Why Dinner Should be Your Lightest Meal & Low in Protein

Why do you eat food?

For fuel. Food gets digested (hopefully) to allow the mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cells) to produce ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) which is the energy you require to function in life.

If you use the energy, like in the case of your daily activities, that is great! You are "spending" this “energy currency” well.

If you just go to sleep after eating, because your use of energy drops dramatically during sleep, you don’t have anything to spend this ATP on, you hoard it.

Hoarding is never good. Maintenance attracts destruction. The ATP over-accumulates which increases free radicals, reactive oxygen and mitochondrial damage.

You want to finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bed (before 10pm)

When you re-establish fat metabolism, you may not even require dinner at all (a healthy habit). But as a culture, we have lost the ability to burn fat for fuel. Instead, we are using sugar as fuel, quick injections of stimulants from all sorts of foods - think organic dark chocolate, organic nuts, raisins, coffee etc. If you are snacking for quick hits of energy this indicates that you have lost the ability to burn your calm and stable source of fuel - fat. Have a phone consultation with me to re-establish fat metabolism.

Why Eating a High Protein Meal at Dinner Is a Bad Idea

Protein activates an anabolic pathway called mTOR activation - causes you to build muscles. Of course you need mTOR activated but it should not be continuous.

The primary problem when you eat a heavy dinner is it suppresses an important metabolic process called autophagy (meaning “self-devouring”), which breaks down, processes cells and disassembles unnecessary or dysfunctional components. If autophagy is impaired, this can cause cancer (excess tissue). Excess protein can increase cancer risk.

When a tissue (Dhatu) increases, it can cause tumours.

Mamsa Vrdha Mamsam is an ancient slohka in Ayurveda which means eating “flesh increases flesh.”

Excess protein in some cases can be even more dangerous than excess glucose.

Your agni (digestive fire) is regulated by the sun. When the sun is strongest, ea your biggest meal (lunch). When the sun is down, your digestive strength is low, so eat light.

Scenario: Sleeping After a Heavy Dinner

  • When you sleep on top of a big dinner your heart rate pulse rate, respiratory rate, metabolic rate all slows down which causes food to linger in your system without being digested (ama).
  • You wake up in a state of indigestion with ama deposited somewhere in your body.
  • Then you think that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and you put another truckload onto of that.
  • Then you walk around feeling blocked and inflamed. You create vascular inflammation, congestion, your sinuses are blocked, you are barely awake because you are feeling dull and heavy.
  • You don’t even feel the desire to having a big lunch since you are so out of tune.
  • So add massive doses of caffeine to give you energy which suppresses agni, causes improper appetite and further disconnects you from fat metabolism.

They Call it "Supper" for a Reason

Supper comes from the Old French word souper meaning “evening meal.” That is where we get the name soup from. Supper should be a light supplementary meal, not the main meal. Soup is a great choice.

Tips to Transition to a Light Dinner

  • Have a good, solid warm cooked lunch. Eat that in a relaxed manner to be properly nourished and satisfied.
  • Re-establish fat-metabolism by moving towards three meals a day, no snacks.
  • Learn to "wind-down" from your day with techniques like meditation, pranayama and immersing loving relationships.
  • Incorporate healthy fats in your diet such as ghee.
  • Eat an earlier dinner.
  • Eat whole foods, rather than processed foods.
  • If you eat meat, fish or eggs, only eat at lunchtime.
  • Dinner options: vegetable soup, kitchari, light vegetable dish.

The Importance of How You Eat

Ayurveda stresses the importance of not only What you eat, but perhaps How you eat is more important (unless you are eating crap). Furthermore, you want to have optimum functioning digestion (agni) so that what goes in your mouth becomes a thin fluid essence of nourishment (ahar rasa) rather than a thick toxic congesting fluid (ama).

“Eat late to gain some weight and sleep late to gain some weight.”

Ideally, you should wake up effortlessly, you should jump out of bed. You should also wake up slightly hungry. 

feature photo: Henrique Félix


Amalaki (Embilica Officinalis) Uses & Benefits

Amalaki (Embilica officinalis) is not only considered by many to be Ayurveda's most potent fruit, but Amalaki is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda that is used extensively in formulations. 

Nomenclature

English: Indian Gooseberry
Sanskrit: Amalaki, aka Amla (vernacular).
Latin: Embilica officinalis or Pjullantus embilica (less common)

Synonyms:

  • Dhatri ("Mother" or "Nurse") - Amalaki is the ultimate carer and healer.
  • Amrta ("Immortality") - There are only a few herbs which have the Amrta quality. Amalaki is like nectar that promotes immortality.

Energetics

Rasa (taste): Sour (predominately), sweet, bitter, astringent, pungent
Virya (energy): Cooling
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Sweet
Gunas (quality): Dry, light.
Dosha: VPK-

Tridoshic Fruit

One of the marvels of Amalaki is that it contains all 6 tastes except salt. Thus this fruit mitigates:

  • vata by its sour taste
  • pitta by its sweet taste and cold virya (energy) and
  • kapha by the dry quality and astringent taste.

Usually sour herbs aggravate pitta. Amalaki is an exception, and is one of the very few sour herbs that actually reduce pitta.

Ayurvedic Action

Ganas (classical groups):

  • Vayasthapana (Anti-Aging) - Caraka (The famous sage) quoted Amlaki as the best among the Vayasthapana herbs.
  • Jvarghna (Treats Fever) (Caraka)
  • Kasaghna (Treats Cough) (Caraka)
  • Virecanopaga (Purgative) (Caraka)
  • Kusthaghna (Treats Skin Diseases) (Caraka)

Indications

Rasayana - Longevity and Immunity

Rejuvenator that promotes longevity. Thus is included in the classical group of Vayasthapana. "Rasa" (the essence of properly digested food) is being spread ("ayana") to nourish all the rasavaha srotas: 10 dhaminis (arteries) and heart, as well as the udakava srotas: Talu (soft pallet) and kloma (pancreas/thyroid).

