Before discovering Ayurveda, the world’s oldest health system and yoga’s sister science, I used to think salads and smoothies were the healthiest foods you could eat. But overdoing them eventually left my body cold, dry, and depleted—telltale signs of a vata imbalance. My digestion suffered, and my mind was always scattered.
Vata, one of the three doshas or mind-body types (the others are pitta and kapha), is related to air energy in the body. An excess can manifest as bloating, gas, constipation, low hormone levels, compromised digestion, anxiety, and insomnia. The moment I learned about this type of doshic imbalance, I felt like I was reading my own autobiography. For the first time, I realized all of my health issues were interconnected—something no doctor had ever suggested.
Thus began my obsession with Ayurveda: I dove in deep, spent two years in India studying to become an Ayurvedic practitioner, and began writing my first book—the Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, which helped to modernize Ayurveda for today’s world. Not only did my physical problems dissipate once I embraced an Ayurvedic lifestyle, but I experienced more mental clarity than ever before. My dharma (purpose) was revealed to me, and I’ve since dedicated my life to sharing Ayurveda—so people with health issues like I had can find a holistic cure.
I now get my veggies from warm, soothing soups (especially in the cold winter months) which nourish my body on a cellular level. In Ayurveda, it’s not you are what you eat, but rather, you are what you digest. Warm, blended soups require very little energy for digestion, allowing your body to focus on healing.
The Ayurvedic soup recipes here, from my new cookbook, Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook, will bring your chakras into balance with ingredients and hues that relate to each of the seven major energy centers. When our chakras are imbalanced, we may experience “dis-ease” in that area of the body, plus related psychosomatic symptoms such as hip problems, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, heart conditions, mucus, headaches, or brain fog. Thanks to ingredients such as grounding root vegetables, sultry cinnamon, empowering turmeric, heart-expanding leafy greens, nutrient-dense spirulina, and enlightening beets, these soups are delicious plant medicine.