Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion School
Relax your Mind for Improved SleepMushroom Mashed Potatoes are an excellent choice for those suffering from insomnia due to constant worries. Potatoes, mushrooms and garlic each make you feel sleepy in their own way. Potatoes because they are heavy and calming by nature. Mushrooms have an earthy taste that is a sign of their ability to keep you grounded and calm your nervous system. People may naturally crave garlic in autumn for relaxation and transition to a more inward-focused winter hibernation.
Restore Kindness, Affection, & SecurityComfort food is kindness food that makes you feel affectionate and brings out your cuddly side. A satisfied, happy belly naturally makes a person feel more comfortable. If your day has been erratic and stressful, this traditional comfort food truly nurtures a sense of security and ease of being.
*Note:This remedy is helpful for deficient, under-nourished Vata constitutions only. For those feeling rundown, under-nourished from excessively light meals, and anxious about trying to get things done, a hearty bowl of Mushroom Mashed Potatoes is just what the doctor ordered. However, those with a Kapha constitution or who are overweight should take caution not to introduce the heavy qualities of mashed potatoes as a remedy for feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious.
Digestibility of PotatoesThe fiber content of potatoes aids regular elimination, while their astringency binds overly loose stools. Potatoes are also soothing and demulcent, making them useful for cooling inflammation in the GI tract. The heaviness of potatoes, un-remedied by spices, can cause gas for Vata and can slow digestion for Kapha. You might feel as though you've eaten a brick after eating mashed potatoes. Spiced with black pepper, salt and garlic, Mushroom Mashed Potatoes will digest more easily than traditional recipes. Feel free to add more ghee or spices if you still find digestion difficult, but love mashed potatoes nonetheless!
Choose Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes for mashed potato recipes - thanks to their higher starch content, they are the best choices for smooth, creamy texture.
1. Peel potatoes. Keep half of the potatoes unpeeled for a more rustic effect.
2. Chop into small cubes for shorter cooking time. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If the potato sticks to the knife, it is not yet fully cooked. Strain, reserving 1c of the potato water (unless you plan to add heavy cream).
3. Mash gently with a potato masher. If you overwork the potatoes, the starch molecules will break resulting in a gummy, gluey end result.
4. Chop mushrooms and sautee with minced garlic in the butter. Mix with potatoes, reserved potato water, and remaining ingredients. Add additional butter and salt to taste.
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
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
RAJASICRajasic foods stimulate desire or nervous energy. Red meat, high protein food, garlic and onions stimulate desire. Rajasic foods include chili peppers, coffee, and anything that stimulates movement.
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.
TAMASICTamasic foods promote rest, sleepiness and stillness. Examples include wheat, mushrooms.
TYPE Mushrooms, Roots
NIGHTSHADEA member of the plant family Solanaceae. Members of this family have a tendency to irritate the liver and arthritic conditions. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers.
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.
NUTRIENT Antioxidant, Carbohydrate, Fats
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.
INWARDInward moving substances promote introspection, self reflection, stillness, or slow the system down.
WARMS-ABDOMENWarms the muscles and organs of the abdomen, stimulating digestion and metabolism.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
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|
CALMS-HEARTAn herb that literally calms the heart. These herbs are helpful in the treatment of anxiety, sadness, depression, or other emotional imbalances in the heart. Related to the Chinese Herbal Category 'calms spirit.'
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
|Mind, Stress & Sleep|
RELAXES-MINDReduces mental agitation, irritation, stress and racing thoughts.
Makes you tired,
MAKES-YOU-TIREDInduces drowsiness and promotes sound sleep.
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.
SEDATIVESedative herbs create a sense of calm in the mind and body by specifically calming or quieting the nervous system. Excellent for anxiety, stress and chronic pain.
ANXIOLYTICHerbs that help people suffering from anxiety or panic. They promote a state of calm and often improve sleep. Most anxiolytic herbs are also nervines.
BUILDS-SEMENHerbs that increase the production of semen, often by rebuilding fluids in general.
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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