5 star reviews, Book reviews, Cookbooks, vegetarian

Sacred & Delicious: A Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook by Lisa Joy Mitchell

5/5 stars

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If you have taken a yoga class, you have probably heard of the term Ayurveda.  Ayurveda is ancient Indian wisdom regarding health and wellness.  It’s fascinating and dynamic and there are definitely things to learn from Ayurveda, in terms of food as well as other health and wellness practices.

Twenty years ago, Lisa Joy Mitchell, was struggling in her corporate PR position due to chronic health issues.  Doctors prescribed medications and even surgery, but Lisa chose to first try a 5-day detox program at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, which changed her life.

This book begins by explaining how we can have a sacred relationship with food.  Ayurveda recognizes food as energy, an expression of Divine Consciousness, the living power of creation.  “Each time we eat something delicious, there is the potential for bliss to bubble up inside us” which is a nice way of looking at food.

The book explains the basic principles of Ayurveda.  It explains the different doshas or body types and how we can tell if our body type is in balance or not.  The book also goes into detail on how we can eat for our body type.  The book then goes into digestion and foods that promote healthy digestion and how to incorporate those in your diet.  Next we learn Eight Guidelines to Eating Healthy:  organic produce, avoiding processed foods, avoiding cold foods and I was surprised at this, but avoiding fermented foods, which I have been told by other practitioners was important for a healthy immunes system.

One of the most interesting points of Ayurvedic wisdom surrounding food preparation is the cook’s inner state.  A happy cook, who cooks out of love will prepare food that is more abundant and enjoyable to eat.  Another piece of Ayurvedic wisdom that I find particularly true and something often missing in our modern world is that there should be a ritual around eating, having nice tableware, saying a blessing, having no distractions, etc.  I have often heard that you can lose weight simply by practicing that one piece of wisdom.

The book is color coded (which I LOVE!) for recipes for breakfast, soups, legumes, dals (sort of a thick bean stew), weekday meals, vegetables, salads and desserts.  We tried the roasted beet chips and the sautéed red cabbage, both were delicious!  I now make the tahini dressing regularly it is so delicious!  We also tried the red beans and rice, but I used black beans (sorry, we had A LOT of black beans on hand and I wanted to use them).

There are so many more recipes that I want to try–like the stuffed chard and the holiday dressing.  This is a beautiful book with enticing illustrations.  I am so happy to have a copy.  Thank you, Get Red PR and Lisa Joy Mitchell.  I received a free advance copy in exchange for my honest review and I am sure that I will make many recipes from this book in the years to come!



Book reviews, Skin Care

Pure Skin Care by Stephanie L. Tourles

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 6.02.06 PMI requested this book because my oldest daughter is very interested in skincare and making skincare products and because I don’t like any of us to use chemicals (yes, I am THAT mom).

This book has A LOT of recipes and A LOT of great information about skin care.  My daughter was especially impressed with the information on chemical exposure and your skin.

Some of the recipes are very simple, just one or two ingredients with explicit instructions on how to apply to your skin and how it works.  Other recipes required several exotic ingredients.  We have a good stash of essential oils; vitamin e oil, almond and jojoba, so we made a list of some essentials to buy: beeswax, shea butter, vegetable glycerin, cocoa butter.  We were able to make a variety of the recipes with what we had on hand and we should be able to make almost all of the skincare recipes by buying those four things on Amazon for about $40.

We had the ingredients to make the Mellow Yellow Banana Cream Mask which was very luxurious.  My younger daughter made the Peaches and Cream glow mask and thought it was perfect for summer.  We made the Salt of the Earth Body Scrub, which I felt worked great and looks really pretty in a jar on the display shelves in my bathroom!  I was most excited about the steams and had the ingredients for all of them — it was a difficult choice, but so far I have tried the Stress-Reducing Express Steam and the Restorative Herbal Steam (perfect time of year to gather leaves from our raspberry bushes and fresh mint!).  We also made the Hydrating Honey Scrub.  I love that all of these things used plants and natural ingredients and they all made us feel amazing!!  I am looking forward to making some of the foot soaks and experimenting with the facial lotions.

From Publisher: