Simple plant-based food plan

We are 20 Days into our Lean, Fit & Strong online body & mind sculpting program and it is going great! This is the simple plant-based food plan I recommend for better health, weight management, faster metabolism, stronger digestion & more energy. (click here for more info on the next program)

Yasmin’s Simple Plant-Based Food Plan –  the main principles

It’s kind of a system. 

  1. Routine: 3 meals + 2 snacks + water & herbal tea = awesome for digestion & energy – Eating at the same time daily and limiting the variety of food you eat trains your body & digestive system.
  2. Choose whole foods vs packaged food: Fresh fruit & veggies, high quality first cold-pressed oils, seeds, super foods,
    whole grains (low or no gluten), lentils, organic eggs (& meat) –  Instead of counting calories, count nutrients!
  3. Plant-based: For good health, make 80-90% of your diet plant-based;
  4. Replace the following:
    • Dairy from cows (hard to metabolize) –> Goat & sheep milk / cheese (easier to digest), almond milk, coconut milk, rice cheese, etc.;
    • Wheat (inflammatory) –> Kamut, Quinoa, Rice;
    • White sugar (garbage for you) –>  Maple syrup, small amounts of dried fruit.
  5. Don’t drink calories unless you make the juice yourself (and even then dilute juice by half); Drink plenty of water, herbal tea between meals; (The occasional glass of wine or cup of coffee is ok as long as you don’t depend on it daily);
  6. Take time to eat: Focus & enjoy! This alone will solve 75% of your health issues.

Meal plan

{Please note: For a personalized program, book a private consultation with me. Insurance receipts issued under naturopathy.}

DAY START :  Have warm water or water at room temperature first thing in the morning. I usually add a scoop of Green Balance from Arbonne (greens + antioxidants) and lime juice to my water.

080a2d9b-0e13-4c8f-a5bf-03b2695e5dfeBREAKFAST PLAN
Smoothie : Vegan Protein powder* + Fibre Boost* + 1-2 fruits +  2 veggies + Almond or coconut milk (unsweetened) + water;
Warm cereal: Oatmeal (gluten-free) or quinoa + seeds + coconut oil + 1 fruit (berries);
Eggs (2-3 egg whites & 1 yolk) or scrambled tofu (sautéed in olive oil with garlic and/or onions, sea salt & turmeric) + black beans or lentils + 2 veggies.
* I recommend the protein and fibre from Arbonne. The products are fantastic. Shop now

b4ec5340-4264-41c2-ba1a-ca56a1ea6c8a

 

LUNCH PLAN 
Lunch Bowl:  Grain (rice or quinoa) + 3-4 steamed veggies + protein (seeds, nuts, lentils, tofu, organic chicken, wild caught fish or egg)
Soup or Stew: Lentil soup, vegetable bean soup, chicken vegetable (bone broths are good too)
Salad (if you can digest): 1-2 leafy greens (baby kale, spinach, arugula) + 3-4 veggies + protein

 

7e8a82ca-4634-4908-b776-21db7732f546DINNER PLAN
Keep it light  See lunch suggestions, but keep it light and finish eating by 8pm latest.
Plant based Make sure that two out of three meals are vegetarian. (Animal protein should represent only a small portion of your daily consumption.)

 

SNACKS & SWEETS
Super Food Trailmix : Walnuts, Almonds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Goji berries, coconut, raw cocoa nibs, etc.c17ef93e-d1d4-45c4-aba8-a647bc8da0d8
Veggies & hummus
Organic Dark Chocolate:  70-80%
Fruit: Apple, berries, Sweet Orange, Grapes (max 2-3 fruit a day)
Arbonne Protein Powder with water – so quick & tastely – nice texture
Arbonne Protein Snack Bars – 
10g of protein, only 5g of sugar, vegan & gluten-free

 

Related:

 

3 Ways to Boost your Immunity System

As a kid and even as a young adult, I would almost always be sick over the Holidays. If only I knew about ayurveda then, I likely I could have prevented many stomach flus, bouts of food poisoning, colds and fevers. Luckily, I now have a much greater understanding of the body, so I am able to stay healthy during flu season. And I am happy to share some of my ayurvedic secrets with you to help you boost your immunity system naturally, so you can fully enjoy the season’s festivities.

