Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga and which can be translated as “the science of life” teaches us how to prevent disease and maintain a healthy lifestyle, by living in accordance to the cycles of nature. Let’s see when is the best time of the day to meditate according to Ayurveda.
Meditation is the state of deep and uninterrupted concentration on a particular object which can be anything external or internal eg. the breath, a mantra etc. It is also one of the highest forms of spiritual practice, based on Patanjali's Ashtanga eightfold path which suggests Dharana (its name in Sanskrit) is the 7th limb and the step before Samadhi, self-realisation.
Most of us have heard of meditation through yoga perhaps or other spiritual practices. Whilst it's obviously ok to meditate any time, Ayurveda gives us the best time of the day best suited for dharana in accordance to nature's flow. Because we must always remember that we are a part of nature and we should, as much as we can, sink our daily lifestyle/habits according to what is happening in nature.
First it is useful to know that in Ayurveda, the times of the day are split in accordance to the three Doshas (Vata, Pita, Kapha). *If you have not yet heard of these, you can read my blog post on explaining the doshas.
The times of the day representing each dosha are:
Kapha - 6am-10am & 6pm-10pm
Pita - 10am -2pm & 10pm-2am
Vata - 2pm - 6pm & 2am-6am
What does this mean? It suggests that during these times, the specific dosha qualities are dominant or give the "mood" or "vibe" of that particular time. This is also a strong indication on what habits are suitable for these particular times of the day. So for example, we see that Pita time is between 10am-2pm during the day, suggesting that these are the times in which our agni (digestive fire) is the strongest (lunch time in Ayurveda is taken at around midday) and we are most productive/sharp. We can link this to nature as well because the sun is also the strongest at around midday. To understand this better, we can revert back to the qualities of the doshas.
If we look at the morning time, 6 am-10am which is Kapha time, we know by the qualities of Kapha that during this period, we (as well as nature ) are more slow, cold, steady, quiet, heavy in the body and mind (think about when you wake up) etc. Pita time, as explained above is the period of the day when the agni is usually the strongest, when there is more heat in the body and mind, and we are more sharp and focused. And during Vata day time, it is starting to cool down and we are more light, quick and unsteady during this time (think of the air element).
Based on the above, and according to Ayurveda, the best times to support a meditation practice are in the cooler periods of the day, which represent Kapha and Vata time. But as Kapha time is usually heavier and more slow, for some it may be difficult to focus and meditate at this time. They could fall asleep, or find it difficult to concentrate due to heaviness of mind.
However in Vata times, between 2pm-6pm, when the food has already almost been digested from lunch (if you follow Ayurvedic meal times) and the body is more active and unsteady/moving here and there, this is from an Ayurvedic perspective the best period for meditation practice. Although the mind or body may be unsteady, there is no heaviness as there would be in Kapha time, or too much heat as in Pita time. And if we find a helpful concentration technique, both the mind and the body will slowly and eventually start to become more grounded and focused. This is the time when we need to slow down and become more steady.
Once the Vata part of the day is finished, the body is ready to receive fuel in the form of food (dinner) at 6-7pm latest and afterwards, at around 10pm when it is advised to sleep, the body will move into the Pita time when it will start to digest the food and to rejuvenate the body overnight so that we can feel fresh and healthy the next day. Vata night time will follow which will create the movement and prepare us/help us to wake up and then the cycle continues throughout the day.
*There is also another period well suited for meditation and this is in Vata time, just before the changing to Kapha time in the morning, at 4am. I will do another post on this because it has a specific meaning and there is more to inform about this time.
Learn about the importance of cooking consciously with these 3 Ayurvedic principles when cooking food.
Ayurvedic cooking focuses on making well balanced and nourishing meals for both the body and the mind. Ideally we would know our primary dosha (body constitution) so that we can understand what foods are most compatible and suitable for our body type or if there is an imbalance of the doshas, to help minimise this. Actually, the main idea is to create simple/easy to digest, wholesome foods that ultimately help our body receive the nutrients it needs to function at a healthy level. This also applies for the mind.
Let’s look at some of the key principles to take in consideration in Ayurvedic cooking.
