Tag Archives: Ayurvedic food

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 :) 

Bringing your Ayurvedic Lunch

 

Show of hands, who gets in a mad scramble at lunch time to grab something to scarf down before their next meeting? 1, 2, 3, 4…wow, LOTS of you! ;) Who is so rushed in the morning that they don’t have time to pack a good lunch? Who has empty cupboards and complains that there is “nothing in the house?” Who’s sick of spending…$10-$12+ per day on lunch that is not as healthy as you would like OR is not as tasty as something you could have made yourself?

Ah! This is where it gets fun. Friends!! You have FULL control over what you eat for lunch!! Yes you do! It just takes a little planning. By bringing lunch, you would have more time to eat (because you’re not running around trying to find food), you would feel good about eating healthier and saving money, AND you will have time to enjoy relaxing before you jet to your next meeting. You can pack your lunch at night so that you just have to grab it. Really! It’s not that hard, you just have to make it priority and you will LOVE how easy it becomes.

This lunch thang is a big challenge for almost all of my clients. It’s very hard for most hard-working people to make lunch a priority because we have so many other things on our plates (pun!). But bringing your own yummy lunch will ease stress, enhance your efficiency, settle your mind, help with weight loss and save you dough. Plus, you will be eating fresher foods that have not been processed which will do wonders for the body-mind. Try it for 1 week. My guess is that you’ll feel SO GOOD that you will want to make that decision over and over. It will be one of the most healthy things you can do for yourself, I promise.

The trick for an Ayurvedic lunch is to make sure it’s not freezing cold and avoid using the microwave if possible. Those are the biggest hurdles I’ve discovered ya’ll have with this. Most foods can be kept room temperature and they will not rot/spoil in a matter of 4 hours — it’s just the truth — so don’t feel like everything has to go in the fridge. When I take my lunch to work, I leave it on a shelf at my desk. That way I don’t need to nuke the crap out of it because it’s cold. I usually eat it room temp or add a little hot water from the water cooler to warm it up (depending what it is).

Where to start when to bringing your Ayurvedic lunch:

• Make a dish in a crock pot or rice cooker at night so it’s ready in the morning.  Bring any kind of one-pot meal in a thermos or some other “keeps things warm” container. Foods you could make are soup, rice/veggies, pasta, barley/veggie, veggie curries, fried rice, or do a google search and find endless possibilities.

• I like to make a “kitchari burrito” — it is room temp (no micro!) but they are tasty and don’t get soggy!

• Make this awesome 10-minute kitchari and bring in a thermos!

• 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 a tortilla and make a wrap!

• 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.

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

• I keep oatmeal, raisins and almonds at my desk if I get into trouble. Yes, it’s an oatmeal packet, but better than starving or rushing. I use the hot water to “cook” it and let it sit til it absorbs. Decorate with raisins and almonds and…not too shabby!

• Don’t skip lunch if you didn’t bring it. If you need to duck out and get food, make sure it’s prepared fresh by happy people and is warm-ish. Don’t carry any guilt or judgement around about it, just make a conscious choice to do better tomorrow. Yeah?

And you know what?! You are smart. I bet you have lunch ideas to share with us too. Send them in the comments below so we can all see and have better lunchies. There will be a “part 2” to this which includes lunch ideas for kiddos! Stay tuned. XO!

Challenge: Small Dinner

Did you try the mindful munching challenge? How did it go? I have another one for you if you would like to add on! That’s what these challenges are all about. They are not something you can cross off a list, as much as they are small habits you can build on. And before you know it, you’ll have new habits and better health!

This week’s challenge is to have a small dinner. If you normally have dinner as your biggest meal, try making lunch bigger and eat 1/2 what you normally would at dinner.

Why it’s important: Dinners that are too large can cause weight gain, cloudiness of mind, depression, general lethargy, ama, and will make it harder to get up in the morning! Instead of feeling fresh, light, and ready to go, the heavy food from the night before might still be hanging around our digestive system. Once the sun goes down, so does our digestive fire (agni) and we just don’t have the power to tackle a big meal. Over time, this can cause loads of imbalances.

So, try it!! Have a small dinner about 1/2 the size you would normally. If you already eat dinner as your smallest meal, good job and keep it up! Let me know how it goes – we’ll want to cheer you on!

Challenge: Mindful Munching

HOHkay, I think this challenge will make a huge impact for you. I

For 1 week, do not eat while standing, walking, or sitting at your desk

My friends, I’ll tell you why it’s important to put your mind in your food.
Numero Uno! We will actually pay attention to taste. Digestion starts in our mouth with saliva and teeth. When we taste, it stokes our agni and preps us to digest food. Healthy agni is key to heath!
Numero Dos! We will be able to feel when we are full and therefore will less likely overeat (overeating is a huge factor in causing disease). When we calm down the other senses, our mind stays with our food
Numero Tres! You deserve time to eat for crying out loud! Sheez. Who said that we have to work through lunch? Last I checked (and I am a recruiter by day), the law says that you must take a 30-60 minute lunch break for every 8 hours worked. Take that break because it’s yours and you deserve it.

 

And if you want a piece of candy, take it from the dish, walk with it, sit down in a chair (if you are at your desk, face away from the computer), unwrap it and TASTE the darn thing. You might love it and be satisfied with just one. Or, you might decide that Hershey’s kisses taste like wax and they aren’t worth it ;) Whatever the outcome, at least you are fully aware of what you’ve eaten. And THAT is mindful munching :) xo. Tell me your results!!!