Holidays are a time for celebration, big meals and travel. All great things, but add them together and wrap them in stress and our digestion and  immunity system gets overwhelmed.  Our normal eating habits are often askew this time of year and we tend to overindulge with sugar, alcohol and heavy food. The weather also affects the strength of our agni, or digestive fire.  During winter, our digestion ‘cools’ and slows down as the outdoor temperature decreases. This also means our metabolism weakens and so does our resistance to bacteria and viruses.

Here are three ways to boost your immunity and combat the first signs of a cold or flu:photo (8)

PREVENTION

– Eat regular meals in and a calm state. Plan and prepare healthy meals that give you energy before you are starving and willing to eat anything.

– Drink a daily tonic of hot water, lemon, turmeric (1/4 tsp of dry turmeric) and honey (1/2 tsp) – photo beside. You can also add ginger to this tonic. Chyavanaprash, a jam-like blend of 40 herbs and spices in honey and ghee, is another excellent preventative remedy.

– Take Amalaki. It’s a gentle ayurvedic herb that is super high in vitamin C and is non-acidic.

 

TREATMENT

– At the first sign of a sore throat, gargle with apple cider vinegar, honey and warm water. You can also gargle with turmeric, honey and warm water.

– Clean and clear your sinuses using a netti pot, a small little tea pot looking thing filled with warm water and a pinch of sea salt. Tilt your head forwards and to the side as you pour the saline solution into one nostril allowing it to flow out the other into the sink or bathtub. Do this  at night only. Afterwards, lubricate sinuses with warm sesame oil.

– Augment intake of vitamin C and turmeric. If hungry, eat small meals and favour warm herbal teas and soups.

RECOVERY

– Eat kitchari (click here for recipe) for three – five days following your cold or flu. It’s the best food to get the digestion back on track. Then slowly add in small amounts of foods from your regular diet. Dairy, sugar and alcohol should be the last things reintroduce.

– Dress warm, even inside (wear slippers) and stay hydrated.

– Avoid eating anything cold or raw, especially ice cream or iced water with a meal.  It will decrease the effectiveness of your digestion and immunity.

Above all, rest well and take care of yourself.  The best time to fight a cold or flu is before it’s full blown. You will recover much faster and conserve your energy throughout the Holidays.

 

Related articles:

Stomach Flu Natural Remedies

10 Ways to Improve Digestion

What is Ayurveda?

What’s my dosha

Simple Fall Ayurvedic Detox

A cleanse or detox is best done in the autumn or in the spring when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. It’s a chance to rest and reset the mind and body. The ideal length of time for a cleanse or detox really depends on the person. I suggest three to five days.

An ayurvedic cleanse works on all levels of the being – physical, emotional, psychological and even spiritual. Quiet time and rest is key. Physical and mental activity during a cleanse is meant to be kept at a minimum. The food plan is also intended to be simple and easy to digest. This way energy is directed towards rejuvenation and healing. It’s important to reduce responsibilities and if possible, take time off work. Think of this as a stay-at-home vacation. If you can get away from your normal routine and be in the country, that’s even better.

Take the time to prepare, schedule and plan for your cleanse.  If you need a personalized cleanse to address specific concerns, I suggest making an appointment with an ayurvedic practitioner.

Here is a simple tridoshic cleanse perfect for autumn:

 

FOOD PLAN

Vegetable detox soup (see below) or stewed apples and pears / apple sauce; herbal tea; green juice – see recipes for green juices; If you can’t take time off work, then reduce workload and responsibilities as much as possible and eat kitchari instead – recipe below.

Vegetable Detox Soup –  Broth is easy to digest and cleansing – recipe from Vaidya Anita Sharma

Ingredients:
•  2 c water
•  1 c broccoli (chopped)
•  leek (chopped)
•  1 c peas (fresh or frozen)
•  1 c swiss chard (chopped)
•  ½ c fennel (chopped)

•  
½ c parsley (chopped)
•  5    garlic cloves
•  1 c  green cabbage (chopped)
•  1“  ginger (freshly grated)
•  pinch cayenne pepper
•  pinch salt
Put everything into a pot & bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15-20 mins. Strain and drink broth only or blend.

HERBS

Take Triphala ¼ tsp 3x a day or ½ tsp am & pm with good amount of warm water. It’s a tridoshic (good for everyone) herbal blend for cleansing.

Other herbs – optional:
• VATA for nervous system:  Bramari ¼ – ½ tsp in water at night and/or ashwaganda ¼- ½ tsp am & pm
• PITTA For liver: Milkthistle in capsule (2 x 500 mg am – first thing) or Kutki 1-2 capsules (500 mg) am;
• KAPHA for congestion: ½ tsp Triphala Guggul am & pm; Trikut may also be good.


