Category Archives: Nutrition

How to make Ayurvedic meals for a family

question_masthead Monica B, I don’t know how to make an Ayurvedic meal for my entire family when we all have different doshas. I’m so confused!

Many of you have confusion around this and I think you will be happily surprised with the answer. 

How to make Ayurvedic meals for a family?

You don’t. (mmwaahahahaha evil laugh)
You make one meal that includes all six tastes.
Then, each person builds their plate differently (<—see examples) according to their doshas.

It’s important to know the six tastes: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent

But, don’t over-complicated it by worrying about which family members the tastes will benefit the most. You’ll go nuts. Instead, just include all the tastes in the meal the best you can. A good rule of thumb is to bring in various colors and textures from vegetables and grains into each meal. Like, sneak them in! Top of my mind when I make dinner is, “How many veggies sneak I get into this meal somehow?” and “Could I sprinkle this with parsley (bitter) or cilantro (astringent) or grind a little lemon pepper (pungent) on it?” The more colorful the meal is, the more likely it is well-rounded in tastes. If the meal is all brown or gray, you’re missing some tastes (and probably prana too).

In my book, In Your Elements, I walk through each taste in detail, how to build our plates and the spices in your ayurvedic pantry. I highly recommend the book if you want to know more in-depth!

If you just want some good, quick advice then maybe the most important thing to remember is, don’t stress about it being “Ayurvedic”! Food is food. Don’t mix fruit & dairy, don’t eat yogurt. That’s about all the rules I have for beginners.

Here are some examples of meals I make (they are not Ayurvedically perfect, I just do my best)

Meal 1 – Pesto pasta & vegetables: Pesto pasta (the pesto has 5 tastes in it). Serve with a side of baby colorful heirloom tomatoes cut in 1/2, sprinkle with a little black pepper. Optional to add another steamed-but-still-crunchy veggie like green beans, snap peas or red bell pepper.
Meal 2 – Veggie tacos: Sauteéd zucchini spears (bonus points for sauteéing in ghee), red & yellow peppers served on warm corn tortillas. Add a sprinkle of cumin, himalayan salt and black pepper. Top with your favorite taco toppings including hot sauce, avocado, cilantro leaves, grated cheese or sour cream (dosha depending). Enjoy black beans and rice as a side.
Meal 3 – Lemon pepper chicken & rice & steamed veg. Sautee chicken in olive oil or butter grind a generous amount of lemon pepper on it. Serve with fresh basmati or jasmine rice and your favorite steamed veggie. Easy!

I hope this helps.

Get the download for details on these recipes, how to build your plate, and more!

Cereal For Dinner?

I would love to know who’s had cereal for dinner in the past week. Anyone? Confession: Me me, I had cereal tonight!

We are full into pitta season. Long days, lots of sun and heat begin to increase pitta’s fire in each of us. So when it comes to meals we are probably not reaching for spicy chili, heavy rice dishes, or mashed potatoes. Nope, that stuff feels too heavy and warm for us. So, we might crave something light and sweet, like cereal!

While your mom may have said that cereal is not a good dinner, I’ll tell you that cereal is actually not a bad dinner during summer! It’s light and easy to digest. The milk has a cooling effect on the body (plus, liquid calms down fire), it’s a mild laxative, and instantly calms stress and anxiety. The cereal is dry and light, so it soaks up any excess oils and heat. Both cereal and milk have what is a “sweet taste” in Ayurveda which is the best taste to balance pitta.

SEE?! Don’t you feel better? Craving cereal in summer is not strange, it’s totally natural! Our bodies call for exactly what we need. Next time you get a craving for cereal for dinner, check the weather because I bet it was a warm day

*Choose cereals wisely. Fruit Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Coco Pebbles and the like are FULL of sugar, which will jack you up and crash you down! No bueno! When in doubt, shop the natural foods section of the grocery store. You mostly can’t go wrong at Trader Joe’s too :) 

Don’t over think your food.

