Food & Happiness - Art of Living Retreat Center

How Food Affects Your Happiness

By Margaret Paul
June 16, 2018

Food & Happiness - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

This past May, the Art of Living Retreat Center hosted Dr. Margaret Paul for Inner Bonding, a weekend of transformative healing. Here, she speaks about how your diet is an essential ingredient to happiness. 

 

There’s so much unhealthy food that is normalized in our culture, and people don’t realize that it lowers their vibrancy. Food, alcohol, and drugs are addictive for those of us who don’t know how to manage our feelings. Anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, helplessness, heartbreak, shame, and guilt can be completely overwhelming. We don’t know how to learn from our feelings, or to lovingly manage them, which is how people become dependent on these things to live their everyday lives. But instead of providing relief, this unhealthy food contributes to illness, anxiety, and depression.

 

How bad food lowers your vibrancy

When people eat junk food, it disrupts the microbial gut flora, and the toxicity that that process creates actually goes right up into the brain. This process can actually create anxiety and depression. It becomes a vicious cycle, and people have no idea what else to do. Their medication doesn’t work for them. They feel stuck. Their frequency is lowered.

 

The body-spirit connection

I was a sickly child, and I just hated being sick. So in my early 20s, I started reading everything that I could about health. I threw out everything in my kitchen, and started eating all organic, all fresh. I was the health food nut, and that was 56 years ago. I’m 78 now, and I have unbelievable health, so much energy, no arthritis, no brain degeneration. Not only does this help my body, but it helps me connect to spirit.

 

Even though I was eating well, it wasn’t an automatic connection to spirit. It was the intention to learn that really opened things up. Eating well and being open to learning helps you vibrate on a more spiritual frequency.

 

Inner bonding

With my Inner Bonding Process, you learn to make decisions that love your body. So now, when someone brings in yummy, sugary stuff, which I used to eat all the time, my higher brain says “you know, i love you too much to eat this.” I love being connected to my higher guidance. I know that if I eat this, my vibrancy, my health, everything is going to tank. I don’t even have a problem refusing poor food.

 

Dr. Margaret Paul is a bestselling author and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, and the related SelfQuest® self-healing online program – recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including Oprah. Margaret holds a PhD in psychology, is a relationship expert, public speaker, consultant and artist. She has successfully worked with thousands and taught classes and seminars for over 50 years.

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Detox , diet , food , happiness , spirituality , weight-loss
Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet & Kale Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
May 28, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

‘Beet’ the heat and build your blood

Ayurveda tells us that we begin to accumulate heat in the body just prior to the summer, so we want to stay ahead of the game by paying attention to the qualities of foods that can help us maintain balance.

 

Beets are nourishing for the liver. Cooked beets cool and cleanse the blood, strengthen the eyesight, and improve anemia, therefore increasing stamina by bringing more oxygen to the blood cells.

 

Kale is cooling as well. The fiber in kale prompts healthy elimination, while the bitter taste of kale and beets stimulate the flow of bile. This helps keep the gallbladder and liver from becoming congested. As the bile flows, it flushes toxins from the body and encourages healthy lymphatic flow, which detoxifies the body and fortifies immunity.

 

This recipe is proof that eating Ayurvedically does not require time-consuming cooking methods or obscure ingredients. The ease with which this salad can be prepared is very supportive to our modern lifestyles.

 

Beet & kale salad

  • 1/2 cup grated carrots, steamed until soft
  • 1 1/2 cups grated beets, steamed until soft
  • 1 head of kale, chopped, with spines removed and discarded, steamed until soft
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted or raw
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup flax seed oil
  • mineral salt to taste
  • large handful of chopped cilantro
 

Directions

1. Toss all ingredients together, and voilà, you’re done! You can’t ‘beet’ this for a fast, fresh salad that you can enjoy at home or take on a picnic.

Serves 4

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , beet , healthy diet , healthy eating , kale , organic food , salad , summer
Ayurvedic Recipes: Collard Greens

Ayurvedic Recipes: Collard Wraps

By Diana Bellofatto
May 2, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Collard Greens

 

Ready, Set, Spring!

