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Wellness, Naturally: Health Benefits of Ginger

By AOLRC
January 4, 2018

health-benefits-ginger

 

Health benefits of ginger

The perennial plant ginger is cultivated all across the world. It is available in different compositions and widely known for its culinary use. However, ginger is more than just a spice that can be added to your favorite dishes. The Eastern holistic healing approach of Ayurveda recognizes the interconnectedness of the mind and body and celebrates ginger as a tonic that can help balance the body. Ginger root also offers a huge variety of health benefits.

 

Ginger for weight loss

Obesity can reduce a person’s life expectancy by as many as 20 years. However, research shows that ginger may be instrumental in controlling your weight and suppressing obesity by reducing a variety of contributing factors, including glucose and body weight.

 

Ginger for beautiful skin

Thanks to its anti-aging properties, such as gingerol, this perennial plant also helps to rejuvenate your skin. Studies indicate that ginger helps reduce the synthesis of melanin and reduces aging of the skin.

 

Keep infections at bay

Ginger’s antimicrobial properties make it a powerful tool for fighting infections, including bacterial infections like strep throat. It’s been used to remedy a variety of conditions, including flatulence, nausea and flared sinuses. Ginger is also an ideal immune support during cold and flu season.

 

Minimize inflammation and pain

Some conditions, such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, can come with chronic pain due to inflammation — the body’s natural response for healing injuries. The longer the inflammation persists, the more painful it can be, but ginger may provide alternative pain relief. Research shows that ginger helps to reduce inflammation and pain, due to the presence of gingerols and essential oils.

 

Ginger for digestion

This famous superfood can help you to not only digest your food, but it can also help control and enhance your appetite. A common Ayurvedic practice includes consuming ginger during lunch, as it is believed to facilitate nutrient absorption.

 

Including ginger in your diet

Leveraging ginger’s health benefits is not hard to do. Here are four simple ways you can include ginger in your diet:

 

1. Ginger Tea. Relieve stress and uplift your mood with the power of ginger tea. Ginger tea can provide soothing relief when you have a cold. You can boil ginger root in water to flavor the warm beverage for a potent taste. You can also add ginger powder to a hot drink or take an even easier route by steeping ginger tea bags in hot water.

2. Cooking With Ginger as a Spice. Ginger adds a little kick to the flavoring of meats, fruits and veggies. Try enhancing the taste of your steak, chicken or asparagus by incorporating some freshly peeled and diced ginger into your dish.

3. Pickled Ginger. You can include ginger in your diet in pickled form. Pickled ginger is great appetizer that for neutralizing your taste buds, especially after you eat sushi or raw fish.

 

The health benefits of ginger stretch beyond its culinary appeal to help with skin rejuvenation, healing and appetite control. Using the power of ginger, you can adopt the Ayurvedic approach to extend balance from the mind to the body and leverage its numerous benefits.

 

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

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

 
TAGS: art of living , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cleanse , food , ginger , Recipes , skincare , weight-loss
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
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!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

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

Ayurvedic Recipes: Sensational Summer Salad to the Rescue!

By Diana Bellofatto
July 3, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Salad

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.

 

This light salad is a great way to honor your body’s nutritional needs without feeling too weighed down in the heat. See how the seasonal and light nature of this salad provides a tantalizing, tasty, and nutritionally balanced meal as each of the ingredients pave the way for pitta pacification.

(more…)

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

Ayurvedic Recipes: Cucumber Cooler

By Eloise Ducker
June 2, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Cucumber Cooler

 

Keep your cool this summer with this Ayurveda-approved, nutrient-packed, and tastebud-tantalizing drink! Cucumber calms the Pitta dosha and cools the body, all while hydrating, replenishing vitamins, and aiding in digestion. Coconut water is one of Ayurveda’s top ingredients for cooling, as it contains a natural balance of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, making it a healthy alternative to an electrolyte drink. Mint pacifies all three doshas – it’s nutrient-rich, boosts immunity, calms the stomach, and aids digestion. It’s also a great palate cleanser! Again, this is another ingredient that reduces the body temperature, making it a treat during the summer months. Combine all these ingredients and you’re sure to beat the heat.

(more…)

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cucumber , Detox , health , healthy lifestyle , recipe , Recipes , summer , wellness
Ayurveda - Broccoli Soup

Ayurvedic Recipes: Vegan ‘Cream of Broccoli’ Soup

By AOLRC
May 1, 2017

Ayurveda - Broccoli Soup

 

Spring is all about those beautiful greens, and the nutty, rich flavor of broccoli makes for the perfect invigorating meal. Broccoli is chock full of beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc, which makes it a powerful immune system booster and helps protect the body against springtime illnesses. This soup is creamy and indulgent, a treat for your taste buds and a gift to your body.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2-3 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Saute for two minutes.

