You know that phenomenon where once you learn about something new you start to see it everywhere? That happened to me with "Ayurveda" this summer. I had never heard of it and now I feel as though Ayurveda is haunting me - in a good way.
I am still a newbie to the world of Ayurveda but I am going to do my best to explain some of what I have learned so far. It is often identified as a diet, but it is more so a way of living intentionally under the idea that our mind and body are completely interconnected. Ayurveda is a holistic life science (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). Meditation, yoga, eating with intention, and sleeping habits are all important to an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
As far as diet goes, Ayurvedic meals are all plant-based and aim to incorporate all 6 rasas, or tastes; sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Having these tastes in combination is said to help balance your digestion and eliminate feelings of bloating or hunger. There are three different doshas, or body / personality types (1. pitta 2. kapha 3. vatta). Depending on your dosha, you need different flavors to balance your digestion. I like this notion that we all have different bodies so different "healthy foods" are healthier for different people. I know it would be a major jump to start eating every meal with this in mind. As much as I am fascinated by Ayurveda I am not ready to fully commit, instead I have been trying to embody things I have learned about the practice. One way to incorporate some Ayurvedic practices into your meal is to add ingredients that have health benifits that you wouldn't normally get in your diet such as turmeric! This is a very common ingredient in Ayurvedic recipes... we all know I love turmeric! Other Ayurvedic practices to consider when eating include sitting upright, chewing slowly, and being mindful of when you are hungry.
There are so many more layers of things to learn about Ayurveda, this website is a good place to start.
I recently had lunch at the food truck in Austin, TX called Curcuma. Curcuma has an Ayurvedic inspired menu. "Our tag line 'Food with Intention' represents a commitment to choosing the best option on sourcing ingredients, and crafting each menu item. With a balance of flavors and health benefits, every sip and bite is not only delicious but also nourishing and consciously sourced." - Curcuma
I ordered the kitchari bowl (photographed above): Warm quinoa & mung bean topped with massaged organic spinach, avocado, pickled onion, ginger chutney, crispy chickpeas & turmeric tahini dressing. It was a very new flavor pallet and I liked that about it! Maybe because of the combination of so many rasas! It really was a lot of food but I left feeling perfectly satisfied and comfortable.