You guys, one of the worst things we can do for our digestion is to fear, judge, or second guess the foods we are eating. That kind of worry will cause maldigestion before the food even hits our tongue. Why? Because the mind is so powerful! Let’s stop judging our food and take a second to enjoy it, savor it. If a certain food doesn’t bode well with you, leave it alone, no matter who else is eating it. Your body! Your life! Your choices.

I give 3 takeaways in this video on how to ENJOY your food and stop over thinking it!

xo

3 Ayurvedic Tips to Help Overcome Emotional Eating

Answering a fantastic question from one of you who wants to know if I have any advice on how to overcome emotional eating. It’s a complex question with complex answers that will be different for each of us! But I do have 3 great tips on how to uncover what the emotional eating might be all about AND how to bring more “higher food” into your life. I hope this inspires, moves some obstacles and inspires new way of thinking about food and your life. You got this!

 

4 Ayurvedic tips for an unreliable schedule

Question from Jessica: “Hey Monica B., How do I follow the daily routine when I’ve got an inconsistent night work schedule?”
I got answers!

And, for any of you out there who deal with other obstacles in your schedule, these tips can be applied to you too.

Enjoy!

Vata and Vegan Diet

Answering a question from one of you, “I’m a vata but also vegan and I’ve read that Ayurveda says vatas should not be vegan. What do you say, Monica B?”

3 Ayurvedic Post-Cleanse Do’s and Dont’s

We finished our community kitchari cleanse yesterday and I gotta say, I am SO proud of you!! As we begin eating normally again, you should know about these 3 Ayurvedic post-cleanse do’s and dont’s. Just because the cleanse is over does not mean it’s over! We need a transition period to keep our agni strong. No dumping fried chicken, french fries and hot fudge sundaes into our bellies to celebrate that we did a cleanse ;) Nope. That’s not the way. Check out these tips below.

I’ll be doing MUCH more video on YouTube in 2017 and beyond so be sure to follow my HeyMonicaB channel so you don’t miss a post.
XO!

2017 Vata Seasonal Bloom

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Download Blue Button

I’m EXCITED for you to have these Vata Freebies!
You get Vata Season Webinar + Vata Seasonal Bloom (14-page health guide)!

Let’s talk about vata + the weekend for a sec.
Computers make us feel anxious, so why don’t you print Seasonal Bloom and read it by the fireplace or in your favorite chair. Print is more balancing than the screen, plus it is so lovely you will want it in your hands.
*inhale* *exhale*

We live in a HIGHLY imbalanced vata world with things like computers, smart phones, traffic, and social media. We get anxiety over what we think we should be doing and who we think we should be. *breathe* You are perfectly aligned on your path. You are already doin’ it. The world is just moving faster than ever (hyper-vata) and you can feel that zippy energy, which can create an internal panic.

Let’s slow it down and use this weekend to disconnect from all that stuff.

Find a pumpkin. Cook a meal. Sink into a long bath. Free flow on a bike ride. Catch views from your favorite hike (even if it’s urban). Bust out your paints. Go to the high school football game. Say hello to the yarn basket. Savor a magazine. Power walk with your favorite person. {insert your ideas here}

Let’s bring it down. You are perfectly as you should be, perfectly on your path.
You don’t need to move faster, just trust and slow it down.
*inhale* *exhale*

BIG LOVE! (it’s not you, it’s just vata!)

 

 

Ayurvedic lunch ideas for kids

lunch_for_kidsRaise your hands, who has kids? 1, 2, 3…good! At least 3 of you do so this is good to share and even if you don’t have le kiddos, you can use this for yourself!

Anyone struggle coming up with new and healthy ideas for the kids lunches? *me raising my own hand!* I did! My 5-year old just started kindergarten and so it’s a new game making her lunches every day. Without a plan, I knew I’d be harried and absent-minded when trying to cobble together a good lunch. So I said to myself, “Girl! Get it together and just write it all down.”

