Ayurveda Cooking Simplified
Ayurveda cooking can seem so complicated at times, and if you are someone who doesn't enjoy cooking, you may just throw up your hands and forget the whole thing.
As a mom with a busy family I can relate to those feelings, and it took me awhile to find my flow with Ayurveda cooking.
In this episode I share tips and ways to make Ayurveda cooking simple and easy, and it doesn't mean you need to eat Indian food for every meal (although I do love a good curry:).
I also share strategies that have worked with my own kids to help them stay balanced and make good choices when it comes to meal time.
This is Heather Johnson and you're listening to the Ayurveda Life School Podcast, episode number 107, Ayurveda Cooking Simplified.
Hello, my friends. Welcome to the podcast this morning. Wanted to give you a couple updates on some things that are going on within the Ayurveda life school world.
We just finished up our spring cleanse. It was an amazing experience. For those of you who participated in it, I know that the benefits were great, and we're actually going to do a little bonus episode where I share some of the experiences that different members had as they went through this cleanse so that you can see what an Ayurveda cleanse can actually do for you. But the bottom line was, it was beautiful. And I think there were a lot of surprises. I think the biggest surprise was the emotional work that we did because we tend to think of a cleanse as food and body focused. But when we really start getting into it and you peel back the layers, you see that there's so much more going on on the emotional side, it was really challenging as the leader of this group, because I opted to do the cleanse with everyone.
I like to kind of be in the trenches with you guys, but it makes it hard because if I'm also working on emotional things and dealing with attachments and letting go and uncovering maybe emotions that I hadn't been facing before then I was expecting that, seeing that right along with everybody else.
So that was really a challenging and a rewarding aspect to see how deep we can actually go. And when we take apart and deconstruct what happens during a cleanse, which we'll do on a bonus episode, you see how much work you can actually accomplish in a really short period of time. That can be long lasting if you keep with the habits. So that's the first update cleanses done. It was beautiful. It was awesome.
New Cooking Intensive Coming Soon
Next update. I am in the middle of creating a fantastic course about Ayurvedic cooking. And that actually has spurred this topic for today because I see my students and my clients and my members of different groups, really struggling with applying what they learn in the kitchen and they want to eat Ayurvedically and then they get confused and kind of throw in the towel and they think, well, all I'm going to be eating is rice and beans.
And I'm going to get bored of that, which you totally would if that's all you ate. So we want to keep it lively. We want to figure out ways to make it simple, but also make it accessible to you so that it's creating the benefits that you need.
So in July 2021 we will be launching an Ayurvedic cooking workshop, and this will be a virtual workshop that you could do from your own kitchen, where we will have educational portions. We'll have hands-on cooking parts. We'll talk about cooking for a family, cooking for individuals, how to adjust things for your dosha, how to identify how spices work for you, ways to set up your kitchen so that it's more organized and Ayurvedic and ultimately how to make this work in your life without it taking a ton of time. Because I think that's a big barrier.
If we feel like we're going to need to commit hours every day to cooking, we're probably not going to do it. So I will continue to release information about this cooking course. That's coming up in July. It's going to be fantastic. I'm super excited about it. We've been just testing and there's cooking going on all the time around here as we're getting things prepared for that, just so we make sure we have the perfect setup and the perfect recipes for each of you.
So if you just go to my website, there'll be information on there about this cooking course. https://www.ayurvedalifeschool.com/cookingintensive Okay.
Simplify Your Cooking 3:40
So that segues into what we're talking about today, because I really wanted to start kind of priming you on how to make Ayurveda cooking work in your life. I know that many of you listening to the podcast have been through all 106 episodes, but we also have some new members and new people who come on and they maybe listened to the most recent episode and they get pretty lost.
I think we can always simplify what we're doing. I've been studying a lot about minimalism and realizing I need to kind of simplify my life in a lot of ways so that I can come down to what's actually important. And when we look at Ayurveda, we know that digestion is the key. That is what we focus on when we're trying to achieve good health, whether we are preventing illness, or if we have a disease and we're working on management, we always come back to agni, digestive fire, and how can we strengthen it?
