can drain mucus congestion from the lungs and flush excess water retention from your body. Although it tastes sweet, the complex carbohydrates in butternut squash won't aggravate diabetes either. The pungent scent of garlic is a sign of its stimulating effects on the circulatory system, useful for boosting metabolism, which is a key factor in losing weight.
Support Your LiverYour eyes may seem naturally drawn to the rich golden hues of butternut squash in autumn. Its orange color is due to carotenes, the molecules that bring that luscious bright orange shade to carrots and sweet potatoes. The high content of carotenes in butternut squash soothes your stressed liver while nourishing dry eyes. Butternut squash is also thought to contain anti-inflammatory properties, which cool off an overheated liver.
Good for Cleanses, Illness & WeaknessThe soft, sweet qualities of butternut squash are easy to digest and very nourishing, perfect for the elderly and those with weak digestion. Butternut squash is also wonderful when your system is weakened by cleansing or purification. Butternut squash works gently to rebuild strength without compromising the lightness achieved by cleansing. Mild spices in this recipe like fennel and ginger augment the ease of digesting butternut squash for your transition back to health. These spices also aid detoxification. Although they have warming qualities, these spices will not inflame heat-sensitive Pitta constitutions, even as they promote warmth and balance in cool, dry constitutions. The nourishing benefits of butternut squash soup are enhanced by the use of lime. Like all sours, lime increases secretions and moistens dry Vata, especially in the autumn when the body tends toward cold limbs and dryness. These spices and flavors work in tandem with the squash to produce a satisfying, deeply fortifying meal.
1. Roast the butternut squash in the the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool. The skin will peel off easily with a potato peeler after roasting. When it cools, chop the butternut squash into 1 inch cubes.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large stock pot. Add diced onions and saute. Chop ginger and garlic, and toss them in the pot when your onions begin to brown. Add salt, pepper and fennel seeds. Continue frying another thirty seconds, taking care not to burn the garlic. Now, add the butternut squash cubes, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes. Then mash with a potato masher, or puree in a blender. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the finished soup.
4. Serve hot with a hearty hunk of bread!
Increases These Qualities (Gunas)
Ayurveda helps you assess how you feel through the 20 main therapeutic feelings or qualities called gunas. Through the gunas you can articulate, experience and develop sensitivity to the signals your body sends you. Imbalanced gunas are the root of your imbalances. Every guna has an opposite which balances is (i.e. hot balances cold). You create balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite guna.
The Three Doshas / Body Types
Your body type shows how your strengths, as well as how your body typically goes out of balance. It also shows how your body responds to the environment. Your body type is comprised of certain qualities and affects every part of you - your physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses. This is because your body type is based on how your body uses energy. Ayurveda has 3 body types (doshas), called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata spends energy. Pitta burns energy. Kapha stores energy. Vata people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry. Pitta people tend to be hot, focused, driven, and easily inflamed. Kapha people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
HAS THE FOLLOWING
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
PRANAPrana is the Sanskrit word for vital life energy, similar to Qi in Chinese Medicine. Many herbs stimulate your energy, or improve the flow of prana through your body. Generally, prana needs to be increased in spring after a sleepy winter.
FIREResembles fire (tejas) in quality - hot, sharp, penetrating, light, dry.
METALResembles metal in quality - clear, sharp, exact.
RED-BLOODRed blood (Rakta Dhatu) includes red blood cells and blood vessels.
WARMS-ABDOMENWarms the muscles and organs of the abdomen, stimulating digestion and metabolism.
DIGESTIVEHerbs that encourage healthy digestive.
ANTISPASMODICHerbs that reduce or inhibit muscle spasms or cramping, such as in asthma, colic or IBS.
STOMACHICAn herb that increases appetite or settles a nauseas or nervous stomach. These generally increase the digestive fire, therefore relieving symptoms of sluggish or difficult digestion.
CARMINATIVEStimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
SIALOGOGUEA sialogogue increases saliva. Sour foods are often great sialogogues, and increase output of all exocrine glands. Salty taste is very moistening as well. Bitter, pungent and sweettastes also increase salivary output but to a lesser degree. Astringents
|Cleanse and Detox|
BURNS-TOXINSAn herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
SATISFIES-STOMACHProvides a sense of gratification and fullness in the stomach.
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
TONICA tonic herb strengthens tissue, often restoring healthy function. Tonics usually target a specific organ, tissue, or system ie: brain, muscle or respiratory tonic.
|Heart & Circulation|
CARDIAC-STIMULANTHerbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
VASODILATORA vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
ALTERATIVELiterally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
|Kidney & Urinary|
DIURETICHerbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
|Lung and Sinus|
DECONGESTANTAn herb that reduces mucus congestion in the sinus or lungs by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
EXPECTORANTHerbs that help you cough up and eliminate mucus. These herbs often work by increasing the quantity of mucus, or thinning the mucus.
|Skin Care & Beauty|
DIAPHORETICAn herb that induces sweating, often by dilating blood vessels close to the skin.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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