So I did! I wrote down a bunch of lunch and snack ideas on a piece of paper and stuck it to the inside of my cupboard. Then I thought, “Hey I would make this pretty and my Ayurvedic peeps might love this too!”

A gift from me to you, please enjoy this list of lunch ideas for kids.
NOTE: They are not pure Ayurvedic…they are kind of “Ayurved-ish.” (see below for why)

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Why are these not Ayurvedic?
#1 lunch should be the biggest meal
#2 eat happy and calmly
#3 meals should be warm
#4 fruit should be eaten alone 
#5 eating for the doshas will vary per kid

Let’s first talk about #1: Lunch is the biggest meal of the day. I mean, if the kid eats, you can pack a big enough meal. Or like most, they will be totally distracted by their friends that they will skip most of it and smoosh the rest back into the lunch pack. And they will come home starving (*shakes fist* anyone see how our eating habits can become backwards at a very early age?).

#2: Eat happy and calmly. She’s happy for sure. But some only get 15 minutes for lunch (*shakes fist again*). No way can a child fit in a “big lunch” in 15 minutes.

#3: Meals should be warm. Little thermoses help this! Most of her lunch is room temp (which is better than from the fridge)

#4: Fruit should be eaten alone. Yes, yes it should. My daughter knows the rule, but will chow fruit however she pleases when I’m not around. We can’t control how they combine their food.

#5: Eating for their doshas will vary. Depending on their dosha, some foods will benefit them more than others. Don’t over think that at this point, just do the best you can. Here’s what goes through my head for my pitta-vata kid, “She needs grounding/carb foods, a little protein, fruit, veggies, healthy fats and water.” You can reference the dosha menus to see what foods in general work best for your kiddo, depending on their dosha.

Whattaya say is this helpful for you? If I confused the dickens out of you please let me know. AND! OR! If you have ideas to add, we’d all love a sharing of more great lunch ideas and recipes so feel free to share in the comments.

XO!

 

Ayurveda Class

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Ready for beginner’s Ayurveda class? Watch the video for my story on how Ayurveda changed my life and let’s start bringing Ayurveda to YOUR life! 

I just launched an online Ayurveda class steered toward the beginner. In this 6-week course, you will begin to understand and APPLY Ayurveda to YOUR life! The class is a self-paced 6-week course which will never expire. We will use my book, In Your Elements, as a guide through the course as we dive into Ayurvedic foundations and craft your own personal Ayurvedic plan. YOU are the creator of your own well being. Ayurveda at its best works because of participation of the client (that’s you!), so my friends, you’re the driver. *vroooomm*

Here’s what you’ll learn:

• An Ayurvedic foundation which you can use forever!
• Dosha discovery (who are you and what makes you tick?)
• Create your own customized nutrition plan
• How to use the daily routine so you feel awesome each day
• Preventative habits to avoid getting sick
• Personalized guidance and unlimited questions throughout the course
• Tips on how to use Ayurveda easily in our busy-busy world
• How to build an Ayurvedic plan any time you need it
• You’ll get weekly worksheets, planners, and some of my art too!

Remember, this class never expires, so you can review it again and again. Life is long, we need constant balancing and reminders. And besides health is not a finish line, it’s a never-ending journey of daily practice.

YEAH! Come on with me and I’ll teach you how to CREATE YOUR BEST LIFE!

BIG LOVIE LOVE, Monica B.

Ayurvedic Daily Routine Video

You will learn how to live vibrantly, productively, energetically once you watch this Ayurvedic Daily Routine video! Watch it now to begin changing your life, right away.

The Ayurvedic daily routine is the foundation in living according to nature’s flow. Only by following these guidelines can we begin to achieve optimal health – without it, we are missing a HUGE and simple component to becoming as healthy as we can be.

You will never look at your day the same way. And yes you might watch this and be like, “Duh, that makes sense.” A lightbulb might pop on as you begin to pair the simplicity of Ayurveda with it’s power. And that’s the beauty. Simple power. You can improve your health and life quickly just by knowing how nature rules time.

