Lately it seems my poor head is always in the clouds, both figuratively and literally. This month has had seen me flying back and forth across the country quite a bit, and I am not sure whether it is constant time changes or my slight anxiety of bumpy flights, but I have felt sleepy, distracted and unfocused. I was definitely in need of a little grounding back down on Terra firma.
The concept of grounding is something that is well understood and practiced in the ancient Indian medicine Ayurveda. Ayurveda is 5,000 year old form of holistic healing rooted in balancing mind, body, and spirit. It works with 3 dosha, that are derived from the 5 elements of nature – Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. How do you know if you are in need of a little grounding? Well, basically your Vata is out of whack, which in layman’s terms means you don’t quite feel like yourself. Spaced out, lethargic, scatterbrained or overly sensitive or dramatic, are all signs that you have become unhinged. Well maybe not the best choice of words, but you get where I am going, right?
There are lots of ways to bring yourself back down to planet Earth, balance your dosha’s (if you are a follower of Ayurveda), and get a handle on your air-headed ways. Obvi, eating is how I choose to deal with my flighty behaviour.
To balance Vata through eating is to choose foods that are sweet, sour or salty. Rice, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, seeds and seaweeds are all considered to be very balancing to airy Vata, and are super delicious and wonderful to boot. I mean even if you aren’t buying into the whole Ayurveda thing, how can you argue against whole foods, that are full of all the micronutrients that balance your hormones, fuel your brain cells and keep your immune system working like a charm – impossible, non? Even on a bigger, macronutrient scale, this meal is balanced perfectly in whole grains, healthy fats, and a ton of plant-based protein. Perfection in a bowl, oui?
The recipe is inspired by one that was given to me by a very good friend/cooking mentor/food & health guru/general kitchen bad-ass.
Keep your head in the clouds & your feet on the ground.
Grounding Brown Rice Bowl
Brown rice, as much as you would like, cooked according to directions
Kale, centre stem removed, washed, & torn into bite size pieces
Wakame, as much as you would like, soaked in warm water
Black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp Tahini
1 Tbsp Braggs Amino Acids or Soy Sauce
1-2 tsp Umeboshi plum vinegar (or something sour to your liking)
1. Combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl or mason jar. Set aside
2. Rehydrate wakame in small bowl. Set aside
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat (you may want to add a little oil so the kale doesn’t burn).
4. Add chopped kale and sauté for a few minutes until bright green. Add cooked rice. (Note if rice is cold add a splash of water to help get the re-heating process moving along)
5. Once the rice and kale mixture is hot, remove pan from heat and add tahini dressing, stirring to combine
6. Once seaweed is rehydrated, drain water away. Set aside until rice/kale mixture is finished.
7. Transfer contents of pan to a bowl (or bowls if you are cooking for more than just you!) and top with wakame, pumpkin & sesame seeds, avocado and a little salt & pepper to taste.