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.

Stomach Flu Natural Remedies

Oh, the stomach flu! What a nasty bug. And one I got to know quite well in the last few days. Yes, that’s right, after my emotional and material purging over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to physically purge the toxins out of my body. I feel much better today, albeit still a little weak from the torment of vomiting my guts out on Wednesday night and wrestling with fever yesterday.

Having spoke to a few friends and colleagues, I hear I’m not the only one recovering from this aliment, so I thought I’d share some ayurvedic remedies should you also be affected by Viral Gastroenteritis (a.k.a the stomach flu).

First, how do you know the difference between the stomach flu and food poisoning?
Although the stomach flu and food poisoning have similar symptoms (vomiting, headaches, fever, loose stools, etc.) and are both an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, their cause differs. Food poisoning is a bacterial infection resulting from eating something disagreeable, whereas the stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis is a viral infection contracting by contact with an infected person. Both conditions usually last one to three days, but it may take two weeks or longer for the digestive system to regain its full strength. However, if you are affected by either food poisoning or the stomach flu, your immunity and digestive system was probably weakened to begin with. This is why in the same family, one or two people may get sick and the others not, even if everyone was exposed to the same food or virus.

So, how do you get over it? 

  • Rest is top priority. Stay warm and cozy in bed and just sleep and/or breathe deeply.
  • Avoid dehydration by taking small sips of room temperature water once vomiting has ceased. (Small sips are important, as big gulps with may further aggravate the system.)
  • Re-hydrating with electrolytes is important. I used the new Vega Sport Electrolyte blend in water and it helped a lot. But, you can also make your own: 1 c water  + 1 tsp agave nectar (or maple syrup) + 2 tbps lemon juice + a pinch of salt
  • Rice water is also soothing. To make it, simply boil brown rice (organic is best) with double or triple the usual amount of water. When the rice is ready, strain it and drink the water.
  • Clear broths or other clear, non-acidic beverages are beneficial.
  • Fennel and coriander tea is good too. Just put about 1/2 tsp of freshly ground fennel and coriander seeds (equal parts) in a cup of hot water and let steep for five minutes before drinking.
  • When you are ready to start eating again, I highly recommend plain rice with maybe a little yogurt or ghee + a Kitchari diet for a few days. (“Kitchari” means “mixture” or “stew” and is a staple food in India). Below is a recipe for Kitchari.
  • Go see a doctor or health care professional, if you have blood in your stool or if your symptoms get worse after a couple of days.
  • There are many wonderful ayurvedic herbs that can also help rebalance the digestive system, but these can only be recommended on an individual basis, as not all herbs are appropriate for all people. I should be up and running in a few days, so if ever you want to set up an ayurvedic appointment you are welcome to contact me: yfgow@yasminyoga.com

KITCHARI RECIPE: The best comfort food to get the digestive system back on track…
1 c split mung beans (soak for 1 hr before using)
2 c brown rice
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
Small pinch of Hing or asafoetida (It helps prevent gas and can be found at an Indian store.)
About 1/2 – 1 c easily digestible veggies (zucchini, sweet potato, carrot, turnip and/or squash)

Put everything into a pot & bring to a boil. Then cover & let simmer for on Low for ~45mins. Enjoy with 1-2tsp of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut butter or oilve oil. For a little pro-biotic boost, adding a table spoon or two of plain yogurt is good with this dish.  (Tip: avoiding adding the veggies, if your digestive system is very weak.)

Don’t know how to make ghee? It’s really simple.

GHEE RECIPE
Melt 1 pound of unsalted butter (organic butter is best for therapeutic applications and if you can find grass fed cow butter all the better) on stove and let simmer for 15-20 mins on low heat. Stir continuously. Scrape foam off the top and discard. After about 15-20 mins, it with stop boiling and become clear. At this point, turn off heat. Let cool for 5-10 mins. Then strain (with cheese cloth) into clean, dry container. Cover and store in cool, dry place like pantry.

* Please feel free to also post your own suggestions for stomach flu or food poisoning cures!