Several years ago when I was living in Tasmania, I decided to change the way I approached my health and well-being. I was constantly trying different diets or forms of exercise but never found any long term solution that worked for me. I started exploring natural therapies, and a friend mentioned the word ‘Ayurveda’ to me. I had never heard of it before and had absolutely no idea what it entailed. But by a twist of fate, the library in this tiny town in rural Australia had several books available on the subject.
I took the books home and read them cover to cover. With each turning page, so many of my questions about health were answered. I started to understand the ‘why’ of illness. Why was I feeling the way I was? And why had all my previous attempts at feeling well failed? The answer was profoundly simple - there was an imbalance in my individual body type that needed to be addressed. Following a generic ‘one size fits all’ approach was not working. I needed something more personal.
I began by implementing the most basic Ayurvedic practices. I made small changes to my daily routine and started to think about my diet in a different way. What followed in the next six months was incredible. I lost that extra weight I presumed I would carry for life, I was sleeping at night, had more energy and I was excited about the future instead of afraid of it.
As I continued to follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle, I experienced such wonderful changes in my own life. It was then I decided to formally study Ayurveda to help others that were also lost or struggling to reform their health. I want to share with people that even simple changes can have dramatic effects and that improving your health can be a very enjoyable process. No matter how many times you’ve tried and failed, you can change.
When I’m not with clients, I like to spend my time practicing yoga, improving my Ayurvedic cooking skills and seeing as much of the world as I can. Earlier this year I traveled to beautiful Sri Lanka to undergo Ayurveda’s intensive Panchakarma program and met wonderful doctors who shared much of their knowledge with me. I’m planning to explore and experience some of Nepal’s ancient Ayurvedic traditions in 2017.
I feel very fortunate to have found Ayurveda. For me, it was the answer I was always looking for. I am so excited to be a part of the Holistic Highway team, and looking forward to work with you soon!
I would like to share one of my favorite recipes with you, a Coconut Quinoa Risotto Recipe that I make often. It's really simple and always goes down well with guests!
Coconut quinoa risotto
Quinoa is a perfect pantry staple. It contains all essential amino acids making it a complete protein - a great addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. It can be used in so many ways, and is known as tridoshic in Ayurveda. This means it does not negatively alter any of the three bodily doshas (humors) called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. However, for Kapha, it is better to omit the coconut milk in this recipe and use a high quality vegetable stock instead. It tastes just as good! Feel free to experiment with a combination of light veggies. Meat eaters can add some prawns or salmon. A great variation of this meal is to increase the water quantity and make yourself a lighter quinoa broth, the perfect meal to have when feeling sick or recovering.
Difficulty: 3/5: Time: 40 minutes: Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
1 cup quinoa
1+1/2 cup water
1 tin coconut milk
Selection of seasonal vegetables
Rinse quinoa thoroughly in cold water to remove its natural coating that can taste bitter
Add quinoa and water to pot
Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is nearly absorbed
Then, slowly add the coconut milk (or vegetable stock), allowing it to absorb a bit at a time
At this stage, peel and chop your vegetables into small pieces and steam
After a further 10 - 15 minutes of adding and stirring the coconut milk or stock into the quinoa, the liquid should be nearly absorbed and it should resemble a risotto texture
Add the juice of half a lime
Serve in bowls
On top of the quinoa risotto, add a layer of rocket and a serving of vegetables
Add a little ground cumin, a generous sprinkle of black pepper and a pinch of rock salt