This potent anti-oxidant fruit is fantastic immunomodulator, aphrodisiac and rejuvenator. (Bhavaprakasa).

Digestion

Assists bowels and reduces inflammation in the GIT as it supports healthy intestinal skin. Especially helpful in ulcers, hyperacidity (Amlapitta), colitis, hepatitis, haemorrhoids and intestinal bleeding conditions. Great laxative and liver cleansing action. Healthy intestinal "inner" skin accordingly improves health and lustre of the "outer" skin.

Diabetes and Metabolism

Its Ojas and immune boosting action helps cope with diabetes and urinary disorders (Prameha), (Bhavaprakasa).

Home Remedy: 2.5ml Amalaki juice + 2.5ml Turmeric juice + bit ot Honey (Astanga Hrdayam U.).

More Benefits:

  • Respiratory System - Amalaki's immune boosting action strengthens the lungs and helps in cough.
  • Sattva (Pure Consciousness) - Amalaki’s prabhava (special effect) is having a sattvic effect that raises the quality of consciousness and the overall wellbeing of the body.
  • Raktapitta (Bleeding diseases) (Bhavaprakasa).
  • Caksusya karma (Benefits the Eyes) - Reduces excess pitta in the eyes. Triphala is one of the best formulations for eye diseases (Netra roga). (A.P.I.)
  • Soma Roga
  • Kesha (Hair Tonic) - increases hair strength, reduces premature baldness greying since it pacifying the pitta burning the roots of the hair. A main ingredient in the Vital Veda + the Raju family's Bringraj Amalaka 11 Oil and Rajus Kesha Oil.

Vitamin C Powerhouse

According to the studies, the average Amla fruit (22.5gm) contains 121mg of vitamin C.
The average orange (130 grams) has about 70mg of vitamin C.

So one little Amla berry is packed with more vitamin C than the orange, which a 5.8 times bigger fruit!

Amalaki has 10 TIMES the amount of vitamin C than an orange when we measure equal weights of both fruits.

Research suggests this all-natural vitamin C content contributes to the potent antioxidant capabilities of Amalaki.

This is far from mega doses of vitamin C that people are taking. But what is compelling is the ability of Amalaki to take a small amount of vitamin C and use it to activate an entire matrix of chemicals that deliver a multitude of health benefits.

More about Amalaki herb coming soon.

Important Formulations

Triphala

One of the most popular formulations in Ayurveda and rightly so because mostly everyone can use it and benefit from triphala's actions.

Triphala helps in diabetes and skin diseases. It is fantastic for the eyes (external and internal application) and helps in fever. It helps in digestion and natural, regular elimination (laxative action), thus is an essential supplement to take today when we (even health individuals) are inevitably exposes to environmental toxins. 

Note Triphala is contraindicated for those with loose motions, diarrhoea, bleeding disorders of the GIT. 

"Tri" = Three
"Phala" = Fruits

The three fruits (in equal quantity) that make up triphala are:

  1. Amalaki (Embilica officinalis)
  2. Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)
  3. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

Shodana Vati - 3-Dosha Balancing and Purification

Shodana Vati's main ingredient in Triphala plus a whole lot more other herbs. If one takes Shodana Vati (superior option) people do not need to take Triphala.

This is a Raju family formula made with love and mantras that is the best free radical scavenger and anti-oxidant; immune modulator and blood purifier. It's good for gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, tooth and oral problems, female problems, high cholesterol, chronic cough, eye disorders, addictions, helps clear the skin and more. Available at Vital Veda.

Chyavanaprasha

Chyavanaprasha is a honey based jam (leham) procured with many herbs. Eating this regularly maintains optimum energy and immunity levels, especially during seasonal and life changes. Chyavanaprasha reduces kapha, colds, and promotes inner strength.

Unfortunately most herbal manufactures are not making proper Chyavanaprasha. The only company that makes it properly to my knowledge is Maharishi Ayurveda, although Maharishi Amrit Kalash is superior.

Anand Sidhi Yog - Nutritious Immune Boosting Bliss

An easy to digest rasayana that strengthens and repairs all the dhatus (tissues). It provides supreme nourishment for rapid healing and feeds the most re ned levels of the physiology, the mind and only the healthy body, not the disease.
It strengthens the lungs, helps in chronic cough and is a great anti-oxidant. "ASY" restores physical vitality, immunity, good digestion and eternal bliss. Amalaki is the main ingredient in this Raju family formula made with love and mantras. Available at Vital Veda.

If taking Anand Sidhi Yog, no need to take Chaywanaprash or Amrit Kalash since ASY is superior.

Check out our Amla Pickle Recipe here.

If you are in India and Amla is in season (around December), take advantage of that and eat them fresh!

 

Credits:
Chywanprash photo - Jiva

 

Amla Pickle (Recipe)

Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry)

This recipe can be for lemon pickle by replacing lemons with amla.

Amla is the common name for the fruit of the Amalaki plant (Embilica officinalis). This is not only considered by many to be Ayurvreda's most potent fruit, but Amalaki is also one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda.

Tridoshic Fruit

One of the marvels of Amalaki is that it contains all 6 tastes except salt. Thus this fruit mitigate:

  • vata by its sour taste
  • pitta by its sweet taste and cold virya (energy) and
  • kapha by the dry quality and astringent taste.