The use of spices
When you enter the kitchen of somebody who is cooking with an Ayurvedic approach, for sure you’ll be able to smell a delicious aroma of spices. Even if the meal is super simple, it will seem they are creating a culinary masterpiece because the smell is so rich and abundant. These spices are not “spicy condiments”, but spices in the form of cooking herbs. There are so many different ones and knowing your Ayurvedic predominant dosha can help you choose which spices to use mainly. However, there are some Tridoshic ones, meaning they balance all three doshas (when used in moderation) and can always be used. These are: cumin, ginger and turmeric (there are some others also).
We use spices not only for the delicious taste they give to a dish, but also for their qualities. They have the power to transform a food. For example, when cooking a dish which has warming qualities, we can include spices which are cooling (for example coriander seeds or mint) to balance the quality of the dish and make it suitable for Pita dosha, which prefers cooling quality. The same can be done to transform a cooling dish to a warming quality by using the appropriate heating spices to make it more suitable for Vata and Kapha dosha, which prefer warmth in the food. Another example is when cooking a heavier quality dish, we can use spices that aid digestion and make it more light, such as cumin, turmeric and ginger. Or we can even help to purify a specific food by using turmeric, which helps to cleanse the energy of the food.
The intention behind the culinary creation
Food in Ayurveda is considered like medicine. In both yoga philosophy and Ayurveda, we learn that food is a great source of prana (life force). Good, wholesome food has plenty of prana. Therefore food has energy. It is advised to always cook with an intention of gratitude and love, especially so when we cook for others. Some Ayurvedic practitioners even chant specific mantras during the making of the meal. It is like blessing the food and being grateful for it.
One key Ayurvedic principle is to never cook or eat when angry, annoyed, sad, frustrated, irritated etc. It is also best not to cook in a rush and handling the food poorly, such as quickly throwing the food in a pot to cook. Because this energy will be transferred to the food and when we eat it, we ingest this sort of energy. These are all practices that support good digestion and maintaining the good quality of the food. Connecting to the food’s energy is part of the making and taking of it, as well as digesting it for all its sattvic qualities.
Finally, and most obviously, for food to support our overall optimum functioning and health, it should be wholesome food. In yoga and Ayurveda, we call this sattvic food, which means pure and wholesome. This includes everything that came directly from the earth, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and ideally organic. Vegetarian diet is advised because of the principle of ahimsa (non-violence) and because this food is not as heavy as non-vegetarian food. Although in some Ayurvedic health treatments for curing a disease, some specific meat is needed; I am also not suggesting you become vegetarian because this is a personal preference for all and only you know what best suits your body and what it needs.
It is also important to note that in Ayurveda, it is always considered better to cook the foods, than to eat them raw. This is because raw food is more difficult to digest, therefore supporting agni (the digestive fire). Another reason is because raw food is cooling in property and this puts down the agni which makes it harder to digest and creates imbalances. But this does not mean that raw food cannot be taken. It can be done with using spices to help it digest better, or some good quality non-refined oil to lubricate the food, making it easier to take. But as a best practice, especially for those with Vata and Kapha dosha, should try (as much as possible) to eat cooked food.
We don’t need fancy foods or ingredients, to cook Ayurvedicly. We just need to learn to cook with lots of flavour (using spices), prioritise wholesome foods and to cook with love, which means to enjoy and appreciate the food.
*I’d like to add that another very important aspect when cooking with an Ayurvedic approach is the taste. Ayurveda presents 6 different tastes which every meal should have. I will discuss these in a different post.
These 4 ingredients Ayurvedic bliss balls are my go to wholesome dessert alternative. They are so delicious and easy to make. I used only 4 ingredients which are considered sattvic in Ayurveda. Sattvic means clean, wholesome and good for the body and mind qualities. Usually they include some other ingredients like nuts and seeds, some dried fruits etc, but I wanted to keep them simple. Traditionally ghee is used, but if you are vegan or don’t like the taste of ghee, then coconut oil can be used.
