Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion School
Soul Food with a Rustic TwistCornbread recipes are an American staple- it seems every region has its own cultural rendition. In the South, you find the classic cornbread recipes. In the Southwest, you'll see green chili on the ingredient list. Emanate the Appalachians by incorporating acorn flour. Wild-crafted acorns contain tannins which are drying and bitter, but once you remove the tannins (see process below), they become nutty and rich. What a perfect crunchy crust for soulful cornbread! Using wild-crafted ingredients connects you and your family to food on a deep level- you will begin to understand nature's role more completely, becoming more thankful for the earth's elegant process. Your kids, who used to utilize acorns solely for their aerodynamic qualities (they are quite satisfying to try and throw over the roof), will begin to realize that acorns are also food. The squirrels have it right; acorns are delicious!
A Sweet TreatAlthough corn meal is great for pacifying Kapha, the additions of sugar, butter, and whole wheat in this recipe end up provoking Kapha. Vata should still be cautious of the drying qualities of corn- they could become constipated or gassy. Here's a happy solution: Spread with more butter or ghee to increase the oily quality in Acorn Crusted Cornbread and enjoy!
1. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
2. Add the milk, eggs and butter; beat for 1 minute.
3. See the notes below on how to process acorns. Mix acorns and powdered sugar into a paste. Mix with butter and spread onto a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Pour cornbread mixture over nuts. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until bread is golden brown and tests done. Drizzle honey over cornbread.
Processing Acorns:Acorns are high in tannins, a bitter and astringent acid that irritates the digestive tract and causes constipation. However, tannins are water soluble. For a good tasting acorn, you have to leech the tannins with water. By following these instructions, you can safely incorporate this idealic nut into your diet. Enjoy!
InstructionsWild-crafted acorns should be hulled then soaked for three days, changing the water as often as possible, each time the water turns brown. If the acorns are bitter they need to be soaked longer.
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 6 Tastes
Taste has meaning in Ayurveda, and brings physical and emotional changes to your body. Taste is experienced on the tongue and is your body's reaction to foods much in the same way that your emotions are mental reactions to experiences. Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion. Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste. One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes. The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below? Food and herbs with the following tastes could aggravate your symptoms.
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
OJASOjas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after lon-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
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.
ACIDIFYINGAn herb that creates an acidic pH in the blood chemistry.
TYPE Sweeteners, Grains
NON-VEGANA recipe or diet that includes meat and/or dairy products.
Lactose, Tree Nuts, Corn,
LACTOSELactose is a sugar found in milk derived from galactose and glucose. It is difficult for many people to digest.
GLUTENA constituent of wheat, barley and rye that is sticky, heavy, and cold. Many people are allergic to gluten.
EARTHResembles earth (prithvi) in quality - heavy, dense, solid, stable, hard.
FATFat tissue (Meda Dhatu) includes adipose tissue and sebum (skin oil).
DOWNWARDDownward-moving (Adho Gati Marga) substances move food downward in the GI tract, settle the nervous system, and relax muscles.
|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.
|Heart & Circulation|
STYPTICA herb that contracts tissue or blood vessels. Generally styptics are astringent. They are often used to stop bleeding.
|Mind, Stress & Sleep|
RELAXES-MINDReduces mental agitation, irritation, stress and racing thoughts.
GROUNDINGEncourages feelings of stability and heaviness. Makes you feel settled, mentally relaxed. Mildly sedates the nervous system to ease stress. Can bring a spacey or anxious person back to earth.
PROMOTES-VIRILITYEncourages virility and potency.
RELIEVES-BURNINGHerbs that soothe a burn or reduce an internal burning sensation, such as aloe vera.
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.