In this video you’ll learn WHY certain times of day are best for:

Eating
Working/Productivity
Exercise
Sleeping
Relaxing
Strategizing
Meditating

What you’ll find in the video is very practical, just looking at our schedule coming from a different philosophy. So get ready to commit to 1-2 changes (If you are inspired to share, I would love to know what they are) as you practice creating a whole new vibrant way of shaping your day.

Enjoy if you love it, share it with those you love. Let’s share Ayurveda among our families in friends like they did in villages 5,000 years ago — it’s meant to be shared so everyone can benefit!

For more Ayurveda, grab a copy of my book In Your Elements. It’s a simple, modern guide to simply and effectively applying Ayurveda to your life. xo!

 

Where do I start with Ayurveda?

One of the questions I get the most is, “Where do I start with Ayurveda?! Ayurveda is so big and complicated and I get overwhelmed. Where do I start?”

If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re not alone by any stretch! There are so many people just beginning to learn about the power of Ayurveda so it’s ok! We all have to start somewhere.

In this video I give my top 5 recommendations to started with Ayurveda right away. You don’t need to know anything about Ayurveda in order for them to work. Keep an open mind and don’t be surprised if they sound simple. They ARE simple! Like I said you don’t need to know squat about Ayurveda in order to start practicing them. But fair warning, just because they are simple, don’t dismiss them as too simple to work.

Often we can overlook powerful healing practices in our day-to-day because the action is itty bitty. Or we tell ourselves a story about why it won’t work.

So I ask you: TRY them. Try 1 of these things for 2 weeks and see how you feel. They are simple, but if you feel like crap all the time, my guess is that you are not doing all 5 of these things. They are free, you are empowered, you have new knowledge now so GO GO GO! *whooosh* That was a big gust of wind in your sails. No more feeling like crap, let’s start to change what we practice, especially in the day-to-day.

If you are enjoy this video, here are some other videos to check out:
Ayurvedic eating made simple and customized to YOU
The Ayurvedic Daily Routine
How to fix insomnia and avoid an energetic hangover

Enjoy learning – Ayurveda is all about you so take it slow, open your mind and heart and you will begin to experience the benefits quickly!

How much bad food can I eat?

When taking to someone recently about Ayurvedic nutrition, they posed the question, “But like, so…how much bad food can I eat?”

First of all in Ayurveda, there are no “bad” foods. It depends on who is eating the food, when, how much, what the state of their agni is, and their frame of mind.

For her, I answered with, “If you eat foods that come from nature and are balancing for your dosha 90% of the time, you can screw up the other 10% of the time without noticing much.” And I believe that is true. I’ve always said cupcakes and a glass of wine are to be enjoyed on rare occasions because life is to be celebrated! I still agree with that. But cupcakes and wine as a regular practice is no bueno. We are going to see it on our skin, bods and feel it in our minds and rocky emotions.

So recently I have been seeing these “food prep” videos in my Facebook feed. You know the ones where the video goes real fast and they make a meal in 10 seconds? Yeah those. So, I saw one with a pudding pie with graham cracker crust and thick chocolate coating the top and then sliced and served as huge pieces. There was also a meat, tater tot, cheesy casserole thing. On a different comment string, someone admitted to eating cream soup out of the can (cold) and putting cheez-its on top (what the fruit?!)! And I thought, “OMG…this is “food” they eat on a regular basis!? I have lots to teach!”

Then, I came back to that question,”But like, so, how much bad food can I eat?” And it hit me, why would we want to eat “bad” food if the good stuff makes us feel so good? Why bother? If we are already not feeling good, why do we choose the chili in a can, pudding pies, sodas, chocolates, burgers n’ fries on a regular basis?

Conversely, if we are eating awesome foods and feeling awesome, why not do that all the time?

Some things to consider…if we are confused about what to eat and screw up, that’s one thing. Or, if we are unaware of foods that are truly good for us, that’s another. If we lack time, sure, I’ll give us that.

