What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that can be broken down into two parts: Ayu meaning life and veda meaning truth or knowledge. Ayurveda is the study of how to have long, healthy, happy, productive, and spiritually connected life. Ayurveda is holistic medicine. It takes into account the whole individual, rather than just the symptoms of a disease. It generally takes a while to get the body ready to begin healing itself, so please be a little patient as you explore Ayurveda.

Good health is balance and coordination between the body, senses, and sattva (light of the soul). Improper diet, environment, and lifestyle can lead to loss of this coordination, resulting in ill health.

It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of food in Ayurveda. If you can’t follow the diet, the treatment simply isn’t going to work. Ayurvedic herbal supplements do not work all by themselves unless accompanied with proper diet and lifestyle. Food is medicine. Cooking for yourself should be your top priority. Ayurveda is not fast, but it is very gentle and thorough.

When one has good digestion the multistage transformation of food into the seven tissues results with an end product called ojas. Ojas correlates with neurotransmitters, hormones, and the immune system. Good health and vitality can be maintained with the right amount of Ojas.

On the other hand, if one has poor digestion, the food will not be transformed properly into the tissues but will result in Ama – a toxic by-product. If ama sits longer in the body, it becomes reactive and is called Amavisha. All inflammatory diseases have their roots in Amavisha.

If you eat food that has been processed, frozen, sprayed with pesticides, artificial, leftovers, combined improperly, it is dumb or dead food. It will most definitely create ama. Natural or prakritic food is full of prana, alive, and intelligent. It will digest easily and nourish the body. Example, freshly squeezed orange juice is intelligent, packaged and refrigerated/frozen orange juice is dumb, and orange crush is dead. Dead food should be completely avoided. It is almost impossible to completely avoid dumb food. Do your best!

Garvisha

Garvisha is the xenobiotic toxic waste that enters the body due to exposure to chemicals. This can cause a lot of problems. Certain spices like coriander help to remove these toxins from the body.

Indravajraavijanya visha

Indravajraavijanya visha are vibrational toxins from electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and electromagnetic radiation. This is the most dangerous toxin. One should regularly detox to get rid of EMF and EMR toxins.

Natural Therapeutics for Protecting Prana from EMF:

Pranaflow (AKA Supersport) on the spine
● Use indoor plants at home and in the office to purify the air. Snake plant,
also known as Mother in law’s tongue is a good one.
● Walk under the moonlight when the moon is full or near full.
● Eliminate electric blankets, computers, cell phones, iPods, iPads, and TV
from the bedroom.
● Lay down on the earth: clean sand and clay soil is the best whenever
possible.
● Walk near water and rest under big, green trees. Hug trees!
● Walk barefoot in grass, clay or sand whenever possible.
● Splash the eyes with cool water.
● Take regular breaks from computer work and breathe deeply.
● Enjoy the scent of fragrant flowers. Inhale their aroma in nature, grow
them in your garden or decorate your home with cut flowers.
● Shungite and Tourmaline are known to provide protection from EMF.
Foods to balance EMF toxins:
● Seeds – Quinoa
● Lentils : Yellow or green mung dal, red lentils and French lentils
● Spices : Black pepper, cardamom, turmeric, cumin, mint, nutmeg,
coriander, fennel
● Nuts : walnuts, coconut
● Vegetables : Summer squash, zucchini, Lauki, white daikon radish (ONLY icicle variety), asparagus, okra
● Fruits : All sweet fruits like pears, grapes, etc. increase soma
● Limes : They have little agni (fire), but are more soma-predominant than
lemons
● Dry Fruits : raisins, figs, dates, prunes
● Dairy : Yogurt, ghee and paneer
● Water : spring water with alkaline pH
Soma salt

Herbs and spices

Herbs and spices have an important purpose in Ayurvedic cooking and moving the body towards better health. When introducing spices start slowly with small amounts. Spices and herbs open srotas (physical channels) and nadis (vibrational channels) and remove ama, amavisha or garvisha that is stuck in them. Sometimes the colon can swing in either direction – diarrhea or constipation. If you experience this, you can stop using the spice or herb and slowly reintroduce after a few days.

Smart Water

Smart Water for increasing digestive power.
Boil one quart of good quality spring water
Add two pinches of toasted cumin plus half teaspoon toasted fennel and 1⁄2 tsp ginger powder
Add two mint leaves
Sip it all day long, but no later than 5pm.
Discard the leftovers and make a fresh batch every day.

CCF Tea

CCF Tea Toast equal proportions of coriander, cumin and fennel. Cool and store in a glass jar.
Boil 8-10 oz of water and add 1⁄4 tsp of CCF tea to it. Let it steep for 5-7 minutes. This tea helps the digestive system and also help to cool down the liver. It is good for detoxification.

