Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion School
Rebuilding StaminaThis silky-soft shake is a lush tonic for fall exhaustion. In Fall months, your body uses all available energy to build an insulating layer of fat before winter. Meanwhile, low humidity in autumn depletes your fluids. The result is that your blood will be depleted of sugars, fats, and fluids throughout the season, making your muscles feel weak and tired, while your mind becomes anxious and spacey. You may even suffer from insomnia this time of year, or feel as if your bones are weaker. Fortunately, the nourishing sumptuousness of dates and grounding effect of almond milk can help you nourish your blood and rebuild your stamina.
Keeping Calm in the FallColder temperatures refresh your mind, nurturing a welcome reprieve from summer laziness. Exciting new plans and daydreams accompany this boost in mental alertness. Yet, this freshness of mind, when coupled with depletion, can trigger worry and anxiety. The fall is a time where you might feel especially scattered, spacey, and mentally overstimulated. Date sugar is a balm for your nerves, coaxing a racing mind back to earth and helping you to stay grounded. Dates and almond milk work together to strengthen and soothe the liver, reducing the intensity of emotions.
Respiratory HealthCinnamon and dates share a few characteristics. They are both demulcent expectorants that can soothe your throat when dry and help you eliminate thick mucus from the respiratory tract. Cinnamon and dates also share astringency, useful for toning the digestive tract. Since dates are heavy for digestion, pureeing and mixing them with ginger makes them more readily digestible. Pureed food is essentially pre-chewed, making it easier for your stomach to break down and absorb nutrients in your food quickly.
Ojas-Building TonicBoth almond milk and dates are considered ojas-building nourishment. Ojas is the poetic term used in Ayurveda for heartiness. If a person has healthy skin, strong immunity, and "juiciness," Ayurveda says they have good ojas. Ojas are associated with mental stability, endurance, and a calm, grounded presence. They bring peace of mind and bestow strong fertility. Vata and Pitta people can enjoy this tonifying shake on a regular basis to build ojas, while Kapha people - who generally have high amounts of ojas naturally - should save this beverage for special occasions only.
For best results, make homemade almond milk, and soak dates overnight.
1. Remove the seed from the dates.
2. Warm the milk in advance, or serve room temperature according to preference.
3. Puree all ingredients in a blender.
4. For a stronger restorative effect, add 1 tsp ghee and substitute milk for almond milk. You may also substitute with coconut milk.
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
SATTVICSattvic foods promote awareness and a refreshed mind by nourishing the body without taxing digestion. Sattvic foods do not stimulate desire or nervous energy. They create clarity instead of drowsiness or heaviness.
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.
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
CONTAINS Tree Nuts, Allergens
WATERResembles water (ap) in quality - fluid, sticky, soft, heavy, stable, cool.
EARTHResembles earth (prithvi) in quality - heavy, dense, solid, stable, hard.
BLANDBland means doesn't have much taste. In Chinese medicine, bland taste refers to afood without little macronutrients, such as cabbage, radish or bok choy.
COLOR White, Brown
PLASMAPlasma (Rasa Dhatu) includes plasma, white blood cells, and lymph.
DOWNWARDDownward-moving (Adho Gati Marga) substances move food downward in the GI tract, settle the nervous system, and relax muscles.
CARMINATIVEStimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
APPETIZERHerbs that cleanse the palate & stimulate hunger or desire to eat.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
SATISFIES-STOMACHProvides a sense of gratification and fullness in the stomach.
TONICA tonic herb strengthens tissue, often restoring healthy function. Tonics usually target a specific organ, tissue, or system ie: brain, muscle or respiratory tonic.
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
|Heart & Circulation|
CARDIAC-STIMULANTHerbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
HEMOSTATICAn herb that stops bleeding.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
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|
DEMULCENTHerbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
|Mind, Stress & Sleep|
RELAXES-EYESEases tension in eye muscles, so the eyes feel less strained, often by supporting the liver.
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.
GALACTAGOGUEIncreases production of breast milk.
APHRODISIACHerbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.
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).
EMMENOGOGUEHerbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. They are used to increase scanty menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, and other functions.
Lowers Blood Sugar
LOWERS-BLOOD-SUGARAn herb that lowers blood sugar.
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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Gloria - Try hitting the substitute button. Raisins, figs, persimmons come to mind.
Puneet - Warmed up is certainly preferred. I will add this note to the recipe. Thanks!