Coconut Aminos vs Soy Sauce

Can we occasionally use it as soy sauce substitute – Coconut Aminos:

http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Secret-Seasoning-Frustration-Packaging/dp/B00P9I8U0U.

coconut-aminos-760x428

Dear Divya: Occasionally perhaps, but keeping in mind that it will be pitta aggravating because it goes through heavy processing and derivation. If aggravating pitta is not a concern then by all means it is preferable over regular sketchup8ozlowres__03783__99566.1340154497.1280.1280oy sauce. Pitta dosha is a very sensitive dosha that can trigger all other imbalances in the physiology so you want to steer clear of any ingredients that can bring that about. Of course, as the ayurvedic texts explain, we always tends to gravitate more towards what we already have plenty of: high pitta individuals will crave food items that will further elevate their pitta dosha! My wife is a good example of this! She loves soy sauce and she had to stop eating it being a high pitta and prone to migraines in her youth. To make-up for it, together we have developed a recipe using my Amla Tamarind preserve that comes very close in taste to chinese dishes using soy sauce. I will share it shortly.

MCT, Coconut, or Ghee?

“Dear Vaidya:
My students have been asking me about this relatively new product glorified as being very healthy. I’d be very grateful to get your opinion on it:
I’ve never used it myself: https://www.onnit.com/onnit-mct-oil/

Thank you!
Divya A.”

Vaidya responds:
Dear Divya,
MCT vs LCT:Screenshot 2015-08-21 15.27.19
Sometimes more is less! This new tendency to prefer oils that have high content of MCFAs (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) also known as MCT (medium chain tryglycerides) over oils that contain long-chain tryglycerides (LCT) is based on research findings. MCTs have been found to be easier on digestion and easily broken down and absorbed; more readily available in the liver and transformed into energy; stimulating for the body’s metabolism and thus supporting weight loss. Most vegetables oils contain long chain fatty acids (LCT) that get stored in your arteries or in your body as fat, slow down your metabolism, and put strain on your pancreas and digestive system. Compared to LCTs, MCTs have fewer calories per serving, roughly 8.3 calories per gram rather than the standard 9 calories per gram, according to research findings.

In contrast, coconut contains almost 2/3 MCTs, making it the queen amongst healthy vegetables oils, and yet, the new trend is to prefer MCT processed oils over coconut oil. Medium-chain triglycerides, or fatty acids, such as lauric acid, are characterized by a specific chemical structure that allows your body to absorb them readily as a whole, making them easily digestible — because your body processes them as it would carbohydrates, and they are used as a source of direct energy. Lauric acid, as a component of triglycerides, comprises about half of the fatty acid content in coconut oil, laurel oil, and palm kernel oil (not to be confused with palm oil). Otherwise, lauric acid is relatively uncommon. It is also found in human breast milk (6.2% of total fat), cow’s milk (2.9%), and goat’s milk (3.1%). The most popular MCT products have been derived from coconut oil or the palm trees ; the irony is that, however, most lose their Lauric acid content during processing. Lauric acid is prized around the world as a powerful antimicrobial agent, used in both food preservation as well as in drugs and nutraceuticals.
To beat the competition, the manufacturers of this particular brand whose link you have forwarded states that they have added lauric acid to their product, but they do not disclose their method of processing, nor what their source of lauric acid is:

Screenshot 2015-08-21 17.42.12

 

 

In addition, the MCT oil that is obtained is irreparably a processed product diminished in prana, and we do not know what actual properties it carries inside the body once it is ingested. They say they they take their cue from mother nature, but they do so to try to improve upon her creation and make a product that she should have but did not, when there is a naturally perfect product that already exists and that we could be consuming as is, namely: coconuts!

Coconuts, ayurvedically!coconut

Nature has not only made coconut oil rich with nutrients and benefits, but those nutrients are found in such a balanced proportion, along with Nature’s intelligence, that they are very easy for the human physiology to digest, for the liver to transform, and to make available to all the organs of the body. Our body’s digestive system and system organs can metabolize coconut 100%, and whatever bi-products are obtained, the body is able to easily discard them.

