Ditch the Leftovers

June 22, 2015
Lani's Farm, Tribeca Greenmarket, NYC

Leftovers are a no-no, according to Ayurveda. This makes me a little sad. I used to love certain leftovers for lunch.

Unfortunately, once food has been cooked, cooled and then re-heated, the life-force (or prana) has left the food, and our bodies have to work much harder to digest it.

The same goes for frozen, canned, microwaved or packaged food. The fresher the food, the greater the prana and its healing properties.

Ditch the Leftovers

I got rid of my microwave years ago when I was still in NYC. Never missed it. When I moved last year I was greeted by a gigantic one in my new kitchen. What a waste of space! I don’t even use it to boil water.

When our food is not properly digested, ama (undigested food particles/toxins) builds up and begins to clog the channels in the body, setting the stage for disease.

For many (probably most of us) in this fast-paced culture that we live in, the thought of cooking each meal from scratch seems ludicrous and next to impossible. Especially if you’re a city-dweller without a garden in your backyard.

But the truth is, it just takes a little more thought and effort – learning proper portion size to eliminate waste – and the rewards are great. Most cities now have farmer’s markets, so this shouldn’t be an excuse.

Local, seasonal, and preferably organic food is the best possible fuel for our bodies.

Mother Nature is wise and provides us with just the right foods we need during each season.

Cooking for one can be really challenging. I don’t even like to cook. But I’ve managed to figure it out (for the most part).

I visit my local farmer’s market at least twice a week, try not to overbuy (This is the challenging part for me – everything looks so good!), and I compost any leftovers. I’ve even made an arrangement with a friendly farmer at the market to take my compost.

Try it for a few weeks and let me know how you do (and more importantly, how you feel).

And always remember that baby steps are better than no steps at all!

Even cutting in half the amount of frozen food or leftovers you eat will have a significant effect on your health.

I struggle to follow my own advice. It’s almost lunchtime and, truth be told, I want a tuna fish sandwich!

Much love,
Barbara

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2 Comments

  1. Stacey

    I am just starting with Ayurveda and I too absolutely hate to cook. Although I have accepted that at least cooking this way is pretty straightforward I don’t know how to make it so that lunch is fresh and hot when its not an option to cook at work and not supposed to eat leftovers or cooking for one.
    If you have any hacks on that please let me know.

    • Hi Stacey! Just the fact that you’re thinking about it makes you ahead of the game. 🙂 I work at home so I have the luxury to follow through with this Ayurvedic teaching. That being said, many days it’s even a struggle for me. You do the best you can at any given time. There’s a big difference in quality and energy of food between leftover lasagna that’s three days old and reheated in a microwave and a lunch that you prepared the night before or in the morning.

      Most of us (especially in cities) do not have the luxury of going out in the garden and picking fresh greens every day. I try to only buy what I need for a few days. I’m lucky to have farmer’s markets nearby. But if that’s not the case for you, then you have to adjust your expectations.

      Do you have any healthy restaurants near where you work? Maybe two or three times a week you could go there and have a relaxing, healthy meal. Ayurveda also says “How you eat (relaxed vs. angry or upset) is more important than what you eat.” And, depending on your constitution and the season, all meals do not need to be cooked. You might digest salads really well. It’s all about awareness (which I can tell you already have), doing the best you can, and moving on when you feel you’ve been eating poorly.

      I’ve become a master of making kitchari for one http://barbarasinclair.com/easy-kitchari-for-one/. If you have time in the morning (if not, make it the night before) whip it up and take it for lunch. You can change up the veggies for variety.

      Hope this helps! Baby steps! 🙂

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