So everything that we cook Ayurvedically actually comes back to that principle. We look at how we combine flavors based upon you being able to digest your food better. The reason that we put spices on things like beans is to make them digestible. The reason that we add chutneys, like a jam or relish we'll talk about today, is to make the food more digestible, to increase the bitters and the astringent so that our body can actually use what we're taking in.
So when we start to realize that we're not just doing this to entertain our mouth, we're actually having a deeper health purpose. It makes us more committed and then we kind of stick with it. So let's talk about some ways that we can simplify and how you can look at your food to make it a little bit easier.
First off breakfast is important. And if you have been living a more Western lifestyle, you might not be eating breakfast regularly. It might be something that you've omitted. I've always been a breakfast person, but I know my mom never wanted to eat breakfast growing up. And she still doesn't like breakfast. It's something that we kind of have worked on with her over the years. And many of you might be like that. You just don't have an appetite in the morning. For me, I always have breakfast every day. I recommend keeping it really easy. If you are someone who doesn't have a big appetite in the morning, you still eat something. It could just be tea. You could have lemon water or ginger. But for me, I always cook cereal. I feel like that sits really well with my body. My Pitta kapha dosha combination really likes that. And oatmeal is kind of my go-to right now. It changes a little bit throughout the seasons. I'll start shifting a little bit into quinoa because it's a bit lighter as we start moving more into the spring and summer, but I like to do the cooked cereals. I add my spices there. It's really easy. I can just get it going on the stove while I'm doing other things. Oatmeal takes maybe eight minutes to cook on the stove.
So it's super fast. Quinoa does take a little bit more time, 15 to 20 minutes, but if you are timing that around when you're getting other foods prepared and you kind of have that be your food prep time, it makes it a little bit easier for lunch.
I tend to just kind of look at my dish as sections. I want a grain. So I might go with rice or quinoa or barley. Those are some of my favorites, and then I'll choose a legume or a bean. So you could do Adzuki. Adzuki is really great if you like black beans, but you get gas from them. Adzuki is not a black bean, but they have a similar taste and a look to the black bean. And so it's a good substitute and it's great for all the doshas. Split peas or Navy beans are ones that I also tend to reach for.
And then I'll usually just saute up some veggies. These will vary based on the season. So depending on what is in season, what is in my farmer's market, what's in the grocery stores that is local. Then I will just saute that up with some ghee and spices, put everything in a bowl and lunch is done.
I don't tend to eat bread. I don't really do sandwiches. I don't do a lot of tortillas. I really just like to stick with kind of basic whole foods. And there's a lot of different ways you can spice these to make them interesting. You can put your seasonal spices on them. You can put spices that are good for your dosha. You can choose more ethnic spices. Perhaps you want it to be more Italian or you want a little bit of more of a Mexican flavor to it.
Or you want something to be a little bit more Asian. So there's different ways that you can spice the food so that it tastes differently. And then you don't get bored with it. But I find that you tend to stick with something more when it's simple and it's a repeated habit. If you're trying to cook something different for all three meals every single day, you probably won't stick with it because that's just complicated. And it takes a lot of time. Once you find things that you like, it's really nice to just kind of stick with those.
If you need a snack, that's where your fruit can come in. So if you're wanting an Apple, that's a great place to do an Apple. If you want it to have a pear or Melon (always eat melon totally by itself, it does not do well with other food).
And you can cook those. If you'd like, you can do a little cooked up pear, put a little spice on it, some cinnamon, some nutmeg, maybe a little ginger, and cook that up in some water on the stove. You could cook up an Apple the same way. It really doesn't take that much time. I think that we make it a bigger story than it needs to be about food preparation.
It's about foresight. Have a little foresight, so you can start things in a proper time. So they're ready for you when it's time to eat.
You might eat the same foods for dinner that you have for lunch. And that is a really easy way where you just cook your stuff at lunch, have it for lunch and dinner. Or if you work in an office, you're cooking it in the morning before you leave.
