Ever have one of those blah days? When everything about you says “It's just not happening today.” Maybe you're hanging out on the outskirts of a cold or flu, maybe you've been pushing yourself a little too hard at home, work or school. Whatever the situation, our bodies have a way of telling us when it's time to take it easy.
It's times like these when you need a warm, compassionate and nourishing boost that makes you feel like you're doing something good for your body. Something light and flavorful that lifts your spirits and maybe even your mood. These are the times when I've found that one of the best medicines is…soup.
Why You Need This
Ayurveda says that good health begins with healthy digestion. Living a happy, healthy life is a function of how well we can assimilate the food, emotions, ideas and experiences that we choose (and create) every day. Each of these contributes to our mind-body nourishment. And our bodies work 24/7 to digest the goodness in all of these things, and eliminate what doesn't serve us.
It's a big job. And when we overdo it on anything – food, experiences, information or emotions – our ability to digest (physically and otherwise) often pays the price…and so do we.
Colds, flus, foggy brain, lethargy, heaviness, congestion, lack of motivation — these are all signals that our digestion could use a break or a boost. Ayurveda recommends a couple of great ways to do that:
- Add a little spice to things – Warming foods and spices like ginger, cinnamon, chilli, pepper to stoke your internal fire.
- Take a light fast or light foods – Skipping a meal, or eating foods that are light and nourishing (did somebody say soup?) are great ways to give your physical digestion the break it needs to work a few things out and come back strong!
The Game Changer
Here's one of my favorite “go to” soups for when the world is feeling a little turned upside down. It's easy to make, even easier to digest, incorporates both suggestions above, and tastes a little like…salvation! In other words… it's a game changer aka The Soup that changes everything! And here’s how you can make it:
- 1 Cup Split yellow mung dal
- 4 Cups water
- 1/2 tsp. Turmeric
- ¼ tsp. ground coriander
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 lb. fresh spinach
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Salt to taste (preferably rock/Himalayan pink salt)
In a large pan, bring the mung dal, water, and spices to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the dal is soft. Chop the spinach coarsely (you want large pieces) then mix with dal, just until it's incorporated. Season with salt just before serving and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy this soup on its own or with a little rice.
This soup works well as a meal in itself or even as a one-day mono diet. Key is to enjoy without overindulging — it's pretty delicious so you might be tempted! And the secret to having it transform your mood and your digestion is this: make and enjoy it with all the love and lightness you can manage. Enjoy!