The key ingredient in these bliss balls are the dates. In Ayurveda, they are regarded highly, as a food that is nourishing for both the body and the mind. They are also said to bring joyfulness and calm to the mind. Dates are a great food to include in any dish that we want to give sweetness without using sugar or any other sweeteners. Dates can be quite heavy, so it is useful to soak them in water prior. This will make them more easily digestible.
The spices I used which are traditional in Ayurvedic desserts are cinnamon and cardamon. They also give sweetness and cardamon especially has a delicious after taste and aroma. Both cinnamon and cardamon have more of a warming quality and can help with digestion.
The final ingredient used is coconut oil. This brings everything together and is also nourishing and soothing for the digestive organs.
The optional ingredient is desiccated coconut which I love because I love anything coconut flavour. You can add a small amount of it in the mixture, but mainly it can be used to garnish the balls. They are so appropriate for the festive season and a delicious alternative dessert that has no added sugar, is vegan and gluten free. You can also give them as small gifts in a beautifully decorated jar.
(makes about 15 balls depending on the size you choose to make them).
150g pitted and soaked dates (about 20-25)
1 tsp coconut oil
Optional ingredient: desiccated coconut
Take small amounts of the mix, and create the little balls using the palms of your hands. If you want to make them bigger, you can use more amount of the mixture.
If you are using desiccated coconut, add a decent amount onto a small plate and once you made the ball, roll it in the desiccated coconut.
You can chill them in the fridge for about an hour before eating, but they are delicious and ready to eat as they are.
This simple traditional Ayurvedic dal recipe is by far my go to meal and I prepare it several times during the week.
In Ayurvedic cooking, dal is one of the most important and commonly used ingredients. It is known for being easy to digest, nourishing and supporting agni (digestive fire). There are different kinds of dal which differ in taste, texture, way of preparation and service and other aspects. One thing is certain and that is, according to Ayurveda, dal is one of the most nourishing foods and contributing to our wellness when prepared in a sattvic way. It is often used in Ayurvedic detox treatments when prepared in a simple way.
In this recipe I used red dal. You can also use the yellow one because they are almost the same. It is a simple and traditional dal recipe, which means I haven’t added anything extra other than the dal and the spices.
2 tbsp coriander seeds
Handful of fresh coriander
2 tbsp cumin seeds (or powder)
3 garlic cloves (crushed or finely cut)
1/2 tbsp black ground pepper
1/2 tbsp Himalayan salt
Small fresh ginger (crushed or finely cut)
200 gr red dal
1 tbsp of coconut oil (traditionally ghee is used; coconut is the vegan friendly alternative)
250/300ml of water
Enjoy it with a side of basmati rice or quinoa which is how I had it.
The festive season is approaching and this means lots of delicious treats in the making. These Ayurvedic inspired cookies are not necessarily the sweetest because as most of you know, most of my recipes have no added sugar. But to give them a sweeter taste, I used dates and cinnamon. And for a dessert type aroma, I used cardamon.
Dates are considered a sattvic food in Ayurveda as they are said to be nourishing and to give a sense of calm and joyfulness. Although they can be quite heavy in quality, in moderation they are suitable for all three doshas.
Cinnamon is another key ingredient in Ayurvedic cooking. It is used to to bring the warmth quality and sweetness to any dish or beverage, as well as the delicious aroma it offers. Cardamon, is another highly regarded Ayurvedic spice because it helps with digestion and gives a beautiful taste of sweetness. This is one of my favourite spices and I use it almost daily.
For these cookies I used millet flour. For me, it is a great gluten-free alternative to general flour as I find it the easiest to bake with and also I enjoy the taste of it. But of course you can use others and there are many gluten-free flour options available out there.
I soaked the dates and goji berries overnight, although 3-4 hours can be enough time. I also added to the cookie dough mix some of the water from the soaked dates which turns into a delicious, quite sweet and thick syrup like liquid.
The below quantity made 7 cookies, but I made mine quite big and thick because I wanted to avoid any possibility of them turning out to be quite dry. When shaping the cookie dough into circles, it looks a little bit like a burger patty, especially with the goji berries. But once they are baked, they look and taste wonderful.
Enjoy them with a cup of warm tea or hot chocolate. I had mine warm with a delicious cup of rose petal tea and it was a tasty experience.