REST & LET GO

•  Reduce mental work and pressure – best to take time off work and computer*;
  Rest – go to bed before 10 pm; Take naps if needed;
  Yoga Nidra– deep yogic rest or a long savasana (Richard Miller has fantastic guided Yoga Nidra practices);
  Letting go exercise:  Write out all your frustrations, worries and fears on paper. Be brutally honest –even curse and swear. Dig deep and get out all your emotions. Then, as safely as possible, burn the pages as a symbolic release. Do this daily, maybe even twice a day, during your cleanse.

 

YY_breathing_alt_nostril_kapalbhati-newMEDITATION & BREATHING

  Meditation morning and evening – download a 30 min guided meditation;
  Om chanting, prayer and/or expressions of gratitude and devotion;
  Pranyama Breathing: Alternate Nostril Breathing & Kapalabhati 4 x 50 per day – download instructions;

 

OTHER

  Ayurvedic self massage – instructions via Chopra Centre
  Journal about your dreams, desires, and the things you love and appreciate in life;
  Artistic pursuits: draw, write, paint, knit, etc.
  Read uplifting or spiritual texts (jnana yoga).
  Walk in nature – particularly soothing for Pitta;
  Gentle Yoga – download the pawan muktasana series for joint mobility;
  Ayurvedic Massage & Shirodhara is recommended.

 

POST CLEANSE

Best to ease back into responsibilities and work. For food, I recommend keeping the diet simple for several days after cleansing. Eat small meals. Having kitchari, a stew of lentils and rice, is ideal an transition meal. Here’s a kitchari recipe, also inspired by my teacher Anita Sharma:

Kitchari Recipe

Ingredients
•  1 c split mung beans or red lentils (soak for 1 hr before)
•  2 c rice or quinoa (or 1 c quinoa & 1 c barley for kapha)
•  4 1/2 c water
•  3/4 tsp sea salt & black pepper
•  1 tbsp freshly ground cumin
•  1 tbsp freshly ground coriander seeds

•  1 tbsp freshly ground fennel seeds
•  1 tbsp turmeric
•  Optional:  pinch of hing for Vata;  or pinch of cayenne pepper for Kapha
•  Desired veggies – chopped (add leafy greens at the end)
Put everything into a pot & bring to a boil. Then cover & let simmer for on Low for ~45mins. You may enjoy with 1-2tsp of ghee (clarified butter) or plain yogurt can also be good with this dish.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes. 

Related Articles

What is Ayurveda?

10 Ways to Improve Digestion

Green Juices for Vata, Pitta & Kapha

 

 

 

What’s my Dosha?

What’s my dosha? is a rather complex question, because every living creature is composed of all five elements and all three doshas– vata, pitta and kapha.  Each of the ayurvedic constitutions (doshas) have distinct attributes and responsibilities in the body. You cannot survive without them. This said, we are not one-third vata, one-third pitta and one-third kapha. There is an infinite number of doshic combinations and no two individuals are exactly the same.  We all have a unique balance that makes me, me and you, you. One’s essential nature is inherited from our parents and does not change.  This is Prakruti.

When we are healthy and balanced, we experience the favorable qualities of the doshas and our Prakruti is revealed. When we are imbalanced or sick, we experience Vikruti, the shadow or unfavourable qualities of the doshas.  Vikruti (imbalance state) can also be inherited from our parents and grandparents. Since we only treat vikurti in Ayurveda, what’s important to determine are what doshas are out of balance. Why? Because we don’t fix what ain’t broke!

Here’s how to tell when a dosha is out of balance:

VATA (air & space)

Vata character when balanced

•  Vibrant, lively, enthusiastic
•  Clear and alert mind – fast learner
•  Flexible
•  Adaptability
•  Imaginative, creative, artistic
•  Sensitive/ clairvoyant
•  Talkative, energetic, quick to respond
•  Social butterfly

What aggravates Vata 

•  Irregular routine – irregular meals & sleep
•  Staying up late
•  Multi-tasking & excessive mental work
•  Cold, dry weather
•  Bitter, astringent, pungent or cold food
•  Traveling, injury, trauma
* Bitter emotions like grief or astringent emotions like fear, aggravate Vata. 