And you just box up a package for dinner and a package for lunch. You're good for the day.
Family Meal Prep
Now let's say you have a family. I have a family, four kids, and my oldest has moved out. And what's funny is she totally misses our food. And our food is so basic and we don't do fancy things, but having been living in college dorms and eating kind of randomly, whenever she comes home, she's so excited. She immediately pulls out the rice. She'll pull out the beans. She might pull out some Turkey because my husband needs a lot of Turkey meat. She'll pull out the Turkey, she'd throw some broccoli on there, some veggies and put spices on. And she's always like, Oh, this is so delicious. So I think you can convert your taste buds to pretty much anything. I believe that to be true, but here are ways that I have done cooking with my family to make it really simple and easy so everyone can choose what's best for them.
Family Meal Ideas 9:35
1. Tacos are a really easy way and tacos can mean a lot of things to different people. You might have a traditional corn shell. You might have a flour tortilla. You might choose to have no tortilla. You could make an Ayurvedic dosa, which is kind of like an Ayurvedic flatbread or an crepe that's made with the basmati rice and mung beans. And that could be the base of your taco. So you can really choose what you need for your body and your dosha.
Then you can just add your toppings. So I'll often have some cooked up veggies like sauteed veggies. We'll have rice available. We'll have beans available. If my family is wanting meat that night, we'll do a little bit of Turkey in there. I might cook up some tofu and that could go as the meat portion. We might have some lettuce there, maybe a little bit of onions.
They like cheese. I don't do cheese, but if they want to put cheese on that, I usually have a little cheese for them. So you can have it so that every person gets to choose what's best for them.
2. Another favorite at my house is a potato bar and you could make a variety of potatoes. There are so many different kinds of potatoes. If you are serving people that are more Vata, you may want to have sweet potatoes. If you're serving a Kapha or a Pitta, you probably could do fine with just a white potato. Now, should you have a potato every single night? Probably not. It's part of the nightshade family. It can be aggravating to the doshas, but in moderation, we could definitely have this as an occasional meal.
If you're concerned about the white potatoes, just go with sweet potatoes, they would be great. And then you just have a whole bunch of toppings so they can go through and choose what they want for toppings. And I always err on the side of lots of veggies, so always have good vegetable options. They can be sauteed or cooked. They can be steamed. Don't serve raw vegetables very much, but you just give a variety and just choose things that are growing right now. Then put some spices on them. And it's super simple, easy, right there.
3. Soup is one of the foods that I think should be a staple in every kitchen. It’s a really great way to get your spices and moisture. Allow yourself to cook a lot of vegetables with it. You can add so many nourishing things. If you have weak bones, or if you're in the Vata time of life, you can add a bone broth as your base, which is excellent. You can add different vegetable broths. You can make sure that you have the right quantities of vegetables for your dosha. If you want something that's a little heavier, you can add in cauliflower, you can put in lentils. I mean really kind of the sky's the limit when it comes to soup.
Sometimes kids don't love soup. So the way that I have kind of combated this is I let them add things to it, let them put more things on top and I don't make them take a ton of broth. So I'll let them scoop it out. And they have just a little bit less of the broth, a little more of the guts of the soup. And then maybe they put a little bit of Parmesan on top, or they put some paneer cheese that melts in. Cheese always seems to make everyone happy, right?
And then they can add in some spices or we'll make some little chutneys that are kind of like a jam that I've talked about, but you can put those on there to add some variety to it.
So there's a lot of ways you can spice soups up. Literally you can cook up tortilla strips, add the tortilla strips to them. So if you have some of those toppings on hand, it really makes it pretty easy. And a soup is something that can just simmer on the stove all day. You don't have to babysit it and watch it. And I really enjoy making soups. So that's one thing that I do. You can also do a chili based soup and then just adjust the beans based upon the doshas of the people who will be eating it. So you want to go with really small beans to help with decreasing gas.
Pinto beans can be a really big problem for Vata. So we wouldn't put a ton of those and you might put some more mung beans and you might put more vegetables than you do beans, but you could do more of a chili type. And that's something that's really great and usually pretty well accepted.
