(Still) Craving Sweets? Part 2; – your SV Ayurveda Newsletter Jan 26, 2023 – #3, Vol 12

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Did you know that Ayurveda tells us that Winter is indeed the time to each more heavy and full of soma (sweet) meals? Despite the holiday feasting, despite the extra pounds you may have added during the past few weeks, and despite what experts might be saying, NOW is the time to enjoy full rich meals, along with good soma/sweet dishes! Not convinced? Vaidya Mishra gave us the full in-depth time-tested knowledge. You probably already know that Winter is the worst time to diet or detox. You will not only not be able to shed extra pounds, but dieting in the winter time goes against the rhythms of Natures and our body’s needs for this season. You will throw off your doshas, and that, depending on your constitution, age, and propensities, can result in deeper imbalances. 

So the big question is: WHY is it ok to crave and eat sweet stuff and why should we not worry about weight gain during the winter time? 

America blames weight gain on “winter holiday” but let’s explore the SVA explanation. We tend to gain weight in the winter time because of excess soma in the environment. Excess soma in the form of rain, snow, cold/cooler temperatures results in excess soma in the channels. Because agni is localized in the stomach, when the channels slow down due to cold weather, agni gets trapped in the stomach and is unable to process the additional soma in the channels overall.As a result, not only does one tend to gain weight, but the body also tends to accumulate more toxins in the wintertime, and to store them.

The ayurvedic rishis reminded us to be mindful of the cycles of time and the change that each season brings. Over time, we have forgotten how time is truly of the essence! What time we eat during the day, what we eat during which season, how we consume our edibles, all these things have a great impact on our overall health and happiness. This is why it is so important to adjust our diets seasonally – to introduce recipes fit for the season and time of day in that season. Your winter diet should have this primary objective: Pacify your digestive fire without clogging your srotas, or physical channels. What does that mean? In the wintertime: you need to eat a heavier diet – foods that are more full of Soma. It is essential to eat a “heavier” more nourishing diet in order to supply fuel to your digestive fire – it is very high now and if you don’t feed it properly it will aggravate your doshas, you will experience cravings, and reach out for sweet things and sugar. A heavier nourishing balanced diet will pacify vata and pitta doshas that tend to go out of balance this time of year. 

But you need something more too. Winter is a hydrating, nurturing, Ojas building season, with A LOT of soma in nature. Therefore: more agni is also needed to convert soma into Ojas. So the most important question is: how do you add more agni to your meal and diet without throwing off your doshas? 

AGNI enhancing foods and tips:

  1. The sour taste enhances agni. Use limes instead of lemons – lemons are acidic in their post-digestive impact, but limes are alkaline. Squeeze onto your meals, or drink lime juice mixed with some water and a couple fresh mint leaves. You may add 1 tsp honey if you like. 
  2. Salt is agneya too. Salt has the properties of earth and fire. Vaidya Mishra’s Soma Salt is more fire-balancing because it has an ideal ration of earth to fire – other salts may have too high fire to earth ratio etc. 
  3. Minimize bitter and astringent tasting foods – these tend to aggravate air and dryness. Winter time is already drying and aggravating to Vata. Minimizing bitter and astringent foods will help maintain agni in balance as well. 
  4. Avoid left-overs even if you “crave” them. These will make your body acidic and get you into a cycle of craving more unhealthy things. Choose fresh light easy to digest meals and snacks. 

If you still feel like you need something more specific, to help support and enhance your agni over and digestive fire in particular, try Vaidya Mishra’s Gymnema Brew. 

Enhance Fat & Sugar Metabolism with Cup of Gymnema Brew!

You will find you are craving more fatty foods in the winter time, rich stews, thick creamy blends, and also sweet breads and confections. Do you feel heavy and clogged up after eating them? Do you feel sluggish after a rich meal and need a pick-me-up? Does eating sweet things makes you crave even more sweet things? Vaidya’s Gymnema Brew might just be what you need. A complex unique blend of Ayurvedic plants and ingredients, it will support your fat and sugar metabolism, improving your overall metabolism and thus energy levels. 

How does it work? Each ingredient serves its unique purpose and works in conjunction with the other ingredients of the herbal synergy.

Here’s how:

Gymnema sylvestre: called “gurmar” in Hindi, literally translates into “sugar-killer.” It has been scientifically researched and found to help enhance the body’s cellular energy by improving sugar metabolism. 

Indian kino: another ayurvedic favorite – the inner hard wood of the tree called vijaya sar supplies prana to the pancreas, making it more efficient and thus supporting sugar metabolism – modern science has also confirmed these ayurvedic statements. 

Jamun seed: this seed pacifies ranjak pitta, governing factor of the liver and pancreas, through its cooling and astringent post-digestive properties. The cooling effect reduces pitta, and the astringent taste makes the pancreas “intelligent” supporting the flow and distribution of insulin. 

