When the season changes, so should our diet. As we move from Summer, to Fall, it’s easy to get anxious, scattered, and sick. Treating food as medicine and keeping a grounded self-care routine is important to navigate seasonal change with less cold, flu and fatigue. Ayurveda explains that the elements of Air and Space are most prevalent during the Fall season, so finding grounding dishes that support digestion and immunity are especially important, as is finding time for abhyanga (self oil massage).
If you or someone you know if undergoing cancer treatments, or other conditions that cause nausea or ‘anxious belly’, try these recipes for a soothing lunch.
Roasted Root Veggies – simple and grounding – let it bake while you make other dishes
Prep: 20 min | Cook: 45 min | Yield: 4 servings (8 cups)
Choose 4 types of root veggies available and fresh at your local grocer. Consider: sweet potato, a couple of beets (red or golden), parsnip, 2 carrots, small butternut squash, turnip, rutabaga, 6 finger potatoes
Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Toss all the vegetables with melted ghee and salt in large bowl. Season with black pepper, and 1 tsp. hing (if available)
Divide the vegetables evenly, spreading them out to assure they don't steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Ginger Rice – boosts digestive fire, ginger helps reduce nausea sometimes caused by ‘anxious belly’
Active Time: 10 MIN | Total Time: 25 MIN | Yield: Serves : 4
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the ginger, rice, stock and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 12 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water has fully evaporated. Fluff the rice and serve.
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (2 tsp if fresh is not available)
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 .5 cups veggie stock (or plain water if not available)
1/2 teaspoon salt
(consider adding pistachios or raisins in addition to the ginger for added flavor and nutrients)
Sautéed Greens – greens are an important part of our diet to reduce stagnant heat, clean the liver, and support healthy blood. Add oil to provide grounding and essence of immunity
¼ cup sesame or sunflower oil
1 T. red pepper flakes
1 large bunch kale, stemmed, with leaves coarsely chopped
½ cup vegetable stock, or water
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper or 1 tsp. hing
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Heat oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add kale to the pan, turn the heat to high and add the stock. Use a spoon to toss the greens in the oil and stock, then cover and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until it is soft and wilted, but still quite green. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers, add vinegar and toss to combine.
*hing: Hing comes from the resin of giant fennel plants that grow wild in the near East. The resin can be kept pure, but in the States, you mostly find it ground to a powder. Ayurveda (the oldest medical science in evidence) reminds us that food is medicine, and hing provides heating and digestive support, along with special qualities that reduce the 'gassy effect' most veggies give us. It is also known as Asafoetida, it has a pungent smell, but when cooked in food, turns aromatic and adds great flavor that replaces the need for onion and garlic, which is considered 'rajasic' (activating) and counter-productive to meditation practice.
*abhyanga: means “self-massage with oil,” and according to ancient tradition, it is one of our greatest allies for total health. Read more about the benefits in Yoga Journal here.
*ayurveda: Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world's oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 5,000 years ago in India, reminding us that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not only fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems and is considered a form of Complementary & Alternative Medicine in the US. Ayurveda has several branches of medicine - modern plastic surgery is based on its scientific texts. The field of REJUVINATION is a branch that modern medicine has skipped over, but Ayurveda promotes as a daily routine.
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