200 gr millet flour
10 pitted dates (soaked)
2 tbsp of goji berries (soaked)
1 tbsp raw cacao
30 gr cinnamon powder
20 gr cardamon powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
30ml of dates syrup (from the soaked dates)
The dough is quite soft, although you can still use a rolling pin to gently to spread it evenly. Choose the shape of the cookies you want and make the cut outs.
I sprinkled some shredded coconut on top, but it can also be without. I just love coconut taste so usually I add it when I can.
Bake at 180C degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
Ayurveda is a beautiful life science that resembles a holistic lifestyle of wellness and maintaining health. This is done by understanding our natural cycles, behaviours, tendencies, digestion type and much more. These all come down to the primary Ayurveda dosha of a person. According to Ayurveda, every person has a unique Ayurveda constitution from birth, which is called Prakruti (nature) which remains the same throughout our physical life. There are 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha and each one of these is represented by two main universal elements. Although every person has all 3 doshas, one of them is usually more dominant and of higher percentage.
Let's look at each of the 3 doshas and understand how we can identify our unique Ayurvedic constitution:
VATA - AIR & SPACE
Vata dosha is represented by the elements of air and space. To understand everything about Vata, we can simply look at the qualities of the two elements. Air is changeable, dry, quick, cold, rough, whilst space is emptiness. Vata predominant individuals usually have a thin body frame, and in general find it hard to gain weight. Their skin is usually pale and their skin, hair, nails can often become dry easily, especially during the cold seasons and dry cold weather. The Vata digestion patterns are changeable, just as the element of Air, although most of the time if out of balance, constipation can be experienced.
VATA DOSHA PERSONALITY:
Being the social butterflies of the 3 doshas, people who are Vata predominant are usually great communicators and enjoy being around people. They prefer to be surrounded by others and often need external motivation because whilst they have great ideas, and can be very creative, they tend to get bored easily and jump onto the next thing quickly. Vata predominant individuals make friends very easily but can also change/have many different circles of friends.
Vatas are usually good at attention to detail, but they cannot commit easily, or stick to something. They might have great ideas, but often lack the motivation, focus and drive to put this in action. Every moment can be spontaneous for a Vata as they change quickly and can be unpredictable.
WHAT VATAS NEED
Nourishment, social life/company, structure and excitement are all helpful aspects to implement in a Vata lifestyle. Some structure is needed to stick to what they set out to do, but with some space for spontaneity and freedom. Foods that are warm or have heating quality are usually favourable, including warming spices such as Turmeric, basil, fennel, cumin, ginger etc. Raw food can be tricky because it is usually more difficult to digest and for the cold qualities of Vata this would not help. So cooked meals are usually much more suitable for Vatas.
A sleeping schedule/routine is also needed to ensure that a good quality sleep, so that the mind can feel well rested and more calm.
PITTA - FIRE & WATER
Pitta dosha is represented by the elements of fire and water, although primary fire. In every body, Pitta is responsible for digestion and it's the agni, or the digestive fire. Some qualities of fire are hot, intense, sharp, reactive, strong, powerful and passionate/fiery by nature. These qualities tend to be dominant in a person with a Pitta predominant dosha. Generally, Pitta predominant individuals have a toned, muscular body or have more muscular definition. They tend to be of moderate weight. Because they have the fire element more predominant than for the other two doshas, Pitta predominant constitution people generally can digest food easier (although not always).
PITTA DOSHA PERSONALITY
In general, Pitta predominant dosha individuals can be very organised and structured, smart, sharp, focused, passionate, loving and certain of what they want. When they are out of balance (Pitta is increased), qualities such as anger, irritability and frustration can take over. Because of their passionate nature, Pittas can be very intense and easily reactive. This also applies to their body, particularly their skin and digestion.
Pitta predominant dosha people have a good sense of humour, yet they are selective with their circle of friends. Because of their organised and structure nature, they tend to give their time to social and romantic relationships that bring some sort of value; they are not phased about small talk or being alone. In general, although they are friendly, they enjoy time alone and prefer to do many things alone because they can focus and get things done, which is part of their character. Competitiveness is another trait of Pittas, which drives them to work a lot of hours.
