I love smoothies — healthy or unhealthy, I love them all. I always have frozen berries, avocadoes, bananas, mangoes, ice cream, etc. in my freezer waiting to be blended into a delicious smoothie. Sometimes I make healthy choices by making a protein or fruit smoothie or I go to the extreme by making an ice cream milk shake. The healthy choices are usually made in the morning and the unhealthy choices in the evening.
Since we have yoga training in the morning, I’ve been going to classes with an empty stomach because I have no idea if I’ll have to do kapalabhati or asanas. And most of the time when I have cycling classes in the evening, I come home by 9pm devastatingly hungry that I feel like the calories are burning from my bone marrow. I want to eat a meal, but if I eat solid food, I might torture myself the next morning. Therefore, the go-to solution was to have a smoothie.
Since we’ve learnt about the three gunas (sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic). I’ve tried making a delicious smoothie with a sattvic effect that also satisfies my evening sugar cravings. Recipe below!
The Mi-So Sattvic Smoothie
Coconut Milk – one and a half (1 1/2) cup
Water – half (1/2) cup
Avocado – half (1/2)
Banana – half (1/2)
Baby Spinach – one (1) handful
Dates – two (2) pitted
Turmeric Powder – two (2) pinches
Cinnamon Powder – one (1) pinch
Just put them altogether in a blender and blend till smooth.
Food has such a powerful impact – affecting our physical appearance, physiological processes and emotions. With such a diverse variety of food items to choose from, making small changes in what we eat and observing the effects these have on our body help us to decide which foods best nourish our bodies and minds.
The Yogic Diet comprises 3 main gunas (categories): Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Sattvic foods are seen as pure, wholesome foods that increase energy and prana (life force) within us. These leave us feeling calm, refreshed and alert, and are generally primary sources of energy so are largely plant-based. Sattvic foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts and oils, whole grains, legumes, honey and mild spices that have not been processed.
Rajasic foods are said to be stimulating, such as spices, caffeine, tobacco, processed sugar, onions and garlic. They make one overly alert and thus difficult to find calm.
On the other hand, Tamasic foods make one feel dull, sluggish and perhaps even lazy. These include alcohol, meat, fish and mushrooms, as well as foods that have been frozen, fermented, reheated, fried, stale or laden with preservatives. Unfortunately, this is the kind of food the large majority of the population consumes in this day and age, be it due to convenience such as microwave meals or taste preference, it not only provides insufficient prana to the body, but also inadequate fuel for the mind. From a nutritional perspective, some of these food items may not necessarily be harmful to health – for example frozen vegetables or meat still retain majority of their nutrients, but the process of freezing has depleted its prana.
Besides that, the manner of preparation and the way it is eaten can also determine the guna. Food that is prepared with love and awareness is Sattvic, while overeating or scoffing down your food is said to be Tamasic, even if the food itself is Sattvic. Thus, we would ideally have wholesome foods prepared with love and care, eaten in a mindful and relaxed manner.
The effects of food on our body can perhaps best be seen in meditation. During mediation, the 2 main issues are an over-active mind, brought about by ingesting excessive Rajasic food, and conversely, falling asleep due to too much Tamasic food. Thus, Sattvic foods are best for attaining the balance between the 2 to quiet the mind whilst maintaining alertness to explore our thoughts.
