Eat. Taste. Heal
Until last week, I thought pumpkins were made for carving and autumn porch decoration. That’s the truth, and I’m embarrassed to admit it. Even though I’ve seen (but never tasted) pumpkin pie, I’ve eaten pumpkin bread and muffins, and devoured the flavor in latte form. But, I have never paused to fully connect the dots of their lineage. I guess I subconsciously stopped at the can in tracing the path to their root. Idiotic! I KNOW! I can only imagine what went through the mind of the WF employee when I asked, “So are these the kind of pumpkin that we can eat?”. I too was surprised by my need to question it, but I had to assuage my deep sense that consuming one of these bright orange members of the gourd family, might poison and kill me.
The pumpkin found it’s place on my grocery list, at the recommendation of my newest bible for healthy and whole living. Speaking of roots, sources and lineage, all paths to wellness and graceful aging could start here. The book is called Eat. Taste. Heal. An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living.
A collaborative effort of Dr. Thomas Yarema, Ayurvedic practitioner Daniel Rhoda, and Chef Johnny Brannigan, this book is transforming my understanding of radiant health. It presents a macro philosophy on what it means to be well, while offering ideas that can be whittled down to microscopic instruction. It’s soft handed approach invites one to be curious about the art of self healing and explore the links between who we are, what we want, what we do, and how we feel. It reminds us repeatedly of the tethers that bind our thoughts, behaviors, nutrition, and self care practices. They exist for sure, so we might as well know what they are.
I’ve dabbled in Ayurveda in the past. I’ve completed questionnaires that helped identify my doshic makeup. What I read made sense, but I merely scraped the surface of what Ayurveda had to teach me. Perhaps I was overwhelmed or lazy or lacked the time to dive deeper, and subsequently stopped at the same place I do, that explains the whole edible pumpkin being born from a can, otherwise it’s a jack-o-lantern thing. (shit).
What I like most about this book is its’ non-militaristic approach. While it has detailed examples of how to achieve balance in your body and lifestyle, it does it in a way, that says (to paraphrase) “Hey, take a look at this. These things can lead to this. Over time, if you keep doing these things, because of the discord it creates in the systems of your body, this might happen. Fear not, these things can help balance out those things, and your unique internal composition can harmonize and thrive.”
The best part is it is logical! The philosophy is absolutely holistic as it considers your body shape and skin type along side the natural rhythms of days, seasons and life spans. The reason you would likely crave watermelon in the summer, and hot soup in the winter is explained in the foundations of these practices. It helps you understand why you do not tolerate dairy or spicy foods, when your husband or brother chugs gallons of milk or douses everything in hot sauce. There are reasons these preferences occur, and it has to do with your individual constitution.
I don’t think I’ve seen the word calorie in this book. BMI is never referenced. Food and nutrition is not categorized on these pages as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Instead adjectives like pacifying and irritating describe the food’s qualities, tastes and effects on your entire system. It’s goal is to uncover true health, and ease of being…and words like abundance, radiance, vibrance and thrive describe it’s motivation.
I love this book. My taste buds and salivary glands partied hard when introduced to the gnocchi and pumpkin sauce dish that it taught me how to make. Feeling completely satiated, my chocolate cupcake receptors sat quietly in their corner while I finished my last few bites. I never heard a peep from them. Then my nerd brain got it’s groove on when I took the book to bed and read about ways to calm anxiety and add luster to my skin while I sipped my turmeric and triphala powder tea. Don’t ask….Just go pick up the book, and see for yourself.