3 Ayurvedic Beverages for the Coming Season
Now, I know I’ve been going on about health and super-foods in my last two posts, but then again, this is exactly the time to consider eating and living as healthy as possible.
The current economic environment with its fluctuations and inflations, rising fuel and food prices, spending long hours in bad traffic with your foot on the clutch most of the time, longer office hours and increasingly growing unhealthy lifestyle habits are rapidly contributing to a reduced human life and increase in stress. And these are only a few factors.
The Festive Season Brings Immense Joy… and Heartburn:
Looking at the upcoming festive season, till the end of the year, we’re going to be stuffing ourselves with rich, spicy, sweet, flavoured, delicious foods, and in all this, forget the good that we had promised to do to our bodies. Be it the delicacies of Diwali, or the wedding Biryanis, we all know we are going to over-indulge. Also, let’s be honest – there’s going to be an increase in our alcohol consumption.
Yes, We All Do Drink Only In Celebration:
Now, while I know that you are all aware of the potential side effects of consuming alcohol over a large period of time, let this just serve as a gentle reminder of what it does to your wellbeing.
1) High alcohol consumption can lead to Malnutrition, Chronic Pancreatitis, Alcohol Liver Disease and Cancer. Yes, I said Cancer.
2) It can cause damage to the Central Nervous System and Peripheral Nervous System.
3) Alcohol consumption over a long period of time, even moderately, can lead to depression, dysthymia, mania, hypermania, panic disorder, phobias, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia and brain damage.
4) Long Term Dependency leads to hypertension, coronary heart disease, and ischemic stroke, cancer of the respiratory system, and also cancers of the digestive system, liver, breast and ovaries and can also cause cirrhosis of the liver. Excessive alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on aging.
Beating the System:
Try some nourishing hot and cool Ayurvedic beverages instead of caffeinated or alcohol-based drinks and notice how your wellbeing improves.
According to Ayurveda, cold beverages suppress the digestive fire (agni) and so are not recommended, especially if the immune or digestive systems are weak. Beverages that are warm or at room temperature are considered healthier. Ayurveda also recommends drinking most beverages, whether hot or cold, between meals, so the liquids do not dilute your digestive juices.
1) Almond Milk:
One of my personal favourites throughout the year, a small glass of almond milk is a wonderful way to get your protein and omega-3 oils, which enhance clear thinking and lubricate the skin from the inside out. Note: Soak almonds overnight.
1 cup (250 mL) almonds
3 cups (750 mL) water
Maple syrup or honey, to taste (Optional)
Drain soaked almonds and blanch them. In a blender or food processor, blend almonds until very smooth. Add water and continue to blend for about 3 minutes. Pour almond mixture through cheesecloth into a pitcher to drain off liquid; squeeze to extract any remaining liquid. Add maple syrup to liquid and mix. Save any leftover almond solids to add to other recipes calling for nuts and seeds or to sprinkle over your breakfast cereal.
Note: You can blanch almonds after soaking them. Drain, and then cover in hot water. When the water becomes cool enough to touch, the almond skins will pop off easily.
Makes 3 cups (750 mL).
2) Lemon Balm Tea:
With a beautiful lemony aroma and flavor, this tea helps to promote sleep and reduces anxiety. In a teapot, pour boiling water over lemon balm. Let steep for 10 minutes, strain, sweeten if desired, and serve. Makes 8 cups (2 L)
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh or 2 tbsp dried lemon balm
8 cups (2 L) boiling water
Sweetener (your choice), to taste
Note: To dry lemon balm, tie the ends of the stems and hang them upside down in the kitchen. Once dry, crumble the leaves into a jar, seal well, and discard stems.
3) Blueberry Cashew Smoothie:
Blueberries, which I wrote about in the previous Super-Foods post, are an immune booster, high in antioxidants, Potassium and Vitamin C, and lower risk of heart disease and cancer. And then there’s cashews, which are rich in omega-3 oils, vitamins, and minerals.
2 cups (500 mL) blueberries
2 cups (500 mL) cashew milk
In a blender, pure all ingredients until smooth.
Makes about 3–3 1/2 cups (750–830 mL).
On a postscript, it would be great if you could refer back to the posts on Super-Foods: http://total-yoga.org/top-5-super-foods-for-a-super-living/ and add a little of that to your diet as well in addition to the beverages mentioned above.
And, should you choose to indulge in drinking during this season (as is natural), we at Total Yoga and The Travelling Chef urge you to stay safe, and not drink and drive. Take a cab, get a driver, or assign a designated driver. Do it for your family, do it for yourself, and most importantly, do it for the people you could potentially hurt.
You’ll feel better for it in the morning!
I’ll be posting a few more recipes over the coming months. If you want to get in touch with us with your recipe suggestions or request a few more recipes, write in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shyam Nair is the CEO and Executive Chef of The Travelling Chef. Aside from enjoying travel and food, he is a keen writer, a bit of a tech-head and petrol-head, and loves old Hindi and English music. A yoga enthusiast, he has been practicing for the last year, and is now a contributing writer for Total Yoga. You can connect with him on Facebook at TheTravellingChef or on Twitter @thetrvllngchef.