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Ayurvedic Eating Principles for Living a Healthier, Happier and Longer life

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Food is a necessary component of our existence in the material world. There are just a few people who can live without food in this world. But most of us can’t imagine our existence without food. However, each of us sees the meaning of food differently. For some of us, food is a means of life. Others perceive it as a source of pleasure, or a necessary need, reward, satisfaction, satiety, security. And for some, it is related to passion, a source of pleasure, entertainment, addiction, and even a way of self-expression.

The Creator of the Universe supplies all living beings with everything they need. However, modern people going beyond harmony with nature lost the knowledge given to them about what they should eat to maintain their bodies in balance. To help find their way back to this abandoned state of harmony, people were given Ayurveda – a science that tells us how to live harmoniously in our physical bodies, what to do and how to eat.

Ayurveda teaches us that eating food is our offering to God, to the sacred fire that glows inside our bodies. And the better the quality of the offering, the better the response of the sacred fire will be. Our health is the result of the food transformation by the power of Agni.

In this article, I want to share with you ayurvedic eating principles that may change the way you perceive food and make you more conscious of your eating habits.

General Ayurvedic Eating Principles

Ayurvedic Scriptures share comprehensive knowledge about how, what, when, and how much to eat to maintain good health. Fundamental Ayurvedic principles are recommended to be followed by everyone, regardless of religion, traditions, and established habits. Food will be good for your health only if it is properly and fully assimilated, which depends not only on the quality of food but also on its quantity, time of reception, weather conditions, environment, and mental state.

The following Ayurvedic eating principles are suitable for all three doshas!

1. Eat only when you are hungry

Ayurvedic Eating Image

Even if you are used to following a certain schedule and the hour of the meal has come, but there is no hunger, do not eat! You shouldn’t eat unless you are really hungry!

2. Drink only when you are thirsty

Woman Drinking Water Image

There are so many sources that recommend us to drink as much water as possible. However, Ayurveda teaches us not to overdrink. Any liquid regularly taken in excess leads to an imbalance of Pitta and Kapha, and also weakens the power of Agni (digestive fire). Heavy drinking of liquids after a meal slows down and complicates digestion. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends drinking no earlier than 48 minutes after a meal.

According to Ayurveda, those who drink before meals reduce their weight, those who drink during meals leave their weight unchanged, and those who drink after meals increase their weight.

Also, it is absolutely harmful to suppress the feeling of hunger with water as well as to seize the thirst with food. The feeling of hunger indicates the body’s need for food, and the feeling of thirst – for drinking. Reverse actions will lead to imbalances. Always listen to your body – it knows better.

3. Wash your hands, face, and feet before you start your meal

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By performing these actions, you’re washing off the negative energy. It is also beneficial to brush your teeth and tongue before your meal. It not only prevents bacteria from entering the chewed food but also increases the ability to perceive the taste.

4. Don’t get distracted while eating

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Put down your phone and give up the habit of reading or watching TV at the table. You should eat in a calm environment and with full concentration on your dish. Focus on its taste, aroma, and immerse yourself in the process of absorption.

5. Do not eat in a frustrated or irritated state

Ayurvedic eating rules Image

Otherwise, you will just eat up your emotions. Before you sit down at the table, calm your thoughts.

6. Bless your food

Food Blessings Image

Before eating, bless the food. Then your food becomes not just a dish but an offering. You can read a prayer or mantra, or you can just use your own words with wishing yourself good health and saying gratitude for whatever you’re having for dinner (breakfast, lunch).

7. Balance all the flavors

Ayurvedic Food Image

According to Ayurveda, food should combine several flavors. But even better when it combines all 6 main flavors according to Ayurveda: sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, astringent. These flavors should be present during each meal. This will allow the body to get all the necessary substances and avoid digestive disorders.

You should start your meal with sweet tastes since sweet foods are the most difficult to digest longer than others. The sequence of flavors should be as follows:

  1. sweet;
  2. sour;
  3. salty;
  4. spicy;
  5. bitter;
  6. astringent.