Benefits of Amla

  • Rasayana - Rejuvenator that promotes longevity. Rasa (the essence of properly digested food) is being spread (ayana) to nourish all the rasavaha srotas: 10 dhaminis (arteries) and heart, as well as the udakava srotas: Talu (soft pallet) and kloma (pancreas/thyroid).
  • Good for the lungs and immunity. 
  • Digestion - assists bowels and reduces inflammation in the GIT as it supports healthy intestinal "inner" skin. This accordingly improves health and lustre of the "outer" skin.
  • Diabetes.
  • Fantastic aphrodisiac and rejuvenator.
  • Amalaki’s prabhava (special effect) is having a sattvic effect that raises the quality of consciousness and the overall wellbeing of the body.

Vitamin C Powerhouse

According to the studies, the average Amla fruit (22.5gm) contains 121mg of vitamin C.
The average orange (130 grams) has about 70mg of vitamin C.

So one little Amla berry is packed with more vitamin C than the orange, which a 5.8 times bigger fruit!

Amalaki has 10 TIMES the amount of vitamin C than an orange when we measure equal weights of both fruits.

Research suggests this all-natural vitamin C content contributes to the potent antioxidant capabilities of Amalaki.

This is far from mega doses of vitamin C that people are taking. But what is compelling is the ability of Amalaki to take a small amount of vitamin C and use it to activate an entire matrix of chemicals that deliver a multitude of health benefits.

Read more benefits and information on Amalaki here.

Amla Pickle Recipe

Note this recipe can simply be adjusted to make Lemon Pickle by replacing Amlas with chopped up lemons.

Fresh Amla is hard to get outside of Asia.

Ingredients

  1. Finely chopped Amla fruit - 1 kg
    (or if making lemon pickle, slightly peel the outer layer off then chop 1kg lemon).
  2. Rock salt - 100 gm.
  3. Sea salt - 200 gm.
  4. Turmeric powder - 25 gm.
  5. Dry roasted ground fenugreek powder - 2 tsp.
    Dry roast until it is very good smell and brownish red colour. Then grind to powder.
  6. Dry roasted ground cumin powder - 5 tsp at least.
  7. Lime Juice - 1 tbsp.

Spices to add it at the end:

  1. ghee
  2. mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
  3. cumin seeds - 2 tsp.
  4. fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp.
  5. garlic - 3 cloves finely chopped.
  6. curry leaves - 8 leaves chopped.
  7. dry chilli - 2/3 chopped (optional).

Method

Day 1

  1. Finely chop Amla fruit (approximately into 6 pieces per fruit) and remove the seeds until you have 1kg.
  2. Add 25 gm turmeric power and mix well.
  3. Add 5tsp roasted cumin powder + 2 tsp roasted fenugreek powder.
  4. Leave in a bowl loosely covered with a lid closed for 3 days (72 hours). Mix well at least a few times a day.

Day 4

  1. Add 100 gms rock salt + 200 gms sea salt. Mix well.
  2. Leave in a bowl with the lid closed for 3 days (72 hours). Mix well at least a few times a day.

(A lot of salt preserves and cooks the pickle).

 

Day 6:

  1. Now the pickle is just about ready but requires one last step.
  2. In a pan, heat ghee then fry in the ghee:
    • mustard seeds till they pop.
    • Then cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds till they pop. 
    • garlic, curry leaves and dry chilli until the garlic becomes golden colour.

Store the pickle in a glass jar and it is ready to be used.

This pickle gets better with age when stored in a glass jar.

 

 

Digestive Lassi

Ingredients

1 tsp – 1 TBSP yoghurt
1-1.5 cup water
1/2tsp roasted ground cumin powder
1/2tsp roasted ground ajwain powder
1/2 tsp black salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Method

Blend all ingredients together well and drink fresh.

Plain lassi containing just yoghurt and water is also very good.

Benefits of Digestive Lassi

  • Improves digestion and a fantastic pro-biotic.
  • Helps in reflux and diarrhoea (in this case make it more thicker).
  • Lassi is the best alkaliser.
  • As Lassi improves digestion and absorption it ultimately supports calcium absorption and bone health.
  • Balances heat (pitta) and clear the physical channels.
  • It is the best remedy (with a pinch of salt) for haemorrhoids and anal fissures.
  • A great food to introduce dairy to a lactose intolerant person after they have corrected their agni.
  • Lassi is very hydrating, and a great drink to have with lunch.

 

6 Tips to Ditch the Microwave Oven

We now know that microwaves have a seriously negative impact on our food and body, so how do we go about removing them from our kitchens and what methods of cooking and heating can be used instead?

You’ve decided to put your health first, so how do you replace the convenience of the microwave? It’s all about becoming more efficient in the kitchen, a skill you will surely develop.

Here are 6 simple steps to ditch the microwave oven for good…

Plan ahead

1. Soaking lentils and grains reduces their cooking time. You can soak them for about 2 hours and then a cook a dahl dish in 15 minutes. The classical Ayurvedic dish, Kitchari, takes even less time to cook. If you are cooking heavier lentils soak them for longer. The longer you soak, the quicker they will cook. Take care not to sprout the grains by soaking them for too long.

2. Pre-chop: Chop a bunch of veggies, grate fresh ginger and finely chop garlic and keep them categorised in containers ready to be thrown in the oven, your curry, stir fry or to steam a meal. This is not ideal but for those who are time poor.

3. Prepare your meals in advance: For the days when you’re too busy or too tired to cook, prepare 2-3 meals in one go for that day or two. Just be sure to reheat it on the stove. This is not ideal, fresh is always best, but for those who are time poor. 