When out of balance – Symptom –> Pain

•  Restless, unsettled, forgetfulness
•  Light interrupted sleep, insomnia
•  Tendency to overexert then crash
•  Fatigued, stiff, dryness
•  Anxious, worried, lonely, depressed, unstable
•  Underweight, malnutrition
•  Poor digestion, gas, bloating, constipation

Conditions: arthritis, dehydration, mental illness, anorexia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease

To balance Vata – Calm & soothe

•  Create routine for meals, work & sleep
•  Favour warmth & rest
•  Reduce stress, travel, disturbing sounds & loud music
•  Favour warm lubricating, nourishing food
•  Favour soft colors, calming music
•  Gentle flowing yoga & restorative poses
•  Guided meditation & rest

PITTA (Fire & water)

 Pitta character when balanced

•  Warm, loving, passionate, contented
•  Enjoys challenges, motivated
•  Strong digestion & immunity
•  Lustrous complexion
•  Good concentration
•  Articulate and precise speech
•  Courageous, bold
•  Sharp wit, intelligent, focused

What aggravates Pitta 

•  Excessive heat or exposure to the sun
•  Alcohol, smoking, drugs
•  Time pressure, deadlines, competition
•  Excessive activity – physical or mental
•  Too much spicy, sour or salty food
•  Skipping meals
* Sour emotions like envy or pungent emotions like anger, aggravate Pitta

When out of balance – Symptom à Inflammation

•  Demanding, aggressive, perfectionist
•  Tendency towards frustration, anger
•  Tendency towards skin irritation & infection
•  Extreme hunger, allergies
•  Prematurely gray hair /early hair loss

Conditions: ulcers, heart burn, IBS, OCD, high blood pressure, acne, liver issues, addiction, hypoglycaemia, auto-immune diseases
To balance Pitta – Refresh & release tension
 •  Reduce stimulants, spicy foods and pressure
•  Favour coolness, leisure, natural beauty, rest  & moderation
•  Favour sweet, bitter & astringent taste
•  Work on letting go of anger & cleanse blood
•  Gentle yoga in nature with some challenge
•  Mantra meditation & rest

KAPHA (earth & water) 

Kapha character when balanced 

•  Affectionate, compassionate
•  Nurturing, calm, relaxed
•  Forgiving, loyal, Emotionally steady
•  Good listener & good memory
•  Slow, methodical, reliable
•  Strong stamina
•  Natural resistance to sickness
•  Soft skin, melodious voice

What aggravates Kapha

•  Oversleeping
•  Overeating
•  Insufficient exercise
•  Too little variety in life
•  Heavy, unctuous foods
•  Too much sweet, sour or salty food
•  Cold, wet weather
* Sweet emotions like desire, or salty emotions like greed, aggravate Kapha.

When out of balance – Symptom –> Swelling

•  Complacent, dull, boring
•  Sluggish, lethargic, lazy, no ambition
•  Oily hair & skin
•  Coughing, phlegm, congestion
•  Slow digestion & metabolism
•  Heavy, overweight, emotional eater
•  Possessive, over attached, needy
•  Tendency to oversleep

Conditions: obesity, chronic fatigue, kidney issues, blocked arteries, diabetes, growths (tumors)

To balance Kapha – Motivate & encourage

•  Reduce sweets & heavy food
•  Regular exercise – daily
•  Favour stimulation, new experiences, variety
•  Sleep less, eat small meals & let go
•  Favour pungent, bitter & astringent taste.
•  Active, invigorating & stimulating yoga
•  Mantra meditation or walking meditation

Related Articles

What is Ayurveda?

10 Ways to Improve Digestion

Green Juices for Vata, Pitta & Kapha

Natural Remedies for Stomach Flu  (Kitchari recipe featured)

 

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Chai recipes for Vata, Pitta, Kapha & kids

Given the season, here are some Chai recipes for Vata, Pita, Kapha & kids* too. Chai is medicinal and a great substitute for coffee or traditional hot chocolate and perfect for a wintery afternoon — think aprés-ski beverage! Mmmmm…

The word chai has a couple of meanings, which, in my opinion, are clearly related. In Hebrew, ‘chai’ means ‘life’. (It is also a symbol for the number 18, a factor of the auspicious number 108.) ‘Chai’ in many parts of the world, simply means ‘tea’. This warm and soothing beverage is usually made with spices, herbs and milk. In ayurvedic medicine, chai is considered a  rasayana, a remedy that lengthens lifespan. (‘Rasayana’ literally means ‘the path to [life’s] essence’.)