Sweet-tasting products:

  • grains;
  • beans;
  • sugar;
  • sweet fruits.

Sour-tasting products:

  • sour fruits and berries;
  • fermentation products: wine, pickles, vinegar.

Salty-tasting products:

  • any kind of salt,
  • food with added salt.

Products with a spicy taste:

  • pepper;
  • garlic;
  • mustard;
  • ginger;
  • cloves;
  • cinnamon;
  • onion;
  • radish;
  • celery;
  • eggplant.

Bitter-tasting products:

  • spinach;
  • Brussels sprouts;
  • olives;
  • cocoa.

Astringent-tasting products:

  • pomegranate;
  • feijoa;
  • persimmon;
  • unripe fruit;
  • legumes;
  • nuts.

Kaphas should avoid excessive consumption of sweet taste. Pittas should monitor the consumption of sour-tasting products. Vatas should avoid excessive consumption of bitter-tasting products.

The Bottom Line

In the beginning, the following ayurvedic eating principles can seem difficult for modern people. However, once you turn them into your every-day habit you will discover that it’s not so complicated anymore. You will notice that you are becoming a healthier and happier person. And then when people ask you what’s your secret you will answer: “I just applied these 3 rules to my life:

  1. Treat your meal as a sacred ritual and offering.
  2. Love yourself.
  3. Always listen to your body!”


Katya Ki is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Feng Shui Master, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

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Vegan Golden Milk Latte: Powerful Immune-Boosting Drink

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Manage common ailments this winter with a tasty Vegan Golden Milk Turmeric Latte! It is a 5-minute, vegan, and immune-boosting drink ideal for all ages. In addition, it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which enhance your body’s immunity.

In this article, I’ll share with you how to prepare your hot Vegan Golden Milk Turmeric Latte using fresh ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With this recipe, you can substitute coconut milk with cashew milk and almond milk for a unique taste each night. Let’s dive in!

What Is So Special About This Drink?

Golden milk benefits image

With turmeric, you enjoy the following health benefits:

  • Turmeric is rich in antioxidant compounds, which block free radicals. In other words, the compounds stimulate your body defenses.
  • It fights off coughs and colds, especially on those cold winter nights.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that fight against arthritis.
  • It will boost your immune system even when down with a sickness.

A sprinkle of cinnamon in each drink will fight infections and repair your tissues. It also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, you experience warming, yet calming effect that helps in balancing your blood sugar.

A pinch of nutmeg helps with indigestion. It is a natural detoxifier, reduces insomnia, and improves your blood circulation.

Finally, coconut milk is excellent for your heart. It helps to lower cholesterol levels and stimulate weight loss. Hence, a sip of one cup of milk results in lots of health benefits.

Ingredients

turmeric latte ingredients image
  • 2 cups coconut milk – You can substitute it with almond milk or cashew milk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground turmeric
  • A pinch of black pepper – It helps your body absorb the turmeric
  • A sprinkle of freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or your preferred sweetener
  • Freshly ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Procedure

In a medium to a hot flame, start by adding milk to a heavy-based pot.  Then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir the mixture. Then let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Check that that all the ingredients melt together to bring out their flavors.

Pour your vegan golden milk into a mug and enjoy it. That was easy, right?

Quick Tips:

vegan golden milk image

If you love a frothy look, use an electric milk frother on the drink before pouring it into your mug.

Does the taste of turmeric put you off? Then, start with small quantities and increase the amount with time. Alternatively, you can add other ingredients like vanilla and ginger to dominate the flavors. However, think about all the health benefits of turmeric.

Now, the main ingredient in this Vegan Golden Milk latte is turmeric. Turmeric metabolizes quite fast. However, our bodies may not get the chance to absorb it well. That’s why we use black pepper in this recipe. It multiplies your blood’s ability to absorb turmeric by up to 20 times!