But, inside each of us we have a POWER to make great decisions for ourselves over and over.

If we already know which foods make us feel awesome, then eat them again and again. Leave the rest alone. You guys, THAT is what this “living healthy” thing is all about. So sure, screw up 10% of the time and it’s fine — I do too! I like wine and cupcakes! I hold no judgements.

But I am curious. We know that food affects our mood and decisions, so if we are in a groove eating 90% of all the right things, why even bother with the 10%? Ego perhaps? Ego says, “I love the taste of that and I want more!” Maybe? Ego is attached to the senses which makes us crave stuff to please our senses or our physical body. Our goal is to transcend that — to go beyond the ego/senses and reach our buddhi, which is our wisdom. If we listen, our buddhi will never steer us wrong, not even 10% of the time.

So come on, use the power of your Ayurvedic knowledge and the power of your buddhi (wisdom!) to start creating your best life. You deserve 100% of it, not just 90%. Food for thought ;) xo!

 

 

Pitta Seasonal Bloom 2016

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Pitta season is in full swing — it’s SUMMER time! Summer means sun, summer rain, sweat, swimming pools, popsicles, watermelon, bare feet, vacation, sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and…go find shade! There is so much to look forward to and I’m excited to share my Pitta Seasonal Bloom download with you!

Why is seasonal balance important in Ayurveda? Remember our Ayurvedic foundation, “like increases like.” Which means when the elements/doshas are dominant in us AND in nature, they can overflow and create imbalance in us. When we are imbalanced we start to feel like crud and if we feel like crud for too long, eventually we will notice physical ailments in our bodies or minds. SO! The goal in Ayurveda is to avoid feeling like crud and live optimally by staying in harmony with nature instead of working against it.

Pitta seasonal bloom has loads of diet & lifestyle tips for your mind, body and spirit. Here’s to a happy and healthy summer! *clink!*

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Tip: Strong Agni

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A Game! Find 8 Ayurvedic Things Wrong

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Inspired by my daughter’s Highlights Magazine, when we “find all the things that are wrong in this picture,” I thought it would be fun to play an Ayurvedic game. Wanna play!? Life and learning is more fun with games! Come on let’s go!

THE GAME: Our friend Lenny does not know anything about Ayurveda. There are 8 ayurvedic things wrong with how or what he is eating. Hint: the answers have nothing to do with his dosha.

THE SCENARIO:
When Lenny gets to work at 9:00 am, he happily eats a whole bagel with cream cheese for breakfast that his thoughtful coworker brought in for the team. Lenny is not hungry for lunch until 1:30 pm at which time, he dashes out to grab a small salad and eats at his desk before his 2:00 meeting. Lenny leaves work at 5:00 and heads straight to the gym before coming home at 7:00. He’s starving! He prepares a nice big bowl of pasta drizzled with olive oil and adds steamed broccoli, zucchini and salt & pepper. The pasta bowl is accompanied with two soft garlic-butter breadsticks and lots of water to rehydrate after that workout. Smiling *rubbing his hands together*, he turns on some lovely music and sits down to eat at 7:45, enjoying and finishing every bite.

8 THINGS ARE WRONG: What are they? Go!

And, let’s be kind. There’s really no “wrong” in life, we’re just trying stuff to see what works. So, no judging Lenny. Through your teachings, he’s about to learn a whole new way of eating. Yay Lenny!
SOME THINGS ARE RIGHT: Lenny has also done some things right, hasn’t he? Feel free to call those out as well.

ANSWERS BELOW!!
1. 9:00 am breakfast, a bit late & too heavy
2. Lunch at 1:30 is late
3. A light salad is not enough for lunch: lunch should be biggest meal
4. Eating at desk: don’t eat & multitask
5. Too much bread/sweet taste (heavy) especially at dinner & all day
6. Too much water with dinner, will douse agni
7. Dinner is too late
8. Dinner is too big in quantity

Ayurvedic Pizza Party

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Ayurvedic pizza party!? Pizza is not really Ayurvedic, but the world we know it has plenty o’ pizza. For us, pizza is definitely part of life — and if it’s part of life, it’s part of our Ayurveda. When you find yourself in the midst of a party, learn how to balance your plate for your dosha by checking out my pizza party tips on Banyan Botanicals blog.

