by Danielle Martin, Annie Martin
This book explains the theories behind Ayurvedic medicine, and gives advice on eating for your body type or “dosha”. The first section gives a little history about the origins of Ayurveda and how this system can stimulate the body to heal itself. Then the three “doshas” are introduced with a quiz to help you determine your type. Kaphas are sluggish and compassionate. Pittas are energetic and ambitious. And Vatas are restless and imaginative. They each also have physical characteristics and common health problems that result from their body type and personality type.
The next chapter gives advice for eating according to your “dosha” and how certain foods can worsen common ailments for your type or can heal those problems. Eating a healthy diet at regular meal times can balance the “digestive fire” and help your body respond well to food, embracing nourishment for every area of your health.
The six tastes are described as promoting energy or calmness, increasing digestion or slowing it down, as needed for each person. There are also 20 food textures and qualities such as crunchy, oily, rough, light, or heavy that are categorized as helping or harming your “dosha” type.
The diet plan warns readers to completely stay away from harmful food like deli meat, fast food, sugary drinks, hydrogenated oils, and white sugar. Spices, both cooling and hot, are encouraged both as a way to add flavor to recipes and for their healing properties.
This chapter emphasizes staying hydrated and drinking water at various crucial points throughout the day, such as first thing in the morning. The Ayurvedic diet plan also has instructions for eating seasonally, planning your meals with the weather and seasons in mind, and eating warmer foods in the winter, and cooling foods in the summer.
There is an entire chapter all about different healing foods and the ailments they alleviate, along with charts of the best types of foods for each “dosha”.
One of the things I really like about this diet plan is that they encourage progress, not perfection. There are many guidelines with an Ayurvedic program, but the book gives the reader the freedom to make the best choices they can that still fits their lifestyle. Not everyone can buy fresh produce and find time to cook it everyday, so the book encourages you to buy frozen if you need to, and not feel guilty about it. Just make the best food choices you can with the time and energy you have available.
The rest of the book gives 90 recipes, each labeled for the “dosha” they strengthen. The recipes are divided by Drinks and Teas, Smoothies, Breakfast, Sides and Snacks, Lunches, Dinners, Desserts, and Condiments. Most of the recipes are good for two “doshas” or even all three “doshas”.
Many of the recipes include super healthy ingredients like ghee, which is a butter with the milk solids removed, and mung dal, which is a yellow split mung bean. Readers are advised to find specialty ingredients online or at health food stores. There are a lot of rice dishes, salads, and veggie soups, all of which look delicious, but unfamiliar.
I think that if you are ready to try some new foods and recipes and are serious about getting your health under control, this cookbook is a wonderful place to start! The great thing about it is that you can take the advice for Ayurvedic eating and apply it to more familiar recipes, tweaking your favorite foods to be more healthy. There are so many options with the advice and healthy planning explained in this book, and you can apply it to many areas of life.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.