And you can make a little side of corn bread or corn dish with it on the side if they like that. So I obviously don't stick to set rules when I am cooking when I have my family involved, but I try to make foods that will work for everybody. And then they can adjust the toppings.
4. We do the same thing with what we call Hawaiian haystacks. I don't really know if that's what they're called, but it's just a rice base, lots of different toppings. We'll make a creamy sauce to go on the top. And that works really well for my family. So they like that.
5. We do homemade pizza. I really like to do pizza with my family because they want to eat pizza, but I don't really like store bought pizza. It's really gross and bad for you. So we'll make more of a naan bread crust, like a flat bread, and then give them lots of different toppings. We don't always put cheese on it. Sometimes they'll put some cheese on theirs, but lots of vegetables, sometimes a marinara sauce. Sometimes not. There's so many varieties. If you start getting creative with what can go on a flatbread pizza.
6. What about pasta? A lot of people do pasta. It's kind of like a go-to. So I will often buy red lentil or garbanzo bean pasta, and then cook that as my base. You can make a really great sauce to go on top that uses nutritional yeast and a lot of different flavorings and seasonings.
You can use coconut milk or almond milk to make a cream sauce on top to simulate a cheesy sauce, or you can go with a marinara. And then I always sneak in lots of veggies. I'll puree them. I'll cook them ahead of time, puree them and then add those in and then have another side of vegetables. I don't really eat tomatoes very much because tomatoes are pretty aggravating to all three doshas. So when you make a homemade pizza, you want to have real light sauce. If you're noticing any heat that's coming from eating the tomatoes, they're part of that nightshade family, just like the white potatoes. So we just want to keep those in small moderation, but pasta can be a really good go-to. And then my daughter loves to make, um, breadsticks. So she'll make some nice naan flatbread breadsticks to go on the side with that.
And it's a really fun way to get everybody involved. They can all kind of make their own little pizzas.
7. Sometimes we'll do breakfast for dinner. And I like to make chickpea pancakes super, super easy. It is literally chickpea flour with water and that's it. And they just cook into these little pancakes and they can put organic maple syrup on top. We can make a little mixture of berries where we cook up the berries, add a little bit of water and then just make a Berry sauce to go over them. So that's really delicious.
I also like to do oatmeal bakes in the oven. So I cook up the oatmeal, but it's in a pan, and has some yummy things added to it. We just cook that in the oven. And then my family does eat eggs. I don't eat very many, but they do eat eggs. And so I'll just cook a couple eggs to go on the side.
8. Another super easy meal is to make some homemade hummus and you can find lots of different variations on how to make hummus. So if your body doesn't do good with chickpeas, you can find ones that use like Adzuki beans or that use Pinto beans and sweet potatoes together.
So there's lots of varieties of hummus and vegetables, and then just make some naan bread or have some pita bread with it. It's a really good, easy meal. And you could have most of that made ahead of time, right? You could have your veggies that you had at lunch. You could have hummus that you put in the fridge cause you already made it. And then you can just pull out pita bread or make that homemade naan bread and just eat that. This is a really good fast meal if you need something like that.
9. And the old standby is stir fry. So I used stir fry a lot because it just basically is my sauteed veggies with spices and rice. And then sometimes, if the kids are wanting it, or it's the winter time or if my husband's eating with us, we'll add some chicken in. So I tend to only do that really in the winter or if it's been really cold and we need some more heavy, warm foods.
So those are some ideas on how you can cook real quick, easy, simple meals, always have a lot of vegetable options. So it's good to stock up on the produce because you can cook them in a lot of different ways. You can always offer vegetables. It's always good to have more vegetables.
And I like to add in what I mentioned before called chutneys. Chutneys make your meal more interesting. It's a spicy condiment made of fruits and vegetables. And then often has vinegar, spices, sometimes a sweetener in it. It’s a traditional Indian food that has kind of spread across the globe because there are now Asian type chutneys, there's English type chutneys Americans haven't really caught on as much to the whole chutney thing, but you'll find varieties of how to make these. And so you can use them as a dip so you can dip in bread. You can use them as a condiment to put on your rice dishes. They're really savory. And they tend to have little chunks of the fruits or vegetables in them. So they're not smooth, like a jam would be. And they're kind of similar to a relish, but in a relish, you typically only have one type of fruit or veggie, whereas in a chutney you'll have a combination.