When it comes to eating seasonally, green means go at this time of year! Verdant veggies vie for our attention as they burst up through the earth’s floor, beckoning us to savor their flavor.

 

If you follow Mother Nature’s lead, she signals us to leave behind the heavier, heating, acid-forming foods of winter that kept us warm, and asks us to focus our attention on the lighter, cooling, alkaline foods that help us to maintain balance as the season shifts and heats up.

 

Collard greens are the perfect host for the abundance of veggies that grow at this time of the year. Spices and the friendly bacteria on vegetables enkindle agni (digestive fire), and enhance assimilation and absorption of nutrients.

 

In this recipe, explore how the bitter, astringent, and pungent flavors of broccoli, radish, scallion, avocado, and cilantro team up with just enough of the sweet, sour, and salty tastes of lime and coconut to tantalize our taste buds.

 

Collard Wraps

  • 4 or more large collard green leaves
  • 1 very ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced or minced radish
  • A generous handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or 1/4 each
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame or olive oil
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

*If you are experiencing feelings of heaviness, bloating, and lethargy (kapha dosha), use less avocado, seeds, coconut, and sesame oil.

 

Directions

1. At room temperature, combine all ingredients (except the collard green leaves) in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Lay the collard leaves out flat, and then spoon and spread some of the mixture evenly onto each of the leaves. Wrap them up and you’re ready to roll!

Serves 4.

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic diet , clean eating , collard wraps , diet , greens , seasonal eating , seasonal food , Spring
Ayurvedic Recipes: Broccoli

Ayurvedic Recipes: Broccoli with Peppers and Herbs

By Diana Bellofatto
April 3, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Broccoli

 

What’s in your garden?

Spring is here, and what better way to celebrate than by reaping the benefits of an herb garden!

 

If you tend towards a vata tummy (gas/bloating) when it comes to broccoli, you’ll be happy to know that the warming herbs and ginger in this recipe will aid in digestion.

 

The herbs in this recipe have an affinity for helping to balance kapha (earth & water), which is abundant during spring. They are warming and stimulating, diaphoretic, nervine, and they improve memory and relieve depression, congestion, asthma, and insomnia.

 

You can enjoy plucking this mélange of herbs for the recipe if you do have an herb garden. It’s a great way to connect more deeply to your food and the earth. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs at this time, you may substitute about half the amount of dried herbs for this recipe.

 

Broccoli with peppers & herbs

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • mineral salt to taste
  • black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice
  • * Optional – toss in toasted nuts or seeds at the end for added protein.

Directions

1. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add the rosemary and ginger and sauté over low heat until the ginger is soft and slightly browned. If you are using dried herbs, sauté them at this time as well.
2. Add the broccoli and bell pepper, sprinkle lightly with salt.
3. Stir, cover, and sauté on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. You can add a little bit of water to the vegetables if they start to stick to the pan.
4. Turn off the heat, stir in all of the other herbs. Add the lemon or lime juice.
5. Sprinkle with toasted nuts or seeds of your choice.

Serves 4 to 6. 

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic Recipes , broccoli , health , healthy diet , healthy eating , herbs
Ayurvedic Recipes - Sauteed Greens

Ayurvedic Recipes: Sauteed Greens

By Diana Bellofatto
February 22, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes - Sauteed Greens

Ayurveda calls collard greens sattvic.  This implies that they support peacefulness and purity of body, mind, and spirit. Collard greens possess bitter, astringent, light, dry qualities.  Their digestion is aided with spices, healthy fats, and substances rich in digestive enzymes and stomach acid boosting abilities.

 

Enjoy collards as a side dish, a main dish with protein rich nuts, seeds, and beans or, in a soup. Read on to discover more about the greatness of these greens and the ingredients by which they are accompanied in February’s recipe.

The ‘personality traits’ of the ingredients

  • Collards Greens are packed with fiber and are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins A , C, E,  K, folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium.  Their bitter taste aids in de-stagnation of the liver and enhances bile flow.
  • Tamari contains digestive enzymes and provides that “umami” taste.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar will give your stomach acid a boost and supports healthy blood sugar.
  • Ginger enkindles the digestion fire, keeps us warm, and detoxifies unhealthy fat from the body.
  • Ghee-the butyric acid in ghee nourishes the gut and provides a great source of healthy fat.
  • Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds provide protein, are mineral rich and protect against free radicals.

