Winter Wellness: Digestive Wellness & Recipes for the Holidays

ON November 14, 2014

by Kameko Shibata

Welcome to the cooler weather, a time for warm meals, intimate gatherings, early nights, stillness and reflection, as we move into the darker days of winter. Sounds enticing, but likely allusive as the onslaught of winter holidays, family gatherings, colds/ flus, and winter blues kick in. This yea I will be offering three separate Ayurvedic discussions and mini-practices to support a more digestively healthy, mentally calm, compassionate and motivated winter season. That’s truly something to rejoice!

Using the wisdom of Ayurveda, Indian classical medicine, and whole food nutrition we will learn some basic tips on how to make healthy decisions and support yourself emotionally during the holidays.  These tips will focus on how to properly combine food, how to nourish your body during the winter, and how to create a healthy relationship with food during the holiday season. You will also receive some simple recipes and learn about spices to help create more delicious and Ayurvedic friendly holiday meal plan. For example, here is one of my favorite recipes to make during this season:

Miso SoupCalifornia Miso Soup

This is my favorite breakfast of all time. As a Californian part Japanese yogini, this is the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary, with an Ayurvedic twist. It’s light but warming, and full of fresh veggies which is ideal for breakfast and can be made hardy by adding protein. It’s balancing for all Ayurvedic doshas or types. It takes about 20 minutes depending on the ingredients and how small you cut the veggies. I often make a batch for a few days and re-warm in the morning.

The ginger makes it warming and helps the belly build agni, or digestive fire, and the turmeric is cleansing and anti inflammatory, helping remove ama or toxins from the belly. If these concepts interest you, consider attending the special class this Monday, November 17 to learn about what foods and spices build agni (digestive fire) and which ones weaken it, which foods clear toxins (ama) and which ones increase toxins in my Ayurvedic Winter Wellness series!

Ingredients Needed:

  • Fresh Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Dark Greens (Can be Kale, Chard, Collards, or Arugula)
  • Miso Paste
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa or Rice
  • 1 Egg (optional)
  • Meat/Fish (optional)
  • 1 Avocado
  • Cilantro (garnish)
  • 1 Piece Kombu Seaweed (optional but traditional)
  • 2 Red Potatoes
  • 2 Japanese Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 Onion (optional)
  1. Boil 2 quarts purified water with ample fresh grated ginger and turmeric,  kombu seaweed, red potatoes, 2 japanese sweet potatoes, and 1 onion.
  2. When the sweet potatoes are soft but not done add chopped kale or collards, for quicker miso add chard or arugula. Add optional wakame seaweed or sea palm for minerals and veggie protein.
  3. Turn off the soup, and mix in miso paste ( you never want to boil miso). Try this easy mixing trick: fill a mug with the broth, add paste to it and stir with a fork to break up miso , then add the broth paste back to the whole soup.
  4. Add egg, quinoa, rice, or meat/fish for protein (you can poach an egg in the water before you add the paste or cook it on the side)
  5. Garnish with avocado, fresh cilantro and a drop of ume plum vinegar. This makes its spectator!


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