top of page

Returning to Our Balance

Let’s begin this lesson by remembering - returning to our balance. Within the body there is a constant interaction between order and disorder. When one understands the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order. Balance is the natural order; imbalance is disorder. Health is balance: disease is disorder.


Ayurveda places emphasis and encourages us to maintain health through close attention to balance, our mind, diet, lifestyle, and awareness. Many factors, both internal and external, act upon us to disturb this balance. Examples of these emotional and physical stresses include our emotional state, diet and food, seasons and weather, physical trauma, and relationships Once we understand these factors, we can take appropriate actions to nullify or minimize their effects or eliminate the causes of imbalance and re-establish one’s original constitution.


The building blocks of nature are space, air, fire, water, and earth that come together in each of us

creating our uniqueness. Our mind/body constitution is formed by the joining of the five elements that are in nature and in each of us. This joining in each of us are what we call doshas. These five elements are found in varying amounts in every person and the environment. Some people and places will have more of one element than the other. Think of the desert as having more fire and air, the beach areas more water, mountains more earth. Likewise, some of us are more earthy, some more spacey, and some more intense. Our unique combination of the five elements makes up our predominant body composition or dosha, of which there are three types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.


Each of us is born with a primary dosha. The way the 5 elements present themselves at birth depends

upon many things, including where you were conceived and born, how the planets were aligned at your

birth, the state of mind your parents were in, the food they ate prior to conceiving you and even your

past lives.


We are born with a primary dosha known as your prakruti. As we grow, we enter a state of imbalance

due to many factors; the foods we eat, the emotional state of our homes, etc. By adopting the practices

of Ayurveda, we can move ourselves slowly but surely back toward a natural way of being in our primary

balance.


Each of us is made up of all 3 doshas, although one dosha is usually dominant. A quiz is provided for you

to determine your dosha. As we travel through ancient Ayurveda, doshas will become clearer. Don’t

dwell on terminology for now. Take the quiz and look at the characteristics provided.


  • Kapha characteristics are detail-oriented, steady, sturdy, gains weight easily, smooth dry skin, thick hair, loves to eat but has slow digestion, methodical, simple, and profound conversations and don’t deal with stress well and are withdrawn.

  • Pitta characteristics are sharp and direct, medium builds, sensitive skin, gray or thinning hair, strong appetites, very organized, driven, strong sex drive, and tend to blame others.

  • Vata characteristics are thin light framed, dry skin, dry hair, often miss meals, spontaneous, excitable, friendly, love to talk, like to shop.


Likes attract likes and opposites balance. The goal is to be the best unique makeup of yourself that you

can be. You can do this by keeping your doshic balance in check using the Ayurvedic practices we live

and learn.


For now, return to the six pillars of health. Turn on these pillars of good and turn off the bad. Strive for

good sleep, enjoy simple meditation, practice yoga, check your moods and emotions, care for yourself by

putting your bare feet in the earth, and eat well incorporating fresh, whole foods. Avoid processed foods

which contribute to chronic inflammation, one of the major causes of many serious diseases.


As we close this lesson be mindful that we are entering Kapha season. Knowing the seasons and their

qualities helps us be our best. In Ayurveda we have 3 seasons represented by all 3 doshas. Kapha

season is late winter/early spring typically March through mid-June. The earth becomes saturated with

rain. We notice new growth. You might experience colds, coughs, and congestion. Barometric changes

can make us feel heavy and stagnant.


During this season we may eat foods that are less watery, eat more pungent, bitter, and astringent foods.

This time of the year eat more brown rice, vegetable stews and roasted foods. Include leafy greens,

ginger, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, apples, onions, potatoes, peas, corn, lentils, chickpeas, honey,

maple syrup.


Kapha season encourages rising with the sun, performing movements.

  • Use your neti pot.

  • Practice breathing. Increase the duration of your yoga poses, practice Sun Salutation.

  • Get some vigorous exercise, not too much.

  • Wrap a scarf around your throat.

  • Carry a Thermos with warm ginger water to sip throughout the day.

  • Wear bright colors.

  • Perform your evening routine and get into bed a little later than you did during Vata season.


Please enjoy the 3 attached recipes during Kapha season. I plan to start “Ayurveda Lunch and Learn” in

April. There will be 8 spots available for a demonstration followed by lunch. I will invite you to my

kitchen. We might prepare a breakfast dish, an entrée, bread, or dessert. I will emphasize whole foods,

fresh and local, technique and community - Our way to perfect health!




Dosha Test
.pdf
Download PDF • 331KB



Ginger Basil Lemonade



INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup BASIL

2 inch GINGER (FRESH)

1 whole LIME

2 tsp RAW SUGAR


PREPARATION OF THIS HEALTHY RECIPE

  1. Use a fine grater to make about 1 teaspoon of lime zest. Juice limes. Chop ginger into chunks.

  2. Add 1 cup water to a blender with ginger, lime juice, lime zest, raw sugar and a small handful of fresh basil leaves. Blend until smooth.