Secondly, note that turmeric has low solubility in water. Melting it in coconut milk, almond, or cashew milk does the trick.

Conclusion

When you have gout pain, or have kids down with a cough or cold, you need not worry. Mother Nature gives you all the tasty ingredients to fight such ailments.  The Vegan Golden Milk Turmeric Latte is worth a try. Use the quick recipe above to tap into the hidden benefits of turmeric. For best results, opt for freshly ground ingredients. Besides, its soothing and relaxing traits make it your ideal nighttime drink.


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This Is Why I love Vegan Matcha Cookies And Cupcakes

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Vegan Matcha cookies and cupcakes

Matcha cookies are easy to make and an excellent breakfast addition. But how well do you know your matcha powder? Matcha, originally from the Chinese heritage (Although associated with the Japanese more often), is a green colored powder ground from green tea leaves (Camellia sinensis plant). These leaves typically grow for 3 weeks while shaded before they are harvested and processed. Processing involves steaming and removing the veins and stems before drying and grinding. Compared to the other forms of tea, matcha powder is rich in caffeine and theanine. Since it is rich in antioxidants, it is an excellent antidote for illnesses like cancer and diabetes.

The Benefits of Matcha Powder

matcha powder image

Acne Solution

Matcha powder has incredible benefits for your skin. It contains antioxidants that fight bacteria causing acne and therefore excellent for your beauty routine. If you suffer from regular acne outbreaks, make a face mask by adding a tablespoon of matcha powder with lemongrass oil and then apply on the face daily. This mixture will also help to eliminate any existing scars.

An Excellent Health Supplement

In addition to antioxidants, matcha is rich in beneficial micronutrients such as theanine, beta-carotene, vitamins B complex, A, E, and C, and chlorophyll.

Slows Down Several Types of Illnesses

From several scientific tests documented, we can conclude that matcha has a significant effect on illnesses such as diabetes.

Weight Loss

I look at this in two ways. First of all, taking a cup of tea before meals makes you fuller and you, therefore, end up eating less. Secondly, matcha contains a good amount of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) which promotes the oxidation of fat in your body.

It Makes You More Alert

This is quite obvious with tea, isn’t it? But while most teas give you an overdose of caffeine, matcha gives your body l-theanine to enhance your cognitive performance.

Vegan Matcha Cookies Recipes

Let me now discuss a few ways you can enjoy a healthy dose of matcha powder in your breakfast using my all-time favorite matcha cookies.

Gluten-Free Matcha Cookies

Vegan Matcha cookies balls image

Ingredients

  • Homemade vegan butter – two sticks.
  • Agave syrup – half cup.
  • Vanilla extract – few drops.
  • Gluten-free flour (buckwheat flour or quinoa flour) – two cups.
  • Ground cashew nuts – half cup.
  • Green matcha powder – one tablespoon.
  • Powdered cardamom – 1 teaspoon.
  • Herbal sea salt to taste.

Tip: To dust the cookies you will need a ½ tablespoon of green matcha powder mixed with a ½ tablespoon of powdered coconut sugar.

Procedure

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line the baking tray with a baking sheet to make cleaning easier and to avoid sticking or burning at the bottom. Alternatively, you could spray it with olive oil.

Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Now add the syrup and vanilla extract to the mixture while you mix well.

Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cashew nuts, cardamom, salt, and matcha) and fold them into the liquid mixture. When the dough starts to thicken, get your hands in there and form a workable dough but don’t over knead.

Wrap the dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or chill overnight. I love baking cookies in the morning. The aroma is alluring.

When you’re ready to bake, shape the dough into balls of your preferred size and place them on the baking sheet. If you have an ice cream scope, use it for even shapes. Bake for 15 minutes until they start to brown at the top.

Remove and cool the cookies in a cooling rack. Once cooled, dust the matcha and coconut sugar mixture and serve.

