The month of December will be dedicated to exploring Ayurveda. I was introduced to Ayurveda during my yoga teacher training and have always been intrigued by the health and beauty benefits. I originally thought of it as "the food branch" of yoga. Since then I've learned that the word Ayurveda comes from ancient Indian Sanskrit and means the "science of life." That's definitely something worth exploring.
My cookbook, Ayurveda: Inspired Cooking for your Individual Well Being, states that "this complete knowledge of life is a timeless reality, namely the laws of nature, which have been in effect everywhere since the beginning of creation." Eating based on the seasons, current health conditions and individual dosha type seems like a smart way to live.
1. Eat in a quiet, settled and comfortable environment.
2. Eat only when you feel hungry.
3. Do not eat when you're upset.
4. Always sit down to eat.
5. Eat at a comfortable pace; stay conscious of the process.
6. Don't overeat; leave 1/3 of your stomach empty to aid digestion.
7. Eat freshly prepared foods. Lightly cooked foods are preferable to raw or over-cooked foods.
8. Favor fruits, vegetables and grains, warm milk, almonds.
9. Include all 6 tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent) at every meal.
10. Sit quietly for a few minutes after finishing your meal.
These guidelines make sense to me. However, they may not be easy to follow at all times. Immediately I think about my rushed lunch break between teaching classes, but I guess that's part of the challenge. I'm ready to increase my awareness and see what happens. The idea of 6 important tastes is something I don't normally encounter in Western food ideologies. I'm curious to experiment with these ideas in my cooking and eating. Wish me luck as I slow down and (hopefully) absorb more.