ANNAPURNA'S KNOWLEDGE CENTER

MAY IS CELIAC DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH

celiacMonthCeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. An estimated 1 in 141 Americans has celiac disease, yet 83% of those who have it are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Celiac disease is genetic, so it's more common in those who have a family history of the disease.

Celiac disease manifests differently from person to person. It can cause a long list of symptoms both in and out of the gastrointestinal tract. These include recurring abdominal bloating and pain, weight loss, bone pain, anemia, fatigue, and in children and infants, delayed growth and failure to thrive.

The only treatment is a gluten-free diet - for life.

Following a gluten-free diet will usually greatly improve and may even completely resolve symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further problems. Improvements can begin within days of starting the diet. Healing completely involves a restoration of the intestinal villi that can absorb nutrients from food into the bloodstream as well as keep the gut from leaking.

My mission statement is "no colon left behind" which is based on Ayurvedic medicine and digestion, which is the most important process in the body. Taking into account celiac disease and its symptoms, Ayurvedic medicine and Ayurvedic cuisine is the answer Annapurna's offers and works with to help all celiac patients irrespective of your level of severity. Combine this protocol with organic; vegan; soy free and an anti-allergen diet, Annapurna's is your go to place daily.

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THE SWEET BLISS OF OUR LIBATIONS

Doshas; seasons; elements and daily temperatures, this is the season of change and variable temperatures. Spring brings warmth and also intermittent cold spells such as the one today as I write this newsletter. So what does that mean for our doshas; yes confusion. At Annapurna's go with the rhythms of nature so we have a line- up of hot and cold drinks to balance out the doshas.

We do not serve ice in drinks as we follow the Ayurvedic tradition of room temperature or warm drinks to promote digestion. The organs responsible for digestion operate at body temperature.

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At the restaurant we recommend Annapurna ginger tea, which is just fresh ginger and water, with your meals to promote digestion. We offer 52 organic varieties of other hot teas including black, white, red and green, both caffeinated and caffeine free. However, our most popular hot beverage is the authentic chai, made from organic whole spices, fresh ginger and black teas. Customers are always curious as to how our chai is made. Our cooking classes include information of various menu items including chai. We also offer Ayurvedic teas suited to each dosha. Our tulsi teas are a great choice for after meals as they also aid digestion. Our red teas include rooibos, honeybush, cape nectar and macadamia rooibos, all packed with antioxidants and vitamin c.  Customers have come into the restaurant on numerous occasions with anything from a common cold to severe seasonal allergies and I have been able to mix teas such as tulsi and rooibos to give that certain relief. Our teas can be combined in many ways for both prevention and cure of certain ailments.

However, during the spring and summer months, we do serve chilled, not iced, drinks such as the ginger lemon drink, made with fresh ginger, freshly squeezed lemon juice and agave nectar. Yes, ginger is very warming , however we include ginger in this drink to help with digestion as ginger is considered one of the more important digestives in Ayurveda. This drink is sweetened with agave nectar as the sweet taste is cooling to the body. The lemons also increase the pitta (fire) dosha by providing the sour taste, another reason why we add agave. The ginger lemon drink has become so popular that we serve it all year long. Agave nectar is a low glycemic index sweetener extracted from the agave plant.

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AYURVEDA AND SPRING / SUMMER

KichariAyurveda stresses the importance of eating foods that are appropriate to each season. Spring is the season for purification by getting rid of the toxins built up in the body during the winter months.

According to Ayurveda, eating seasonally involves eating foods that the earth is producing in the area/country one lives in. The earth is not the village idiot and therefore will provide as nature intended. Ayurvedic cooking is not Indian cooking, it is a teaching methodology of the universe applicable to all living beings on the planet. Respect and accept with gratitude the bounty of spring and summer to nourish and nurture your body.

For Spring and Summer these foods are cooling to the body such as zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, bitter melon. During the summer months, a burning process is taking place in the body creating dehydration. Hence, ayurveda recommends foods that are liquid based.

Lavender Mint Tea As an Ayurvedic Chef for the past 10 years I have found that spring is the most enjoyable season to create drinks and cleansing type cuisine at the restaurant, using plant based ingredients. We serve coconut water just as nature intended with no added sweeteners etc. At ANNAPURNA'S WORLD VEGETARIAN CAFÉ we serve numerous chilled drinks such as:

  • Lavender mint
  • Teas - Pitta (Fire Dosha), Rose Petals, Hibiscus, Peppermint, and Chamomile;
  • Black Orange Mint (real fresh orange juice and black caffeinated tea);
  • Ginger Lemon (fresh ginger and fresh lemon juice).

Even though ginger is warming and contrary to the spring and summer, it is also a great digestive that we use throughout our menu, balancing our dishes and drinks seasonally.

All our chilled drinks are sweetened with Agave Nectar which Ayurvedically takes care of cooling down the body by the sweet taste.

Why no ICE? That is a very common question at our restaurants and since the warm months are moving in this seemed like the right time to address why? 

Agni is the biological fire of digestion and metabolism.  To keep that fire burning strong, Ayurveda recommends avoiding cold drinks and ice cold foods in general, especially during the colder months.  Iced drinks being very cold, have a tendency to extinguish the digestive fire.  That's why no ice and why we only serve chilled drinks during the warmer months.

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