4. Stove Heating: Get familiar with it. Cooking and heating foods this way is faster than you think.

Expand Cooking Skills

5. Steam Oven: If it’s within your budget or you are doing up a new kitchen, consider getting this awesome new appliance.

6. Learn some quick and easy recipes: Some of quick favourites are Ayurvedic porridge for breakfast, kitchari for lunch/dinner or golden milk elixir for breakfast or dinner.

Detox and Revive

Even radiation in low levels are persistent and can accumulate in your body over time, eventually manifesting as diseases. Is it radiation that is causing your ailments? Avoiding microwaves, radiation and other toxins is ideal. Also supporting your body daily with herbs and foods to detox the toxins that we invariably encounter.

The Vital Short Home Cleanse
A “DIY” Detox and Rejuvenation Program – 5 Days to Revitalise Your Digestion, Metabolism, & Energy Levels.

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“You are what you eat” is certainly true.

If you eat heavy, damp, leftover foods you will feel heavy, congested, dull and become prone to depression, sluggishness, fatigue and brain fog.

By comparison, if you eat light, prana-rich food cooked fresh with love you will feel light, energised and full of love!

But also consider how you eat.

In what environment do you eat? How fast do you eat it? How long after the previous meal are you eating it? How do you transform or cook it?

 

Microwave Ovens ![Danger]! – Are you still using them?

Are you sacrificing your health for a modern convenience?

Sure, microwaves may seem like a quick and easy solution to cook or heat your food, but healthier cooking methods aren’t that much slower. Plus, by choosing a cooking method that is better for you, you’ll cultivate a love for the ritual of cooking and quickly become a wiz at it. On top of mastering new cooking skills, your body will benefit from the energy and vitality present in a freshly cooked meal. Not convinced? Here’s more about why microwaves have no place anywhere near your food.

How Microwaves Work

Microwaves are essentially radiation bombarding your food and producing heat through causing the water molecules inside to violently vibrate at extremely high frequencies.

Unlike a conventional oven, the microwave environment itself is not actually hot. You can feel this for yourself after the ‘ding’. It’s the water content in food that is heating up the rest of the food and as water is not evenly dispersed in food, that is why the heating in microwaved food is uneven. If there is no water present, the food will not be heated but remain cool – a term dubbed “electrical whiplash.”

What Microwaves Do to Your Food

Zap Food Nutrition

Due to unsustainable farming practices, use of pesticides and soil depletion, our soils sadly lack nutrients, hence so does our food. So now, more than ever, we need to be ensuring proper nutrient intake from fresh foods prepared right.

If you use a microwave, what may have started as a nutritious plate of food has now devolved into “dead food.” The radiation waves bounce around the inside of your microwave oven and are absorbed into the food, destroying the nutritional content of your meal. The prana (life-force) has been stripped away.

Nutrients are lost and often what survives has become ‘inactive’ – meaning that your body is not able to access the nutrients remaining.

Studies have shown that:

Doesn’t sound appetising at all, does it?

Alters the Molecular Structure

High frequencies in radio may be a good thing, but in microwaves the high frequencies of radiation create molecular friction which forcefully distorts and deforms the structure of the water molecules in food.

After you ingest the food the same thing happens to your body’s cells which creates a perfect environment for pathogens. You are what you eat, and after eating microwaved milk and vegetables, one study found a dramatic decrease in the levels of white and red blood cells and haemoglobin (the oxygen transport in blood).

The specific gigahertz frequency of radiation emitted by microwave ovens immediately affects the body’s heart rate. If you experience irregular heartbeat or any chest pain and regularly eat microwaved food, it might be best to stop “nuking” your food.

Causes Cancer

Plastic and paper containers used to heat microwave meals have been found to leach carcinogenic chemicals (BPA, PET, benzene, toluene and xylene) along with other harmful toxins into your food which is then absorbed by your body.

Even without plastic there is evidence that the altered molecular structure can have toxic effects on your DNA and lead to cancer. These geno-toxic effects can be the cause of unexplained headaches, anxiety, dizziness, vertigo, brain fog, depression, nausea, vision problems, tooth and jaw aching or constant thirst.

Becomes Tamasic

Ayurveda considers microwaved foods tamasic or that which causes inertia. The lack of life force makes the food heavy, typically causing depression, sluggishness and fatigue. The altered molecular structure of the food confuses the body’s intelligence causing cancer, brain fog, autoimmune disease and host of other issues. After the food becomes heavy it will turn to undigested food material (ama) which will lodge in a vulnerable channel or tissue in the body and initiate the disease process.

Want to know how to ditch the microwave for good?

Check out our 6 Tips to Ditch the Microwave Oven

 

7 Tips to Avoid Ama over Christmas and the Silly Season (and Still Indulge)

The festive season is here! and along with it an abundance of edible delights seem to be just about everywhere!

Over 99% of us are going to break the rules and indulge. Great! Enjoy it! (guilt-free and in moderation). But accordingly, support your digestions ability to "digest" the "silly season" at ease with minimal repercussions. 

It is hard not to overindulge and accumulate Ama, the toxic waste-product of incomplete digestion.

Tempting sweets and mouth watering food platters that pull you in by the eyes and nose can lead you to over-eat and snack at irregular times, promoting the accumulation of Ama.

Ama is a sticky, thick, mucus-like substance that if not cleaned out, will clog bodily channels and vitiate the “weak part” (Kavyaguna) in your body.

Joints are typical weak spots, but the ama will vitiate different tissues and areas depending on the person. Some people may experience respiratory symptoms, constipation, gas, bloating, skin rashes or breakouts, congested lymphatic system, weight gain or stress.