Here are some great chai recipes I share with my ayurvedic clients.
*See below, if you’re not sure how to choose which chai is for you.

2013-Jan26-yas-chai

Chai is perfect on a snowy afternoon.

Vata Chai
(for calming and warming)

  • 3 c filtered water
  • 4 green cardamom pods (crushed)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • Optional: 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
    +
  • 1 c almond, rice or seed milk
  • Raw organic sugar or Sucanat

Kapha Chai
(for stimulating & circulation)

  • 3 c filtered water
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger or ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cardamom pods (green or black)
  • ½ tsp whole cloves
  • 1 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional:  ½ tsp black tea leaves
    +
  • 1 c almond milk or seed milk or soy milk;
  • Honey or stevia
Pitta Chai
(for soothing and relaxing – not too heating)
  • 3 c filtered water
  • 5 mini rose buds or 1 tsp rose petals
  • 1 tsp black cardamom seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel
  • ½ cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean stick or 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • Optional: 2 tbsp pure organic cocoa nibs or 1 tbsp cocoa powder
    +
  • 1 c almond milk or seed milk or ½ c coconut milk
  • Maple Syrup or Natural cane sugar

Kids Chai
(for a hot chocolate alternative, good night sleep)

  • 3 c filtered water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c almond or soy milk
  • Maple syrup or honey

Directions
1. In a large saucepan, boil water over high heat;
2. Add in spices / herbs, reduce heat and let simmer for ten minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let tea cool for a few minutes before stirring in milk and sweetener to taste.
4. Pour the chai through a strainer into cups or mugs and enjoy!

(Makes about four cups of chai.)

 

* What’s my dosha?
Vata, Pitta & Kapha are the three ayurvedic constitutions or doshas. Although we have all three constitutions within us, one tends to be more dominant and/or out of balance than the others. In ayurveda, we treat the imbalanced doshas, so here’s a little guide to help you choose which Chai recipe is for you.

 

Choose the Vata recipe, if you have some or all of these symptoms:
You are cold all the time;
• You have digestive issues like gas, bloating and/or constipation;
• You have restless or disturbed sleep;

Choose the Kapha recipe, if you have some or all of these symptoms:
• You feel lethargic and heavy;
• You have a slow metabolism;
• You tend to oversleep;

Choose the Pitta recipe, if you have some or all of these symptoms:
• You have redness in skin and often feel hot;
• You have heart burn or feel acidic;
• You tend to have soft or loose stool;

Read more

10 Ways to Improve Digestion

In Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, proper digestion is paramount to health. When digestion is optimal, we say that agni or the digestive fire is balanced. Our metabolic and immunity systems become stronger, we are energetic, we sleep well, we eliminate properly and we maintain a steady weight. When digestion is weak, we can experience any or all of the following:  gas, bloating, mood swings, weight gain, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, congestion, sleeplessness, low libido, inflammation, emancipation, heart burn and in serious cases, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), crohn’s disease or diabetes.

Here are some tips on how to improve your digestion, increase your metabolism and strengthen your immunity system:

  1. Start your morning with a glass of warm water. It helps to get the system going.
  2. Eat only when you are hungry. If you aren’t hungry,  your body isn’t ready for food and you will have difficulty digesting.
  3. Don’t wait to eat. Hunger is sign that there are enough digestive juices (acid) in the body to assimilate food. The body will hold this acid in the small intestine for approximately 30 minutes, after which it will be transferred to the colon and reabsorbed into the blood stream. Overtime, this can increase our general acidity.
  4. Create a routine for meals. This may seem to contradict #2 & #3, but if you make a point of eating at the same time everyday, your body will adjust and thrive with the regularity. (This is particularly important for Vata & Pitta doshas.)
  5. Take time to digest. Avoid eating until the previous meal has been digested. Allow approximately three to six hours between meals.
  6. Snacking should be reserved for when you are very hungry between meals. Constant ‘mindless munching’ strains the digestive system.
  7. Fruit is best eaten at room temperature and alone. It digests quickly and therefore, eating fruit with other foods slows its assimilation and causes it to ferment in the gut, creating gas and bloating.  (For these reasons, fruit should never be eaten with a meal or for dessert.)
  8. Avoid iced beverages or food. Cold food amd drinks decreases the strength of our agni (digestive fire) and interferes with digestion.
  9. Eat until you are three-quarters full. You don’t want to leave the table very hungry or very full. Too much food overwhelms our agni.
  10. Practice food sadhana or mindfulness when eating. Enjoy your meals in a settled, quiet atmosphere. Always sit to eat and take time for gratitude. This helps you relax and digest better. Working, reading, watching TV or excessive talking during meals create distractions for your mind and body. This hinders your ability to know when your hunger is satisfied.