Ayurvedically, coconut is a perfect fruit that need not be touched in any way to be enhanced or improved upon. In this sense, manipulating or processing the coconut in order to alter the chemical ratios of long or medium fatty chains, or meddling with the natural intelligence of the coconut’s molecular make-up, is not such a good idea.  Ayurveda does give us the opportunity to process raw material in certain circumstances. For example, we can detoxify certain naturally toxic ingredients or substances in a process called “amritakaram.” But coconut is not one of those ingredients that need this processing, as its naturally somagenic content is balanced and ready to be consumed – as is. For those living in a hot climate, as well as for those with a “high pitta and high agni” digestive tendency, coconut oil is the best oil for cooking, or for drizzling over hot food – preferably not salads. So my suggestion would be to consume organic virgin coconut oil, not processed coconut oil, to keep the intelligence of its natural molecular make-up intact 100%.  But I would add some ayurvedic precautions, even to the consumption of coconut.

Caution for Coconut
On ayurvedic grounds, however, I do caution people. Perfect as coconut is, there are some situations where it should be avoided.  Of course, you can follow the basic guidelines of ayurveda for your body type, and determine whether coconut oil is good for you on a regular basis. However, in some situations, even the ayurvedic body type of high pitta high agni individuals may not be ready to consume coconut oil. For example: if the “kledak kapha” in the stomach is  aggravated.

Kledak kapha is one of the 3 subdoshas that govern digestion in the stomach. In the stomach you have “pachak pitta” cooking the food; “samana vata” churning it and moving it around to expose the food ingested to full cooking; and “kledak kapha” to moisten the food by lubricating it so that it gets cooked and not burnt by pachak pitta! Kledak kapha also helps to maintain the stomach environment in balance by pacifying pachak pitta, and it keeps pachak agni, the digestive fire, under control as well, so it does not burn down the stomach, even or specially so in the absence of food.

If somebody’s kledak kapha is high, then the pachak pitta, the fuel of the digestive fire, becomes sluggish – too much soma moistens and puts out the fire, because the gap, the sandhi, where the cooking takes place, is inundated, and the pachak agni goes low. Think of this in terms of a burner, or ghee lamp wick, which transforms the liquid ghee, in this case pacha pitta, into the flame. When kledak kapha is high, the digestive flame, pacha agni also known as jatharagni, goes low. Then we get an overall digestive situation called: “mandagni,” or low flame. This is when people feel that their digestion is slow, or metabolism is low. In this case, people will still be able to digest the coconut oil, but not 100%. Then what happens?
Ayurveda says that if you digest 99%, and even one percent remains undigested, or semi digested, then you make toxic residue, called “ama.” Toxins settling in the tissues, or organs, or different parts of the body, dampen the metabolic rate and create a friendly environment for bacterial growth. When ama gets to sit in the physiology, it may also develop into a more aggressive type of toxic build-up, called “amavisha.” In the long run if left un-addressed, amavisha creates inflammation that can bring about any chronic disease.