Mint, Mixed Nuts, and Matcha Cookies

matcha cookies

Ingredients

  • Ground walnuts – 1 cup.
  • Ground almonds – ½ cup.
  • Green matcha powder – one tablespoon.
  • Quinoa flour (or buckwheat flour if you like) – 1/3 cup.
  • Cocoa powder – 1/3 cup.
  • Mint extract (crash a few mint leaves using a mortar and pestle) – few drops (it can be overpowering).
  • Dates – 1 handful.
  • Soy milk – ½ cup.
  • Herbal sea salt to taste.

Tip: To garnish the cookies, you can make a mixture of 1 ½ tablespoon of agave syrup, 1 tablespoon of matcha powder, and 2 drops of peppermint extract.

Procedure

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredient using an electric mixer until consistent dough starts to form. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes until the dough is firm.

Dust a smooth surface with a little flour and roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Cut the desired shapes with a cookie cutter and bake them on a lined baking tray for 10 minutes or until well done.

Garnish and serve.

Note:

Cookies keep well frozen. Freeze them immediately they cool down in an airtight container and keep enjoying for the next 6 months.

Matcha Cupcakes

vegan matcha cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Gluten-free plain white flour – 1 ¼ cups.
  • Baking powder – 1 ¼ tablespoon.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • Matcha powder – 3 tablespoons.
  • Coconut sugar – ¾ cup.
  • Almond milk – ½ cup.
  • Extra virgin Olive oil – ¼ cup.

Procedure

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl sieve the flour, matcha, baking powder, coconut sugar, and salt and mix them well. Create a well and pour in the wet ingredients (milk and olive oil). Using a wooden spoon, fold in taking care not to over mix.

Pour the mixture in cupcake molds and bake for 15-25 minutes.

A quick test when baking is to insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean, your queen cakes are done.

So What Makes Matcha Powder a More Superior Form of Green Tea?

If you’re familiar with Moringa and other versions of green teas, you might be wondering why matcha?

matcha powder benefits image

First and foremost, we ingest matcha in its whole form. With other teas, you have to filter the tea leaves and drink the diluted concoction.

Secondly, matcha does not undergo oxidation to mature its flavor, unlike the other teas. On the contrary, it is cured (via steaming) immediately it is harvested to prevent oxidation. And consequently, matcha has a lovely earthy flavor: Because most of the natural fragrances, nutritional compounds, and colors are preserved.

Finally (maybe I should have started with this one), the cultivation of Camellia sinensis plant (the source of Matcha), is in such a way that the plant has zero exposure to sunlight. Biologically, the lack of sunlight stimulates chlorophyll production. This makes matcha rich in the amino acid theanine, which has numerous health benefits.

In Conclusion

The above recipes should awaken your creativity. However, feel free to experiment with other versions of the ingredients. And in case the dough is too firm, add a tablespoon or two of water, you’ll be fine. And in the kitchen, other than baking matcha cookies use the powder to flavor your drinks. You can buy matcha online or at your local groceries.

 


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Vegan Ketogenic Diet: How Does It Work?

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There are some diets that if you decide to adopt; be ready to answer a dozen questions on your choice. One among them is the vegan ketogenic diet. But what is it? It is a diet that doesn’t advocate for taking animal products and byproducts. The diet also goes against the famous formulae of a balanced diet that advocates for most of the calories to be from carbs. On the contrary, vegan ketogenic diets get their calories from fats.

Best rules to follow in order to stay on a vegan ketogenic diet:

  • First, limit the intake of carbs to 35 grams per day.
  • Get rid of all the animal products and byproducts from your food.
  • Use low carbs vegetables in your diet.
  • 70% of the energy you require should be from plant-based fats.
  • Plant-based proteins should be the second source of calories for your body; this can account for 10-20%.
  • Lastly, consider taking some supplements of vitamins, iron, zinc, and any other micro deficient in your meal.

The vegan ketogenic diet developed from ketogenic diet concepts, but the involved parties were vegans. A ketogenic diet advocates that you get 80% of your calories from fat; the balance from carbs and proteins. This might sound hard and even as a health hazard considering all the hypes associated with cholesterol.  However, once you know how your body works, you will realize that it isn’t a threat to your health and it’s manageable.