Fenugreek: the bitter taste of fenugreek supports the liver and the pancreas, increasing their efficiency as well for sugar and fat metabolism, by facilitating the release of bile from the liver, which goes into the colon to digest mainly fat, but sugar molecules as well. 

Date Seed: nurtures the channels and pacifies ranjaka pitta, the governing factor of the liver and the pancreas.

Chicory: supports the physical channels and enhances overall physical and vibrational circulation, supporting detox and nurturing all organs and organ systems.

Sweet Cinnamon: increases raktagni – the metabolic factor of the blood. When raktagni is low, the glucose in the blood does not get converted into the energy need to fuel the muscles. Modern research shows that cinnamon increases the body’s ability to transform sugar into energy. 

When is the best time to enjoy a cup of Gymnema Brew? 

Have a cup of Gymnema Brew AFTER your meals, to help metabolize sugar molecules and transform them into energy. Do not consume before meals or on an empty stomach, unless advised by a SVA expert, as it may result in low blood sugar – hypoglycemia. You may find that after even a cup of Gymnema Brew or Tripti Tea, you still want to experience the sweet flavor? Vaidya gave us more option. You can try one of his sugar free sweeteners. For while eating soma-genic foods is recommended in the wintertime, processed white sugar is NEVER an option! Over time, you may even find that your tolerance for raw or other forms of sugars has also decreased. This is one of the primary reasons Vaidya made his healthy sugar substitutes, in 4 flavors: Original Flavor, with Cinnamon, Rose, or Cardamom.

Unhappy with the large variety of sweeteners on the current market, many SVA followers had been requesting and asking Vaidya to formulate SVA Sweeteners for several years. Vaidya Mishra wanted to formulate a sweetener that would be a health-promoting and safe-to-use sweetener for long, as well as, short term use. He wanted a sweetener that could be used to sweeten food and beverages without imbalancing, or confusing, your physiology, nor carrying any side-effects. After extensive research and development he finally put together a SVA Sweet Nectar – in 4 different flavors.

What can you expect from the SVA Sweet Nectars?

  • a sweetener which is sweet or concentrated enough to sweeten all food/beverage/ baked items; 
  • a sweetener which is “safe” for cold use, as well as for cooking/baking;
  • a sweetener made without alcohol, with zero synthetic preservatives, without any crude licorice, without any food coloring, which can absorb and/or carry or blend in with other natural flavors.
  • A sweetener whose flavor would retain after cooking and/or baking. 
  • A sweetener which would satisfy your sweet tooth and not aggravate or imbalance your sugar metabolism.

All SVA Sweeteners are made in a 100% vegetable glycerin base, with DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), and Stevia. The 4 flavors are: 

  1. Original Sweet Nectar – original flavor;
  2. Sweet Nectar with 100% organic Cinnamon;
  3. Sweet Nectar with 100% organic Cardamom;
  4. Sweet Nectar with 100% organic Rose.

You can use any one of these any way you want – to sweeten your glass of water; to sweeten your cup of tea; to bake in with your muffins or cakes; or in your salad dressing (you can make a delicious dressing with Sweet Nectar with Cinnamon, lime, Mom’s Masala, Olive oil, and Soma Salt). When cooking any sweet dish with protein – maybe a yogurt salad, or a paneer dish, a milk pudding, or rice pudding etc., any sweet dish that has a high content of carbs, it will be great for you to mix the Sweet Nectar with Cinnamon, or with Cardamom. As you know, Cinnamon helps metabolize starch/sugar, and Cardamom helps metabolize protein molecules. Tip: when baking or cooking with the Sweeteners, add the drops at the very end of mixing the ingredients, so you preserve the aroma.

Alternately, the sweeteners may also be used according to your dosha: Rose for pitta; cardamom for kapha; cinnamon for vata. Rose is the number one flower/plant for balancing pitta dosha. It is also ideal for balancing and cooling off the emotions, or sadhak pitta. 

Why did Vaidya Mishra add DGL? Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is also great for pitta individuals, as it supports the kledak kapha of the stomach, even as it pacifies the pachak pitta. It is an excellent ingredient for high pitta/low agni people – it cools off the pitta and sharpens the agni. Generally, our sugar craving is higher when our sadhak pitta is off, due to stress, or acidic food. Having a treat made with a SVA sweetener with DGL instead of reaching out for that sugary snack or ice cream, will prevent from further aggravating your sadhak pitta and clogging your channels. 

This sweetener will also be great for those who have issues with sugar metabolism – either congenital or stress related. Not only will it satisfy your sugar craving, but if you use the nectar with Cinnamon, it will further support your sugar metabolism. The Sweet Nectar with Cinnamon is ideal for those with sugar metabolism challenges. Please note: the Sweet Nectar with Cinnamon does not replace any/all medications you may be currently on for sugar metabolism health conditions. 

Try one, or all, and see which one you prefer! Experiment with them and come up with your own SVA recipes and email them to us at: svahealth@prana-center.com. Namaste!

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