Ghee – for one and all!
So ideally, high pitta and high agni individuals who experience sharp hunger at all times of the year and are able to to process and metabolize food fully without getting a feeling of being bloated, or gas, are the one ones who can enjoy the full benefits of food prepared with coconut oil. As for the rest of us, who may not have that fiery metabolic system, ghee is the best alternative.
The Charak Samhita describes ghee as “snehuttamam” – the best fat for human consumption. Ayurveda explains that in contrast to coconut oil which is high in soma and can therefore be hard to metabolize unless one has high pitta and high agni metabolism, ghee strikes the perfect balance between soma and agni. This is particularly the case when we consumes ghee made the traditional way, from butter that was made from raw cream turned into yoghurt, and not straight from cream/fat. My SVA Mum’s ghee is made from butter that has gone through the fermentation process or the culturing process where live bacteria are involved. Even though after the final cooking step the bacteria are no longer alive, their initial presence endows the fat molecules with agni; in addition, the churning of the yogurt in order to extract the butter, that friction of the churning process also provides more agni. Finally, when that butter is cooked, further agni or fire is infused into it. 600_Triphala_Ghee_1.5_oz__06149.1405391159.1280.1280
In this sense, ghee is the best fat for high pitta and low agni individuals, because this fiery energy helps to clear the “wick” of the digestive process. Ghee has a very high burning point and it is therefore ideal for cooking spices in it – cooking on higher heat, since ghee won’t burn as easily and quickly – allowing for the full potency of spices and herbs to unfold into the fat medium and be transported deeper into the bodily tissues. In addition, ghee carries all the properties that coconut does: it lubricates the brain, the cellular system, nourishes the joints, nurtures the skin. Ghee is even recommended for people who have “mandagni” or low agni (high pitta low agni). When cooked with the proper metabolism enhancing spices, ghee becomes the ideal fat for those with slow metabolism.
In India, in areas where tropical temperatures presides (specially in south India such as in kerala, some parts of Tamil Nadu), or in countries such as Malasia, Indonesia, where extreme hot weather conditions dominate, coconut oil is used exclusively. However, according to Ayurveda, it is not recommended to use coconut oil for long term, specially in cold climates. In countries where the climate varies seasonally, it is possible to use coconut oil in the hotter summer months and then switch back to ghee in the remaining months of the year.
So for your students who ask you whether or not to initiate the use of MCT oils, tell them they should avoid consuming processed fats, not matter what the promises of modern scientific findings, and favor coconut oil in its natural state instead. And then add that you know of something even better than coconut: ghee! You can teach them how to make their own traditional ghee, or show them the SVA ghee. You can also educate them about my herbalized ghee, the SVA Maha Saraswati Ghee, that contains a very powerful herb, jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus), that boosts and supports brain functioning and health, not to mention the health endowing properties of ghee itself. Maha Saraswati ghee can be melted to be used on toast, in your cup of tea, or in your sandwiches! Let’s fuse the ayurvedic wisdom of the ages with our modern lifestyles to accomplish the great health we all deserve to carry out joyful lives!

 
References
1. Drugs.com: Lauric Acid
AOCS Lipid Library: Palm Kernel and Coconut (Lauric) Oils
NYU Langone Medical Center: Medium-Chain Triglycerides
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: The Facts About Coconut Oil — What Is It All About?

Metabolism: Effects of Dietary Medium-Chain Triglyceride on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in a Group of Moderately Overweight Free-Living Type 2 Diabetic Chinese Subjects
Nutrition Review: Medium Chain Triglyderides: Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging
ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Much Is My Allowance for Oils?
2. Know Your Fats, by Mary Enig, Ph.D, Bethesda Press. p. 259
See more at: http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/mct-oil-vs-coconut-oil-the-truth-exposed/#sthash.pZmZsW0N.dpuf

This Summer, Make More Ojas to Keep Pitta in Check!

“Hi! Am having a tough time with dehydration/cooling off this summer. Wondering if there is a pitta pacifying product I can add to my water to help with this. I had been adding lemon juice, but a friend told me it aggravates pitta. Is this true?

Anyway, thanks!

Tamara K.”

 

Vaidya Mishra responds:

Dear Tamara, yes this is true that for a pitta type individual lemon juice can be pitta aggravating, however, we have very many tips for pitta pacification, specially, for this time of the year.

 

In the SVA tradition, we understand that pitta individuals, by nature, naturally receive more fire, more agni, more power of transformation from the environment. But what is “pitta”? According to the shastras, pitta dosha is made of fire and water: agni and jal. In SVA, we know that Pitta dosha is fire predominant, but we also understand that it contains liquid soma to balance its fire out. The fire and water together make up the pita, in other terms, the fuel, needed by the body, t perform its transformations. The liquid fuel that is needed to run things and transform gross physical material into energy and other forms, that is pitta. Pitta can get imbalanced by having either too much agni or too much soma.

