Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ayurveda, Part I

When we visited my grandparents in Iowa in May, Z discovered he could play Peek-a-Boo by shutting and opening a door. It's still a favorite. Another favorite game is pretending to be asleep, then surprising everyone by waking up! He even tries to pretend snore. It sounds more like heavy breathing, but still very cute! We're having so much fun with him these days. His little personality is such a hoot! I'm still constantly getting zerberts (aka raspberries), and everyone is getting more kisses than ever. Yes, big juicy ones.

It took me a while to get to posting this week. I spent a lot of extra time on the Mommy Group this week. We had to make some decisions this week on how we're going to do things. For now, we've decided to keep things the way they are. MOPS is not an option for us as we have no one to lead the Moppets part of that or anywhere separate to do it. Instead, we're planning to keep addressing Mommy issues and start reading a Christian marriage book together called, "Sheet Music," by Dr. Lehman. We've made plans for our first Mommy's Night Out, and a Harvest party for our kiddos in October. I have so much fun with these girls, I'm so thankful for our weekly get-togethers.

Let me catch you up! Last weekend I spent the whole weekend with my new friend, Melissa. Hi Melissa! She has a little one who is two months younger than Z, named Dominic. On Saturday, we worked very hard (we were exhausted by 3pm) making top secret Christmas presents. You can e-mail me if you want to know what we made. If you're a grandparent to Z, don't bother asking! Sunday, we went to her house for dinner and played bean bag toss. She calls it 'corn hole', but I like 'bean bag toss' better. She and her hubby must practice a lot, they creamed us. That must be why they call it 'corn hole'. Who ever heard of creamed beans?

On Thursday night we went to family night at church and I got to play 'Apples to Apples' for the first time! It was so much fun! My parents have been telling me about it for years. It's too big to bring over from England or Germany so I just keep hearing about it. Now I know for myself, it is indeed a hoot and a half.

My sweetie heart had a birthday this week! I was thinking that day that I had a few people to thank for making his birthday meals possible. We started out with Aunt Val's chocolate chunk cookies for breakfast. I actually made the cookies for him to take to work. Then for dinner, I made Grandma Jennings' Chicken Madras recipe, which I'll have to post below, since it's Ben's favorite meal currently. For dessert, at his request, I made brownies. I used the Ghiradelli box mix, and I'm trying to remember who recommended these to me. Leave me a comment if it was you! They were divine! Just because I had a good excuse to buy sweets, before his birthday I looked in the frozen section for something that made me think of Ben (this was before I had the cookies inspiration). I found cookies'n'cream Klondike bars which very much sounded like him. Since I would save a little money if I bought two, I HAD to pick another, and am I ever glad I did! I grabbed the caramel pretzel Klondike bars ....let me just say, Becca has a new favorite dessert! Such yummy goodness should be illegal! So, somehow, I benefited greatly from it being Ben's birthday this week. What would you do for a Klondike bar? I got him a watch that looked great on, but in real life looked more like a small wall clock. I knew it would be too big as soon as I opened it, but kept it to show him, so we could laugh at it together. We sent it back already and hopefully we can find another one he likes as well that is made for a wrist, not a wall.

Finally, I'm ready to share with you all my love for Ayurveda. It's an ancient Indian medical science. The word is translated, "Life Science." It took me a while to gather up all my resources on my computer and find my favorite ones online, but I think I'm ready. Ayurveda is really really really huge. There is no possible way for me to explain it all in one post, especially since I've barely scratched the surface myself after reading several (about 5) books on it and attending several (about 5) conferences on it. I love to study Ayurveda because it broadens my view of God in that every time I learn something new, I say, "Whoa, God is so cool that He thought of that!" I had reservations at first because most of the people who know about Ayurveda are either Hindu or really into New Age stuff, both of which contradict my belief in Christianity. Ayurveda by itself though is neither Hindu or New Agey. It is a valid and recognized medical science in India and people are slowly beginning to see it's worth in America. Much of what Dr. Oz and other doctors say who are open to holistic models of health and not just medical models is supportive of Ayurvedic principals.

The first piece I'd like you to understand it what "constitution" you are. This link will lead you to a short questionnaire to help you figure it out, then you can read more about recommendations to finding balance in your constitution (or "prakriti"). There are three primary "doshas" that make up one's constitution: vata, pitta and kapha ("kuffa"). They represent respectively: wind/air; fire; and earth/water. I plan to give you much more on each of these in the future, but for now, you should know that everyone has all of the elements, but most have a tendency toward one or two doshas. For instance, I am primarily Vata (air and space), then secondarily Pitta (fire). Air and space sounds pretty ditsy, huh? Well, when I'm out of balance, guess what? Quick to learn, quick to forget are the Vatas. They also have a tendency toward dry skin (think of the air chaffing one's skin) and anxiety. When in balance they are the most creative. Here's part of a grid I made for a presentation I did on Ayurveda a couple of years ago:


Emotional ailments excess can cause

Strengths when in balance


Fear, depression, nervousness


adaptability, quick to learn


Anger, hate, jealousy

Understanding, discernment, courage, motivated


Possessiveness, greed, attachment

Loving, content, high endurance, melodious voice and soft wrinkle-free skin

These are just the emotional aspects, there's lots of other directions this can go that makes me awe-filled of our amazing God. I'll be sure to share how time has changing constitutions and affects our sleep next time. Have fun, ask questions!

In efforts to make this the world's longest post, I will add the promised, aforementioned recipe, which is not Ayurvedic or even authentically Indian (note the ketchup and marmalade), but is nonetheless very very yummy and a bit easier than my traditional Indian recipes, thanks Grandma!:
Chicken Madras
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
salt and pepper
3 T. butter

Blend the following:
1 1/2-2 T Cornstarch
1 1/2-2T curry powder
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. orange marmalade
2 T. lemon juice (lime doesn't taste as good, tried it.)

1 large green pepper, cubed
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 c. celery cubed

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken (I do this in a big pot). In another bowl blend the list of ingredients to be blended. Pour over chicken. Cook while chopping the last three ingredients. Mix all together then cook on medium heat for 45 minutes then as long as you like on simmer. Stir occasionally. Serve over rice (may I recommend basmati or jasmin?). I like to serve with naan, Indian flat bread. Let me know if you want that too!


Nicki said...

My goodness you are keeping yourself busy!! I really enjoyed reading Sheet Music, actually I should probably dig it out and think about re-reading it. I think you'll love it!

We'll have to try the Chicken Madras sometime... we've been enjoying quite a bit of "Indian food" (italicized because nothing we eat is probably even remotely authentic) lately so I'm always on the lookout for tasty new recipes!

Chris said...

I remember having this chicken at your grandma's when we went for a spring break or something. Love it. I have the recipe in my box from way back then. Miss you!

Jenn said...

I'm going to try your chicken recipe this week! Thanks!
I'm glad your mom's group is going well. MOPS also has a MOPS@ program, but it wounds like you are doing a great job!
I read through your whole post before I took the test and would have guessed I was a Pitta, and 47% I was. I'm not sure I completely understand what it means, though.

Biz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Sehr interessant!