Have you noticed that as we transition to the falling leaves and cooler temperatures that are characteristic of Autumn, you are feeling a little wonky? Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine born in India that seeks to treat and integrate body, mind, and spirit using a comprehensive holistic approach by emphasizing diet, herbal remedies, exercise, meditation, breathing, and physical therapy, recognizes that we often lose balance during seasonal change. Those who practice an Ayurvedic lifestyle believe that Doshas-- the biological energies found throughout the human body and mind-- need to stay in proper balance to be healthy and that change often brings imbalance. The three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are found in differing amounts in each person. Vata is composed of Space and Air, Pitta of Fire and Water, and Kapha of Earth and Water. Most of us are dominant in in one or two Doshas and have a tendency to become even more dominant in those one or two Doshas during periods on imbalance.
Often, Ayurvedic practitioners work to rebalance Doshas by spending a few days or even longer eating cleansing foods and herbs believed to clear toxins and imbalances. Below are three recipes that I am eating over the next week as I undertake my fall cleanse. Give them a try!
Two Quarts Water
2 T thinly sliced ginger
2 T thinly sliced turmeric
2 t coriander seeds
2 t cumin seeds
2 t fennel seeds
2 bags green tea, tusli tea, mint tea, or ginger tea
Other whole spices if you like- cinnamon, clove, cardamon, anise
Boil water and all ingredients except the lemon and let simmer for approx. 5 minutes. Strain before drinking and add lemon as desired. Try to drink a two quarts each day.
1/4 c. split or sprouted mung beans
1/2 c. organic basmatic rice
1 3/2 in. strip of kombu, cut into pieces (optional)
6-8 c. water
3-4 cups organic seasonal veggies (use at least one dark leafy green and one root vegetable) (I'm using organic sweet potato, spinach, and green and purple kale)
2 T of equal parts cumin, coriander and fennel
1 t turmeric powder
1 T chopped ginger
1/2 c. shredded coconut
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 T ghee (optional)
Pepper, cinnamon and raisins (optional)
1. Rinse the rice and beans and cook with kombu and about 3 cups of water. Boil and simmer for 20 mins.
2. Add the root veggies and 2 more cups of water. Cook for 5-8 minutes until veggies start to soften. Add more water and adjust temp as needed.
3. Add the diced ginger, coconut and spices. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
4. Add the kale, spinach, or other quick cooking veggies and fresh cilantro. Stir.
5. Add ghee if using.
2 T olive oil
1 onion, medium dice
1-2 t salt
1 large carrot, roll cut
2 small parsnips, roll cut
2 c. butternut squash, diced or noodles
2 c. green cabbage, diced
2 t fresh rosemary
2 t. fresh thyme
4 c veggie stock
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onions. When onions start to sweat (approx. 2 mins), add a pinch of salt and the carrot. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add parsnips until they sweat, and repeat with squash and cabbage.
Add a pinch of salt and continue to sauté veggies until they begin to stick to bottom of pot.
Add the rosemary and thyme, stir and deglaze pot by adding a little stock and scraping up sticky parts of veggies. Add salt to taste and remaining stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and simmer on low for 30 mins. Adjust seasoning to taste.