Rooted in ancient wisdom, the 5,000-year-old healing science of Ayurveda emphasizes how cooking, eating and good digestion contribute to your overall well-being.
It’s about learning to love real food, eating for your dosha type and discovering how delicious, nutritious food will improve the quality of your life.
Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to eating, of feeding the whole individual – one’s body, mind and spirit – and focuses on preventing illness rather than curing it by keeping the body in balance. It’s a system of natural healing that teaches you how to live in harmony with the laws of nature.
To really embrace natural living, you need to examine not only what you are eating, but how you are preparing and consuming your food and the energy of your internal environment – both your mindset and physical space. How can you use your space to promote balance within yourself, create natural flow in the kitchen and good vibes when you sit down to enjoy a meal?
Ayurveda encourages you to be more conscious of the way you procure, prepare and consume food to live more in accordance with nature.
Kick start your healthy lifestyle by setting up an Ayurvedic kitchen and adopting health eating habits:
- Ayurveda doesn’t just focus on what you actually eat, but considers the cook’s energy and intention during meal preparation. Your attitude plays a role in imbuing the food with healing properties, or positive or negative energy. Keep an upbeat attitude, play some music, and express gratitude for the food’s ability to nourish and fuel your body.
- Ayurveda also teaches that where food comes from is as important as what you do with it. Eat fresh, organic foods that grow in your area and eat them in season as much as possible.
- Shop your local health food store or farmer’s market for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Grow your own garden if you have the time and space so you have easy access to fresh vegetables and know what is put on them.
- Be sure produce is fully ripe and at the pinnacle of freshness; a food’s vitality affects its digestibility and local, seasonal produce have the most nutrients and health benefits.
- A true Ayurveda diet is mostly plant-based, but if you eat meat, buy from your local butcher or fish market.
- Create a calming, uplifting atmosphere with your décor and clean, clutter-free environment for eating. As a general rule, Ayurveda advises eating in a quiet, soothing environment with people you trust, as eating is considered an act of intimacy.
- Consider when, where, how fast, and how much you are eating. It’s important to eat only when you’re hungry. Consistently eating too much can lead to improper digestion and disease. Digestion is also affected by mood, so avoid eating when upset.
- Schedule a time to wash, prep and cut produce and store fruits and vegetables in glass containers for healthy snacks and recipes throughout the week.
- Inspect kitchen and grocery items for preservatives, chemicals and artificial colors. Avoid processed food with ingredients you cannot pronounce. Limit sugar, alcohol and caffeine.
- Avoid using plastic, pre-packaged food and a microwave as much as possible.
- Reduce exposure to harsh, toxic cleaners; wipe down counters with lemon and water or use ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of vinegar, water, salt and orange peels. Make a homemade natural all-purpose cleaner with borax, washing soda, liquid castille soap and essential oils.
- Buy distilled water or invest in a quality filter for your water pitcher, or better yet, the faucet.