Sauteed Greens with Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

  • 1 cup water
  • About 10 cups washed, dried, and chopped fresh collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped ginger
  • 1.5 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/4 c. toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

1. In a large deep skillet, on medium heat, sauté the ginger until soft and slightly golden.

2. Add the collard greens and mix well.

3. Add the water, cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the collard greens are tender.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the tamari and raw apple cider vinegar.

5. Transfer to serving bowl and stir in the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cleanse , greens , sauteed greens , winter
Art of Living Retreat Center - Carrot Currant Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Carrot Currant Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
December 21, 2017

Art of Living Retreat Center - Carrot Currant Salad

 

Yes, carrots are good for the eyes and so much more!

This popular root vegetable has an interesting “personality”. Ayurveda tells us that substances with a sweet taste have a cooling energy. Although the carrot is mainly sweat in taste (rasa), it has heating energy (virya). This makes the carrot a great seasonal vegetable for winter.

 

Rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants, the carrot is a salad superhero and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Immune-boosting qualities, the ability to bring down blood pressure and protect the liver, act as a diuretic, improve appetite, and treat IBS, are just a few of it’s superpowers!

 

The other ingredients in this salad are great sidekicks that help this dish pack the perfect punch! They are nourishing, grounding, and unctuous, making this a welcoming, wonderfully warm winter recipe.

 

This is a raw salad that I suggest be warmed before eaten, or at least eaten at room temperature to aid in digestion.

 

Carrot Currant Salad

  • 1 cup of currants, raisins, or chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 3/4 tbsp maple syrup or jaggery
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
  • 3-4 cups grated or shredded carrots (about 4-6 medium carrots)
  • Optional: about 1/4 cup fine toasted coconut flakes for garnish
 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, soak the currants, dates, or raisins in the warm water for five minutes. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the soak water.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, except for the carrots and coconut.
  3. Stir in the carrots until coated well with the dressing.
  4. Warm before serving, and garnish with toasted coconut.

Serves four as a side dish.

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , carrots , food , recipe , Recipes , salad , winter
Autumn Sweet Potato Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Autumn Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Rice

By Andrew
November 1, 2017
   

This autumn sweet potato and rice dish combines beautiful ingredients for a bright medley that’s appropriate in fall or winter. Depending on your tastes or location, you can use the type of sweet potato that’s local or your favorite. White yams, Covington sweet potatoes and Oriental sweet potatoes are personal favorites. This dish is great eaten alone for a simple warm, one-meal supper or with a side of warm soup and steamed leafy greens for a full meal.

An autumn staple, warm sweet potatoes have a grounding effect, which helps balance the vata-inclinations of fall. They are, of course, super tasty!

 

Autumn Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Rice

  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 lbs sweet potato
  • Pinch of salt
  • Smattering of ghee
 

Directions

Rinse the rice a few times and place the rice in the cooking container. Add the water and allow to soak for 30 minutes (if you are in a hurry, you can skip this step).

Scrub and cut the sweet potato into ½ inch cubes. Allow the sweet potato cubes to soak in water for five minutes and then drain the water. The soak helps remove the bitterness.

If using a rice cooker: You can combine all the ingredients (including the salt and ghee) in the rice cooker and cook as normal.

If using a stove and pot: Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

For a more pasty consistency, cook a little longer and season to taste. Fresh sweet potatoes will make this dish naturally sweet.

Serves 4-6.


 

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Ayurvedic Recipes: Vata-Calming Butternut Squash Soup

By Diana Bellofatto
September 21, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Butternut Squash Soup

Autumn is Vata season, with the earth beginning to dry out from the summer months and the cool breeze blowing in from the upcoming winter. As our bodies adjust to the season, we might find ourselves feeling dry, bloated, anxious, and unbalanced. Luckily, nature provides a wonderful remedy to these afflictions in the seasonal foods available to us. Root vegetables, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and other in-season foods are naturally vata-calming.

This butternut squash soup is not only healing, but a delicious ode to the season as well.

