“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”Ayurvedic proverb
Winter Diet According to Ayurveda
The word “diet” used in the above proverb does not mean food restricted plans that we’ve all tried before. The ancient science of Ayurveda promotes the correct “diet” or food choices for each individual, depending on the current season and any current health imbalances. Food medicine looks different for everyone, and we all need to take back our power and listen to our intuition around what we put in our body. Instead of googling what to eat or asking someone else, ask yourself “What am I craving right now?” If your first choice is a sugary substance, that is an ignorance of intellect (i.e. I know I do not need that second cookie, but I’m having it anyway) and needs to be addressed. The idea is that you see blueberries, for example, and your mouth waters or you think about green beans and must have them. This is your body telling you that there is something in that food that your body is lacking and needs.
For this winter season (known as Vata in Ayurveda), there is a tendency for the body to be constipated and produce dry skin, so we want to bring the body back to balance with warm/cooked foods like soups and stews as well as protein in the form of nuts and seeds. Small amounts of fish can be a beneficial protein as well, if that is part of your diet. Ayurveda aims to teach you what to eat by paying attention to what is naturally abundant in nature this time of year. All bodies work uniquely, therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all diet or food list.
Top Tips for an ayurvedically-balanced winter season:
- Sauté a small amount of spices in ghee or high-quality oil (i.e. sesame or coconut). These standard spices can be ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. Once you start to smell the spices in the pan (about 30 seconds), the spices are waking up and releasing their benefits.
- Cut up veggies that are grown locally and in season and add them to the pan of oil and spices. For the North East, this means carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, etc.
- Eat less salads, cold foods and drinks, and crackers.
- Be creative with your meal. Make each meal a relaxing experience with three deep belly breaths before you start your first fork-full of food. This prepares the body to digest with ease.
- According to Ayurveda, “If you eat standing up, death looks over your shoulder!”
Here are three events to get started with Ayurveda and meet Faith Miller:
December 22nd– Hot or Not Yoga in Manahawkin, NJ
December 29th– The Movement in Allentown, NJ
January 4th2020 – 3rdannual Book Club in Rick’s Saddle Shop, Cream Ridge, NJ
Faith Miller is an Ayurveda Health Counselor in New Egypt, NJ. For more Ayurveda tips, workshop schedule, and a deeper dive into your personal Ayurveda journey, contact Faith Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.Ayurveda.YogaWithFaith.com.
Note from the editor: Plant-Based Nation explores many plant-based lifestyles in an effort to promote education and outreach about plant-based living. We want to thank Faith Miller for sharing her expertise as an Ayurveda Health Counselor and Yoga Specialist with our followers.