Cranberry Banana Bread topped with chia seeds and butterfly pea flowers
Ayurveda translates to complete knowledge about life. It focuses on balance of the interplay between the body, mind and spirit, where imbalances lead to illness. There are 3 main doshas (changeable body types) –Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each body type is associated with the 5 different elements – Vata goes with air and space/ether, Pitta goes with fire and Kapha goes with water and earth. Your dosha is determined by 3 main criteria: physical appearance, physiological processes and your behaviours or mindset. By doing an online quiz, we found out our doshas, where most people have 1 or 2 dominating doshas. Besides that, we learnt about the health conditions each dosha is more susceptible to, and how to alter our diet to prevent this. I have summarised some characteristics of each dosha below:
Medium, warm temperature
Low, but strong immune system
Quick learner, spontaneous and likes change
Opinionated, intense focus, usually a leader
Easygoing, friendly, slow learner but retains information well, likes routine
Metabolic syndrome: Obesity, type II diabetes, high cholesterol
Let food by thy medicine
In Ayurveda, diet plays an important role in affecting our physiological processes, acting as both a preventative and therapeutic measure. There are 6 main Ayurvedic tastes – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent, which are also associated with the elements as shown in the table below:
Dosha suitable for
Most of the class is Pitta dosha, so I made a pitta-pacifying cranberry banana bread to celebrate the end of our first week of YTT200. Since Pitta is associated with the fire element, Pitta-pacifying foods consist of those that are cooling, hydrating and subtle. These help to balance moisture, achieve optimum temperature and neutralise any excess acidity in the body. As such, Pitta should increase intake of sweet, astringent and bitter foods and decrease that of salty, sour or pungent. As a general guideline, hot, spicy and fried food should be avoided, as well as fermented foods such as sour cream or alcohol. A more comprehensive recommendation of foods that Pitta should consume is shown in the table below:
Cranberry Banana Bread Recipe
As we practice asanas for 2h a day, we need to replenish the glycogen we’ve consumed, as well as provide our brain with the much-needed fuel for the afternoon of theory. Since our brain’s main metabolic energy is glucose, which we derive mainly from carbohydrates, I thought banana bread would be a generally sattvic snack to fuel us through YTT (which is also gluten-free). It has elements of Pitta-pacifying ingredients such as sweet overripe bananas, oat flour and cretan honey, astringent cranberry raisins and a small amount of cinnamon that contributes to the bitter taste. I’ve also topped it with chia seeds which absorb water to keep us hydrated and is rich in fibre to aid digestion. Besides that, butterfly pea flowers have anti-oxidant, anti-depressant properties that reduce stress and hypertension, and is beneficial for hair and skin.
3 medium bananas
2 cups oat flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cretan honey
Butterfly pea flowers
Preheat the oven to 180°
Add the dry ingredients into a bowl
Mash the bananas and add them into the bowl
Add the wet ingredients and mix well
Fold in cranberry raisins
Grease baking tin (I like to use the inside of the banana peel, it works pretty well!)
Pour the mixture into the baking tin and top with chia seeds and butterfly pea flowers
Bake for 25min, then leave in for another 5min with oven off
And there you have it, a quick easy pitta-pacifying snack fix. Would love if you gave the recipe a try, let me know what you think!
One of the many benefits of YTT has been moving the focus of our time away from a purely Asana based practice and to explore new areas. I find myself finding and spending more time with myself in quiet thought. Less Television and more Lotus!
One of these new areas that I have been introduced to is the ancient concept of Ayurvedic medicine and diet. As we went through the characteristics of the three ‘Dosha’ I recognised myself immediately.
Focused; competitive; aggressive. But as all three can be advantageous in many circumstances, how to control the fire inside, how to dampen the Pitta. All I can say was this dampening, this control, was mighty concerning. Gone were so many favourites: pungent spices, alcohol, coffee. Was I about to be stuck with a lifetime of plain rice and water?
I have found the concepts of Ayurvedic medicine and diet interesting. Although I still enjoy the odd Butter Chicken (I especially recommend ‘Mustard’, 32 Race Course Road, their prawn vindaloo is to die for) and the odd bottle of Volnay, I have made a concerted effort to improve my diet on many levels.
And so I will leave you with a quick and easy drinks recipe to calm the Pitta characteristics.
GINGER BASIL LIMEADE
1 Lime (Whole)
1 small handful of (chopped) Basil
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of grated, fresh Ginger
Grate the lime skin to produce 2-3 teaspoons of lime zest. Juice the lime and add the lime juice and zest, grated ginger, sugar, most of the basil to 250ml of water in a blender. Blend smooth.