WHAT PITTAS NEED
Some spontaneous, not necessarily planned adventures might help a Pitta person to try something new and have some fun/to do something just because it is enjoyable, without the need to achieve anything. Because they are so focused most of the time, taking some time away from work and creating a harmonious work/life balance would benefit them. Foods that are cooling will help to kindle their agni, as well as having regular meals, without skipping any of the three main daily meals. Spices such as coriander, mint, parsley, ginger and cinnamon (the last two, both in smaller doses) are suitable for Pitta dosha individuals. Exercises such as slow jogging and Pilates are suitable and asana practices such as Ashtanga Vinyasa and Hatha yoga are favourable for Pittas. In my opinion, at least one weekly session of yin yoga would be favourable for them as this will help them relax and learn to be more gentle and loving with themselves, because they tend to put plenty of pressure on themselves.
KAPHA - WATER & EARTH
Kapha predominant people are represented by the elements of water and earth, which combined have the qualities of dense, heavy, soft, moist and others. Kaphas tend to have a heavier built frame, with strong bone structure and soft skin. When out of balance (Kapha is increased), a Kapha digestion is very slow therefore their appetite is not sharp. Weight gain, feeling stuck, low and unworthy are all qualities that a Kapha can experience when out of balance. When Kapha predominant individuals are in balance, they are loving, kind, friendly, good listeners and compassionate. Their softness can warm up anybody who is having a rough day, which is why Kaphas are often considered great friends. They are also usually very loyal and trusting. Whilst it might take Kapha predominant people a while to process and understand new skills or something new they learn, once they do get, it sticks with them and they are committed and follow protocols well.
KAPHA DOSHA PERSONALITY
Loving, compassionate, gentle and sweet are all qualities that represent a balanced Kapha predominant person. Because of their slower pace in everything they do in life, Kaphas tend to be patient and trusting, as well as truth worthy. They give their time selflesly to others and often put others' needs before themselves. When out of balance, Kapha predominant individuals may experience feeling low, lazy and unmotivated. They are great sleepers and they love their long sleep, however when out of balance, they can sleep too much, increasing their slow and heavy qualities.
WHAT KAPHAS NEED
Love, affection and adventure. Kaphas would benefit from doing activities that energise their body and mind, and help them sweat (because of the moist quality, water retention is a common aspect for them). Running, power walking and other cardio based activities are favourable as well as asana practices such as Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa. Spices such as turmeric, cardamon, cumin, ginger, basil are suitable for Kapha dosha individuals. Drinking warm water with lemon and ginger in the morning will help their agni (digestive fire) and increase appetite and improve digestion.
Start your day with one of these 3 delicious and nourishing smoothie recipes.
Smoothies are a good choice for loading up on vitamins and minerals. They’re ideal as a quick breakfast on the go or for a healthy energy boost during the day. Although according to Ayurveda it is not ideal to blend food because this can deplete its prana, smoothies still provide many nutritious benefits. I know how delicious icy cold smoothies can be especially on a hot, summer’s day but from an Ayurvedic perspective, it is advised not to use ice as this can affect agni, our digestive fire.
Finally, smoothies can be a great breakfast alternative for those who don’t have a big appetite in the morning, and especially good for Kapha dosha individuals.
A delicious cleansing smoothie to start the day feeling fresh. Banana is a great source of potassium and fiber and it is quite filling. Both kiwi fruit and green apples are high in antioxidants and known for their cleansing properties due to helping with bowel movement. Aloe vera is a wonderful plant that has so many benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and having antibacterial properties. It is also great for skin health, I use it daily. Matcha is considered quite powerful so I don’t suggest having more than one tbsp. It is high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory, which may support digestive health.
1 kiwi fruit
1 green apple
Fresh aloe vera gel
1 tbsp of matcha powder
150 ml of water
Boost the radiance of your skin with a delicious smoothie. Of course the smoothie alone will not instantly give the skin a glow, but when combined with a balanced, healthy daily nutrition and good skin practices, it will help. These ingredients may have great benefits for the skin. Pomegranates are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Barley grass has cleansing properties for the body and strawberries provide potassium & Vitamin C, both important for maintenance of collagen and skin complexion.