A big shout out to my friends at Banyan Botanicals for promoting this playful excerpt from my book, In Your Elements. ENJOY! And hit me with pizza party (or any other) questions any time. xo!

 

 

 

 

Post-cleanse eating

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Spring is a popular time to do cleanses. Whatever the garden variety of cleanse (there are tons), everybody is talkin’ about cleansing. Here’s what nobody tells you: We should not eat normally right after the cleanse!

Below is an excerpt from my book In Your Elements on ensuring digestive benefits from your cleanse.

After the cleanse is just as important as the cleanse itself.

It is important to slowly rebuild agni to be good and strong. Don’t say, “Yay! My cleanse is over! I’m going out for steak and wine and chocolate cake!”

No, no, no, don’t do that. If you eat normally right after the cleanse, agni won’t be strong enough, and you will start building up ama (toxins) right away. Counterproductive!

Instead build the digestive system back up slowly.
The day after the cleanse, have liquid soup with veggies. The next day, have soup with veggies and rice or noodles, maybe a slice of bread. You could even make a batch of kitchari. Next day you can start eating normally.

See that? A little step-by-step process to eating normal again. Note: You must do this with ANY cleanse or you will reverse the benefits and actually make your digestion worse. It’s really important!

Has anybody experienced a good or bad end to a cleanse based on what you ate immediately after? Inquiring (yet judge-free) minds want to know! XO!

6 Ayurvedic Tips to Balance the Time Change

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Oh man, our clocks changed! Just as we got used to the glow of the sun waking us, it’s pitch black again when the alarm goes off. The reward is a longer day, which, “Hooray for daylight!” but the time change can still throw us off. Time change in Ayurveda affects vata because, well, we’ve made a fast change. *Poof* just like that, we gained an “extra hour.” It can take some of us weeks to adjust but hopefully the tips below will help you slide back nicely into nature’s rhythm quickly.

6 Ayurvedic tips to balance the time change

1. Wake up before sunrise. Ha! Easy enough to do now, ’cause you kind of have no choice. My point is, just because it’s dark at 6:00 a.m., don’t go hittin’ the snooze until the sun comes up. We already know waking up during vata time (before sunrise) gives us a daily boost because as we rise in the energy of movement. So keep doing that! Yes it’s dark, but you’ll have more energy than if you pull the covers over your head until sunrise. Not only is sunrise kapha time and therefore slow time, but you’ll be late for work (pssst, ’cause work still starts at the same time).

2. Cook at home, with fresh ingredients. As always in Ayurveda we strive to put the best foods in our bodies, always. During the time change, it’s especially important. Best is to make sure foods are made at home with fresh ingredients including plenty of fruits and veg. Not too much dairy!

food ideas!
• Instead of Chinese take out, make fried rice at home, use extra veggies and less soy sauce (salt).
• Instead of delivery pizza, pick up some pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joe’s has it), brush some olive oil onto the crust (bonus if you want to infuse the oil with garlic) or a little sauce. Add a wee, thin layer of cheese. Then load up the crust with all your favorite vegetables like kale, zucchini, peppers, whatever you love.
• Do I even need to tell you a nice batch of kitchari will help set you straight?
• Instead of sit-down Mexican, grab all the supplies including beans, meat (if you choose), avocado (yes please!), peppers, corn tortillas (bonus if you make them yourself), rice, fresh cilantro and all the fixin’s. You will have far less salt and sugar in what you make at home. I advise skipping the taco seasoning and make your own mix with cumin, chili powder, and other spices.Or, a little salt & pepper is all you might need. Choose the fresh-made salsa in the produce isle instead of the room-temp stuff in the chip isle. Below is a pic of my dinner last night: homemade spanish rice, homemade tortillas, avocado, bell peppers, cilantro and hot sauce. mm!