Add 750ml of cold water and stir before serving over ice. Add any remaining basil as garnish.
This receipt is ideal for Yoga practitioners as it has a good balance of ingredients between the 3 gunas: sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic ingredients. In this vegan recipe you will find a good balance of French and Asian flavour. French for the gratin style and Asian brought by turmeric and coconut cream. This recipe make your zucchinis really amazing!
All my friends love! And you, what do you think about it? I would love to read your comments
For 2-3 personnes
Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
2 zucchinis or 3 big to cook for 4 – Sattvic effect
1 big yellow oignon – Tamasic effect
1 vegetarian stock cube – Rajasic effect
3 ts of turmeric – Sattvic effect
Olive oil – Rajasic effect
15 cl of coconut cream – Sattvic effect
Red chilli – Rajasic effect
1. Pre heat your oven at 200°C.
2. Spell zucchinis/oignons and cut them.
3. Heat oignons first slowly for 5 mins and add zucchinis cut in a round shape, let it cook for another 10 mins
4. Add turmeric and chili stir for one minute
5. Add the vegetarian stock cube and two glasses of boiled water
Note: you don’t need to add salt in this recipe as the vegetarian cube is salty already
Optional: at this step you can add 3 tea spoon of brown rice.
6. Once cooked and when you have only a little bit of water left in your pan pourthe coconut cream and stir for one minute.
7. Put your mix into a baking pan
8. Put it in your oven and wait for 20mins
For a more sattvic dish, you can remove some of the rajasic food:
In class I was told that I am pitta, qualities reflecting the elements of fire and water. Doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) can tell you a lot about a person, what you should eat, reflects your physical features and personality. So when you are pitta, we are instructed to avoid sour and salty foods. Examples of these foods are ginger, garlic, salt and pepper as well juicy fruit and dairy. I enjoy cooking. For me it is difficult, because salt and pepper are common ingredients in my regular cooking. For instance, I like to cook Italian and all you need is a green salad, some olive oil and some sea salt and ground pepper.
So this is very challenging for me. But I find a light and delicious recipe that reduces some of these: “Couscous with asparagus and peas”. I have made this great summer dish several times. It is from www.epicurious.com. As a pitta person it is good to eat more leafy greens, healing herbs and all grains.
HOW TO PREPARE THESE RECIPE?
Prepare the couscous according to the package instructions. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over high heat, add fresh roasted asparagus and peas (I added corn, other vegetables like spinach and artichokes would also be good), cook it until it is crisp-tender. Then combine the couscous and vegetables. I am a big fan of the greens. So, you can halve the couscous or double the veggies. Just try what you prefer.
If you are one of the other doshas you can serve it with a lemon dressing.
For the dressing you need 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and drizzle the dressing over the couscous. Season with salt and pepper.
You may not be able to substitute all the ingredients you should not have according to your dosha, but you should be aware of it.
Sabrina, 200Hr YTTC, September 2015
I have to admit that I do not have the self discipline to give up meat in one go, however, my partner and I have been committed to eating less meat and balance out our diets. On Mondays we go ‘meatless’; crafting meals that forego the heavy red meats and poultry and even fish we would normally have.
In theory we learned more about the three doshas: Vata (space & air), Pitta (fire & water) and Kapha (water & earth). After taking a few online quizzes and asking others I believe I am Pitta and my partner is a mix of Kapha/Pitta. This week I wanted to prepare a meal that takes our doshas in account.
An individual that is Pitta has a lot of heat, therefore s/he should opt for cooling foods such as cucumbers, sweet fruits, and melons. Also those who are Pitta should favor foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent.
For those who are Kapha, s/he should favor foods that are light, dry, or warm. Kapha is cool and quite heavy and oily so foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are most beneficial for finding a balance. They should reduce foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
So for tonights menu we prepared the following:
1. Potato Leek Soup (Kapha)
2. Vegetarian burgers topped with goats cheese, tomato, lettuce, roasted mushrooms and peppers.
* Guacamole is on the side, as Kapha should avoid avocados and oily substances.
