I hope this note finds you well and chill! With the cold finally arriving in NYC, I have let myself slow down, feel more introspective, contemplative of the people and world around me, and let go of all the sunny summer hustle. Work load is the same but my attitude has changed. Winter is hibernation and resourcing time!! My diet has also shifted to a seasonal one and this week is the Panchakarma Ayurvedic detox in my Yoga Body Lifestyle Master Class. Everyone, including myself, is practicing self-care in the best way possible to meet our health and fitness goals.
The seasonal dietary change should be tailored to your body type and your bio-individual needs. If done well, it will make you feel amazing. It certainly has prevented me from feeling hungry and latch out onto carbs and fatty salty foods this Fall. There is a seasonal diet blueprint for each individual that makes us feel nourished, strong and peaceful from the food we eat. I’ve felt so at peace that I found myself skipping dinner a couple times this week out of lack of hunger. Once food is no longer used as therapy after a long work day, you can clearly see your true hunger level. Breakfast and lunch have sufficed, and an evening “keto” vegan drink has sufficed. The drinks and spice teas consumed in the Master Class are very satisfying, even though much lower in calories than a meal.
I’d like to share with you 3 smoothie drink recipes, one for each of the 3 Ayurvedic Dosha (body type) . You can take my free Body Type Questionnaire in the Yoga Body Lifestyle Teaser module HERE (click view teaser module).
Each winter smoothie is vegan but also follows the Ayurvedic dietary guidelines to enhance digestion and to balance your individual body constitution (dosha).
The Ayurvedic guidelines are:
- Do not drink cold drinks. The smoothies should be room temperature or warm (advised in these recipes), use no ice.
- Use spices to support the digestion (cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.). Spices aid in digestion and have healing properties. Most supermarket spices have been irradiated which destroys their life energy (prana). Chose organic spices. I buy mine at www.mountainroseherbs.com or at my health food store.
- Fruits are best eaten alone to ease digestion, so used in moderation here and combined with spices to aid digestion.
- Soak nuts and dry fruits to enhance digestion and reduce ama (toxins formation)
- Use the sweeteners that are right for your type. White sugar will aggravate all the body types and is often not properly absorbed so creates toxins (ama). All artificial sweeteners should be avoided but these recipes will provide a suggestion as to a good choice for your body type.
- Use nuts and fats sources that are right for your type. Oils maintain fat, nerve and marrow tissue and are vital for the body. Rancid oil and nuts increase toxins (ama) so make sure your fats are not past the expiration dates and choose raw, organic, unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Use raw vegetables and fruit that combine well and balance your composition. Keep glycemic load of the smoothie low.
- Keep the smoothie raw to conserve enzymes, phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Just warm the nut or seed milks before you blend in the other ingredients.
- Traditional 5,000 Ayurveda did not mention smoothie or was weary of eating raw foods for safety reason and, in the winter, fear of increasing dampness in the body. Hygiene is better today than in traditional India a thousand years ago and there are dietary tips to warm cooling foods (use spices!).
WINTER SMOOTHIE DRINK FOR VATA (WINTER TYPE): CARDAMOM ALMOND MILK
In general, Vata people need more oil and fat than the other body types but due to their weak digestive fire, they need to eat small quantities of high quality fats, at every meal. Soaking nuts and seeds is essential for this body type to digest them well.Spices are great for Vatas, like for Kaphas, they are warming up to them and they can enjoy all of them, except the chili powder which may upset their digestion if eaten in too great a quantity.
- 1/4 cup soaked almonds in 1 cup water (at least 4h, or overnight)
- 1 Tbsp cashew finely ground (blend them alone, dry, in the blender first)
- 1 Tbsp raw coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 3 or 4 strands saffron (rehydrated in a little water)
- handful of spinach
- Optional: 1/4 tsp maple syrup or honey
Warm the soaking cup of water. Then add the warm water, soaked almonds, and all the other ingredients in the blender and blend at high speed.
WINTER SMOOTHIE FOR PITTA (SUMMER TYPE): COOL & SWEET SMOOTHIE
In general, fatty and oily foods aggravate the hot pitta constitution. So this smoothie is choosing cooling fats like coconut. Hot spices also aggravate Pitta, so we’re choosing sweet mild spices here that calm the aggressive Pitta tendencies. Pitta people have a strong digestive system and can process raw food more easily. We’re including some fruit in this Pitta smoothie.
- Soak 14 almonds and 1Tbsp coconut shavings in a 1 1/2 cup water (at least 4h or overnight)
- Soak 1 Medjool date
- 2 fresh figs (or dried figs soaked overnight)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Optional: 1 drop sandalwood or/and a handful of fresh mint leaves
Warm up the soaking water. Then pour all the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed.
WINTER SMOOTHIE FOR KAPHA (SPRING TYPE): CHAI PUMPKIN SEED MILK
In general, Kapha people should take all oils and nuts in small quantities, even those fats that are good for them as, by nature, they tend to hold on to their fat stores. Seeds are a better option than nuts for Kaphas. They should keep all sweeteners to a minimum, RAW honey is the best sweetener, with its heating and dry attributes. It helps dry the excess water and fat retention. Finally Kaphas should use spices liberally. They are great to warm them up with their thermogenic properties.
- 1/2 cup soaked pumpkin seeds (at least 4 h)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 cardamom pod (or a pinch of ground cardamom)
- 1 or 2 whole cloves
- 1 anise star
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 organic black tea bag (or tea leaves)
- 1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
- Optional: A little raw honey to sweeten.
Discard the soaking water. Warm 2 cups water, turn the heat down and gently simmer all the spices and the tea leaves for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, wait that it cools off a bit, and then add the soaked pumpkin seeds and blend at high speed. You can top with a little coconut milk (dairy milk is not recommended for the Kapha body as it would increase its mucus formation).