The accumulation of ama is the first of The Six Stages of Disease (Shat Kriya Kala) according to Ayurveda. After that, it will eventually manifest into disease and more full-blown clinical features down the track

This is the beauty of the prevention aspect of Ayurveda. It can detect disease way before it gets even slightly complicated.

A key solution for conquering Christmas-time Ama is to keep your digestive fire (Agni) burning and balanced.

We want our agni to digest the food and from it create a thin liquid substance that Ayurveda calls "Ahar Rasa." This is the essence of the food. This essential bi-product of digestion will nourish your body and provide the required nutrients and energy for you to thrive.

The following tips will help keep your agni strong and balanced.

Tips for Less Ama, more Nectar:

1. Eat Seasonally

Digestion is stronger in winter and weaker in summer.

"The temperature of the body beaten by the cold wind goes deep inside, gathers like a lump in the stomach increasing the digestive fire; hence, [in winter] people have the ability to digest foods which are hard by nature."
~Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, Hemantartucarya (regimen of winter), ch. 4, (8-13).

Modern science is now proving ancient wisdom as studies show the amylase enzyme (which increases our digestive strength), increases in our body in winter and decreases in summer. What more is that the parasympathetic nervous system, AKA the “Rest and Digest” nervous system, also increases in winter and decreases in the spring and summer.

Our digestive fire is hot, fiery and acidic. We don’t want that in summer, we want that in winter to keep us warm and insulated and to help us to break down the hard to digest, high protein, fat and dense foods like grains, nuts and dairy that nature intelligently organised to be harvested for the winter time.

If your holiday season comes in winter:

Your lucky that you do have stronger digestion but still do everything in moderation and follow the tips below to remain balanced.

If your holiday season is in summer:

Choose loads of fresh local fruits as your party foods. Fruits have been ripening on the vines all year long and assist in dissipating the heat out of your body. Fruits are easy to digest for your weaker summer agni. Ironically barbecues and ice-cream by the beach are more appropriate for winter time. Stick to light foods.

2. Eat Your Main Meal at Midday

Your agni (digestive fire) is regulated by the sun.

When the sun is strongest your digestion is strongest and more robust.

Modern sincere is once again proving ancient wisdom by showing that not only is our digestion stronger, but the food you eat deliver more nutritional value at the middle of the day when the sun is up rather than at night time.

Start preparing your Christmas lunch earlier so that you can stick to a 12pm-2pm mealtime schedule.

If you do have an evening party, make it earlier while the sun is up around 5pm.

Dinner should be the lightest meal of all. A big meal will not only tax your digestive system but will disrupt your sleep as your body will be burdened with this unwanted task. Your body’s job at night is to detox the liver and regulate hormones, not digest food.

3. Avoid Snacking

Sticking to three meals a day, no snacks will allow your digestion to rest in between each meal. Furthermore, it will trigger fat metabolism as you will be using fat as your source of fuel. Fat is the stable, long-lasting, calming, detoxifying, non-emergency fuel. If you are eating every 1/2/3 hours, the body will continue to burn the readily available fuel from these foods. This fuel source is sugar. Sugar burns quickly and often comes crashing down along with your energy levels, leaving your body craving another short-term “pick me up.”

Fat on the other hand as your primary fuel source is effective for stabilising mood, emotions, good sleep, increasing cognitive function, less cravings, losing weight, balancing acidity and maintaining good energy levels.

Re-establish fat metabolism by eliminating snacks.

4. Use Herbal Digestive Support

Over 99% of us are going to break the rules and indulge. Fine, enjoy it! (guilt-free). But accordingly support your agni with nature’s intelligence through the use of herbs and spices:

Shodana VatiDetoxification agent and whole-body cleansing Rasayana. 3 dosha balancing. 
Best free radical scavenger & anti-oxidant; immune modulator and blood purifier. Good for gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, tooth and oral problems, female problems, high cholesterol, chronic cough, eye disorders, addictions, and helps clear the skin and more.Raju family formula.

Shodana Vati is my herb of choice for mostly everyone to take. We live in a time where toxins are prevalent. In the US, a whopping 4 billion pounds of toxins are being dumped into the environment each year—72 million of which are carcinogenic.(1) Even your organic kale probably have mercury and glyphosate on it.

Purchase Shodana Vati HERE

Triphala – An inferior digestive support option to Shodana Vati. Take 1-3 grams of quality triphala before dinner.

Digestive Tea:

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon lightly crushed cumin seeds +
  • 1/2 tsp lightly crushed ajwain seeds +
  • 1/2 tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds +
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder or freshly grated ginger.
  • Put the powdered herbs in 1.5 cups of water and boil down to 1 cup.
  • Strain and add 1 pinch of black salt.
  • Sip hot/warm as a tea after each meal and if you experience digestive discomfort.

You may make larger quantities and keep in thermos for the day.

Tridoshic Digestive Tea

Vital Veda’s digestive tea contains 22 organic herbs blended into coarse powder.

Drop a large pinch in hot water after meals or when you experience digestive discomfort. A gem to sip on after overindulging in a feast to help digest the ama.

Suitable for all body types. Purchase here

4. Sipping Hot Water

This is a powerful technique to melt toxins and flush them out the body.

Like washing the dirty grease off dishes with hot water, the same thing happens in your intestines. Sipping plain hot water regularly (frequency, not quantity matters) dilates the channels in your body so things can move better. Don’t underestimate this powerful tool.

Click here for more on this surprisingly powerful detoxification technique. 