Some of the foods to avoid in a regular vegan ketogenic diet:

These are mostly the ones that contain a high level of carbs. Basically, they may include the following:

  • Grains: Wheat, corn, rice, beans,
  • Legumes: Lentils, black beans, peas,
  • Sugar: Honey, agave, maple syrup,
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges,
  • Tubers: Potato, yams, arrow roots and more

Eat a lot of the following foods:

  • Vegan “meats”: Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh and many more high protein “meats”.
  • Dark leafy greens like spinach and kales.
  • You can take all types of edible mushrooms: They are rich in vitamins.
  • High-fat vegan dairy products like coconut based cream and yogurt, vegan cheese are also good.
  • Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
  • Avocados and berries.
  • Sea vegetables and fermented foods.

The human body needs energy to do the various activities. That energy can come from glucose or ketones. The preferred source of energy by the body is glucose, but the major drawback with this is that it cannot support the body for more than two hours of HIIT. Ketosis sets in after depletion of sugar; the body turns to fats and converts it into high energy molecules called ketones.

How to get enough fats on a vegan ketogenic diets

  • Consume and use coconut oils in your diets. These oils are rich in long and medium chain saturated fatty acids
  • Use olive oils for cooking and food flavor enhancer. However, ensure that you don’t expose it to more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit since it will easily oxidize
  • Use avocado oil since it is rich in monounsaturated fats and does not easily oxidize
  • Roast your nuts and seeds with red palm oil, it is rich in vitamins A and E
  • If you need an energy boost, add MCT oils to your foods since they contain medium chain fatty acids that don’t undergo digestion but rather go directly to the liver where they are converted into ketones

What happens when you take more calories than the body can use?

If you take excess calories, they will be converted into fats and glycogen. Thus, if at one time the body does not have enough calories, it will turn to these reserves for energy. However, after depletion of the banks and you don’t top up them by eating, the body will start to consume its muscles. This situation should not be allowed to happen under any situation. If you are confused by how much ketones and calories you require; use the calculators to get accurate figures.

Pros of vegan ketogenic diets:

  • They are rich in anti-inflammatory agents
  • Helps to keep blood sugar insulin levels under control
  • It is a good weight management diet
  • It is friendly to animal existence
  • Cancer prevention

Cons of vegan ketogenic diets

  • It is one of the most restrictive diets since it avoids most of the plant-based products.
  • There are limited selection choices in a restaurant since a majority of the people don’t practice keto
  • If not supplemented, there can be deficiencies of iron, zinc, and B12.
  • Plants store starch and sugar as energy whereas animals stores these as fats
  • The list of plants products with high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs is highly restricted
  • It might not be the best diet for people with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as obesity

Therapeutic considerations if you are on vegan ketogenic diets:

Plant-based diets are healthy, but this does not mean they should be taken without caution. In fact, people with special conditions are sensitive to certain chemicals and also have sensitive digestive systems. If either of the above is the case, cereals should be soaked overnight to reduce the concentration of phytic acid. Those with a sensitive digestive system should use powdered or ground plant products like nuts and other types of flours.

Are you bold about your choice for a vegan ketogenic diet?

Vegan ketogenic diets are not very popular. Some people will even take water in a restaurant for fear of disclosing that they are on a vegan ketogenic diet. Majority of your friends might think it’s an unfounded choice, but you must enlighten them about the diet. Thus, tell them all about its health benefits, its impact on nature, how friendly it is to animals. Certainly, the cruelty which animals go through in the name of the food is pathetic.

In fact, all people would turn to vegan keto diets if they are truly concerned about future generations. These diets are important for brain health and they also combat some types of cancers. However, the diets are hard to follow and might not be the best on several occasions. For example, you might have to carry food while going out. In spite of all these, the challenges should not hinder you from continuing with a vegan ketogenic diet.

Namaste!


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