So if you were to just go online and search in Indian chutneys, you would find all kinds of varieties. And it's a really great way to add flavor to your food and you can make up those fresh every couple of days. And just add those on the top of the foods. I really find that the kids like these, because you can find ones that they enjoy and it takes a dish that maybe tasted bland and gives it all kinds of fun life. And you can do really simple things like Apple chutneys that you could eat with your oatmeal. So there's lots of different ways to do that.
You find that serving foods that you can pick and choose the toppings really helps to make food. Eating simple Ayurveda cooking simple.
Trying New Recipes 19:00
And as far as trying new recipes, I like to do one new recipe every week. Usually on the weekends, sometimes it's a good hit and we all love it. Sometimes it's like, Oh, that's gross. Let's not make that again. But it's nice to be integrating some new recipes into your mix, just so you don't get bored.
But really if you just planned out and based on just what I've talked about, you have almost probably a week and a half of menus, maybe more. And for most people we kind of eat the same stuff. It's not as though most families are cooking brand new dishes every single night.
Most people aren't cooking something new every day for lunch. If they have sandwiches for lunch, they tend to have a sandwich all week long. So I really don't see how it's much different than just having rice and beans every day for lunch all week long. So I think it's a cultivation of shifting in the mind and then shifting the taste buds. So we just kind of slowly move into that.
Using an Instant Pot
I find that using my instant pot makes things way easier, makes it so much faster. I really don't spend huge amounts of time preparing meals. For dinner time I'll probably spend 30 minutes to an hour if it's something that's more complicated, but I'm not actually cooking the whole time. A lot of it is just in the pot simmering or cooking, and I'm doing other things in the same room.
If I'm using my instant pot, I can put it all in and walk away and come back when it's done. It makes cooking so much easier because you can do your rice and all of your beans in there. And it's so fast. So you're not having to sit and stir things forever.
Cooking Supplies 20:25
Cast Iron Skillet
Here are good ways to get organized. So I wanted to share some tips here, supplies that are really great for Ayurveda cooking would be a skillet, just a really good deep skillet. You can get a cast iron skillet. Avoid pans with a nonstick coating, because that does over time come into the food. So we're trying to kind of avoid that, getting a deep pot that works well for soup. So if you can have a couple of those you can make everything you need.
Small Cooking Pot
I use a really small pot for tarka. Tarka is made by melting ghee and then adding your spices to the ghee until they pop and become aromatic. Then you add the vegetables for grains.So I have just a little small pot that I use for the tarka.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Get lots of measuring cups and spoons. I go through tons of those while cooking.
Get a couple of varieties of strainers. Having a small one for if you're making a nut milk, having big metal strainers for straining out pastas or anything bigger like that.
A blender is a must. I use a Vitamix. It's amazing. I remember when I first bought it, it was like $500 for a blender, but I have now had that for almost 10 years. And it's amazing. It just keeps going. It's a great little blender.
Electric Tea Kettle
Another must have, in my opinion, is an electric tea kettle. This has made it so nice for preparing teas really quickly. Or if I need to boil a large pot of water, I can put it in the electric kettle first, get the water boiling and then get the pan hot on the stove, pour it in. And then I'm able to get that soup or whatever I'm preparing, cooking a lot quicker. So that's a really nice thing.
And of course my instant pot, I really don't know what I did before my instant pot. I was one of those people that can never cook rice properly. It would always be crunchy or it would be complete mush. And I had never actually tried making beans on the stove until I got the instant pot, because it just seemed super overwhelming. So now I save so much money. I don't buy any canned beans. I just buy all dried. It's so much better, much more pranic energy in that food. And I just cook them on the instant pot.
