“The preparation of food also serves the soul in a number of ways. In a general sense, it gives us a valuable, ordinary opportunity to meditate quietly, as we peel and cut vegetables, stir pots, measure out proportions, and watch for boiling and roasting. We can become absorbed in the sensual contemplation of colors, textures and tastes as, the alchemists of the kitchen, we mix and stir just the right proportions. The colors and the smells can take us out of ‘real’ time, which can be so deadening, and lift us into another time and space altogether, the time of myth created by cooking. The kitchen is one of the most soulful rooms in a house, often the center of family life.” ~ Thomas Moore, from The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life
I love the above quote because it links food with soul.
Eating should be soulful and nourishing, not only for our physical bodies, but also for our spiritual, etheric and emotional bodies as well.
Incorporating Ayurveda into my lifestyle has been a journey into mindful eating. It is said that Ayurveda is the oldest system of healing, originating in India centuries ago.
Ayurveda is really a science, where the needs of the physical body are kept in balance. We are not only flesh, so as we care for our bodies, we also care for our spiritual health.
Our food comes from living, breathing entities, whether we are omnivorous or vegan—what we put in our mouth for sustenance was once alive, enjoying its incarnation, and as such, it imparts the whole of its vibration to the meals we prepare. Because of this, we are blessed with the soul of the entity we partake of. Ayurveda recognizes, with great reverence, what a gift each food is.
Right now, as I write down this recipe to share with you, I am drinking a cup of warm, golden milk. It supports Vata, one of the three doshas in the Ayurvedic system. We can present either predominantly Vata, (element: air), Pitta (element: fire), Kapha (element: earth) or a combination of these types.
Coming into the busy holiday season, the Vata dosha can easily become out of balance, as we rush around preparing, overloading on our cell phones and computers, and not getting enough rest. The element of air can be grounded, however, with some heavier, cold weather foods.
If you happen to be a Vata type, or a combination of this and another dosha, you are likely to be a creative and energetic with a propensity for anxiety, fatigue or depression if not well cared for. Other symptoms of Vata imbalance can be constipation, poor circulation, dry skin and fear. Warm, golden milk offers a calming, warming effect.
It is very easy to prepare, and in minutes you will feel the soothing effects. By adding one ingredient to the original recipe, it can become a bedtime treat to induce rest. There are other recipes using fresh ginger and turmeric, but this one is good for early work mornings, or when fresh ingredients are not in supply. Overall, I believe that it’s better to be able to enjoy the benefits of an easier recipe than to altogether skip the experience because of a degree of difficulty.
And I always adhere to the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time do what is good for you, but allow room for being human the other 20 percent.
1 cup of organic almond milk (organic, non-gmo soy or cow’s milk can also be used, according to your preferences)
1/4 tsp. organic ginger powder
1/4 tsp. organic turmeric powder
Pinch of cinnamon (I like two pinches)
Pinch of organic cardamom powder
Small pinch of ground pepper
*for sleepy-time milk, add a pinch of nutmeg
*for constipation, add a 1/4 tsp of organic coconut oil or ghee
Pour milk into a small pot and add spices. Whisk in well—make some froth!
Bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes. (Three minutes is plenty.)
Strain into a mug (A glass mug will show off the pretty color!)
**Note: If you can’t find organic spices, that’s okay, just add an extra blessing over your drink!
Enjoy with a few moments of restorative silence.
Golden milk is good for boosting immunity. It works as a blood purifier and combats inflammation and body pain, but should be avoided when suffering from a cold or flu. (Especially if using dairy milk, as it can increase mucous production.)
“For life we need three things only: nourishment, love and peace.” ~ Debasish Mridha
Author: Monika Carless
Images: Osha Key/Unsplash, author’s own
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina