Recently I gave two talks on food intolerance entitled (rough translation) “How bread eating won’t leave your intestines hurting” at the Salon Holistica, a local alternative trade fair, and taught an ayurvedic cooking class at the Sivananda yoga centre here in Geneva. The participants had a number of questions, a few of which I share with you below.
Question: Is there a secret recipe to how to eat bread?
My answer: According to Ayurveda the “secret recipe” is to enhance your digestive capacity. One of the easiest ways is to include spices appropriate for your constitution in your diet. Ginger in root form is a great one for almost everyone.
Question: If someone has a very quick digestion where the food just seems to race through, what can s/he do?
My answer: One simple thing they can do is to take more time, to slow down, to breathe between mouthfuls and to savour each mouthful. In general a good spice for such a person would be fennel because of its cooling as well as digestive action.
Question: Are onions and garlic not used in Ayurvedic cooking?
In Ayurveda nothing is actually excluded. Individuals eat ideally what is appropriate for him/her at that time of life, during that season, depending on what else is happening around them, to maintain harmony with Nature within and externally. Those following a yogic path may choose to omit onions & garlic from their food to avoid the stimulating energy they both contain.
And here is the recipe for the warm decoction I made for participants of the talk.
Cinnamon and ginger decoction (for improved digestive capacity)
(adapted from the book “Recettes Ayurvédiques faciles” Editions Jouvence 2009)
Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1. Put all the ingredients in a pot with about 1 litre water.
2. Boil for approximately 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and the ginger.
3. Drink half a cup of the warm/hot decoction 15-30 minutes before eating.