Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion School
1. Coarsely chop through the nuts. In a large frying pan or cast iron, melt 2 tbsps of ghee over low-medium heat. Add maple syrup, a pinch of sea salt, and cayenne. Mix well, then add pecans and oats to your glaze mix. Stir to completely coat the nuts. Toast for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grate the raw sweet potatoes. Feel free to leave the skins on. Coarsely chop your dates and remove pits. In a medium-large mixing bowl, toss sweet potatoes, dates, and remaining 2 tbsp of ghee. Sprinkle in sea salt.
3. Lightly grease a baking dish that has a tight fitting lid. A dutch oven, ceramic dish, or pyrex are all excellent choices. Pour sweet potato mixture into the dish to about 2-3'' in height. Use a spatula to spread them evenly.
4. Spread crust mixture over the sweet potatoes. Crust should be approximately 1/2 inch thick.
5. Bake covered for 1 hour. Remove lid for the lid for the last 10 minutes for a crispy top. When you pull it out of the oven, drizzle with a little maple syrup and sprinkle of sea salt. Make it "a la mode" by serving with a dollop of maple syrup yogurt!
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.
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.
TYPE Nuts Seeds, Oils, Vegetables, 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.
Gluten, Tree Nuts
GLUTENA constituent of wheat, barley and rye that is sticky, heavy, and cold. Many people are allergic to gluten.
WATERResembles water (ap) in quality - fluid, sticky, soft, heavy, stable, cool.
EARTHResembles earth (prithvi) in quality - heavy, dense, solid, stable, hard.
CRUNCHYMakes an audible noise when you eat them. Can provide fun texture variation.
NUTRIENT Fats, Beta Carotene, Carbohydrate
COLOR Orange, Brown
PLASMAPlasma (Rasa Dhatu) includes plasma, white blood cells, and lymph.
REPRODUCTIVEReproductive tissue (Shukra/Artava Dhatu) includes male and female reproductive organs.
DOWNWARDDownward-moving (Adho Gati Marga) substances move food downward in the GI tract, settle the nervous system, and relax muscles.
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.
BUILDS-STAMINAPromotes strength, endurance and resistance in the body. Rebuilds weak tissues after a time of depletion.
|Mind, Stress & 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.
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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