BONUS:  We are each a unique composition of elements. Understanding what the best foods are for your individual constitution or dosha will help you achieve your specific health goals and stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to loose weight, improve digestion or increase your energy level, an ayurvedic practitioner can assist you in addressing your needs.

 

Yasmin_BIOpic_web_squareMy ayurvedic practice
As an ayurvedic practitioner, I work with people simply wanting to enhance their health as well as with doctors and their patients with serious conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. I design tailored food and lifestyle programs for each client. These programs may also include herbs, yoga, breathing, meditation and other exercises. Although my practice is based in Montreal, I have a satellite office in the West Island and I give consultations online via Skype.

Click here for more information about my ayurvedic services.

Contact me: hello @ yasminyoga.com

 

Related Articles

What is Ayurveda?

Green Juices for Vata, Pitta & Kapha

Natural Remedies for Stomach Flu  (Kitchari recipe featured)

 

 

 

Light Dhal Recipe + Pitta Spice Blend

This Dhal (lentil) soup recipe is delicious and easy to make. It’s particularly fabulous for Pitta dosha, which can get all out of whack in the summer heat. Kapha and Vata can also benefit greatly from this dish, as it is light and easy to digest. Good for weight management programs too!

Ingredients:
• 1 1/2 c split red lentils – soaked for 1 hr first, rinsed & strained
• 1 med size sweet potato – chopped (For Kapha: use 2/3 c chopped cauliflower instead)
• 2 stalks celery – chopped
• 1/3 c asparagus – chopped
• 1/4 c leeks or green onions – chopped
• 1/4 c green peas (Vata may want to omit peas.)
• 3 kale branches – chopped
• 2 tbsp Pitta spice blend*
• 3 c water
• 2 tbsp sunflower oil (or any other cooking oil appropriate for your dosha)

Directions
Soak lentils for a minimum of one hour before using. While lentils are soaking, chop the veggies and prepare the spice blend (see below). Then, in a large pot, sauté celery, asparagus and leeks in sunflower oil for approximately 2 minutes. Then add spice blend and continue to sauté for another two minutes– it will be quite dry. Add about 1/4 cup water and let simmer for another few minutes. Then add lentils, sweet potato (or cauliflower) and the rest of the water. Half cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about 25 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add in the chopped kale and pea and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve over basmati rice or enjoy alone.

 

*Pitta Spice Blend
This fantastic seasoning was inspired by a recipe found in Eat Taste Heal: An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living by Johnny Brannigan — a great book. It adds flavor and keeps the fires of pitta in-check, especially during the summer.

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp coriander seeds – whole
• 2 tbsp fennel seeds – whole (For Kapha: reduce fennel seeds or replace with 1 tsp fennugreek seeds)
• 2 tbsp cumin seeds – whole
• 2 tbsp mint – dry
• 1 tbsp cardamon seeds – husked, yet whole
• 1 tbsp turmeric – ground

Directions
Grind all the ingredients together in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Place in a clean, dry jar with a lid and shake vigorously to ensure contents are well blended. Store in a dark, cool cupboard. Add to soups, stews, rice dishes, salad dressings and anything else requiring a flavor boost. Use within one month.

Ayurvedic Summer Breakfasts

With the summer on its way, nothing beats a fresh, fruity breakfast that is mostly raw, rich in minerals and protein and 100% gluten free! Great for kids and adults alike, these recipes are easy to make at home, on vacation, and even while camping. Please note the considerations for vata, pitta, and kapha doshas.