2. Add vegetable broth and boil about ten minutes – until broccoli is completely cooked.

3. Add black pepper, basil, and cashew butter. Transfer to blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add lemon juice and serve.

 

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: agni , art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , broccoli , Detox , health , healthy lifestyle , recipe , Recipes , soup , Spring , wellness

Ayurvedic Recipes: Spinach with Sweet Potato and Carrot

By AOLRC
April 13, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Spinach

 

This recipe will make you feel as brightly alive as spring itself. The vibrant orange color of sweet potato and carrot, along with the touch of green spinach, makes this dish a fresh and warm combination for spring.

As the spring arrives, your body starts to warm up and detoxify itself, leaving  you craving healthy and crunchy food. The combination of spinach and sweet potato makes this dish a healthy choice for your spring lunch or dinner, as it helps in digestion, detoxification, and easy bowel movements. It even helps in balancing blood sugar levels!

The addition of ginger makes this recipe even more appropriate for spring, with its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties working wonders in our gut.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb spinach, chopped and washed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, mineral salt to taste

Directions

1. Heat one cup of water in a pan, and add the spinach. Add a pinch of salt and allow it to cook until the spinach leaves are slightly wilted. Drain out the water and set the spinach in a colander.

2. Put the sweet potato in a saucepan with just enough water to cover it. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the cubes are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan, and add grated ginger and cumin. Saute for a few seconds, until aromatic, and then add the carrots. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the spinach and potato. Toss well to coat. Season with salt if needed.

Tip: Pair this delicious dish with fresh ginger tea to speed up the digestion process and aid in detoxification!

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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Asparagus - Ayurvedic Recipe

Ayurvedic Recipes: Sauteed Asparagus with Slivered Almonds

By Paige Reist
March 1, 2017

Asparagus - Ayurvedic Recipe
Asparagus is known for its antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also very low calorie – 10 calories per 100 grams. It’s low in fat and cholesterol, and high in fibre, folates, B vitamin complex, and vitamins K and E.

This makes it a great food for March, where vata season is turning into kapha. It helps decrease water retention, weight gain, improves overall immunity, and increases elimination. Besides the above, asparagus is also good for both women’s and men’s reproductive health, for skin, hair, nails, beauty, and strength. Making the recipe with ghee helps to stimulate the digestive fire, or agni, and the almonds and sesame seeds provide protein and omega fatty acids – the good fat that the body needs for immunity and endurance.

Sauteed Asparagus with Slivered Almonds

Prep time: n/a
Cooking time: 11 minutes

Ingredients

1 tsp ghee

1 bunch asaparagus

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp lemon juice

 

Directions

Heat ghee in pan. Add asparagus and saute until tender (about 10 minutes). Add slivered almonds and cook for 1 more minute. Season with black pepper, salt, maple syrup, and lemon juice.

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

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda Recipes , Ayurvedic diet , dosha , food , kapha , pitta , recipe , Recipes , vata

Ayurveda Recipe: Sesame Cookies

By Eloise Ducker
September 20, 2016

Ayurveda Recipe

As we ease into fall and the leaves begin to change we naturally move into a different rhythm and explore other ways to spend time. Getting creative in the kitchen can be a wonderful way to ground and nurture yourself. Read on for a delicious ayurvedic sesame cookie recipe, perfect for dunking in those warming teas as you snuggle on the couch.

Sesame Cookies

Sesame is a special seed, it contains an unusual trio of tastes: bitter, pungent, and sweet. Its naturally balanced composition of heating, cooling, and building qualities makes it a tonic for increasing strength and immunity.

1 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp Everyday Sweet Spice Mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg, whisked
2 tsp sesame seeds, plus extra for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lightly greasing with ghee or coconut oil or else lining with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the ingredients together in the order listed. If the batter is too runny to shape, put it in the fridge for 5–10 minutes (but batter that’s a little runny bakes nicely). Shape batter into tablespoon-size balls or drop with a spoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Leave a few inches between the balls, as they will puff up when they bake. Lightly press down on the balls with a fork. Sprinkle tops with extra sesame seeds. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until they are firm enough to touch without your finger sticking.

Let them cool completely before removing from baking sheets and serving. Puffs will be soft when you eat them. Yum!

Source: The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook

 

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

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , creativity , fall , food , kapha , pitta , Recipes , vata , wellness