3. Homemade french fries
1. Potatoes leak – I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver do check out his recipe here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/leek-and-potato-soup/
2. Veggie Burgers – I picked up a few patties at Cold Storage but you can also make them at home by yourself. Next time I’ll try this quinoa recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/quinoa_veggie_burger.html. Toppings can vary depending on your dosha. I purchased lettuce you can grow at home to top my burger and went for goats cheese, which is soft and unsalted.
The guacamole was homemade. Take 1-2 ripened avocados, dice up some red onion and squeeze a 1:1 ratio of lime into the mix. Salt and pepper to taste. In Singapore I find that most avocados are not ripe, to speed up the process put your unripened avocados in a paper bag and leave unrefrigerated for 1-2 days.
3. French Fries – slice potatoes into thin rectangles (or to your preference) and heat the oil best suited for your dosha. I avoid sesame and corn oil. Use a metal strainer and lightly brown small batches of the potatoes. Once cooked place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Additionally my partner suffers from a weakened cardiac sphincter, a circularmusclethatconstricts a passage or closes. It is located betweentheesophagusandthestomach. The sphincteropens as food descends and enters the stomach. It also serves as a gate preventing acidic fluids from going up into the esophagus. When the sphincter does not work correctly individuals may suffer from acid reflux and ulcers. Eating additional spicy food seems to irritate and increase the symptoms in addition to more acidic foods. To understand more, I thought back to the lesson on pH and the digestive system.
We learned that the human body is naturally more alkaline. In a pH scale we should be around 7.4 (range from 1 – 14, 1 being more acidic). Our diets should be 20% acidic and 80% alkaline. Foods that surprised me as being acidic in taste but alkaline once digested in the body are oranges and other citrus. This encouraged me to look into what other foods are considered more alkaline as I want to encourage my partner and myself to keep a balanced diet. Foods that are highly acidic are meats and alcohol. Acidic foods also included burgers, sodas, coffee all the ‘good stuff’. For alkaline foods it seems that vegetables and fruits dominate the charts.
So we’ve stocked our fridge so that ‘healthier’ items are more readily available and we can splurge when out to dinner with friends (because again, it is a balance).
Weekday Hatha/Ashtanga 200 Hour YTT September 2015
To have a balance nutrition you need to have a protein carbs Vitamin and menial but even thought if you have these 5 if you chose the wrong food then it will not go well in your body like it spots to:(:(
So to have a healthy food it better to eat foods like flute instead of eating candy nuts instead having a potato chips brown rice instead having a white rice
They is a lot of losing weight diet in the world and some of diet is crazy like only eat banana(I wanna ask the are you trying to be monkey???)
My friend was doing the diet call ice diet so every time you get hungry she eat ice covered ,
The diet is crazy of course she was loosing weight she was so happy that she was losing fat,but actuary it’s not just fat the she was losing her muscle was also losing
Anyway those crazy diet is just harmful for you body
Eating healthy and exercise is the best
(Perfect recipe that everybody can eat❤️)
Tofu stir fri
Thing you need
: green cabbage
: green onion
: chopped garlic
: olive oil
1 heat the pan and put the olive oil to the pan
2 put the chopped garlic and also tofu
3 put the onion, green onion, green cabbage, sprouts and stir the pen
4 when the vegetable is cooked put some salt and pepper
This is really simple and easy to make and nutrition is good(protein from tofu, vitamin from vegetable)
But something is missing !!!
Carbs!! So add some brown rice in the meal then it’s a perfect beautiful meal
This recipe is also really good for the yoga party reason way is because in this recipe is using tofu instead of using meat
The way everybody can enjoy it!!
High in vitamin B6, which helps to reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.
Good source of vitamin C. 1 cup of sweet potatoes contains an average person’s minimum necessary daily amount of Vitamin C.
