Happy May, and early mother’s day my lady friends. I’ve got a great gift to share with you.
And while it’s not chocolate, it IS sweet.
As in, a sweet little Ayurveda treat.
I know, that’s how I felt when I first heard that word tossed around my early yoga classes back in the mid-90’s. At that time, it seemed only the most devout yogi’s and “spirit gurus” knew what the hell it meant. At least, that was my perception. I was just trying to decipher down dog from up dog.
But today, Ayurveda has made it’s way into the mainstream minds, diets, and lifestyles of THE most health conscious.
If you haven’t heard of Ayurveda, you are missing out on so much delicious insight, and simple shortcuts to living your healthiest life.
But it’s certainly not too late for you!
I’ve been studying this mind-body science for almost two years now, and with my decade plus of education and experience in the health and fitness filed, nothing has influenced the way I view health, exercise, food, lifestyle, and even relationships, as greatly as Ayurveda has.
It’s that powerful!
Ayurveda literally means “science of life” (Ayur = life, veda = science or knowledge), and for thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems.
But this article isn’t about Ayurveda. Frankly, if you want to know more about Ayurveda (and I totally suggest that you do), there are far better sources out there than me (for now!) for you to get your information from. John Douillard’s Lifespa website is a good start.
THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT SWEET FOODS.
In Ayurveda, diet and food recommendations are based on your individual dosha (mind-body type), but also on your environment and the seasons.
According to Ayurveda, when the weather gets warmer, your diet should get sweeter.
But sweet doesn’t necessarily mean sugary. ? Sorry.
The sweet taste comes from glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, and lactose. These flavors are found in each macronutrient (carbohydrates, fats and proteins), and is often more subtle than we might initially imagine. For instance, rice and milk are predominantly sweet.
Here’s a little guide provided by joyfullbelly.com for the month of May, to be followed into the summer months.
This time of year, start to increase sweet taste which will help boost your energy and replenish electrolytes lost by sweating. Lighter fruits like blueberries, mango, papaya and kiwi keep you cool and bright like the sunshine. Strawberries can help chill aggravated Pitta (heat) in the liver, and ripen just in time for May.
Berries in general are a great remedy for liver heat because their rich stores of antioxidants help reduce liver stress and the inclination toward hyperdrive. The sugars in fruits sweeten the liver, cooling and soothing it. Strawberries and blueberries are particularly attractive as they couple sweetness with sourness on top of antioxidants. Notice how, after eating these fruits, your eyes feel calm and refreshed, and your temperment restored.
Grains like amaranth, barley and quinoa are ideal picks because all are light and drying. Opt for plantains as a lighter carbohydrate option to heavy potatoes. Root vegetables are generally less nourishing this time of year anyway, as the plants are putting the most energy and vitality into their aerial parts, including the flowers, fruits, and leaves.
Eat lighter proteins as well, like organic tofu and mung beans.
May is the best month to follow a vegetarian diet. As the weather warms up, heavy fats are not needed as much this time of year. Instead, use the fresh ingredients above to encourage lightness.
Other sweet foods you may include during the summer months
Garbanzo beans, basmati rice, coconut oil, olive oil, freshwater fish, white poultry
Benefits of Sweet Taste
The sweet taste benefits the mucus membranes throughout the body, including those lining the mouth, the lungs, the GI tract, the urinary tract, and the reproductive system. This taste is strengthening, nutritive, energizing, tonic, and soothing to the mind. In fact, the sweet taste is often used to enhance clarity and awareness in spiritual realms. It also relieves thirst, soothes burning sensations, and has a sustained cooling effect on the body. The sweet taste benefits the skin, hair, and complexion, hastens the repair of wounds, is pleasing to the senses, and lends melodious qualities to the voice. It also enhances the integrity of the immune system, and improves longevity.
It is tempting to over-indulge in the sweet taste because it is so pleasant and, in fact, addictive. However, when overused, the sweet taste can smother the digestive fire, diminish the appetite, increase mucus, promote congestion, colds and coughs, or cause ama (toxins), fever, breathing problems, dampness, swollen lymph glands, tumors, edema, flaccidity, heaviness, laziness, excessive desire for sleep, worms, fungal infections, excess Candida albicans, obesity, and diabetes. Excessive sweet taste can also contribute to unhealthy cravings and greed.
As always, your goal is to strike a balance by incorporating all tastes in your diet, so you can enjoy and savor your food choices in healthy moderation, and without guilt or excess indulgence.
So what do you think? Will you be adding any of these to your diet this season? Let me know in the comments. And please spread the healthy word by sharing this link on your pages or with a friend or family member. ?