  3. Combine ginger-lime juice with an additional 3 cups of water in a pitcher. Garnish with fresh basil.

  4. Chill and serve.


Salt the rim of your glasses to complete this mock-tail while satisfying all six tastes!





1-Bowl Banana Buckwheat Muffins



INGREDIENTS

1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal (to make flax egg)

2 ½ Tbsps. water (to make flax egg)

2 medium ripe bananas

1/2 cup coconut sugar*

2 Tbsps. avocado oil or melted coconut oil (or other neutral oil)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup buckwheat flour (homemade or store-bought)

1/4 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)

1/4 cup almond flour*

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a standard-size muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

  2. To a medium mixing bowl, add flaxseed meal and water. Stir to combine and let gel for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the bananas to the flax mixture and mash well with a fork until only little chunks of banana remain. We prefer them to be pretty smooth! Next add coconut sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. Add buckwheat flour, potato starch, almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk until no flour streaks remain. If using walnuts, fold them into the batter at this point.

  4. Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin liners (or 12 if including walnuts // adjust if altering batch size) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs.

  5. Once cooked, let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the muffin pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before enjoying. Leftovers can be stored lightly covered at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or frozen for 1 month!


NOTES

*We haven’t tested this recipe with eggs, but it would likely work to replace the flaxseed meal + water with 1 egg if not vegan/egg-free.

*If you tend to prefer less-sweet treats, you can use half the amount of coconut sugar with success. Make sure to let the muffins cool fully for best texture.

*Both homemade and store-bought buckwheat flour work well in this recipe. Store-bought will be a bit more dry and homemade a bit more moist.

*Almond flour keeps these muffins a little moist with a crumb-like texture. If you need to make them almond-free, cashew flour would be the next best option. If nut-free, you could try sunflower seed meal, but it may give your muffins a green-tinted color because of the way the seed meal reacts with baking soda.





Spicy Red Curry Cauliflower “Wings”



INGREDIENTS

BATTER

3/4 cup brown rice flour or chickpea flour*

1 healthy pinch sea salt

1/2 tsp curry powder

2 tsp tandoori masala spice (see notes for DIY blend + where to buy // reduce for less heat!)

1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond or rice milk

6-8 Tbsps. water

CAULIFLOWER

1 head cauliflower (large stalks removed, cut/torn into bite-size pieces)

SAUCE

1/4 cup red curry paste (ensure vegan friendly – Thai True + Thai Kitchen are best)

2 tsp melted coconut oil

2-3 tsp maple syrup (to taste)

2-3 Tbsps. water (to thin)

FOR SERVING

Green Chutney


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F (232 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (important or the wings will stick).

  2. Next, prepare batter. Mix dry ingredients together, and then add almond milk and lesser amount of water to start (6 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Stir with a whisk or fork until well combined. You want the batter thick but pourable so it can adhere to the cauliflower – too runny and it won’t stick. Add only enough water until you reach the right consistency. Add more brown rice flour if it becomes too thin.

  3. Once the oven is preheated, add the cauliflower to the batter to coat. Shake off excess and place on baking sheet. Give each piece 1 inch of room to prevent sogginess. Depending on the size of your cauliflower this may require cooking on two baking sheets or in two batches (or more if increasing batch size).

  4. Bake for 25 minutes. In the meantime prepare the sauce by whisking together curry paste, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Add just a bit of water to thin so it resembles a glaze consistency.

  5. Once the cauliflower has finished baking, remove from oven and dip/toss in the glaze 1-2 pieces at a time. Shake off excess, then place back on baking sheet and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until browned on the edges and the glaze has caramelized.

  6. While baking, prepare chutney (optional), by adding all ingredients to a blender and blending until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more garlic for zing, salt for saltiness, maple syrup for sweetness, or water to thin.

  7. Let cauliflower cool slightly and then serve immediately. Best when fresh. The wings can be frozen (either at the glazed stage or the glazed and baked stage) and then reheated in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through.


NOTES

*This recipe is inspired by Indian flavors from the tandoori masala blend and curry powder and Thai cuisine from the red curry paste.

*I buy my Tandoori Masala blend at Whole Foods. However, you can also make your own DIY Tandoori Masala Blend: 3 Tbsps. ground cumin, 2 Tbsps. garlic powder, 2 Tbsps. smoked paprika, 3 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp ground cardamom. Multiply as needed.

*I tested this recipe with both chickpea and brown rice flour and both worked! But I will say the overall texture was better with brown rice flour. If not gluten free you can use unbleached all-purpose flour.

*Method adapted from the talented pair at Hot For Food.

Comments


bottom of page