Curried Quinoa Super Food: Pacify Kapha in Late Winter/Early Spring

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012

Curried Quinoa Super Food: Pacify Kapha in Late Winter/Early Spring The ancient grain of the Incas, Quinoa has a delicate, nutty, slightly bitter flavor and the lightest texture of all grains.  This combination of bitter taste and light texture make it an ideal grain for Kapha types and Kapha imbalances such as excess weight, sluggishness, and issues of phlegm.  And while Quinoa is excellent for elevated Kapha  any time of year, it’s especially true  in Late Winter/Early Spring when Kapha predominates.  Quinoa  is also a very good choice for Pitta imbalances that benefit from the bitter taste and light...

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Dandelion and Chicory Greens: Vegan Fast Food

Posted by on Jan 28, 2012

My idea of fast food: real food, made easily. Too many of my vegetarian and vegan friends are what I call “grilled cheese vegetarians.” Though they avoid meat, they also seem to avoid green vegetables and eat lots of bread and soy cheese or vegan sausages. I was on a meditation retreat a few years ago in Quebec, and it was surprising: lots of beans and grains and dairy, too, even ice cream, but zero green vegetables. Chinese medicine says: Protein for strength, Grains for energy, Green Vegetables to keep it all clean. Luckily, walking around the extensive uncut...

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Sea Vegetables for Health- Cleanse Lymph and Build Kidney Qi in Winter

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011

Sea Vegetables for Health Wild vegetables grow all over the earth and in the water. Dandelion greens, nettles, burdock are a few of the valuable and highly nutritious land vegetables that are easy to grow most anywhere. Sea vegetables also grow both North and South. I do not know about the tropics, but all over the far north from Scotland to Nova Scotia to Siberia and Japan people have been harvesting plants from the sea since ancient times. Lots of us are familiar now with the seaweed salad at the sushi bar. Sadly, most of the time what you...

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Safe Neti Pot Use

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011

Below is an article from NPR about a recent death in Louisiana suspected to be from Neti Pot use with tap water. Before anyone gets too freaked out, let’s look at the facts. 1. There is no proof; it is a suspected case of one.2. The people live in Louisiana, a state with a particularly dismal health record, perhaps in a rural area. City water has nasty things like chlorine you don’t want up your nose either, but less likely to have amoeba 3. What was the health of the deceased; how was their immune system.Of course this is...

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Nearly Tridoshic Cucumber Avocado Summer Soup

Posted by on May 27, 2011

Cucumber Avocado Summer Soup 2 cups chopped cucumber, peeled if non-organic1 cup avocado1.5 cups plain yogurt or kefir1-2 tbsp fresh bell pepper 3-4 tbs fresh cilantroSalt and Pepper to taste Ayurveda This is a lovely creamy cooling summer soup that in Ayurvedic terms is especially suitable for both Pitta and Vatta, and quite tolerated by Kapha, as discussed below. What I want to show you below is how a dish is adjusted to suit a dosha, and how to eat seasonally. Pitta: This soup cools Pitta’s fire, which is naturally increased in Summer months. Both cucumber and cilantro are...

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Staying Health with the Seasons: Winter

Posted by on Dec 19, 2010

Staying Healthy with the Seasons: Winter Hototogisu kata Did a cuckoo cry?Niwa no to akerya I open the doorKoyoi no sora nya And look out in the garden– Tsuki bakai There is only the moon Translation by Kenneth Rexroth, 1958, from 100 Poems from the Japanese. In the above simple verse, the poet captures the essence of winter—the cool Yin light of the moon personifying the inward nature of solitude. Chinese medicine, influenced by the ideas of Chinese philosophy, observes the movement of life-forces in nature and seeks a way of living that is in harmony, rather than in...

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Cold Beet Borscht Soup for Summer

Posted by on Jul 24, 2010

Cold Beet Borscht Soup for Summer Let’s call this a soup, even though I grew up drinking it out of a glass, and at Yonah Shimmel’s Knishery in New York (est.1910) they were still serving it on tap, for $1.25, along with home made Kefir, in little plastic institutional juice glasses when I visited last, about 10 years ago. This is the closest I can get to Yonah Shimmel’s cool, sweet, sour beverage, with some modifications of my own that take into account a Russian influence (add dill) and my Ayurvedic background (add black and white pepper). And its...

