Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Satisfying Cilantro Summer Sauce

By Diana Bellofatto
June 29, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

The hot time of year is upon us once again! Eating seasonally and staying cool will guide us toward lots of greens and veggies. This sauce makes the perfect partner to accompany your culinary creativity.

 

For the most part, nuts are heating, but almonds that have the skin removed are not. The skin of the almond is a tough substance to digest, and contains some anti-nutrients that are best removed. What remains is a protein-rich, ojas (think immune boosting & strengthening) enhancing, satisfying food.

 

In the world of Ayurveda, cilantro is known for it’s cooling effects and ability to cloy toxins from the body. It has an affinity for the skin and can even be made into a paste and applied to skin eruptions from rashes due to allergic reactions from poison ivy and the like.

 

Lime helps to impart the salty taste without creating excess heat, so you won’t have to add much salt to this sauce.

You can whip this sauce up in just a few minutes in a blender or food processor. Enjoy!

 

Fresh cilantro and almond sauce

If your agni (digestive fire) is up to the task of digesting raw veggies, this sauce can double as a dip for crudités or as salad dressing. Otherwise, it dresses cooked vegetables and grains very nicely.

 
  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked over night in a bowl and peeled
  • About 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4-1/2 cup lime juice
  • About 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste
 

Directions

1. Place soaked and peeled almonds in a blender with ½ c. water, lime juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Puree.
2. Add cilantro (leaves & stems) and blend well.
3. Add more/less water and/or oil for desired consistency.
Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Makes about one cup.

 

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 Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Stay Cool with these Summer Ayurveda Tips

By Diana Bellofatto
June 20, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

Like the changing tides of the ocean, the practice of Ayurveda encourages us to go with the ebbs and flows of the seasons. Ayurvedic wisdom has recommendations to help us maintain balance of body, mind, and spirit. These measures can be very simple but have profound results.

 

Reaching an imbalanced state from an over abundance of heat can make manifest a host of uncomfortable side effects. In summer you may feel irritable, judgmental, argumentative, have dry skin or skin eruptions, and experience diarrhea. These discomforts can be ameliorated or avoided altogether with these summer Ayurveda tips!

 

Avoid sun

Avoid being out in the midday sun. If you go outside to exercise, try to do it in the early morning or evening. Bathing by the light of the moon instead of the sun is preferred and wear sunglasses even if you are only going out for a few minutes.

 

Wear the right colors

Colors effect our moods and body temperature. If someone says something that makes us angry we might say, “That made me see red!”. The color red stimulates and can incite, thereby increasing heat so, steer toward cooling colors in your summer wardrobe with whites and pastels.

 

Massage yourself with cooling oil

When overheated, we sweat and can experience dry skin. Massaging the body with coconut oil can cool and moisturize. Coconut oil also has the ability to kill odor causing bacteria. Always choose high quality, unrefined, organic oils. “Keep your cool” by massaging your scalp and feet with bhringaraj oil at bedtime.

 

Know your dosha

Those of us with a predominance of fire element (pitta) in our bodies can tend toward being more intense and driven to succeed. Intensity and drive serve a purpose but when pushed to extremes (such as in a competitive nature while playing a sport in the hot sun) are the same qualities that can burn us out physically, mentally, and emotionally.

 

Ayurveda calls the passionate, energetic, movement oriented qualities of pitta, rajas. Rajasic qualities are necessary in our lives and must be kept in balance. You may notice that people who are predominant in these qualities can also have sharp mental acuity. Out of balance, rajas can damage the myelin sheath that protects the brain.

 

Exercise smart

When you practice yoga, favor a practice with moderate intensity and maintain a diffusive gaze (not sharp and penetrating). Exercise by swimming or walking in shaded areas instead of playing competitive sports.

 

Know your triggers

Avoid “heated” debates and “hot” topics that you know tend to rile you up. Meditating on the bija mantras (seed sounds) Shim (pronounced “sheem”) or Aim (pronounced “I’m”) can cool and clear the mind. A longer mantra is: Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu (May all being be happy and free). This mantra promotes kindness and acceptance.

 

May you be happy and free!

 

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 , cooling , doshas , seasonal living , summer
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.

 
 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , carrots , food , recipe , Recipes , salad , winter

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.


 

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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
Art of Living Retreat Center - Sail Through Summer

Wellness, Naturally: Sail Through Summer

By Diana Bellofatto
July 31, 2017

Art of Living Retreat Center - Sail Through Summer

 

Summer fun – lots of fresh air, sunshine, outdoor activities, and socializing abound, but unless we maintain balance, we may find our energy sapped and tapped from excesses when we over indulge or work hard out in the heat.

 

In spring and the onset of summer, we see lots of vibrantly colored, hearty plants and flowers. Having endured the heat, by August, we may notice that many of the plants and flowers lose their vibrancy and color and begin to wilt.

 

Mimicking what goes on in nature, we also begin to wilt in August if we have been going at it too hard at work and/or play. For many of us, the summer sun, heat and lack of discipline in daily routine take their toll and we start to notice dry, chalky skin, lack of energy, dehydration, irritability, and a need for a more steady daily routine that puts us in a good “head space” for making better choices.

 

Here are my tips for a sense of elevation, elation, and rejuvenation…

DIET

Continue to eat seasonally and favor sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Give special consideration to cherries, watermelon, pomegranate, and apples for their ability to activate heat removal, hydration and lymphatic flow in the body. Eating al fresco is great, just avoid being in direct sunlight and very hot temperatures. Minimize meat intake due to its heating and heavy nature and eat in a calm, relaxed environment whenever possible.

 

LIFESTYLE

Summer can be a very social time of year so, you may be fishing for a little down time at this point. Reel it in by not over scheduling yourself and plan some time for relaxing at home. It is said that music soothes the savage beast. You may want to add ocean sounds, whales, birds, and other soothing sounds to your playlist and enjoy those sounds at home, in the car, or at work if permissible.

 

YOGA

Beat the heat! Favor dissipation over perspiration with yoga. A supine, supported, restorative bound angle posture might be just what you need to cool your jets; along with some cooling breath work such as chandra bhedana, shitali or shitkari. Your yoga teacher can provide instruction.

 

SELF LOVE

Becoming overheated can induce irritability, a judgmental nature, an overall negative attitude and feelings of inadequacy. We can be hard on others but even harder on ourselves. Come in for a landing, sit down, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, scan your body to find areas of tension and restriction and give yourself permission to relax and let go. Finding the balance between “doing” and “being” is one of the most important practices we can have. Some of us tend to value doing over being. Remember, we are human beings- practice compassion for yourself and others.

 

HERBS

The wonderful wisdom of herbs can play a vital role in, what Ayurveda calls rasayana, or rejuvenation. One of the top herbs for this time of year is amalaki. Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for the protocol that is right for you, as it is important for your health history to be taken into consideration when herbs are recommended.

 

The methods of rasayana provided by diet, lifestyle, yoga, herbs and compassion for one’s self and others rejuvenate the cytoplasm and protein of plasma, kindle the digestive fire, maintain tone of the tissues, enhance the life span of cells, cellular memory and cellular intelligence, promote normal, healthy psychological function, a melodious voice, strength and stamina, and bring functional synchronicity to the organs. There are rasayana methods for each of the 7 tissues (plasma, blood, muscle, bone, fat, nervous & reproductive tissue) that can greatly improve quality of life.

   

Interested in learning more about 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 , August , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , Ayurvedic diet , diet , happiness , healthy lifestyle , herbs , lifestyle , rasayana , self love , summer , yoga

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