5. Fasting

Just in case you strayed from the Ayurvedic path and collected Ama along the way, fasting is a quick and effective fix.

In Ayurveda, it is said if you eat a heavy meal that did not digest properly, skip the next meal. If you had a ridiculous dinner, skip breakfast or just have hot milk.
If you put out your agni with a heavy lunch, skip dinner.

Ayurveda also recommends fasting one day per week. Fasting does not mean no food. You can have liquids such as hot milk, lassi, fruit juices, and even fruits if your current body-type is uncomfortable to fast. Also at night if you feel you may take a light dinner

A gentle fast allows the agni to recover its strength and burn away accumulated ama, leaving you feeling light and energetic.

Always sip hot water frequently on fasting days to assist in removing the ama.

6. Avoid Agni-Destroying Foods and Drinks

Some foods are especially hard to digest and easily produce ama. Heavy foods produce “tamas” or dullness in the mind and body. Fresh foods are easier to digest and contain more Prana (life force).

Items that diminish agni and contributes to the accumulation of ama:

  • Leftovers – will oxidise and are very tamasic.
  • Deep fried foods are hard to digest.
  • Raw foods are hard to digest. Why make your internal fire do the cooking? Let the external fire do the cooking to make the food more compatible with your body.
  • Cold foods and drinks will put out your agni digestive fire.
  • Ice-cream – cold, sweet, heavy and dull are the same qualities of ama. Like increases like.
  • A lot of water with meals dilutes the digestive enzymes. Iced drinks with meals is like throwing cold water onto a fire. Lassi is the best to have with a meal.

7. Panchakarma Detox Therapy / Vital Short Home Cleanse

Despite all your good efforts to keep balanced, our physiology still needs regular detoxification and rejuvenation.

Panchakarma (“PK”) is a methodical combination of taking herbs, treatments and adjusting diet and lifestyle to cleanse and renew the body. These treatments are hands-on, rejuvenating techniques that purge the physiological stress and toxins out of the body that covers the underlying natural state of perfect health residing in everyone.

This detox and rejuvenation program is best to be immersed in-residence at an authentic, safely practised ayurvedic clinic. I highly recommend Dr. Raju’s Institute of Ayurveda.

If you can’t run away to India, the Vital Veda clinic in Sydney offers PK for 5, 7, 15, 23 or more days where your program will be tailored to tie in with your home and work life.

If you want to DIY at home, check out my free Vital Short Home Cleanse.

I wish you a happy holiday season filled with unity and relish.

"Even if you eat ice-cream, enjoy it."
Vaidya J.R. Raju 

References

(1) http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/service-areas/children/areas-of-care/childrens-environmental-health-center/childrens-disease-and-the-environment/children-and-toxic-chemicals


The Vital Short Home Cleanse

5 Days to Revitalise Your Digestion, Metabolism, & Energy Levels

A "DIY" Panchakarma Detox and Rejuvenation Program

The Vital Short Home Cleanse (VSHC) is a short 5 day cleanse and detox designed for those who are ready to feel lighter, more energised and peaceful. It is appropriate for busy people who don't have the time for Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation program) or a similar longer cleanse/retreat.

The VSHC is a "DIY" (Do It Yourself) cleanse consisting of following a daily regimen, a simple and delicious diet protocol, taking a few herbal supplements and perhaps backing up a little from your regular life and giving more time to Yourself and rest.

"DIY" entails that the results are based on the level of your compliance and dedication to the program. How far you take it is up to you. You can choose to retreat and reduce external stimuli to turn your senses inside out to feel the deeper parts of yourself. Or, on the other hand, you can integrate the VSHC at the same time as working full time, which will still reap transforming benefits for you body and mind.

This easy 5 day detox will help stimulate your body's natural ability to burn fat, reset digestion, reduce cravings and eliminate toxins.

When to do the Vital Short Home Cleanse

  • The best time to detox is when you have the time to rest. During the 5 days you should be in bed every night by 9:30-10pm and have minimal social/work commitments.
  • It is important to cleanse and relax on a regular basis or when your lymph is stagnant. (see VSHC eBook for signs of stagnated lymph).
  • You can do the VSHC three to twelve times a year.
  • If you typically experience coughs, congestion, weakened immunity or allergy symptoms during a particular season, it is good to do this cleanse about one month prior to when you usually experience symptoms.
  • Do not do this cleanse during fever, if you are not feeling 100% well or during menstruation.

(Big file, will take time to load).

Vital Short Home Cleanse Kit

vital-veda-large-cleansekit-1200x900.jpg

  1. Abhyanga Massage Oil - 500ml Medicated Sesame Oil (for cold climates) or 900-gram Medicated Coconut Oil (for hot climates and sensitive skin) to be used for Self-Massage. Supports lymph and blood circulation, pacifies the nervous, collects toxins from deep in the body to be eliminated and more.
  2. Nasika Oil - 15ml Medicated Nasal Oil for Nasya. Nasya pacifies the brain, strengthens sensory organs and more.
  3. Gandusha Oil - 100ml Medicated Oil to for daily Oil Pulling. Not only profound for oral health but also supports Head Neck and Throat health.
  4. Shodana Vati - 300 tablets. To be taken before dinner. General Detoxifying Agent and 3 Dosha Balancing and more.
  5. Copper Tongue Scraper

Total (with sesame-based Abhyanga oil) = $150

Total (with coconut-based Abhyanga oil) = $185

  • Shipping available within Australia (additional handling and postage fee).
  • Pick up from Bondi Beach, Sydney clinic available. 
  • Purchasing individual products are available.

