School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
A Remedy for Food CravingsGot a strong appetite? Looking for something sweet that will stick to your ribs but not your waistline? Sweet potatoes are delicious, comforting, and guilt-free. Rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates for the transition into autumn, sweet potatoes satisfy your urge for a full belly when the weather drives your hunger for warmth and comfort. In the fall, dropping temperatures are the body's cue to build a layer of insulating fat in the skin. The increased demand for fats ultimately ignites strong food cravings. Instead of using their existing fat reserves, Kapha people often fall prey to these cravings, succumbing to that tempting urge to bake sweet, rich, heavy desserts. Sweet Potato provides an easy out, and a delicious, guiltless Thanksgiving treat! Sweet potatoes are the very color of fall and are versatile on the autumn and winter table, appearing in both savory meals and desserts.
Not Your Average Comfort FoodIf you feel burdened and sleepy after gorging on on your comfort-food favorites, there's no need to shun the sweet potato. These tubers are often prepared in the manner of comfort food, but are easier to digest than many comfort-food dishes. Although they are satisfying and sweet, you won't feel sluggish and tired after eating them. That vitality is the sign that sweet potatoes are a step up from your usual heavy carbs. Sweet potatoes are a special remedy for those who are overweight but have strong cravings for homey, rich treats through the holidays and changes in seasons.
Ayurvedic Baking for the HolidaysWhen you eat sweet foods, your circulation and metabolism become sluggish. Dessert spices like cinnamon and nutmeg rev up your circulation and heart rate, helping you burn off those unwanted calories, and flush your system of any fat residues. Oatmeal, ghee, and raw sugar may still be rich and sweet, but they are lighter alternatives to wheat based crusts, butter, and refined sugar, and may be consumed in moderation. Kapha people often suffer from constipation after eating heavy foods. As an added bonus, sweet potatoes provide plenty of fiber, encouraging regular elimination and cleansing the intestines.
1. Boil the sweet potatoes, leaving the skin on, until they are soft (about 40 minutes)
2. Remove the skins after potato cools. Soaking them in cold water will help them cool more quickly.
3. Mash potatoes with remaining ingredients.
4. Pour filling into an unbaked oatmeal based pie crust (see instructions).
5. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
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.
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.
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.
Non Vegan, Allergens
NON-VEGANA recipe or diet that includes meat and/or dairy products.
ANTACIDHerbs that neutralize acidity in the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach in particular.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
BUILDS-STAMINAPromotes strength, endurance and resistance in the body. Rebuilds weak tissues after a time of depletion.
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
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.