Screenshot 2015-06-26 13.56.46

When summer is here, and we are literally closer to the sun, there is naturally more agni in the environment. Summer time is pitta aggravating time, specially for pitta individuals. In general, all body types need to take care of their pitta dosha as well, but pitta individuals particularly so, as they receive agni more readily than vata and kapha types.

 

In the process of balancing and keep pitta dosha in check, many recipes and tips are given, but the channels are usually overlooked. In SVA, we pay great importance to the health and overall state of the physical and vibrational channels, the srota-s and nadi-s. Nothing will work, no dosha pacification or balancing will have an effect, unless the channels are in good condition and able to carry physical or subtle materials all over the body. I speak at great length about the channels in many of my articles and videotaped courses.

 

But practically speaking, in your case, the first thing you need to do is keep your vibrational and physical channels in balance, so that the fire in your body is able to be equally distributed, and evenly balanced in all organs and systems. When pitta is stuck due to narrow or blocked channels, it will accumulated in a location or an organ, cause and imbalance, and then your whole body becomes prone to further imbalance involving one or more doshas!  In order to keep your channels in good health, DGL is your best friend! DGL is deglycyrrhizinated licorice – licorice from which the glycyrrhizin has been removed. Glycyrrhizin is the chief sweet-tasting constituent of the Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root. Structurally it is a saponin. The most widely reported side-effects of glycyrrhizin use is oedema (water retention). Vaidya Mishra explains that with water retention, we also retain toxins, or ama, so he recommends the use of of only DGL or Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, for its cooling and pitta pacifying properties.

 

What you should do to keep pitta dosha in check:

1)  apply DGL roll-on or transdermal cream as well as SuperSport ssroll-on or transdermal cream on your lower spine at night. Do a quick massage for your arms and legs before shower – daily if possible, otherwise 3-4 times per week – with Pitta Oil with Magnesium.

 

2) Eat four to five times a day: as soon as you wake up, have stewed pears cooked with 1-2 cloves.  If you don’t like sweets (sometimes high pitta people prefer to have protein in the morning) then you can have eggs if you are not vegetarian; otherwise some fresh home-made paneer cooked with a pitta pacifying masala mix. This will be your pre-breakfast meal. Then have full breakfast with for example: almond milk, quinoa flakes along with rose petal preserve (1 tsp.).

rose

3) Rose is your next best friend as a high pitta! Rose pacifies all five pitta sub-doshas: ranjak, pachak, sadhak, bhrajak, alochak. You can adopt my SVA pitta tea which is balanced to cool off pitta without freezing agni. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the pitta tea mixture to 6 ounces of water, bring to a boil, cool off, and drink.

 

4) Eat lots of pitta pacifying foods, like: zucchini or summer squash; adopt all coconut recipes – see my SVA Health channel on YouTube; have fresh coconut water from a mature coconut – not the young green ones.

pittamasala

5) Make all your meals pitta pacifying by using pitta balancing ingredients and spices. Use SVA Pitta Masala – you can dry pre-toast this and carry with you and sprinkle on food you eat.

 

6) During summertimes, make sure you to regularly consume a rehydration drink – see my recipe below.

 

7) Otherwise: try to avoid exposure to sunlight during the hot hours of the day – between 10am and 2pm. You can also use my SVA  Surya Shanti cream before going out, it contains sandalwood along other ingredients to keep you cool inside out.

 

8)  Wear sunglasses, preferably polarized, to protect your eyes from the sun and keep alochak pitta in check.

 

9) Don’t eat your lunch past twelve o’clock. Before lunch and dinner, in between meals, carry and eat sweet juicy fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, etc.

 

10) Sprinkle Soma Salt and Mum’s Masala on your food. Soma Salt is the most cooling of all salts. Salt can be highly pitta aggravating yet it is a necessary ingredient, and supports digestion as well. Soma Salt will give you the benefits without the aggravation. Mum’s Masala will help keep your metabolism on track. The most immediate imbalance that most pitta individuals experience is high pitta low agni, where you experience appetite without satiation and keep craving different tastes but are not able to satisfy yourself. Mum’s Masala will keep thing in check.