Generic Spice Mixture (masala)

1 tbsp toasted turmeric
1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
6 tbsp toasted coriander seeds
6 tbsp toasted fennel seeds
Toast the spices separately on medium heat. Be careful not to burn them. Combine and grind to a fine powder. Store in airtight container. Use within three months. If you have a tendency to overheating or hyperacidity increase the fennel seeds to 10 tbsp.

Generic Spice Mixture (masala)

1 tbsp toasted turmeric
1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
6 tbsp toasted coriander seeds
6 tbsp toasted fennel seeds
Toast the spices separately on medium heat. Be careful not to burn them. Combine and grind to a fine powder. Store in airtight container. Use within three months. If you have a tendency to overheating or hyperacidity increase the fennel seeds to 10 tbsp.

Foods To Avoid:

Foods that shrink the channels

The nightshade family consisting of potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant.

Foods that clog the channels

• Large beans including soya, garbanzo (chickpeas), pinto, kidney, lima Large bananas (small ones are okay occasionally)
• Hard winter squashes like butternut squash
• Cold protein including cold meats, hard cheeses.
• Processed food including canned, boxed, frozen, precooked foods.
• Leftover foods.
• Foods with preservatives.

Foods that inflame the channels

• Vinegar
• Garlic and onions – both of which have some health benefits and certainly add flavor to a dish but unfortunately interfere with connection between mind and sattva and also affect the microbiome.
• Sour acidic foods, such as bottled dressings.
• Avoid all fake sugars. You will run into all sorts of problems in the long run. It can fool your brain.
• Avoid high fructose corn syrup. It is made from GMO corn. You may use sucanat or jaggery. These are raw unprocessed sugars.
• Honey is very good for you if you can handle the extra heating honey brings along with it. NEVER heat or cook honey. Never add it to a hot beverage.
• Eliminate table salt. Use a high-quality salt like soma salt or good quality sea salt. Himalayan pink salt is more agneya (heating). Pittas should avoid it.
• Kombucha – it is very acidic.

Other Important Points

Foods that inflame the channels

Drink and cook with unprocessed water. The water has to have neutral or alkaline pH and should be good quality spring water that has not been exposed to UV light or radiation.

About spices – cook them – don’t eat them raw. Toast them or wake them up in some oil or ghee.

Cook food properly. Don’t burn the food and don’t undercook the food. Vegetables should be softer than Chinese stir fry but not mushy. Avoid eating raw vegetables including greens. Greens like kale, swiss chard, and collard greens have oxalic acid, which binds with minerals and removes them. Cooking the greens will eliminate the oxalic acid.

Prefer stainless steel for cooking. Throw away all aluminum and Teflon cookware.

Avoid microwaving food- It removes all the prana from food. Food becomes dead, therefore, avoid cooking or warming food in the microwave. Get rid of the microwave!

Include all six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent in each meal so that the food becomes tridoshic and body feels satisfied.

Favor ghee and olive oil. Eliminate all other oils. Use ghee for cooking. Olive oil should not be used for cooking. You may use grape seed oil or sesame oil.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are foods that feed the yoginis (friendly bacteria) and also help to remove toxins from the body. Prebiotics has a slippery, sticky quality. E.g., Young Taro, okra, arrowroot and tapioca.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the yoginis- the friendly bacteria. they are one of the most important pillars of health. If you have taken antibiotics, you have definitely depleted your yoginis. If you think of the digestive tract as a conveyor belt, yoginis pick out the vital nutrients from the food. They are smart enough to pick out the bad stuff from the good stuff. Probiotics are found in living-culture yogurt.

Most yogurt from the stores is processed in a way that kills the yoginis. Fresh homemade yogurt, made with a high-quality probiotic culture like Natren, is the best.

Drinking lassi, the yogurt drink, is a good way of maintaining and restoring the friendly bacteria and improving digestion. If you prefer taking a probiotic supplement, Natren is the best brand. It is also available in non-dairy form.

Digestion-Improving Lassi

Mix 1 part yogurt, 3 parts spring water, 1⁄4 tsp toasted and powdered cumin seeds and soma salt in a blender. Garnish with few chopped cilantro leaves. Have this drink with your lunch.

Digestive Mixture:

9 tbsp Fennel seeds
1 tbsp Ajwain seeds
Toast the seeds on medium low heat, constantly stirring. The colour will slightly change. Mix them together and once they completely cool down you can store them in an airtight container. Chew 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp of this mixture after every meal. This helps digestion.

Nutritional Supplements:

Many people take multiple supplements thinking that it is improving their health. Most supplements are synthetically made and lack intelligence. They heat up the liver and create health problems in the long run. Eating SVA diet ensures that you get optimal nutrition. Some vital nutrients like Vit B12, Magnesium and Vit D can be supplemented with SVA transdermals, which are intelligent supplements with a unique delivery system.

INCOMPATIBLE FOODS:

Purnima's Food Diagram