In my journey to understand the various holistic approaches to a balanced diet for healthy living, Ayurveda science was able to provide a very logical approach to understanding food and how it can affect us as unique individuals in our own constitution. I had the good fortune of meeting a very talented Ayrurvedic chef last year based out of Brooklyn New York. Balé Shabaka Kaza-Amlak grew up on the island of St.Croix, US Virgin Islands, in a family of ten originally from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. During his youth, Balé learned how to cook in a very natural and organic way; by harvesting fresh ingredients from his family farm and creating whatever he could imagine from the fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. As a young adult, Balé discovered Ayurveda and immediately fell in love with this ancient practice. He then began to learn and incorporate Ayurveda into his cooking. Now a certified Ayurvedic Chef, he teaches workshops and private cooking classes to help people find balance in their diets and health in a practice he sometimes refers to as the yoga of food.
We welcome Balé as a Guest Blogger for Beri Esthetique, and look forward to his contributions and healthy recipes!!
Stay tuned for a live interview as he teaches the secrets of Ayurvedic cooking exclusive to BE MIND BODY SKIN fans!.
-Kavita Beri MD.
Ayurvedic Cooking 101
“When eating habits are not in harmony, medicine is of no use. When eating habits are in harmony, medicine is of no need.”
What exactly is Ayurvedic cooking?
For many, Ayurveda is still a foreign term with little meaning or understanding. For others who have some ideas about Ayurveda, it may still be hued in limited ideas and misconceptions of what it actually is. “Something to do with the elements and the doshas… hmmm,” is the usual answer I’d get when opening the topic in conversations. While this is true, it is a small portion of what Ayurveda truly is. I frequently teach the concepts of Ayurvedic cooking to people in my community, on my home island of St.Croix, USVI, as well as here in Brooklyn, NY, where I presently live.
So, before we can define Ayurvedic Cooking we must first define Ayurveda as a whole.
Ayurveda is an ancient practice that is officially recognized as being no less than 5000 years of age. The word Ayurveda literally translates to mean the Science or knowledge (Veda) of life and longevity (Ayur). This practice is based in the concept of the Pancha-Maha-Bhutas or the five great elements as well as the the understanding of the governing forces of creation itself, called the Gunas.
All things in creation, including our bodies, are composed of a combination these five great elements. Each individual has a specific and unique balance of proportions of these elements within our constitution, which can be described as a persons Dosha.
The three doshas or humors and their corresponding elements are as follows:
Vata – Ether & Air
Pitta – Fire & Water
Kapha – Water & Earth
Food, like everything else in creation, is composed of the elements. Depending on which elements are most dominant in your constitutional balance, some foods can help to keep you in balance and optimal health while others may set you out of balance, leading to illness and disease.
Though it is generally understood that fluctuations of the doshas are constant throughout our life span, optimal balance and health can be achieved though conscious awareness of these changes.
I like to think of Ayurvedic Cooking as a rhythmic dance, similar to that of the dance of the doshas, rhythm compensates.
Stay tuned for more info and videos !!
Facebook: @The_Ayurvedic_ Chef
Renuatum Skincare Owner,
Balé Shabaka Kaza-Amlak