To purchase the VSHC kit, and for any questions please email dylan@vitalveda.com.au

Mung Dahl Recipe

Mung is an easy to digest lentil that provides adequate protein. Used for both cleansing and building in Ayurveda, one can eat mung dahl everyday and not only will you gain complete nutrition and satisfaction, but soon this will be the stuff you crave!

Anti-Flatulence

Mung is the only legumes that is “vata balancing.” This means that, unlike every other type of beans or lentils, they will not produce any intestinal gas. They naturally are much easier to cook, digest, and assimilate.

Promotes Sattva ("Purity")

Sattva is a quality in us that translates to “purity.” If Sattva is increased, then so is our inner stillness, clarity of mind and contentment. Love radiates and flows back to us in abundance, while the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “bonding or loving hormone”) is simultaneously secreting. Fresh, seasonal whole foods are predominately Sattvic, thus increases the Sattvic quality in us, based on the Ayurvedic law of “Like Increases Like.”

This is why Mung Dahl is considered to facilitate spiritual growth and effectively detox the body. It has long been used to nourish babies and the elderly, the sick, and the healthy during special times of detox, cleansing, and deep spiritual practice.

Ingredients

serves 3-4

  • 3/4 cup of whole green mung dahl (with green skin on) (green gram)
  • 2 or more types of any fresh seasonal vegetables finely chopped - e.g. zucchini, kale, silver-beet, spinach, dandelion, cauliflower,  broccoli etc. - by using seasonal foods, nature is providing the antidote to the harsh qualities that the season may manifest.
  • salt to taste

Spices:

  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1-2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10-15 fresh curry leaves
  • leeks, spring onion or onion - all finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped - make sure to purify by removing the inner green sprout.
  • Ghee - Approx. 1-2 tablespoons.

Method

  1. Wash mung dahl and soak in a generous amount of water it for 2 hours. Even 1-6 hours of soaking is ok. The longer you soak the quicker it will cook.
  2. Boil mung dahl in a pot of water - allow water level to be about 1 inch above the food. You can need to add more water as you go.
  3. When the mung dahl is getting more soft (test my squishing a lentil with your fingers), add vegetables that take a bit longer to cook (e.g. thick leafy green stems, broccoli stems, cauliflower, carrot etc.). (add as many vegetables as you like).
  4. After the "vegetables that take a bit longer to cook" are basically cooked, add turmeric + black pepper + salt + hing + quicker to cook vegetables such as leafy greens.
  5. Once the dahl and veggetables are cooked, in a separate pot fry the other spices in ghee along with onion, garlic and curry leaves.
  6. Add the spices in the main pot, mix well for 5 minutes to infuse the spices in the dahl.

You are adding the vegetables in the pot in a timely matter so that when the vegetables are finished cooking so are the lentils.  (Everything is ready and cooked by the end).

Garnish with fresh coriander and fresh lemon.

Make the Meal a Complete Protein

Serve with a carbohydrate such as fresh bread and/rice or quinoa etc.
When you mix grain + legume you have all nine essential amino acids which make up a complete protein.

This explains how ancient cultures like India and Africa have been living off beans and rice for decades.

General Ratio:

  • 50% vegetables (at least)
  • 25 % protein
  • 25 % carbs

Enjoy this warming, comforting and super tasty dish that leaves you feeling energetic and satisfied after you eat.

Less cravings, sustainable energy levels and moving towards perfect health.

7 Ayurvedic Super Foods

According to modern science, food nutritionists, food industry leaders and dieticians, so called “superfoods” aren’t exactly “super.” Wikipedia describes that “Superfood is a marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits..”

The European Union has even prohibited the marketing of products as “superfoods,” unless accompanied by a specific medical claim supported by credible scientific research.(1)

Not particularly inspiring…so I will redefine the word from an Ayurvedic perspective.

First of all, there is no need to exaggerate that foods are “super.” Whatever one uniquely needs will be their superfood. Additionally, everything is actually superfood if you know how to transform and use it.

In general, for a food to be “super” it must:

1. Promote ‘Sattva’

Sattva is a quality in us that translates to “purity.” If Sattva is increased, then so is our inner stillness, clarity of mind and contentment. Love radiates and flows back to us in abundance, while the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “bonding hormone”) is simultaneously secreting. Fresh, seasonal whole foods are predominately Sattvic, thus increases the Sattvic quality in us based on the Ayurvedic law of “like increases like.”

2. Detox and Heal the Body

Some Ayurvedic foods are prized for their powerful medicinal properties. Ayurveda valuably teaches us how to use food as medicine.

3. Directly nourish ‘Ojas’

Ojas is the vital essence of our body that translates to “vitality.”
A plentiful reserve of Ojas is reflected in the lustre of the eyes and skin (like the glow in a baby), strong physical strength, immunity and libido, good digestion, vigour and spirituality.

'Ojas' is considered to be the most refined product of digestion. Every food must metabolise through all the body’s tissues before it can become Ojas.

Ojas: a bio-celestial liquid substance that (predominately) resides in the heart, as well as all over the body in a less concentrated matter.

Building Ojas is an art. Perhaps one of the best ways to consistently build Ojas is to eat a diet of fresh unprocessed, seasonal whole foods, and have a balanced agni to support the process. A handful of special foods (some listed below) even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas directly.

The Super Seven!

The seven Ayurvedic super foods I have chosen genuinely are super. They aren’t just packed with a dense hit nutrients, minerals and essential constituents, but actually promote and support your bodies natural intelligence to absorb and produce its own required constituents itself! Further, The Super Seven promote strength, immunity, peace and contentment in the body and mind. And best of all, they are readily available to everyone! Here they are…

1. Hot Water

I am about to reveal to you a very special Ayurvedic purification technique that is excellent for eliminating toxins from the body’s system…
It sounds very simple, but you’ll find that is has a powerful influence in purifying and strengthening the gastrointestinal tract, as well as detoxing and rejuvenating the major systems of the body.

