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.

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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

 

Yagya – Communing with the Divine

Yagya, typically involving a fire ceremony but can also be something as simple as exercise or eating your meal, is the way in which we commune with nature’s intelligence to invoke an effect of greater purification, unity and love.

Yagya is like the cosmic mobile phone. It is the way in which we summon the divine.

We are communing. It is a communication procedure by which we are requesting an order.

Everything in nature revolves around the principle of reciprocity. When we make a request (with intent) through consciousness, we are trigging a spontaneous phenomena of reciprocity.

When we understand this principle and we incorporate agni (fire), agni becomes the transmuter, the purifier, but also the deliverer of the message of the intent. Agni metabolises intent into manifestation.

In Yagya, we offer that intent with things we hold precious to us such as ghee, sandalwood, turmeric, flowers and other various substances from the earth.

These things which we are offering to the fire hold a very sattvic (pure) quality that when transmuted from its gross physical dimension by agni into a spiritual essence, it is transmuted into a celestial substance (soma), which the devatas (spiritual beings) feed of. They feed of our sattvic soma.

This combination of intention, mantras (primordial sounds), fire, offerings and the flow of human awareness will be customised to target a very specific dimension in the more subtle realms of concioussness. Here the devatas bathe in the nectar of our attention and devotion.

This creates a bonding effect and a bridge between the subtle dimension and the gross dimension. We create a window for the light to come in, but we also send light in. It is a two way street, paved with bridges of unity.

What we are seeking to do is commune with each other. With everything – gross and subtle. The vedic world view is we wish to embody all dimensions in consciousness. Yagya is the technology by which we commune with the divine. Not just for the sake of communing with the divine, but to cause an effect…

What that effect is, is relevant to the type of Yagya and who we are “dialling”.

Medicinal Effects of Yagya

Reduces kapha and ama in the body through the smokes tikshna guna (sharp quality) and vayu (air) quality.. Especially good for the eyes as it removes cataracts (ama in the eyes).

this article is inspired by the teachings of Jonni Pollard 

photo: Natasha Mason

Feature Food: Banana (“Kadali”)

There are two species of Banana's - Musa acuminata (the common fruit) and Musa balbisiana (plantain or green banana that's used as a vegetable). Additionally there are hybrids and offsprings, but they all stem from these 2 original wild species.
I will share the Ayurvedic view of the common Banana fruit (Musa acuminata), known as "Kadali" in Sanskrit.

The Benefits:

  • "Banana cures obesity, kapha, diseases of the vagina, causes constipation, improves colour and destroys poisoning." (Lodhradi Gana).(1)
  • Banana is a good remedy for depression and a great replacement to snacking on chocolate as a comfort food. When depression is caused by quality of dryness, bananas actually grant courage and fortitude. (This does not mean to indulge in Banana when feeling down, eat everything in moderation).
  • It mitigates Pitta due to sweet taste, however if eaten in excess can increase pitta.
  • It increases stomach acid - beneficial for those with too little acid.
  • High in Potassium - Potassium levels are important for those whose sodium/salt intake is high and for nerves and muscles.
  • High in Vitamin B6 - Combining B12, Folic acid, and B6 is important because they are synergistically active to provide protection to the heart, brain, and nervous system and more.
  • Skin Care - It is good to incorporate in to your homemade topical skin paste. Especially for Pitta skin types.
  • Low Pesticide Levels - Banana's are not very "dirty" in the sense that conventional tree's don't require much pesticides.

Cautions:

Banana + Dairy = Incompatible Food Combination (Viruddha Ahara)

Banana mixed with dairy is highly incompatible.

The post-digestive action (vipaka) of Banana is sour, while the vipaka of milk is sweet. The different vipakas create an incompatible food composition that typically deposits as "Ama" (undigested food material = toxins) in the body and will manifest as disease later. It changes the intestinal flora and diminishes Agni (digestive fire).

Banana mixed with dairy is a common cause of skin diseases.

This (incompatible) food combination is so common in the west, and is in my top 3 "biggest flaws of the western diet." Stay away from Banana Smoothies with milk (see my healthier Banana Smoothie Recipe), Banana in your Porridge, Banana Milkshake and Banana Cake.

