I went to an ayurvedic cooking class today, run by Linda Bretherton who I think is inspiring, at the least for her extensive knowledge of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. For those of you who don’t know, I found out that Ayur=life, and veda=knowledge, so it is all about the knowledge of life, and at this place they describe it as the science of life. At first I was a little sceptical (I’m not going to lie… I was a bit doubtful!)… because it is about spirituality, and you have a dosha which is your body type, and you eat according to your dosha as well as putting positive energy into everything you cook as, ultimately, the energy in your food is what makes you who you are. It seemed a bit airy-fairy when my mum told me about it, but I thought I’d give it a go!
Anyway, I went along with Lacey today, and we spent the first hour discovering our doshas, and I mostly Pitta with Kapha tendencies apparently! What I learnt from this is that I am firey, full of passion and transformational. I am apparently a good leader, teacher, and if something goes wrong I blame other people rather than myself! It was funny but I can see how it was true. I also think I’m very stubborn which is a typical Kapha characteristic.
You can have imbalances in your dosha, so may have tendencies to other doshas on certain days, but you are born a specific one. To find this out I think you’d need many many questionnaires and personal advice but today I was vaguely Pitta.
So once we found out our doshas, we learnt that all doshas have food which favours them or imbalances them. As a pitta, I have fire, heat and intensity running through my body. I have the essential force for transformation and the ability to easily digest food, as well as having the force necessary for ideas. I can be destructive if intense in the wrong balance, but have the potential to put my passion and intensity into great things. Ghandi was thought to be pitta, but also hitler… most of the big leaders have very Pitta tendancies…
So with all that, we set about learning what foods were good/bad for us. The idea is that (and I’ll use Pitta as an example to give you the concept), if I have fire, heat and intensity as an integral part of my body, down to the cellular level, then I don’t need to be eating hot, firey foods. I should avoid spicy curries, or hot intense food, and if I do eat these foods then balance them with cooling coconut milk or yoghurt (dairy free ofcourse!).
I started to learn more about how this wasn’t just an airy fairy concept, but that what Linda talked about was based on thousands of years of practice, and basically was showing you how to eat a balanced diet, without meat, and taking into consideration the type of body you have- as of course everyone is different. She encouraged us to eat whatever we wanted, but to make sure it was things that made us feel GOOD!
So we made two gorgeous dishes, with gorgeous spices. Once was called Kichadi, and I have made this tonight!
It is good for all doshas, so whether you are Pitta, Kapha or Vata (the three doshas), it will be healing and good for detox for you. She even recommends if you are going on a detox week to eat this for all three meals each day to help cleanse your body of all its impurities. You can add whatever spices you want to this rice dish, and mung beans and basmati rice it is delicious! You can also add other beans or grains if they are good for your dosha, or aduki beans which are great for your kidneys!
This whole dish took Linda about 10-15 minutes, and is so cheap to make, I was amazed!
You just add your spices, rice and beans to a pan with water, seperately fry the spices in oil, then combine with the rice/water/bean combo and leave to simmer! So easy, so cheap, and SO delicious!
Easy as that!
I’ll be posting photos of my tea tonight, but for now I’ll leave you to decide how you feel about ayurvedic cooking! It’s a good idea but I think I need to look into it more, and I’ll let you know how it goes!