 

11) Make sure to have enough protein:  for dinner, after a hot day, it is highly balancing for a pitta type to consume a good easy to digest nourishing protein dish. Try my Green Protein Recipe, cooked with paneer or chicken; or any chicken dish cooked with pitta masala. As a high pitta, you have to feed yourself enough protein to keep things cool in your body. When you use a good pitta balancing masala along with protein, you target all five pitta sub-doshas.

12) Do not delay dinner: eat early dinner, but don’t forget to drink at least 4 oz of milk before bed. You can blend it with a date. Otherwise you can also do a glass of fresh almond milk with 1/2 tsp. of rose petal preserve before going to bed. Do not add the SVA Rose Petal Preserve to milk as it will curdle it. My Rose preserve recipe is made to balance pitta and vata so it contains some sour elements that may curdle the milk.

vetiver

12) Vetiver is a wonderful aromatic herb used for cooling in the summer time. You can use the SVA Vetiver soap to cool down your cellular system, particularly at night after a long hot day.

 

Pitta season or the summer season could be very tough for pitta predominant people, or pitta aggravated people. By following some or all of these tips, you will not only “conquer” the summer season, but you will actually enjoy it. Your open channels will receive agni, but you will receive and carry enough soma to cool and nurture your physiology. Even in the summer time there is a lot of soma prana available to us at night after the sun sets. This way, both soma and agni energies will support each other, and because soma is main raw material for ojas (watch video here) your body will make lots of ojas. Soma is the raw material for ojas, and agni is the power of transformation. So aim for making lots of ojas this summer!

 

 

About Ojas

Raw material for Ojas is Soma.

Origin: From every transformational gaps, from the sukshma bhag of sukra and directly transferred from soma to ojas by dehaagni.

Srota and Circulation: Ovaha Srotas

Types of ojas: Param and Apar Ojas

Functions: Ojas is the connecting factor between every organ and system, connecting the inner physiology and the outer world; vital functions of the heart: Param Ojas is the glue between the Soul and the heart; keeps vata, pitta and kapha in balance.

 

About the Pitta Sub-Dosha-sstomach

Pachaka Pitta: Helps digest food; that is the main subdosha for pitta, and that it is located in the stomach. Pachaka Pitta is the fuel for pachaka agni (also called jatharagni), the flame that will “cook” the food.  Wherever there is pitta there is a “burner”, which is sandhi, a transformational gap where all transfomation actually takes place; in other words, it is the place where liquid pitta – which has been traveling in the body in the form of fuel ( i.e liquid soma + agni ) – is transformed for the “burner” or sandhi, into the “flame” of pure fire, agni – specifically, in the stomach into pachaka agni, which is needed to cook the food. The burner has the power to automatically produce the quantity of flame needed, and the sandhi or burner is transforming the liquid pitta in the form of fuel into flame. The food is then cooked by the “flame” (i.e, not by the liquid pitta, the fuel)

Liver-illustration

Ranjaka Pitta: Ranjaka Pitta is the fuel for the liver, and it has 5 burners or agnis. After the process of digestion of ahar, food, the plasma – or rasa dhatu –  is formed. The plasma is then “vibrationally recharged,” thereby giving the vibrational raga or “melody” to the blood – specific for that person. In other words, ranjaka pitta transforms the plasma to make blood containing the vibrationally intelligent attributes specific to that individual (e.g their blood type and other specific blood factors).

 

Sadhaka Pitta :  is the emotional pitta that helps us to transform or digest our emotional challenges by providing the sangyan, awareness. Sadhaka also means sadhana (spiritual practice), so sadhaka pitta has both emotional as well as spiritual aspects.

