Ayurvedic Basics & the Seasons

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Source: flickr.com/photos/lakpura/

 

Ayurvedic medicine is over 5 thousand years old and is connected to nature and its seasons. This holistic healing system seeks to harmonize body, mind, and soul. Though it can be difficult to conceptualize from a scientific point of view, it is common sense and based on the laws of nature. You don’t need a scientific study to reflect on what may already be intuitively known; you need to eat differently based on the climate in your part of the world (tropical, desert, tundra  or grassland), the current season, your ancestry and genetics, your age, activity level, and food preferences.  All of these aspects influence how you, as an individual, should eat and live.

We at One Bite Wellness use different aspects of healing traditions and bring them in our practice. Beyond calories and carbs there lies a whole new layer of healing modalities. We endeavor, and encourage our clients, to live in harmony with the natural cycles…to take stress out of daily living, and with it the stress-fighting hormones and their toxic residues (i.e. free radicals). We want to know how well your body is getting rid of waste from your system…because what you put in your body is only part of the equation. 

What you eat is important, but so is how and when you eat. So it is important to study the characteristics of the seasons and learn how to incorporate the foods that provide balance.

The doshas – pitta, vata, and kapha- rule seasons, body types, times in our lives and more. Here’s a quick primer:

Summer is the hot and dry season, when pitta rules supreme. It is when we race around, buzzing with energy for our many activities.

Fall/Winter is the vata, or wind, season. It is characterized by cold and dryness. Nature takes time to rest instead of actively growing.

Spring is the kapha season; it is earthy, wet, and cool. It can promote a slower, heavy feeling in the body.

The foods produced during each season are typically the best to eat to help off-set effects of the season. For example, since the fall/winter season is cold and dry, our skin tends to be dry and crack and we feel cold. The foods produced and harvested during this time are warming, nourishing, and lubricating for your skin and joints. Squashes, nuts, and animal foods are typically incorporated into our meals or in soups, casseroles, and chili recipes.

During the summer season, we are hot and the foods produced by the earth are cooling; we tend to eat more raw foods – such as fruits, smoothies, salads, and gazpacho. This helps us deal with the heat of the season.

How does one find balance with each of the seasons?

The main two tools are seasonally-appropriate nutritional programs and lifestyle management. We cover how functioning of the body can go awry and how to create balance. Without a demanding a strict diet for the season, we help the client by creating a personalized nutrition protocol and teaching them how to incorporate delicious foods into their diets. In addition, we look at how to support the body, during the various seasons, with simple and fun lifestyle changes to support their bodies.

Connect with a nutrition expert and learn more about your Ayurvedic body type and how to create personalized balance – mind, body, and spirit.

Food Truck Love: Challah

Columbus is a city with a burgeoning food truck scene. Want gyros, pizza, tacos or Korean street food? We have it. Recently we were fortunate enough to stumble upon Challah food truck during a visit to a local brewery.

Food trucks, and restaurants in general, can be a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to meeting nutritional and happy-taste-bud standards. So we weren’t exactly sure what to expect as we approached to the truck. Over the next few minutes of conversation with Catie and Janet through Challah’s window, we learned that the menu includes home-made ingredients and can be customized to dietary restrictions (i.e. gluten- or dairy-free) and they are happy to redesign a meal to meet your needs. So far so good. We ordered the avocado beet sandwich sans bread and some salty, vinegary Schmaltz fried potatoes. The next part of the evaluation would be waiting for the taste-buds approval. A few minutes later our food arrived:

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Truthfully, we dove in with gusto and almost forgot to photograph!

We needn’t have had any reservations. The creamy avocado, pickled beets, fresh onion and goat cheese over escarole had a simple vinaigrette; it was appealing to both eyes and stomach. Its lightness paired well with the salty potatoes and it was incredibly tempting to order it up again. Luckily, we were informed that Challah had plans for serving brunch at another local establishment the next day. Sold.

There are few things that can compound one’s happiness quotient on a beautiful spring early afternoon, but this brunch is one of them. The menu had a diverse listing of ingredients such as lamb, curried chickpeas, challah french toast, brisket, bison tongue, and roasted carrots. Dining companion chose an egg, cheese, and bison tongue sandwich with fried potatoes while this dish was roasted carrots, curried chickpeas and parsley (yogurt optional).

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Considering the importance of cleaner eating in general, and particularly after a night of a few libations, this would definitely be a healthier option for a brunch indulgence.

Catie was advised early on to limit her menu and make it stick, but she couldn’t do it.  She cares about seasonally available ingredients, and in making a menu that excites her.  Her food truck proudly displays a trophy from when she played soccer as a kid, as if to say that she’s keeping her identity, staying true to herself and that comes forth in her constantly-changing creations.

Upon telling Catie how impressed we were with the high-quality ingredients, she responded:

“When you respect the ingredients, you let them speak for themselves in a dish”

Well said. We will be back for more!