“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” —Ayurvedic Proverb
In the Ayurvedic practices I follow and teach, food is not only a medicine, but the medicine. It’s through food that we can heal physical, mental, and emotional imbalances, by examining the qualities of our actual meals and the context in which we consume them. I didn’t always treat food as medicine—rather, it was the kind of medicine that tasted like liquified chalk, or the kind we turn to for escape from our pain rather than true healing. Over time, I began to experience food as an essential component to my ability to fully experience life—to savor the rasa, which means “taste” or “juice,” of everything I do. Without food, we have no ojas—the vigor, endurance, and glow that is at the foundation of a long, healthy, and juicy life.
Now, I consider meals as part of my daily sadhana, or spiritual practice—opportunities for mindful self-care and nourishment just like my yoga practice and sense care routines. Sadhana is best done in community, though, and in following a vegan lifestyle I also feel I am respecting the planetary community from which my food comes. These simple, versatile, 100 percent plant-based recipes feature wholesome, sustainable ingredients that respect the Earth and its natural and human resources that contribute to them. Anything but boring, these dishes achieve diverse flavors, colors, and textures thanks to easy-to-find pantry staples, herbs, and spices, which you can customize to suit your palate and individual health needs. There’s no fancy technique or equipment needed—only a sense of knowing what you like and not being afraid of trying something you think you don’t. Get ready to embrace the juice.
Ayurveda encourages eating by season and according to one’s dosha, or constitution, in order to create the strongest connection to nature—our own nature and the world around us. You can browse recipes by those categories, as well as traditional meals.
Preorder my cookbook, Root & Nourish: An Herbal Cookbook for Women’s Wellness, coming from Tiller Press in April 2021.