Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la la la la la ……… overeating, off your trolley fa la la la la la la la la ……… morning after no more laughter, stomach is bloated la la la…….. New Year detox binned the wine box fa la la la la la la la!
It’s that time of year when (over) indulgence is encouraged and embraced and more often than not well deserved. The end of a year that may or may not have had its fair share of challenges and rewards.
As a result, many of us see fit to set aside any thoughts of discipline when it comes to food and drink. Yet ending the year the way you started does not necessarily mean doom and gloom for the festive period.
As the holidays fall during the Vata season root vegetables such as sweet potato can counter balance the extra “air” energy that can leave us feeling overly stressed and constipated – imagine a medley of roasted veg, olive oil/honey and sprigs of fresh herbs. Mmmmmm……We are already feeling pretty centred at the thought!
Swap your white rice for brown – definitely much more filling and nutritious – and be sure to incorporate ginger into your diet. Ayurveda believes that ginger helps to open up the detoxification channels of the body and boost immunity. Anyone for a slice of lime and ginger drizzle cake? Cannot think of a better way to stave a wintry bug.
Sesame seeds – a firm favourite in both cooking and practices – is believed to keep the body lubricated, insulated and warm. Commonly used in stir-fries as well as sticky chicken. For the festive season try using it in your desserts – how does a black sesame maroon sound or a tahini chocolate pudding? Savoury but oh so nice!
More so, warmed as an oil this seed is a powerful tool and amplifies the practice of abhyanga, which can maintain the harmony of your nervous system and boost one’s immunity. No greater expression of self-love it can also enhance one’s well-being and longevity.
“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age”
Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89
The ingestion of alcohol is debatable though it is advised to drink in moderation if at all!
Attention however should be paid to your dosha be it – Vata, Kapha or Pitta – as to the type of alcohol that is consumed.
- Beer for Pitta people as it is an antithesis to this fire dosha.
- Dry white wine to be drunk by Vata before a meal which may help stimulate digestion – beneficial for this dosha who tends to have digestive irregularity.
- Those with the Kapha dosha should generally avoid alcohol as the fermentation can exacerbate dampness and yeast in the body, which is already an issue.
Nevertheless, water – the elixir of life – is suggested whilst drinking it hot is the classic Ayurvedic remedy for eliminating the toxic substances in your body whilst aiding digestion.
By simply embracing some if not all of these Ayurvedic principles you will not only end the year on a high note but you will be your most balanced and energised self.
Above all, think positively!
Pessimism and negative energy can suppress your peace of mind during the busy season. Keeping your mind relaxed and open will inevitably attract positive karma – only then will you be able to enjoy the true meaning of Xmas.