V = Best for Vata
P = Best for Pitta
K = Best for Kapha

Delightful Decorated Fruit
Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 cups of your favourite fresh fruit, chopped: pineapple, apples, oranges, mango, berries, bananas, avocado…*

Dressing
2 tbsp almond butter (V/P)
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter) (V)
2 tbsp maple syrup (P/V) or 1 tbsp honey (K/V)
2 tbsp hemp seed oil (V) / coconut oil (P) / sunflower oil (K)
3 tbsp lemon juice
5 tbsp chlorella powder (a rich antioxidant and protein sea algae) (less for K)
1 1/2 cups orange or apple juice (V)/ pear juice (P/V) / apple sauce (K/P)
A sprinkle of shredded coconut (V/P)
Optional: 1-2 pinches cinnamon (V) / Mint leaves (P) / Fresh grated Ginger (K)

Directions:

Chop and toss your selected fruit. In another bowl, blend the first dressing ingredients. Gradually mix in chlorella with a fork. (I like ‘Chloressence’ chlorella by Vega.) As the mixture thickens, begin to add juice or apple sauce and a dash of water to the desired consistency. Serve fruit in individual bowls and top with dressing. Garnish with coconut or seeds and serve. A great recipe for the whole family.

*Ayurvedic considerations:
Best for Vata: Sweet, warming fruits that are easy to digest (stewed or cooked pears and apples, banana, blueberries, strawberries, papaya, pineapple, mango, peaches, oranges, plums). If vata is high and digestion impaired, it’s best to lightly cook or stew the fruits and eat food warm. Vata can enjoy all sweeteners, nut butters, and juices. You can also add a little cinnamon to help digestion for vata.

Best for Pitta: Sweet, cooling fruits (sweet pears, sweet apples, blueberries, avocado, fresh figs, soaked dates & apricots). Substitute tahini for more almond butter and choose maple syrup over honey. Coconut oil is better for pitta, and pear or apple juice is also preferable. Some fresh mint leaves are tasty in this recipe and good for calming high pitta. FYI, melons should not be added, as they are best eaten alone.

Best for Kapha: Light and mild fruits that are slightly astringent (apples, pears, berries, cherries, dried figs, prunes). Choose honey over maple syrup for sweetener. For high kapha, substitute 1 1/2 cups apple sauce and 1/2 water for almond butter, tahini and juice. For Kapha, sunflower oil is best, as is a little added ginger. Lastly, add use 1/3 less chlorella.

Simply Magnificent Muesli
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 diced apple, pear or any other fresh fruit*
2 bananas sliced (V) / 2 pears or apples (P/K)
2 handfuls field berries*
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit, such as dates, raisins, cranberries, apricots*
3 handfuls chopped raw almonds, walnuts and/or hazelnuts*
1/4 cup shredded coconut
A sprinkling of seeds*
Optional: 1-2 pinches cinnamon (V) / Mint leaves (P) / Fresh grated Ginger (K)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and sprinkle with seeds. If you want to add milk, use almond (V/P/K), hemp (V), or soy (K) milk, and enjoy!

*Ayurvedic considerations:
Best for Vata: Vata is good with most fruit, especially sweet, warming fruits easy to digest (stewed or cooked pears and apples, banana, papaya, pineapple, mango, peaches, oranges, plums). The best berries for Vata are blueberries and strawberries. As mentioned above, if agni is low and digestion is impaired, lightly stew or cook ingredients making a warm breakfast blend. Nuts and all dried fruit should be soaked overnight. The best seeds for Vata are hemp, chia, sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower– all soaked overnight. Like in the recipe above, add a bit of cinnamon for digestion.

Best for Pitta: Pitta people need to be mindful of sour and acidic tastes, so their fruit chooses limited. Choose sweet pears, sweet apples, avocado and fresh figs. On occasion and only when very ripe, papaya and mango can also be enjoyed by Pitta. Blueberries are the least sour, so they are the only berry that benefits Pitta. All nuts and dried fruit should be soaked overnight. The best seeds for Pitta are pumpkin and sunflower. Almond milk is favourable for Pitta.

Best for Kapha: Kapha people need like fruits that are not too sweet (apples, pears, cherries, pomegranates). They can also enjoy all the berries in moderation. Nuts are heavy for Kapha, so it’s preferable to limit their quantity to 5-8 nuts per person and to dry roast them. Seeds like pumpkin and sunflower are better than nuts for Kapha. These can also be dry roasted. No need to soak dried fruits, but these too should be enjoyed sparingly as they are quite sweet. Freshly grated ginger is also be good in this recipe.

Bon Appetit!

Green Juices for Vata, Pitta & Kapha

There’s nothing like a great green juice to help purify your body, rejuvenate your energy and refresh your palate. If you need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, coffee doesn’t stand a chance next to a glass of swamp water like this!