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3. Limit salts & processed sugars. Tons of excess salts and sugars lurk in foods especially from chain-restaurants, pre-packaged foods or frozen foods. Eating those foods at any time can make it extremely challenging to wake up in the morning (cue the, “I’ve feel like I’ve been hit with a baseball bat” wake-up). Salt holds water and creates heat so it’s great for vata-types in winter, but no bueno for kapha season. So again, keep foods as veggied and fruitied and grainy-ed as you can! Fresh fresh!

4. Oil Massage! “Yeah yeah, Monica B. You and your oil massages.” Dude, but since time change is a vata change and we calm vata directly through the skin, now is a perfect time not to slack on oil massages. Plus your skin will feel like a baby! Trust me.

5. Water. Drink plenty of it — not too cold and no ice (vata-imbalancing). You might be drawn to choosing extra coffee or stimulants to keep your peeky eyes awake since you got up early, but try not to have any more (if any) than you normally would. Choose extra water since water flows…it will help you go with the flow

6. Normal bed time. It’s only been one day since the time change, so you might still look at the clock at 10:00 p.m. and think, “Pah, it’s really only 9:00…I can stay up for another hour.” No, it’s really 10:00 p.m. ;) So get your lil’ booty to sleep on time so you can wake up in the dark easier (hehe).

7. So Hum. As you prepare for sleep, lay in your right side and do “so hum” mantra and meditation for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you fall asleep before you’re done with the 10 minutes, bonus!

If you adhere to these things for 3-5 days in a row, you won’t even notice the time change, I promise.
Hint: You can use these same tips for air travel!
Double Hint: You can do these things daily and change your entire life! <—10% off with code 6ZE83B8R thru 3-31-16.

XOXO!

Ayurvedic Lunch at Work

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I’m a school teacher and trying to have a freshly cooked hearty lunch at school is proving a little difficult. We have limited kitchen area and limited time at lunchtime (theres a microwave but I don’t like to use a microwave). How do you feel about Thermoses? – Michelle.

Thermoses are awesome! I have some lunchie tips to share when your kitchen set up is limited. And I mean, who has a full range in their kitchen at work!? Not many people…unless you are a start up in San Francisco. No wait, they have every meal catered so not even them (*snark*).

I usually never use the fridge at work a) because nothing is going to mold/rot in a matter of hours b) because I don’t want it to be so cold that I have to heat it in the microwave. So, while I have a fridge at work, I never use it and I don’t use the micro either.

Below are some of the things I do to keep work lunch as healthy and warm as possible.

Ayurvedic lunch tips with a limited kitchen

• Put any kind of one-pot meal in a thermos or some other “keeps things warm” container. Foods you could put in it are soup, rice/veggies, pasta, barley/veggie, veggie curries, fried rice, lots of things you could make!

• I’ve also been known to make a “kitchari burrito” – it is room temp, but they are tasty and don’t get soggy by lunch!

• Make roasted veggies or steamed veggies the night before and bring in a container with pasta and a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper.

• Bring pieces to assemble a good lunch, like tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella cheese slice, and basil. I’ll bring an extra tortilla and make a wrap at work!

• Pesto and hummus are fun accessories. Basil can be used with pasta (sprinkle some pine nuts & sundried tomatoes – mm!) or spread on a wrap. Hummus can be used to dip steamed/cooled veggies or used as a spread on some naan.

• Make a dish in a crock pot or rice cooker at night so it’s ready in the morning.  Bring some of that for lunch in your thermos or other insulated container.

• Use a little hot water from the water-cooler and add to warm up soup or soften and warm up a rice dish.

And you know what?! You are smart. I bet you have workplace lunch ideas to share with us too. Send them in the comments below so we can all see and have better lunchies. XO!