All you have to do is sip hot water frequently throughout the day.

Sipping frequently (rather than focusing on quantity) flushes the lymphatic system, softens hardened tissues (just like hot water will soften leather, unlike cold water) and dilates channels and deeply hydrates the body. It also heals and repairs the digestive system.
In a short time you’ll begin to appreciate the soothing and balancing effect of this technique. Once you have gotten used to it, you will look forward to drinking hot water on a frequent basis.

“Hot water is the most superfood.”
~ Dr. J.R. Raju.

 

 

2. Ghee

Ghee is the crown jewel that joins Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. Ghee is clarified or purified butter. With all the lactose components & milk solids removed, no-one is allergic to ghee.
Ghee is light to digest and has the special quality of enkindling Agni and supports fat metabolism. It effectively detoxes the gut and is an effective source of internal lubrication.
This concentrated golden substance is highly Sattvic and directly nourishes Ojas.
Click HERE for more on the benefits of ghee

3. Cows Milk

Dairy has a bad name in the press these days. With people increasingly claiming dairy intolerances, it has become perilous in todays new-age health scene.

Let me clarify two reasons why this has developed:

1. The dairy industry in the west is increasingly producing homogenised milk from poorly treated, stress inundated cows that are being fed grains. Further, the milk is pasteurised the wrong way, with added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and anti-biotic’s.

2. A lot of kids drink cold homogenised milk with sugar filled processed cereals, and topping it off with some fruit in their bowl or having a glass of OJ on the side – a highly “un-ayurvedic” recipe for an incompatible digestive disaster.

Hence, people develop a dairy intolerance. And it may only hit them down the track. Possibly when they finally begin to tune into their own body and become more conscious.

Let me also add, if you believe and accept the notion that “dairy is bad,” you negatively charge the micro-biome in the foods, stress out your own body and if when you eat dairy with guilt it will not digest well due to lack of harmonious compatibility. Mind is the culprit here.

However, Ayurveda on the other hand prizes dairy as one of the most medicinal and nourishing foods and one of the most anabolic foods that directly builds Ojas. Rest assured, it is not a requirement for anybody to drink milk all the time, but if someone is in need of strength or Ojas, milk is one of Ayurveda’s top choices.

What more, it is a classic Ayurveda sleep remedy to drink boiled milk with spices before bed, also having a profound stress reducing action. Modern science has proved ancient wisdom by showing cows milk has certain peptides that lower cortisol and support sleep by 50%.(2)

Cows are considered sacred animals in India and cow milk is highly revered in Ayurveda as one of the most Sattvic of foods.

Please note: milk should always be boiled with equal amounts of water and un-homogenised and preferably organic. This will make it easier to digest.

If you have difficulty with cow’s milk don’t worry, first correct your agni, then slowly introduce dairy. (Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner). Also, there are six other superfoods on the list to choose from!

4. Lassi

Lassi is buttermilk, or diluted yoghurt.

  • Improves digestion and a fantastic pro-biotic.
  • Lassi is the best alkaliser.
  • As Lassi improves digestion and absorption it ultimately supports calcium absorption and bone health.
  • Balances heat (pitta) and clear the physical channels.
  • It is the best remedy (with a pinch of salt) for haemorrhoids and anal fissures.
  • A great food to introduce dairy to a lactose intolerant person after they have corrected their agni.
  • Lassi is very hydrating, and a great drink to have with lunch.

*Yoghurt should be fresh.
Ratios of Yoghurt : Water: 1:4, 1:6, or 1:14.

Lassi recipe here

5. Honey

Honey is super Sattivc and directly nourishes our own life-nectar, Ojas. It is actually more of a medicine than a food. Due to its richness, it should be taken in moderation.

On the other hand, Ayurveda teaches that honey will be poisonous when heated above body temperature (that means no honey in hot teas, hot porridge, cooking with honey etc.) as it perniciously clogs the channels. This is why is it always important to purchase honey that is extracted at low temperatures.

Learn more: Honey: Nectar or Poison

6. Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is the most thoroughly researched plant on this planet! and i don’t blame the scientists for the 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.

Turmeric has a vast catalogue of health benefits, but here is an essential summary on why to use Turmeric as medicine in your daily cooking:

  • It is the best anti-inflammatory.
  • It regulates mood and boosts cognitive function.
  • Protects the gut and stomach lining.
  • Supports joints: (pain, stiffness, swelling, arthritis) and healthy blood.
  • Since turmeric is anti-carcinogenic, it is vital to use when cooking meat due to the high risk of carcinogenic properties in most meat these days.

Turmeric powder is best advised, always with a pinch of black pepper, as black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000%!(3)

Learn More: The Essential Uses of Turmeric

7. Almonds

Almonds are also Sattvic and help to maintain our Ojas. They are a good source of zinc, strengthen the body and grounding for the mind. But they are also quite rich and heavy, so again, moderation is the key. Half a handful of almonds a day is enough. To make them lighter and easier to digest, always soak almonds overnight in water and remove their skins the next day.

If you are in any doubt about your health please be sure to consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner or your local health physician.

References:
(1)  "Superfood 'ban' comes into effect". BBC News. 2007-06-28.
(2) The Open Sleep Journal. 2009;2:128-32
(3) Research done at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India Planta Med. 1998 May;64 (4):353-6. PMID: 9619120

article originally published on Welcome Earth