Another thing that really helps is to organize your spices. So I have small containers that fit into a couple of the drawers in my kitchen and the labels are on the top so I can alphabetize them.
I can open it up and find exactly what I need. And I just buy little containers, actually got mine at Ikea, and they're specifically spice containers. And I only buy spices in small amounts because I don't want them to go stale. So if there's more than what would fit in that little spice jar, it's probably too much for me because I don't use all those spices all the time. You kind of end up with 10 or 15 that are your core group of spices, but organizing them is good.
If you've ever opened your cupboard and there's 5 million different spices and they're all different sizes and you can't find what you need and then you buy another one. And then you realize you actually have three containers of mustard seed. You know what I'm talking about? Right? At one point, I think I had like six mustard seeds!I kept buying more because I didn't know where they were. So get organized and it feels really good. It's so fun to do that. And it's a good time of year for that in the spring.
As far as food prep, we don't want to prep food too far in advance for Ayurveda cooking. Ideally we would cook fresh every single meal, but let's be realistic. That's totally not going to happen for 99.9% of us. So letting go of that expectation of perfection, we try to eat the food that we prepare within 24 hours. So if you're cooking something this evening, you would want to try and eat it by next evening. And so on. That gives you a little bit of flexibility of preparing more than what you need for that one meal. And then using it for subsequent meals until that 24 hour Mark is up.
You'll get better over time at estimating quantities, but just know that you don't want to prepare enough for like a whole week of food because that's not going to be useful.
And I know that's contrary to how people who are doing fitness programs are taught to meal prep. They tell them, cook everything on Sunday for your whole week. We don’t do this because we really want there to be pranic energy in all of our food and life in all of our food. We want to cook it as close to when we're going to eat it as possible with obvious realistic factors played in there.
Pre Chop Veggies
So what you can do is clean and chop your veggies up and put them in containers in the fridge. So that's useful that way. They're ready to go when you want to saute them.
Pre Blend Spices
You can make your spice mixes ahead of time. And spice mixes are also called masala. So if you ever see something labeled as a Masala, it just means it's a combination of multiple ground spices. I have little tiny glass jars, like little miniature Mason jars that I use for my spice mixes. I just write on the top of them, what spice mix they are. I have a seasonal spice mix for each spice. So I have a fall, a spring, a winter, and then I'll also have a sweet spice mix and a savory spice mix. Those I just add whenever I feel like doing them.
I have a container mix for each family member that matches their dosha. So if they're predominantly Pitta, they'll have one that's theirs, that's for Pitta, or if they're more Kapha, or if I want to combine a little bit of a Kapha spice mix with a Pitta spice mix, I might do that as well.
They're similar to the seasonal blends, but I just have one for each family member. And I put them in a shaker bottle. It looks like a big salt and pepper shaker with bigger holes on top. And their names are on them. That way they know that's their spice. They can add it to their food mix.
Pre Measure Meals
Another thing you can do is let's say you make oatmeal a lot or a breakfast cereal. You could mix the grain with all the spices that you'll add into it and have those in little containers ready to go. So in the morning when you toss them in the pot, you just get that water boiling throw in the grain and it's super easy. You already have all the spices in there.
Designated Ayurveda Counter Space
I also have a space on my counter that is designated for all the things that I use every day. It keeps me accountable and remember because you know how you get busy and suddenly you're like, Oh my gosh, I didn't take my vitamins this morning. Or I forgot about my lemon water or I didn't take my triphala last night.
So rather than tuck them away in a cupboard, I just have a nice, pretty space and a little platter that they sit on. And I have there, my dosha spice blends that I put on my meals. I have a little cute container that has digestive capsules that I take before meals. I have my Chyawanprash. And so I have that there that I take in the mornings, I have my triphala powder in a cute container. I like cute containers. I have a really pretty bowl there with my lemons and I just keep a knife in that bowl.
So I remember to cut my lemons, add them to my meals, and have them in the morning. I have a little container of geese. I have my pink Himalayan salt. I have a couple of teas that I like to drink and I keep my mug there. All of the things that I need on a regular daily basis are right there. So I don't forget to take them. And I like that. I see it as a good reminder to me every day.