Generally, banana (like most fruits) should be eaten alone, but there are some exceptions (see below).

Time to Eat Banana

  • Banana is one of the only fruits with "rules" - One should not eat it on full stomach nor empty stomach.
  • Banana is not healthy to eat first thing in the morning.
  • Like other fruit, having Banana as an afternoon snack is an appropriate time to eat banana.
  • People with high blood sugar should not eat banana very much.

Ayurvedic Properties

  • Rasa (Taste) - Sweet and Astringent
  • Virya (Energy) - Cooling
  • Vipaka (Post-Digestive Effect) - Sour

Banana Smoothie

A more compatible and healthier option.

Recipe here.

References:
(1) Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, Ch. 16, (18-19).

photo: by Dylan Smith taken in Tiruvannamalai. 

Other Feature Foods:

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 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.
  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.).
  4. Add turmeric + black pepper + salt + hing + quicker to cook vegetables such as leafy greens.
  5. 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. 

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.

Milk Rice Recipe – For Woman’s Health

Here is a very simple recipe that is the prescribed diet during the Banana Treatment.

This is also recommended for woman to eat during their menstrual cycle to balance gynaecological health, particularly in cases of dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).

Ingredients:

serves one person

  • White Rice
  • Water
  • Full cream, unhomogenised, Cows Milk.
  • quantities vary on how much you want for the day.

Method:

  1. Wash and soak rice (1 hour is enough).
  2. Boil rice in water. When thick foam gathers on to the top, strain and dispose the foam/water. (This removes the impurities from the rice).
  3. Close to when the rice is cooked, add milk with equal amount of water till the level of the liquid is approx.  2cm above the rice.
  4. Bring to the boil - take off - Serve.

"But I Don't Do Dairy"

It is important to have even a little cows milk with the milk rice during the BT. If you do not want any milk at all, have plain rice.

If the reason for avoiding milk is a dairy intolerance, just avoiding heavy-to-digest proteins like milk will not fix the underlying proble, which is a weak digestive fire (agni). Take a steps action to re-balance your digestion, then slowly introduce the foods in the right way. Contact Me for a consultation to dig deeper into what is going on and get back on the track towards optimal digestion.

Guidelines for Banana Treatment Diet:

  • On the days of taking the Banana Medicine, one should not take any medications, herbs, dietary supplements etc. – if you have an issue or query with this, contact me or the Vaidya.
  • The banana herbs should be taken on a complete empty stomach. If you are taking the morning dose of Banana Medicine, you should not consume any food, herbs, or medications etc. that morning. Only plain water is allowed.
  • 1 hour before taking the medicine the patient should completely fast (no food, water etc.).
  • It is important to swallow the banana piece whole – Do not chew it or allow it to touch your teeth.
  • 1 -2 hours after taking the medicine the patient should completely fast (no food, water etc.). After this, the first thing the patient should eat is milk rice (see recipe below).
  • Do not talk for 30 minutes before you receive the banana herbs or 30 minutes afterwards. Results are more powerful with inward attention and silence during this time.
  • Every meal during the BT should be “milk rice”. If you have a trouble digesting cows milk, try a smaller quantity raw or unhamogensied cows milk boiled. If this is still uncomfortable, you may have plain white rice only.
  • Rarely people feel aversion to eating milk rice every meal. If this happens, and you really cannot tolerate it, have milk rice or plain white rice for the first meal (after taking the BT), then for the meals after that you may add a little cinnamon in the milk rice to add some flavour and reduce the aversion. Note that this is not ideal and for full benefits of the BT. Plain milk rice is best ruing menstruation cycle.  You can also have fresh, simple food throughout if you are really struggling with diet (see diet below on next bullet point).
  • Women who are post-menopause or men who are taking BT have much more leniency with the diet. You can eat normal light food throughout the BT. It is recommended to have milk rice after taking the BT, then you may have normal light food for other meals, but aim to keep it as simple as possible (not heavily spiced, flavoured etc.).
  • Continue sipping hot water frequently during the BT days to help remove the toxins more thoroughly.

Click here to read more about Banana Treatment

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