Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ayurvedic Diet and Diet Consultations

We offer also per email a diet consultation, feel free to contact us for more details. Thank you.

General Principles
Eat to about 3/4 your capacity. Do not leave the table very hungry or very full.
Avoid taking a meal until the previous meal has been digested. Allow approximately 3 - 6 hours between meals.

Eat in a settled and quiet atmosphere. Do NOT do work, read or watch TV during meal times.
In general, the diet should be balanced so as to include all six tastes. Specific recommendations may be found according to your constitutional type .

Yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese and buttermilk should be avoided at night.
Milk is generally not recommended to be taken along with a meal involving mixed tastes (i.e., vegetables, meats, fish, etc.). It may be taken with toast, cereals, or sweet tasting foods, or separated from the meal by about 20 minutes.

It is best not to cook with honey.
Take a few minutes to sit quietly after a meal before returning to your activity.

Ghee is one of the most valuable foods and medicines known. Ghee may be used in place of butter (it does not cause cholesterol unless there is already a history of high cholesterol). It is an ideal cooking oil as it does not burn unless heated excessively. I makes a wonderful oil for massage and can serve as a base for herbal ointments (for burns, skin rashes, etc.). Ghee is good for all doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and is a specific for Pitta. Ghee can even be used for lamps (make wicks from a cotton ball).

Ghee keeps indefinitely without refrigeration, as the elements which cause butter to spoil have been removed. Just remember to keep it covered and free from water or other contaminants.
Ghee is mad by cooking butter. It is important to use unsalted butter, available at most supermarkets. Raw unsalted butter (made from unpasteurized cream) is best, but this is difficult to obtain. Ghee is often called clarified butter, but this may be a misnomer.

Ghee requires a longer cooking time and the foam which rises to the surface during the cooking process is not skimmed off as may be done when clarifying butter.

It is convenient to make two pounds at one time, but in the beginning, you may wish to start with just one pound. Place the butter in a heavy saucepan, preferably one of stainless steel or glass. Melt the butter and continue cooking over moderate heat so that the butter just boils gently. Foam will rise to the surface, but this should not be skimmed off. After fifteen or twenty minutes, the foam will have settled to the bottom where it will begin to form a sticky "cake". At this point, the Ghee must be watched carefully to avoid burning.

It may be stirred occasionally with a clean, dry spoon, preferably of stainless steel. When the Ghee begins to boil silently, with only a trace of air bubbles on the surface, it is done. Allow it to cool and then pour it carefully into clean containers (making sure that the sediment remains on the bottom of the saucepan).

Commercial Ghee is available at most Indian grocery stores, but the cost is greater than making your own and the quality may be uncertain. Many consider Ghee making to be a nice ritual, and while making it, pay careful attention to the process. Whether you add a "mantra" to your Ghee, making it mindfully will enhance its value for you.

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