Contain Vitamin D which is both a vitamin and a hormone produced as a result of getting sunlight. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
Contain iron which not provides our body with energy but also in red and white blood cells production, boosts our immune system and the metabolizing of protein,
Good source of magnesium, which aids in relaxing and de-stressing. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function.
Contains potassium, it helps to alleviate muscle cramps and de-stress (something like what yoga does, ommmmm)
Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain.
Do you know?With a Glycemic Index of 17, just munch the whole thing down! Yes, sweet potato skin is edible and it is where much of their minerals and nutrients reside!
Like steamed dumpling and ManTou, vegetable wrap is a very popular homemade food in North China. And in my hometown Henan province, there are more varieties in preparing dumplings and the way to cook. CaiMuo is made up by 2 pieces of skins and filled up with dumplings. The dumplings can be any vegetables that are not so juicy in theory, such as leeks, spinach, shanghai green, but the most popular recipes across North China are Leeks mixed with fried eggs.
Plan flour 300g
Fresh Leeks 200g
Eggs 3 or 4 depend your preference
Step1: mix the flour with small amount of water till the four become a whole flour ball. And leave it there for 20 minutes to let the flour absorb water evenly and become soft and more elastic. It is too hard, mix a little bit more water.
Step2: wash leeks and cut the half-dry leeks into small pieces and put it into a dumpling container which can be a big bowl or small kitchen basin.
Step3: stir eggs and fry in a pot with some veg oil. You can add some water when you stir eggs in the bowl. Take the eggs out before it becomes hard. Make sure it is still tender.
Step4: cut eggs into small pieces and mix it with leeks. Fry some Sichuan pepper with veg oil and take out pepper and mix oil with leeks and eggs. Add some salt and sesame seeds oil.
Step5: take the prepared flour and roll it into think skin (normally round shape). Prepare two skins. Put mixed dumplings on top of one skin and cover the other skin on it. Press the edge of the CaiMuo and make sure two skins are stick to each other.
Step6: heat the flat pot in stove with big fire or preheat the oven at 150 degree. Put the raw CaiMuo unto hot pot. Wait 5 seconds and turn it to the other side so that the top is heated in turn. Change to small fire and cover the pot for 3 to 5 minutes. if the skin is hard and starts to have some brown spot, take it out and prepare in plate to cool down a little bit before serving. It is suggested to cut it into several pieces for easy serving.
Wan YH ( 200Hr YTTC (Hatha/Ashtanga ), class May 2015)
Prep time : 15 mins Cook time : 15 mins Total time : 30 mins Serves: 4-6
Ingredients 4 cups cauliflower (about 1 head) ¾ cup chopped onion 2 tablespoons oil 1-2 eggs, lightly beaten A few drops of sesame oil A few drops of soy sauce ½ cup chopped baby carrots ½ cup frozen peas, thawed 4 green onions, chopped 2 cups bean sprouts ¼ cup light, low-sodium soy sauce Salt, to taste Directions 1.Cut away the core of the cauliflower and dry off any excess water. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and then put half of the florets in the food processor pulse until the cauliflower is about rice size. Do not overdo it, bigger pieces are better than too small. If you don’t have a food processor, mince by hand. Put the processed cauliflower into a bowl and then repeat with the remaining florets. 2.Once all of the cauliflower is chopped, heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chopped onion and stir fry until light brown, about 8 minutes. When they’ve browned, remove the onions from the wok and place in a bowl. Set aside. 3.In a small bowl, mix together the egg (1 or 2, depending on how eggy you like your fried rice) and a few drops of sesame oil and soy sauce. Add a ½ tablespoon of oil to the wok and then quickly scramble the egg mixture in it. Remove the egg and add to the bowl with the onion. 4.Add the last ½ tablespoon of oil to the wok and add in the cauliflower, peas, carrots, green onions, and bean sprouts. Stir fry for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low, mix in the soy sauce, and cover for about 3 more minutes, or until cauliflower is cooked through. Add back in the egg and onion and cook together for one more minute. Season with salt, to taste. 5.Garnish with additional chopped green onion.
Tried and its Yummy!