A newly published cookbook offers practical steps to enhance your health and energy. Divya Alter’s What to Eat for How You Feel is based on a living Ayurvedic tradition and is remarkable for conveying primal, jargon-free information. The book’s recipes are vegetarian, but the information shared is relevant for all dietary preferences.
What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Cookbook by Divya Alter, Rizzoli, 256 pages, color photographs, 2017. $39.95
Alter shows you how to adapt basic cooking techniques and ingredients to your unique energetic needs. And she walks her talk. Alter resolved an autoimmune disorder using Ayurvedic principles. Principles she offers in her book, serves up at her successful Manhattan restaurant, Divya’s Kitchen, and that she teaches in the only Ayurvedic culinary school in New York, Bhagavat Life.
“Our digestion fluctuates with changes in weather, season, and other needs. Energy is never static—it flows, ripples, and swirls in rhythms and cycles that we may perceive as harmonic or chaotic—but the constant movement of energy gravitates toward one universal state: balance. . . . Balance runs on two tracks—avoiding irritants and favoring the things that support your balance.”
Alter helps you attune to your ever-changing digestive needs with healing meals. Her book is peppered with helpful hints such as the fact that most spices need heat to activate their medicinal potential and how you can remove turmeric stains from clothing (simply place the stained garment in direct sunlight for several hours).
She writes eloquently and with relentless honestly proclaims what we all know from our own direct experience about leftover or readymade meals: “I am very sorry to say that after four hours of preparation, food, even when refrigerated, begins to decompose and lose its prana. The longer the time gap between cooking food and eating it, the less its medicinal value; leftover food is much harder to digest.”
The book is beautifully designed with gorgeous color photos and 100 seasonal recipes, from soup to nuts. I’m especially enjoying the Golden Beet and Green Bean Salad, Asparagus and Daikon Radish Soup and Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Red Radishes.