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Raw Beet Salad Morrocan and Provencal Styles

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010

Raw Beet Salad Beets are super high in betacyanin, a phyto-nutrient associated with their deep red color. Unfortunately, according to what I have read, this anti-cancer chemical is destroyed by cooking. Though Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine do not at all advocate for a raw food diet, there is no reason why you can’t include raw vegetables into an Ayurvedic cuisine. But raw beet alone is relatively unpalatable, with a pretty tough texture, though its color is superb and it gives a bit of zing by its spiciness. One simple way is just to put shredded raw beet into salads,...

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Fasting in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Jun 4, 2010

Fasting in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine Fasting in Ayurveda Ayurveda believes that light fasting can greatly benefit your health. Light fasting healthfully stimulates the digestive fire of your entire gut, from your salivary glands to your large intestine, including your stomach, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, and small intestine (called Agni in Ayurveda), causing it to metabolize your foods and drinks more efficiently. Now your gut produces less toxic waste (called Ama in Sanskrit), which is one of the major roots of disease in Ayurveda. This is why light fasting in Ayurveda is considered an important part of a healthy...

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Warming Baked Root and Squash Stew: Vegan or Not

Posted by on Dec 15, 2009

One of the things we look at in Chinese Dietary Therapy is, what are the effects of particular cooking styles on the “energetic” quality of the food; here energy refers to the warming characteristics of the dish. Whereas steaming and quick boiling are mild, and introduce the least amount of heat energy by cooking, and therefore are excellent for spring and summer vegetables and for folk with heat disorders like eczema, baking is a nice way to bring heat energy deep into the foodstuffs, and is excellent for people who are cold and weak, cold and damp, or for...

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Beet Root and Daikon Winter Rice Pullao

Posted by on Dec 14, 2009

Winter makes me want to cook, and brings out my love of warming spices. Today I wanted rice and vegetables, and all I had in the house was a large red beet-root, and a daikon radish. So I made Beetroot and Radish Pulao, a really simple and delicious dish. Vegetables are both medicine and food. Each and every vegetable has some kind of medicinal property, from anti-oxidant to digestive to just the value of the fiber content. Daikon is famous in Japan for its properties as a digestive, especially raw. Beets are high in anti-oxidants. One of the things...

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Stinging Nettles: Soup and Medicine

Posted by on Feb 11, 2009

Stinging Nettles: Soup and Medicine When I was a teenager, I was enthralled by the story of Milarepa, “Tibet’s Greatest Yogi,” who, after a great career as a murderously vengeful black magician, had a change of heart, and transformed himself, in part by great austerities, and became a great and beneficent human being, one of Tibet’s most respected heroes. At one point Milarepa spent 12 years in the cold high mountains, meditating and living only on soup made from Nettles and herbs. This is one of the most exciting moments in his story. And I remember wondering at the...

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Vegan Mung Dal with Vegetables for Ulcerative Colitis

Posted by on Feb 10, 2009

Here is a dish I gave to one of my patients Mark. M. a few years back who had a very successful outcome. Mark had been following drug therapy for about 6 months with limited improvement. We then followed a course of acupuncture/moxabustion for 9 months and herbal medicines for 1.5 years. Mark also entered counseling which he, and later his wife, continued for 2 years involving stress management and learning how better to deal with and express feelings healthfully. At the same time Mark continued his western drug therapy for the first 6 months of treatment. By the...

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Healing Ulcerative Colitis

Posted by on Feb 10, 2009

Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine. It should not be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by the presence of inflammation and ulceration in the intestinal mucosa. The chief symptom is chronic diarrhea, with pain, blood, and mucus in the stool Although ulcerative colitis has no known cause, bio-medicine presumes a genetic component to susceptibility. However the disease may be triggered in a susceptible person by environmental factors, such as stress. Anecdotally, I would add that in every case I have treated with Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, high...

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Winter Barley & Bean One Pot Tridoshic Vegan Stew

Posted by on Jan 21, 2009

Ingredients Barley, 3/4 Cup, Cooked till SoftPinto Beans, 1 Cup, CookedOne Head Beet Greens, or 1 small bunch of Kale or SpinachTurnip, 1 Small, SlicedRed Onion, One Medium, SlicedRaisins, 1 tbsp2 tsp crushed Garlic1 tbsp Coriander powder1 tsp Cumin powder1/2 tsp Indian Turmeric Powder3/4 tsp Black Pepper1 tsp Sea Salt2 tbsp Sesame oil (not the black roasted type) to saute the onion and spice1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar1 tsp Raw Dark Sugar How To Prepare: Wash and soak the barley for at least an hour. The longer the better. Boil with the raisins until soft. Cook pinto beans or open...

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