 

Vata-Calming Butternut Squash Soup

  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 medium sweet potato or 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup cococnut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced parsley for garnish
 

Directions

  1. Melt 1 tbsp ghee in a large, deep saute pan. Add squash, sweet potato, and then onion. Saute, stirring very little at first, and then more frequently, for 7 or 8 minutes or until all ingredients turn golden brown.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add garlic. Continue cooking until vegetables a rich caramel color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate soup pot, add 1 tbsp ghee, the ginger, and the rest of the spices except the turmeric. Saute until fragrant.
  4. Add water and vegetables to soup pot. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes, partially covered, until squash is tender.
  5. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  6. Return to soup pot. Pour in enough coconut milk so that the texture is smooth, thick, and hearty. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through, and garnish with parsley.

Serves 2-3.


 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Green Bean Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Summer Green Bean Salad

By AOLRC
August 23, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Green Bean Salad

Warm late-summer days are perfect for enjoying the bounty of the season. A fresh summer salad is a great way to take advantage of the wonderful flavor and nutritional value of in-season vegetables,  including an Ayurvedic favourite – green beans.

Regardless of your body type, or dosha, this salad is a delicious delight that will help you balance the effects of the season.

Although most beans are harder for Vata to digest, green beans are one of the exceptions to the rule. This green bean salad, with sauteed squash and red onion, is especially balancing for Vata.

Pitta may be extra aggravated during the summer months, so it’s best to introduce more hydrating and cooling foods. Salads are a summer necessity for Pitta.

Kapha is balanced by cooked, whole foods that are lighter and drier in texture. These foods are ideally served warm or hot. For a summer salad, room temperature or slightly warm cooked whole grains mixed with fresh vegetables are best for Kapha digestion.

   

Green Bean Salad

  • 1 cup of green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Optional: 1/4 cup crumbled goat’s milk cheese or chevre 

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard or brown mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 each salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
 

Directions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 3 minutes, or until slightly tender. The green beans should still have a light crunch.
  2. While green beans are cooking, fill a mixing bowl with ice water. When the green beans are done cooking, fill a mixing bowl with ice water. When the green beans are done cooking, drain thoroughly and immediately add to the ice water to shop the cooking process. Drain in a colander. Pat dry and set aside.
  3. To make a vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together, adding the olive oil last. Set aside.
  4. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a saute pan on medium heat.
  5. Add red onion and cook until just tender and slightly translucent. Add yellow squash and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Take squash mixture off heat and add to green beans. Stir all the vegetables together and add the vinaigrette.
  7. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.

For Pitta: Replace the cooked squash and onions with fresh chopped and seeded cucumber. Replace cilantro with mint for extra cooling

For Kapha: Add 1 cup cooked room temperature couscous. For easy couscous, pour 1/2 cup couscous into 3/4 cup boiling water, stir once with a spoon, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Wait 10 minutes, and then fluff couscous with a fork. Let cool before mixing into the salad.

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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Ayurvedic Recipes: Indian Okra

By Diana Bellofatto
August 2, 2017

Summer is here, and you may be experiencing extreme temperatures and the imbalances that accompany the high heat. One of the most effective ways to regulate body temperature and bring one’s self back into balance is through diet.

Pitta is that which is governed, mainly, by the fire element, and responds well to sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes to bring it back into balance when overheated. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the hot summer is pitta season. We want to be careful not to add too much heat to this already fiery time of the year! Choosing the appropriate seasonal foods will help pacify pitta’s predilection for pyrogenic tendencies.

   

Indian Okra

  • 2 cups okra
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼  tsp turmeric
  • Salt (to taste)
  • ½ lime
  • Handful chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

When preparing okra use dry cutting board and knife to avoid okra getting wet.  Heat ghee in pan until melted.  Add cumin seeds until they “swim.”  Reduce heat and add fresh ginger.  Add coriander powder and turmeric.  Combine okra with spice mixture and cook on low for 15 minutes or until tender.  Add salt to taste.  Garnish with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro.

     

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: art of living , Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , dosha , food , health , healthy lifestyle , natural lifestyle , Recipes , salad , summer , weight-loss