Oftentimes I will cook enough at lunch to eat at dinner that same day, or I'll cook enough at dinner to eat for lunch. The next day, I tend to have more time during the lunch break. So I usually will do it for lunch simply because by dinnertime, all my kids are home and there's chaos, right? Everybody's going in different directions. So I usually would prefer to cook the dinner meal at lunchtime.
Rhythm Cooking 27:41
Another way to look at it is to get into a rhythm. So if you're going to be having beans on a regular basis, soaking them at night, having that being part of your nightly routine of cleaning up the kitchen is to put your beans out to soak.
Or if you like to soak your nuts before you eat them, then you can soak your nuts at night. And then in the morning, you're ready to cook them. And then you can just throw them in the instant pot. It makes it super, super easy. That's how I like to do it.
If you're eating vegan and you like to have nut milks, you can just create a schedule. On Sunday nights, I soak my almonds. The next day I make my almond milk and I have my almond milk enough for the next five days.
And then I do it again. So you can gauge your schedule based on what you're eating, because we all kind of eat differently. So you just gotta make sure that you're doing it in a way that you don't waste food. Because I think being wasteful is hard as well. We need to preserve what nature has given us and have honor towards it. So I hate wasting food as well.
And ideally, like I said, everything's going to be cooked and eaten fresh, but we have to cut ourselves some slack sometimes, right? I mean, sometimes it'd be better if we just go and buy something fresh from maybe the deli. And we have a moment of connection with this person, we're getting the food from because they're transferring energy from themselves to us as they share this food with us. And then we go home and we create a beautiful table setup and we eat this food or if we're going to go and eat it in the park or something like that, but we still have mindfulness around how we're eating our food.
Ayurveda cooking in the beginning can be overwhelming. And I felt that way as well. I felt like I looked at so many different cookbooks and none of them made sense. They were all so complicated. And I also didn't want to just eat Indian food for the rest of my life. I like Indian food, but I also like food that's from South America. And I like food that is Asian. And I like Italian food and I like American food.
So learning the nuances of how to put everything together, to make it work for you is important so that you enjoy your food and that you enjoy what you're eating and it works in your body and for your digestion and always keeping that eye on how is this food going to digest. So as you start to simplify a little bit and take out the complexity of your food, there's a couple of cookbooks that I do recommend after having purchased a lot that weren't useful.
One of them is The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O'Donnell. She is fantastic. I think we need to have her on the podcast because I pretty much talk about her every time we talk about food, because I think she's taken the complexity of Ayurveda cooking and made it a lot more basic. So it's The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O'Donnell.
And I also like a new one I just picked up called Modern Ayurveda by Ali Cramer. Her book gives you a lot of options based upon your doshas, but it's very basic. We don't have to make it complicated. And we also don't need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So start planning ahead, start creating things that work for you.
Cooking Intensive in July 30:25
If you have questions bring them to the cooking intensive in July. The intensive will allow you to interact and get your questions answered and come away with customized menus where we're going to actually bring your recipes in, tweak them, and make them Ayurvedic.
So you're still cooking the foods that you love, but you're doing it with an Ayurveda spin that is good for your dosha. So you really can eat anything you'd like Ayurvedically as long as we adjust it to work for you.
So happy that you're here as part of this community that is growing globally every day. It's so exciting to see. If you are new to our group and you have not ordered your free Ayurveda starter kit, I recommend that you go to the website and order the free kit.
You just pay the shipping, you'll get a tongue scraper, you'll get your meditation Mala beads, and some online digital resources to teach you some of the basics to get you started within Ayurveda.
If you've taken that step, but you haven't joined the 28 day immersion. Now is the time. The season is changing. We're moving into spring. It's an awesome time for new beginnings. So commit to yourself. Take the next 28 days and really start to apply the principles that you're learning. Check out more about both the starter kit and the Ayurveda immersion at ayurvedalifeschool.com. Have a beautiful week. We will talk to you soon.