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AYURVEDA / YOGA

  AYURVEDIC CUISINE
~ Ayurveda
~ A Vedic Kitchen
~ Ayurvedic Alchemy
~ Ayurvedic Cooking
~ Ayurvedic Table Etiquette
~ Ayurvedic Health
~ Doshas
~ Ayurvedic Taste Chart
- AYURVEDIC
   BEAUTY
-Ayurvedic Books
-Deepak Chopra Diet/Health
-Deepak Chopra on Love
~ Healthy Eating
~ Reference on Indian Food


Ayurvedic/Yoga Cooking
  The Knowledge for attaining Long Life


The various goals of Ayurvedic Nutrition according to the individual needs

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Ojas
Ojas is the aim of Ayurvedic cooking.  'Ojas', is the outcome from food once it had been perfectly digested. Ojas is positive, nurturing energy that boosts the immune, nervous, endocrine and psychological systems in the individual.  A diet that is planned around the foods that turn into ojas is called Ayurvedic cooking.    The opposite of Ojas is called Ama.  Ama creates disease and the potential of disease in the body.

An experienced Ayurvedic cook will be well versed with the following:


Knowing the individual for whom the meal is cooked

A good Ayurvedic Physician and a good Ayurvedic cook are an important part of an Ayurvedic meal.  It is a partnership between the Ayurvedic physician, the cook and the individual.  An Ayurvedic physician can determine the wellness of the entire individual bio-system from the pulse of the individual.  The physician will then inform the cook and the individual about what has been learnt.

Food and Digestion:
Food digestion is as important as paying attention to vitamins because it is important that the body absorb the nutrition that is taken in.  The greatest time to digest the food is at 12 noon when the sun is the highest in the sky.  Digestion needs heat and at that time the stomach is naturally the hottest in the day.  Also ice water or very cold water is not encouraged with meals as it puts of the digestive fires out in the stomach.  This compromises the immune system and energy levels in the individual and opens the individual to fatigue and disease.  Cold water with meals is especially not given to the Vata individual and also for the Kapha.  Also cold water is not encouraged in winter when the digestive fire is not as hot as in summer.

It is an Ayurvedic cooks responsibility along with the Ayurvedic physician to educate the individual about the uniqueness of his/her digestive system.

Food and Taste:
Taste has an effect on the body systems.  Each of the tastes have a specific effect on the body. Therefore a balanced diet involves having six tastes - salty, sour, sweet, astringent, bitter present in every meal or at least have them once everyday. An Ayurvedic cook will know how important it is to include the six tastes when preparing an Ayurvedic meal.

It is an Ayurvedic cooks responsibility along with the Ayurvedic physician to educate the individual about the uniqueness of their Doshas which can be tweaked with taste to create wellness.

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Cooking with the Seasons:
An Ayurvedic cook knows the different diets for different seasons.  The body needs to adjust to the outside environment and food is one way to adjust to changes in season.   Every season brings about nurturing qualities and the body needs plug into the nature for rejuvenation.  When this is not done, it may compromise the natural defenses that the system needs to build up.  During summer, which is a pitta season, individuals are prone for sunburn, acne etc and so it is recommended that cool, light fruits and salads have to be consumed to pacify the imbalances caused by pitta. During winter, which is a vata season, people are prone to cold, arthritis, rheumatism etc and so it is recommended that people eat warm, oily and hearty meals like beans, whole grains and meats to lubricate the system against dryness of Vata season. During spring, which is a kapha season, people are prone to bronchial ailments and common colds etc. Ayurveda recommends foods like honey and millet and greens to be included in the everyday meal to dry the body of the mucus.

Energy is found in Fresh Food and Quality Ingredients:
Ayurveda believes that wellness and cooking start in the market.  The Ayurvedic cook knows how to choose tender and crisp vegetables, soft but firm fruits, good spices, nuts and oils and aged grains.  It is important to choose the best and the freshest ingredients to maintain youth and good health.   Ayurveda pays special attention to the vital energy in foods and the sun's energy that is locked up in greens and in grains.

Each Person is an Individual with Individual Needs:
An Ayurvedic cook knows that each person is made up of elements called ether/air, fire and water/earth.  Each individual has their own composition of these elements.   There are some individual foods that can be beneficial or detrimental for individuals with different elements. Vata (Ether/Air) type might benefit from foods that are warm, heavy and oily. Pitta (Fire) type might benefit from cool foods and Kapha (Earth/Water) type might benefit from light and dry foods. click here for more info

For the Individual who eats a meal cooked by an Ayurvedic cook the following is important.
Leading a healthy Life:

Ayurveda believes there are 5 principles/ways that lead to a healthy lifestyle.  They are - proper relaxation, proper breathing, asanas or exercise, a good diet and regular meditation.

Kavita Mehta 1995-2001

 

A book that I would recommend for learning Ayurveda is Perfect Health : The Complete Mind/Body Program for Identifying & Soothing the Source of Your Body's Reaction by Dr. Deepak Chopra

Perfect Health by Dr. Deepak Chopra

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Indian Cook Books and their Reviews

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This work is dedicated to my mother Shanta who taught me the tenants of Ayurvedic Cuisine and Knowledge.

BACK TO MAIN CLASS MENU

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1990 to 2001 - Kavita Mehta.  All Rights Reserved.
Kavita has been giving classes on Indian Cuisine in Minneapolis for the past 10 years.  She now shares her work on her web site for all to enjoy.

 

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