 

eyesAlochak Pitta : it is located in the eyes and helps you to see and feel – not just the physical sight – it is “seeing” or clearly perceiving what is real from the depth of your Consciousness. This governs the entire system of sight and perception, and it also connects us with the Light of the Soul and the mind. It connects what we see outside with the Sattva and the mind; for example, if we see a tiger and a statue of one, the actual tiger will give us the actual perception of the tiger and the statue will tell us you of its essence – this is what alochaka pitta provides for us.

 

Bhrajaka Pitta: Vaidya calls brajaka pitta “cellular pitta,” because it also helps to transform the cellular system.  When thbrajaka pitta gets aggravated by anything irritating  – either synthetic or natural – shleshaka kapha helps to cool and lubricate the skin and cellular system, in order to try to pacify this aggravation. That is because when bhrajaka pitta is high, it can burn shleshaka kapha, thereby causing vyana vata to become aggravated and out of control. Thus, high bhrajaka pitta causes burning, it burns shleshaka kapha, creating a condition of dryness and itching of the skin.

 

Re hydration Drink

Ingredients:

16 oz. lukewarm spring water Fresh mint in closeup

1 tbsp. organic raw sugar

1/8 tsp. soma salt

1/8 tsp. roasted ground cumin

Juice of 1 whole lime

6 chopped peppermint leaves

2 pinches of nutmeg powder

 

Instructions: Mix altogether and drink.

Vaidya responds to your questions: Moringa leaves or sticks? Moringa for infants? Raw fruits and juices? And more….

Regarding Tribulus capsules:

“Namaste,

Regarding the Tribulus Terrestris capsules:
Could you please point me to the (youtube?) video or any other reference material on Shring Bhasma. I located the video on Yasad Bhasma but not the one on Shring Bhasm.
Can this capsule be taken (i) along with warm milk? (ii) as a hot water decoction (i.e. upon emptying the powder contents)? What mode would be most effective?
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Gaurav N.”

“Dear Gaurav:
Swallowing your Tribulus capsule with warm milk is the most effective option, as the milk will provide an excellent nourishing medium for delivering the intelligence of the herbs. I do not recommend emptying the powder contents and making a hot water decoction because the bitter taste of the herbs contained in the capsule may be nauseating.”


Moringa for Infants?

“Dear Sir,
Can we give Moringa/ Moringa leaves to a 16-month-old baby? Will it cause any ill effect?
Thanks,
Pavithra S.”

Vaidya responds:
“Dear Pavitra: even though Moringa is fully packed with nutrients and ingredients, it is at the same time highly detoxifying. For that reason, it is best not to give to babies. Infancy is primarily a time for nurturing, in SVA we believe babies should only be fed “somagenic” nurturing food such as squashes, oatmeal, rice, etc. We recommend to start introducing a normal adult diet at the age of 5 years and above.”

Moringa leaves or drumsticks?

“Dear Vaidya,
Is eating drumstick vegetable equal in benefit to the leaf?
Thank you,
Martin G.”

“Dear Martin, yes, in some ways,  it is.
However, the Moringa leaf is more detoxifying than the stick. The stick carries more nutritional value. But both the stick and the leaves are nourishing and detoxifying in nature. The leaf has some added detoxifying power to it though. So depending on what protocol you are following, you may choose one or the other.”

Food Combining

“Thank you for the post on food combining. It is wonderful and very helpful. It is an area I know very little about but would love to learn more. Are there any other resources I could use to find out more?
Sidney P.”

“Dear Sidney: This is a vast and central topic in Ayurveda, discussed at length in the classical sourcebook, the Charak Samitha. There are, however, in that chapter, many food items that may not be of interest for our contemporary cultural needs, except for the discussion on mutually contradictory food combinations that include mixing milk and dairy products with other ingredients. However, very soon, I will be writing a detailed article listing mutually contradictory ingredients for this day and age for all those who want to follow SVA guidelines. Stay tuned through our weekly newsletter!”

