The word “ayurvedic” can have elitist connotations for some.
After all, who are the people you hear using it? Avid yogis, restrictive eaters, spiritual gurus, and the like. But if we examine our feelings about why we consider those sources elitist, we come to an interesting examination point: is it actually wellness jealousy that causes such a reaction?
People who choose to eschew fast food and can’t relate to jokes about creaking joints and sedentary lifestyles in your twenties confirm what most of us already know and don’t want to admit…
We know it’s not good for us.
And we know we’re only hurting ourselves.
And we know that someone else — probably the person in your life who uses the world “ayurvedic” — took the steps you didn’t take to make themselves feel better.
Let’s look at what ayurvedic actually means…
Ayurveda: the traditional Hindu system of medicine.
That’s all it means! And anything stemming from that root — ayurvedic yoga, ayurvedic healing, ayurvedic diet — is just taking a page from a 3,000 year old “book”.
Just using an ancient belief system centered in the idea that our bodies are imbued with self-healing mechanisms, if we only understood how to use them.
And along with the scientific community’s engagement and research in the balance of the gut’s microbiome and its ability to affect every other bodily system, ayurvedic eating has had a resurgence.
When your gut is giving you trouble, it’s immensely helpful to be conscious of how you’re treating it, and make a deliberate effort to heal it through food.
Here are some easy, beneficial ayurvedic recipes to get you started.
Ghee, clarified butter, is an unlikely candidate for tea in the Western world.
But in the Eastern world, it’s known to have incredible benefits.
Make a tea of:
- One tablespoon of fresh ghee
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- And 1 ¼ cup hot water.
The ghee lubricates the intestinal lining and helps to prevent or heal leaky gut syndrome, a common ailment for Westerners whose diets are heavy in spicy, oily, fried, and fatty foods. Perforated intestines can allow bad bacteria into the gut lining, and they can also leak good bacteria out of the gut.
Plus, the butyrate acid in ghee has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe an irritated gut.
As for the salt? It helps to remove harmful bacteria from the digestive tract.
A comfort food in India, khichdi largely ignored by the Western diet. The dish is known to balance all three doshas (or types of bodies/health.) The doshas are:
- Vata Dosha: associated with thinness, the wind, flexibility, dry skin, feeling cold, and racing thoughts.
- Pitta Dosha: associated with medium-builds, fire, acne-prone skin, business, ambition, feeling cold, and staying active.
- Kapha Dosha: associated with heaviness, earth and water, slowness, calmness, softness, and being forgiving.
Ayurvedic practitioners believe in designing a life according to your dosha. But it’s important to keep them all in balance.
Here’s what you need for vegetable khichdi:
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 ½ tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon each of grated ginger and chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon each of whole mustard seeds and turmeric
- ½ teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and curry powder
- Half of a small red chili pepper, crumbled
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup split mung beans or split lentils
- ½ cup toasted buckwheat or basmati rice
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 2 cups of chopped veggies (carrots, celery, fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, zucchini, etc.()
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 diced tomato
All of these ingredients have known gut-healing properties. From here, it’s simple!
- Saute onion in coconut oil for a few minutes. Add ginger and garlic and saute a few minutes longer.
- Add all spices, the pepper, and the salt and stir for a few minutes.
- Add mung beans/lentils and buckwheat/basmati rice, then add the water, broth, and chopped veggies. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat. Step away and let the magic happen for 20 minutes. (You may need an additional five to 10 minutes depending on type of rice or whether or not you presoaked your mung beans.)
- When finished, serve your khichdi topped with the diced tomato and fresh parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon.
Take a deep breath in, and eat!
The khichdi dish is considered a “detox” bowl. It gives your gut a break from digesting foods that make it work extra hard — alcohol, dishes heavy in dairy, fried food, junk food, etc.
There are tons more ayurvedic recipes to help you heal your gut.
Try the two above, and note how your body feels.
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