In Ayurveda winter is known as Kapha season, considered to begin in mid November and end around mid March. It is the cold and humid season. Kapha as a season in life is between birth and 14 years, and the time that correspond to Kapha on a daily basis is 6-10 am.
A few examples of a Kapha winter menu would be:
Soft rice with Mint chutney
1 cup hot apple cider
Bean and Vegetable stew
Pressed Radish Salad
Tea: Spice Tea
Steamed Brussel Sprouts
Split Pea Dhal with a Chapati
1 cup hot Chai
Steamed winter squash (buttercup, butternut, spaghetti)
Spicy Roasted Eggplant
Cumin and Basmati Rice
Tea: Spice Tea
Leek and Potato Soup
Vegetable Stir Fry with mild Tamari and Ginger Sauce
Evening Brew: 1 cup Blackberry Tea
Soft Millet and Carrots
! cup Spice Tea
Lima Bean Soup
sautéed collard greens and watercress
1 cup dandelion tea
1 cup peppermint tea
cooked fruits of choice
Mixed vegetable Sambar
Barley and Whole Mung Beans
Dried Masala Okra
Tea: 1 cup barley tea
You can find these recipes online.
I use a wonderful booked called ‘Ayurveda A Life of Balance’ by Maya Tiwari.
You can use some of these guide lines to guide you.
Amaranth, basmati rice, buckwheat, grain flours, hulled barley, quinoa, rye, short grained brown rice, wheat berries, whole oats.
On average your daily food proportions should be (out of 100% daily food intake):
1 cup of cooked grains (about 18% of your total daily intake)
1/2 cup of beans (about 9% of your total daily intake)
3 cups of vegetable (about 40% of your total daily intake)
2 cups of fruits (about 25% of your total daily intake)
1/2 cup of desserts (about 8% of your total daily intake)
You want to combine as best you can an even mixture of all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, pungent), textures (soft, hard, crunchy…)and methods of cooking (steaming, baking, stewing, sautéing, blanching, raw, grill).
Ayurveda is an all around lifestyle practice so it looks at the person as a whole in it’s environment. Here is a daily guideline for Kapha season Sadhana (or practice). This is based on Indian rhythms, and obviously harder to integrate in our daily lives in 2018. However it’s good to know what the foundation for a healthy winter season is and see what you can integrate into your life. Sometimes we busy ourselves with unnecessary activities, or end up spending extra unnecessary time on our devices. My invitation to you is to invest in your health and choose to lead a disciplined life, that will give you long term health and joy.
The following notes are from the book ‘Ayurveda A Life of Balance’.
Daily Kapha Sadhana
Morning rise promptly on awaking
6 - 8 am Engage in vital activities:
- perform a vigorous dry brush body scrub daily
- take a warm shower
- massage body with a mild natural body lotion
-perform morning pranayama
- 30minutes of yoga/run/do something stimulating first thing daily
8 - 9 am Light breakfast
9 - 2 pm Engage in normal work activities of the day
1 - 2 pm Have a hearty meal
3 - 6 pm Perform normal activities of the day
4 - 4.30 pm Afternoon tea
6 - 7 pm Light dinner with family
7 - 9 pm Participate in a consistent evening program outside of the home (do not nap or watch tv during or after dinner)
Join yoga groups and engage in stimulating lectures or events
9- 10 pm Wind down
perform evening pranayama
**Be especially alert and active during winter and early spring.
**During weekends include kitchen sadhanas (preparation of chutneys, condiments, grains, beans…) and sadhanas of the land.
This week I leave you with a recipe for winter season that I love!
1 cup chick peas, dry or two-15 ounce cans chick peas, drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups liquid from boiled chickpeas, or water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
If you are using dried chickpeas: wash and soak overnight. The next day rinse under cold water.
Cover with water about 2 fingers above the chickpeas and bring to boil on medium heat.
Lower heat and cook until soft, about 1 hour.
Drain chickpeas and keep 2 cups of the liquid.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook stirring until smell is released. Add bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, chickpeas, parsley, basil and oregano.
Add tomato paste and water or reserved chickpeas water, cover and bring to boil. Let it all simmer for 20-30 minutes or the texture is like a curry texture.
Serve it with brown rice and some raw greens on the side to make a complete meal.
**recipe inspired by the family we stayed with in Costa Rica while working on the school, and the Michelle Blackwood of the healthier steps website.