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

“Dear Vaidya Mishraji,
First of all, thank you so much for the wealth of knowledge that you share with us. I am a lifelong student of Ayurveda and you are my Guru. I have purchased several of your DVDs. I hope one day I am able to meet you in person.
My question is regarding juicing. There is a craze for drinking smoothies and vegetable juices. What it the Ayurvedic point of view for drinking freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices?
Thank you.
Purnima C.”

“Dear Purnima: it is true that raw fruits and vegetables are very high in nutrient content, but there are some specific issues which modern nutritional science fails to address.  For one, nutritionally dense raw food has to go through the digestive system, and not everybody’s body is able to digest raw food 100%. When it is not, Ayurveda tells us that semi-digested remains in the body create “ama” or toxins. Ama, in its turn, is the raw material for “amavisha,” a highly virulent toxic build-up which is the root cause of all kinds of inflammatory diseases in the body. Certain raw foods, such as: cucumber, celery, lettuce, are easy to digest and they are ok to have with meals or juiced. However,  heavy duty greens such as: Swiss chard , collard, kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, even arugula – these should always be cooked. They carry sulfur-containing chemicals called “thiocyanates” that can be harmful and imbalancing to normal thyroid activity when consumed raw. However, when they are steamed, and preferably cooked, then they lose that toxic property. The thing is this: for people who have had a not so balanced diet for years, eating preserved foods with bad fat, switching to juicing or raw foods is heaven sent because they find that their bodies get pranically recharged for the first time in a long time. But for people who have had a relatively balanced diet, with good protein, good fat and greens, eating raw is neither a necessity nor desirable. In the big picture, it is all about being able to digest (break-down) and absorb whatever you put in your mouth. Whatever you do not cook on top of the stove, you need to cook inside your body to fully break down and avoid making toxins or ama. But is your metabolism up to it? Do you have a good balance between physical activity and rest? Are all your transformative tissue metabolic fires in good shape? Our digestion and absorption is by and large compromised in this day and age due to the lifestyle we have to lead in urban context. So it is best to avoid raw foods, or eat them in minimal quantities. Same goes for fruit juices. Any liquid, whether water or a fruit juice, will dilute your digestive fire, unless you have added a good amount of, for example, fresh ginger, or some other such spicy ingredient. It is great to have some fruit juices as a refreshing snack, specially in hot weather, in between meals, if they are balanced in the recipe, but best to avoid them with meals. For example, starting your day with orange juice for breakfast, is one of the worst things you could do to your digestive fire! If you are in the mood for some fruit juice it is always nice to squeeze some limes, add a pinch of salt, sugar to taste, and a few sprigs of fresh mint. This is a great rehydrating and refreshing drink. I will be sharing a fruit and vegetables juice recipe in our next issue of the newsletter. Stay tuned!”

Prebiotics from Coconut

“Namaste Vaidya Mishraji,
Your coconut water probiotic recipe has helped me immensely over the last year+. My tongue coating (Ama) had reduced to near-zero at one point. However, this year unfortunately, we are not getting good coconuts in the store. To keep my probiotics up, I’m relying on home made curd/buttermilk. However, I feel that it is missing the prebiotic environment that coconut water provides. So I am wondering if I can put a few drops of your Prebiotic Herbal Memory Nectar in buttermilk to help the “Yoginis” survive better. Or any other suggestions? Am I just imagining this problem?
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Gaurav N.”

“Dear Gaurav,
No you are not imagining it, this is a real problem for some people. While you wait for better quality coconuts to be available in the store you can do the following:
1. Make thin buttermilk  – add 10% yogurt to 90% water, and add 5 drops of the SVA prebiotic nectar to it. It is best to drink this with your meal for example take one sip of buttermilk and then have a spoon of your meal. This should help you. Let us know!”

Helping heal skin scars

“Dear Vaidya-ji,
Thank you so very much for the fabulous knowledge you share with us so
Generously and for the extraordinary products you formulate!
Would you be so kind as to tell us which Chandika products and SVA
Procedures would be best in helping treating recent scars. A friend of
mine had a horrific-looking puncture wound apparently from a black widow
spider. He had a long surgery to remove the necrosis that was as big as
his fist on the back of his lower leg, and the surgeon took a graph
under the thigh and put it on the wound, with success. Now my friend is
looking for the best products to help rejuvenate the skin at the point
where the graph was taken, and to help heal the main site at the lower
leg.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
Wishing you Dear Vaidya-ji,
Joy and Success in Abundance,
Joe T.”