Here are some of the many benefits of green juices:

• Easier to digest and assimilate that whole vegetables, these juices are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals;
• High in vitamin K, which plays a significant role in blood clotting, cellular structure, absorption of calcium and the formation of healthy bones;*
• High in magnesium, which maintains the nervous system, supports the heart and regulates calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, and vitamin D;
• Pitta balancing, since green juice is alkaline, thus reducing inflammation by lowering acidity in the body;
• Bitter green veggies like bok choi, collard, dandelion and kale, are great for diabetics and Kapha people, because they lower blood sugar and slow sugar cravings;
• Super high in chlorophyll, which detoxifies the liver, stimulates the production of healthy blood, and increases the immunity system;
• Improves skin by clearing acne, rosacea, and redness on skin;
• Powerful source of antioxidants that helps create an oxygen-rich environment in the body, so cancer cells cannot survive.

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Green juice Recipe for Vata
Handful of Spinach
3-4 branches of rainbow swiss chard
1-2 Lebanese cucumber (without seeds)
Wedge of lemon with peel
1/2″ piece of ginger
1-2 apple or pear
pinch of cinnamon

Vata, being the dosha with the most temperamental digestion, needs to add a few warming ingredients, like ginger and cinnamon, to their green juice. It’s also highly recommended, for vata people especially, to skim the foam off (foam causes gas), and dilute the juice with warm or hot water– 50% juice and 50% water. Only one cup of this blend should be taken at a time. Preserve the rest of the juice in a sealed container in the fridge.

Green juice Recipe for Pitta
3-5 branches of kale, swiss chard or collard
1/2 English cucumber or 2 Lebanese cucumbers
1-2 celery stalks
Fresh mint leaves to taste
Wedge of lemon with peel
1 apple or pear or 1/2 beet
1 tbsp of aloe vera gel (optional)

Pitta people are prone to inflammation, skin irritations and high acidity, so this cooling green juice is amazing for them. Kale, swiss chard, collard and bok choi are better greens than broccoli and spinach, which are slightly warming. Mint and aloe vera are also cooling in nature and are beneficial for pitta as well. Although it changes the color of this recipe from green to murky brown, half a beet is a good alternative to apple or pear, as beets promote the flow of bile, which, in pitta, can get thick and sluggish. Dilute this recipe half juice, half room temperature water. Foam should be discarded.

Green juice Recipe for Kapha
3-4 branches of kale
2-3 branches of swiss chard or dandelion (for the brave)
1-2 celery stalks
1/2″ piece of ginger
1/2 apple
pinch of cayenne

Kapha people benefit from green juice, because its bitter quality reduces their tendency for sugar cravings, lowers blood sugar and can help them with weight management. Kapha has the slowest metabolism of the three doshas, so to help them digest this beverage, we’re adding ginger and a pinch of cayenne. Dilute the juice with a third warm or room temperature water. Only have a small glass at time. Too many liquids aren’t receommeded for kapha.

Notes:
There are many other wonderful green ingredients that can be juiced. Let your creativity flow. Broccoli, parsley, sprouts, lettuce, fennel and wheat grass are also great options. For dosha specific vegetables or fruits, you can ask me or consult your ayurvedic practitioner. There are also lots of online resources you can use. Here’s a good guideline from Vasant Lad: www.ayurveda.com/pdf/food_guidelines.pdf

*Considerations:
People with arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis and atheroma (conditions that can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke) must be cautious of taking too many vegetables high in vitamin K, as vitamin K promotes blood clotting.

Sources for more information on this topic:
http://www.hungryforchange.tv/sugar-is-a-drug
http://www.livestrong.com/article/271987-what-are-the-benefits-of-green-juice/#ixzz1ulsmzuDG
Crazy Sexy Diet, by Kris Carr

Recipe: Tri-Dosha Veg Quinoa Soup

With the weather wavering, nothing beats a hearty, high-protein, easy to digest vegan power soup. Great for all three Ayurvedic doshas and also delicious.

Makes 6 servings
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ fennel head, chopped
2 medium parsnips, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 tsp turmeric
1/3 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cumin
8 cups water
2 cups quinoa
1 head chopped bok choy
1/3 cup dried or fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, garlic, fennel, parsnip and carrots, mixing in the turmeric, ginger, and cumin.
2. When all is tender, add water and quinoa. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add mint leaves and bokchoy and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. Add salt & pepper to taste, then serve while hot.

PS For pitta, only use white quinoa, as the red and black quinoa is too heat producing.