1 kiwi fruit
1/2 large pomegranate fruit
1/2 lemon freshly squeezed
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tbsp of barley grass
150 ml of water
Load up on Vitamin C to boost immunity. Our immune system is always working so hard to keep us healthy and feeling good and these ingredients may be helpful. All of them are a great source of Vitamin C. Ginger is known as one of the top spices in Ayurveda for its cleansing properties, helping maintain healthy digestion and boosting immunity, amongst many other good things that come from it. If you are a Pitta predominant dosha, have in smaller quality, especially if your Pitta is increased.
1 kiwi fruits
1/2 lemon freshly squeezed
1 tbsp of wheatgrass
1 small piece of fresh ginger
150 ml of water
When it comes to the wellbeing of our skin, there are many factors to take in consideration which can have an effect on it. First our diet and what we eat on a daily basis; wholesome, nourishing food vs processed and tamastic food. Then our environment, because living in a crowded, busy city vs in the country side or a remote island (like myself) can make a huge difference due to pollution and other aspects. It is important to also consider our stress levels. This can have a big impact on our skin; the more stressed we are, the more negative impact this can have on our skin and overall well-being. Of course there are many others, such as hormonal imbalances, specific skin conditions etc. I am not a dermatologist and this blog post is not intended to cure any type of skin conditions . But as an Ayurvedic practitioner and having done the below practices myself, I can say they worked wonders for my Pitta skin.
* If you any specific skin conditions or concerns, it is best to check with a dermatologist or doctor.
There are so many products on the market and we must find what works best for our skin. In general, I would always advise to use something as close as possible with natural and organic ingredients. But this is a personal choice and everybody can experiment with different products and what suits their budget also.
Ayurveda however has some specific practices for skin maintenance which are natural and inexpensive.
When we consider skin irritations, particularly on the face, such as acne, flare ups or any kind of reaction, this is usually an indication of Pitta dosha imbalance. Being the fire element, when this is too high, then generally the skin can be affected. Therefore, because there is too much heat, we can explore ways to create balance by bringing some cooling to the skin.
The following are some of my favourites which I have been practicing for years. Being a Pita predominant dosha myself, my skin reacts very quickly: especially in summer, when it is hot or when I am tired. And when I am stressed I tend to get breakouts or small spots on my face. This is usually my indication that there is too much fire and I need to cool it.
ALOE VERA PLANT
Aloe vera is an amazing plant with many benefits. The natural gel provides a deep moisturising effect to the skin. It is also antibacterial which means that it can help cleanse, protect and nourish the skin. Aloe vera has cooling properties and soothes any excess heat. We can use it externally on the skin or internally, which sometimes I do in my smoothies. The most effective way I have found is applying it directly to my skin. After I clean my face, I cut part of the aloe vera plant stem and split it in half. Then I apply the gel on my skin directly from the plant, in circular motion. Not only this is cooling and soothes the skin, but it also helps to reduce puffiness and tired looking skin. It is no wonder why so many skin products make aloe vera one of their main ingredients.
CUCUMBER FACIAL CLEANSE
Cucumber is another cooling quality food which I often use on my face. Most of us are probably familiar with and know that to reduce puffiness of the skin around the eyes, we can place a cucumber slice and let it work its magic. Why is this helpful? Because cucumber is highly hydrating and refreshes the skin. When the skin is puffy and fatigued, it can be a sign of dehydration, so this is a quick way is to give our skin a boost of hydration (and to drink plenty of water obviously). Due to its cooling properties, cucumber may also tighten the skin which helps to make the skin fresh and glowy. I usually cut a few pieces of cucumber, and rub them on my face. The liquid is quickly absorbed and the skin gets an instant boost. I also place two slices on my eyes every other day. I also keep a small jar in the fridge with cucumber slices in water, especially in summer.