“Dear Joe: here is what your friend can try. On the weekend, apply Lalita’s Pre-biotic CreamClay, and then wash it off. Then apply the Probiotic body cream and leave it on. On weekdays, apply the regular Lalita’s CreamClay, and then use the Aloe and Sandalwood lotion and leave on. Try this, and see if it helps. This objective is to detox the skin locally with the CreamClays and reawaken the skin’s intelligence, in addition to nourishing and replenishing the friendly bacteria of the skin. Let us know if it helps. “

Coconut Matters! Classy Coconut Chutney

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You will impress family and friends with this simple but so delicious coconut chutney recipe. It replaces your Ranch dressing or any other creamy tasty satisfying sauce any day! It is rich in flavor and nourishing, with added protein (when you add the Kala Chana Besan – more info below). It’s easy to assemble and takes literally a couple of minutes to make.

You will need:

4oz fresh coconut flesh – weight by weight
1 oz toasted split black grams (also available as “split Kala Chana” from any indian grocery store) – optional
1/2 tsp Mum’s Masala (or your own spice blend in dry toasted form)
1/4 tsp Soma Salt
1 whole green Thai chili – optional or you can use more if your physiology can handle it!
2 thin slices of fresh ginger – or you can use more if you like it!
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp olive oil

The split black grams needs to be dry toasted in a pan (or your oven) before using. Adding this ingredient will give added protein content to your recipe, specially if you are a high agni/ high pitta person you will enjoy it. It also gives it an added layer of nutty flavor so it is worth your while to try and get this. Otherwise: just assemble all your ingredients and put them into a blender and press on! You may need some water to get things started, have a 1/4 cup of room temperature water available and add to your mixture as it blends. You want a creamy rich texture but not too watery so add water only as it needs to blend. Check your consistency to see if it is to your liking and taste the salt and/or lime. You can add more or less to your liking. And you are done! Your chutney is ready to be enjoyed with any meal. Let us know how it came out!

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Coconut Matters! Scrumptuous Coconut Chips

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It’s time to do something with the coconut you have been storing in your fridge/freezer after making the probiotic coconut recipe for the past week.
Of course, if you are not up to eating the coconut at this point (if you have a cold, or the weather where you are is really cold and you do not have high enough Agni to metabolize the coconut) then by all means, you can just store it in your freezer. You can store it either with the shell (but make things easier on yourself and de-shell!), cut it into chunky pieces, or grate/blend it and then freeze it. Watch this brief video for more information on storing your coconut.

This recipe is very easy, fast, and delicious.  To make it at home, you need the following ingredients:

4oz weight by weight fresh coconut chunks cut into thinner slices
1/2 tsp Mum’s ghee
1/2 tsp Mum’s Masala (or your own spice mix)
1/4 tsp Soma Salt
5-6 Curry leaves dry or fresh (optional – don’t fret if you don’t have any)
1 Green (Thai) chilli (optional)
2 fresh ginger – thin slices
A few leaves of fresh mint roughly chopped (optional but a nice twist for flavor)

Assembling the above ingredients is very easy. Warm the ghee in your pan and then add the masala, the chili and/or ginger, the salt, and then the coconut. Mix in the coconut making sure you coat it thoroughly with the ghee and spice mixture. You do not need to cook the coconut, it just needs to be coated with the spices. After 2-3 minutes of mixing in, add the mint leaves turn off the stove and cover for 1 minute (to infuse the coconut with the heat-activated mint aroma). Then serve and enjoy! You may also carry with you in a small container and snack on throughout the day. Discard unused portions and do not eat the next day as per ideal SVA dietary recommendations!

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