Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion School
Nourish & Reassure Your BodyAs the temperatures dip in mid-October you might feel an urge to soothe yourself with comfort food. In autumn, your body naturally craves the reassurance of sweet, rich foods like Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup & Ghee. The healthy fats of ghee increase your strength and protect you from the fall chill, as they create an insulative layer of cozy warmth. Vata constitutions, who tend to be dry and easily depleted, are particularly nourished by the warming softness of this recipe.
Sweetly SafeAcorn squash is smooth and easy to mash, making it an excellent comfort food that is even suitable for infants without molars. Although Acorn Squash is somewhat bland on its own, it sweetens with cooking. That makes it a natural choice for a dinnertime treat that won't cause a sugar rush, or leave you with a sweet tooth for dessert. Acorn Squash with Ghee and Maple Syrup can even be served as a gently sweet dessert.
Mineral Rich MapleThe mere taste of Maple Syrup's rich aroma transports you back to nature, to the calm and cool serenity of the forest. The full bodied taste let's you know this is a whole food. Its earthy impurities add a rustic component that is likely to be rich in minerals. Maple syrup literally comes from the sap of maple trees, juice that is the very nutritional lifeline of the tree. Consuming it can nourish your body as well. As it digests more slowly than other sweeteners, maple syrup is a favorite in Ayurveda that won't create a sugar buzz.
1. Cut whole acorn squash in half. Place in 8x8 casserole dish.
2. Drizzle with ghee, maple syrup, and salt.
3. Poke acorn squash with a fork to let the flavor soak in.
4. Bake on 425 for one hour, covered.
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.
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
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|
REBUILDS-FLUIDSHerbs or substances that create moisture in the body and increase fluids.
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.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
LIVOTONICAn herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias.
|Lung and Sinus|
SOOTHES-THROATSoothes throat discomfort, including from a sore or ticklish throat.
PROMOTES-FERTILITYAn herb that promotes fertility. Generally used by women who wish to become pregnant. These herbs may also help with menstrual problems of deficiency, such as amenorrhea (lack of a period).
PROMOTES-VIRILITYEncourages virility and potency.
BUILDS-SEMENHerbs that increase the production of semen, often by rebuilding fluids in general.
RELIEVES-BURNINGHerbs that soothe a burn or reduce an internal burning sensation, such as aloe vera.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
STOOL-SOFTENERAn herb that softens stool that is hard and difficult to pass. They are the safest and most gentle type of laxative. Some foods are even stool softeners, such as warm milk with ghee.
MUSCLE-TONICHerbs that strengthen and tone muscle tissue. Helpful for people recovering from long term illness and debility, or after a sprain.
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.
(4.75 out of 5 stars) 4 reviews, 92 likes