ROSEBUD/ROSE PETAL TEA
This is by far one of my favourite teas. Aside from providing the skin with a healthy glow, it is also great for digestion. Rose bud/petal tea contains antioxidants and Vitamin C, both being important for skin health and anti ageing. Rosebud/petal tea may help with inflammation which is why it is often a great choice for Pita dosha predominant individuals. A delicious cup of this beautiful looking and aromatic tea, is also said to nourish the heart, and balance emotions.
If there is one wellbeing practice that Ayurveda is strong on it is definitely Abhyanga, the traditional Ayurvedic massage method. Whilst it is definitely an amazing experience to get this done at an Ayurvedic clinic, we can also experience a small sample of this everyday by giving ourselves a daily mini Abhyanga massage. This relaxing Ayurvedic style massage helps to nourish the skin, improve circulation, calms the nervous system, lubricates the joints/bones and has many other amazing benefits. It can be done in the morning or in the evening time. Traditionally, it is done with sesame oil or coconut oil. Sesame oil is a heating oil and it detoxifies the skin. In Ayurveda, it is often referred to as “the golden oil” and it definitely improves the skin health and leaves a beautiful and natural glow. Coconut oil is cooling, moisturising and has antibacterial properties. For the winter time & Vata predominat dosha persons, I suggest using sesame oil. For the summer time and a Pitta predominant dosha person, I suggest coconut oil.
REST & HYDRATE
I cannot leave out some of the more obvious practices for happy skin. The amount and quality of our sleep can have a big impact on our skin. The general sleep time advised in Ayurveda is 10pm, which is the end of Kapha time and the beginning of Pitta time.
Drinking water and ensuring we keep hydrated should be at the top of the list. There are different indications as per the daily recommended amount, however as with everything in Ayurveda, listen to your body. For example, if you are very active and sweat a lot, it is normal to drink more water. A general Ayurvedic practice is to have a big glass of room temperature or slightly warmer glass of water upon waking up. Lemon can also be added which has Vitamin C and this will help our skin to glow and be healthy.
This quick and easy to make vegan stuffed tomatoes and black rice recipe makes a delicious and filling meal.
Personally I love black rice because I find it more tasty than the plain white one; it has a slight nut like taste. It also makes a nice alternative for when we want a break from Basmati rice.
Living in the Greek islands, I have tasted many different varieties of this dish because it is one of the traditional foods here. Originally it is made with white rice, and some locals like to add raisins or other vegetables in the filling.
I kept this recipe simple, with just the needed ingredients: rice and tomatoes. I have also added a small amount of red pepper and of course some Ayurvedic spices to add to the flavour and the quality of this delicious dish. It is so easy to make and keeping it simple, with not too many ingredients helps the digestive process.
2 standard mugs of black rice (cooked)
2 large tomatoes
1/2 diced red pepper
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
Olive oil for cooking
Preparation for the stuffing:
Preparation for the tomatoes:
A delicious and easy to make, 4 ingredients homemade Hummus recipe.
Hummus is by far my favourite dips. It is nutritious, tasty, high in protein and versatile in its use. My favourite way to have Hummus is to add it in my salads, which makes my salad dishes rich in protein and more filling.
Some store bought hummus tubs are more clean in ingredients than others, but if you have the ability to make your own then you can use only the ingredients you want and make it suitable for your taste preferences. I think traditionally, Hummus is made with Tahini. And I do love it, but it is also quite a heavy nut butter, as all the others. I don’t think it is necessary to add Tahini, which is why I chose not to. Of course, if you want to add it, then you can do so. The benefit of making your own Hummus is that you can choose what goes in it and the consistency of it.
This recipe is very easy to make and you only need 4 ingredients. Additionally you will need some cold water to make it smoother.
Prepare the chickpeas the night before. Soak them in water and let them stay overnight to expand. The next day, boil them until soft. To make hummus, they need to be very soft and fluffy. You can add some Himalayan salt or baking powder in the water to help with this.
You will also need a food processor or strong blender for this.
300 gr chickpeas (cooked)
2 standard tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
200 ml of cold water
If you want to make it extra tasty, you can choose to combine some spices together. For mine, I added some olive oil, garlic, cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a pan and cooked them for about 2 minutes. Then you can add this to your Hummus serving to give it a little extra flavour.
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