20 Minute Recipe: Spring Pasta with Peas

Barley Pasta with Peas and Cashew CreamAs one of the oldest systems of medicine, Ayurveda sees the body as a microcosm of the larger macrocosm, essentially our bodies are a reflection of what’s happening outside.

Staying healthy means living in harmony with nature and the seasons. Each season raises a specific dosha (sometimes two). With summer being hot, pitta increases. To counteract the heat, your diet should be predominantly cooling, bitter, astringent, and sweet.

Fall is hot with residual summer heat and also dry; you see leaves change and plants wither in the dryness. Pitta, and then vata increase as a result. Winter is by far my favorite season of eating with a diet that includes heavy, sweet, oily, sour, and salty foods to counteract the cold and wind.

But the same sun that causes the winter snow to melt and spring flowers to blossom, causes kapha–heavy, earthy elements–outside as well as inside our bodies to liquify as well. Unfortunately, allergies and colds can come as a result of the excess kapha dosha, too. Continue reading

New Blog Series: 20 Minute Recipes

Mung, rice, and veggies. In 20 minutes!

Mung, rice, and veggies. In 20 minutes!

When I give patients a list of recommended foods and a prescribed diet, first I get a blank stare. After the blank stare, the first question I invariably get is, “When am I supposed to find time to cook?” (Or, “why can’t I eat ice cream anymore?”)

Dietary changes can be a shock to your digestive system and it can be daunting trying to cook something if you’re used to grabbing a meal on the go. Trust me, I get it!

As I was preparing today’s lunch, I watched the clock and noticed that it took me a mere 20 minutes. So in the spirit of making healthy meals quickly, I’ll be doing a set of blog posts called 20 Minute Recipes where I lay out Ayurvedically sensible, seasonally sound recipes that are easy to prepare (and often ones you can just throw in a pot and set a timer).

Today’s recipe includes basmati rice, green mung dal, sautéed fennel and spring peas with a bonus addition of some chutney if you have a couple of extra minutes.

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Autumn Eating Tips (and a Pumpkin Stew Recipe)

Fall recipes are nourishing and counteract the heat and dryness of the season.

Fall recipes are nourishing and counteract the heat and dryness of the season. Even Mr. Cookie Jar wants a bite!

Our bodies reflect the changing seasons outside, essentially mirror what is happening in nature. In fall, dryness is abundant as leaves change color and fall off trees and grass turns brown. Our bodies tend to get dry, too, (as vata increases). There’s also heat left over from summer, so pitta is fired up.

To counteract the hot and dry properties, fall is the time to focus on kapha-promoting foods which means a sweeter, more nourishing, and slightly heavier diet than we had in summer. This gets us ready for winter, too.

So support your body this time of year, forgo dry and carbonated stuff (goodbye, beer, chips, raw salads, and popcorn) and cut back on heating food while you’re at it (chiles, eggs, red meat, garlic, red wine, raw onion, eggplant, and fish).

In fact, looking up what fruits and veggies are in season where you live is another way to ensure you’re eating what’s appropriate for the time of year. If you live in California, specifically the Bay Area, this chart from CUESA has a list of what you can get when. Continue reading