Vata Energy in the Fall
The cold nights and morning have arrived...and with it, we have this huge desire to sleep more. At least, over here at the Living Kitchen, that is what is happening. As the seasons shift and the weather changes drastically, it is a mirror to what is happening inside our bodies. And, often this change can be physically tiring on the body. Sleep is the best way for us to rejuvenate and recuperate.
In Ayurveda, the vata energy- which brings on change and transition- starts to increase in the fall. Vata is a combination of the elements air and space, and has characteristics of the wind. This shows up as quick and cool, and dry. There is also a sense of lightness in space.
There are different qualities of energy in each season, which impacts the body. Not only does vata energy cause us to feel colder and crave warmth in the physical body, but it also impacts the mind and thoughts. Vata brings on creativity, bursts of energy, and alertness. If out of balance, vata can also bring on anxiety and worries thoughts.
What to Eat in the Fall
Following a diet that balances the vata energy is one of the best things you can do in the fall. This includes eating lots of grounding, warming foods and making sure that you have nourishing oils and fats included in your daily intake.
Breakfast- Warming foods such as oatmeal, rice porridge, or even warm quinoa are soothing for the body when it is colder outside. Using ghee (clarified butter) is a great thing to incorporate into your breakfast.
Lunch- Eating lunch is important in the fall, to maintain a sense of groundedness. Again, warming foods like stews and soups are great. Brown rice and soothing grains. Sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and root vegetables are grounding.
Dinner- Always incorporate steamed or sauteed vegetables with your meal. Make sure you have a good source of protein, whether it is well cooked lentils and brown rice or an omnivore option of organic, local chicken. You can drink spiced, hot tea (herbal) in the evening as well. Cinnamon, ginger, clove, and fennel are all great spices to ease and support digestion.
Oven Roasted Tomato Lentils
Ingredients: 1/2 cup French lentils (dry) 2 to 3 cups baby tomatoes, mixed variety (local and organic are best) 4 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil 1 Tbsp balasmic vinegar 1 cup fresh basil, chopped 1/4 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375. 2. Chop the tomatoes in halves. Chop or mince the garlic. 3. Mix the tomatoes, garlic, grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt together and spread out on a baking sheet. 4. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tomatoes are beautifully softened and roasted. 5. While the tomatoes are roasting, place the lentils in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. 6. Drain the lentils to remove any excess water. 7. Mix together the lentils with the roasted tomatoes and garlic. Mix in the fresh basil.