#2 – Stress Free Eating



Tips for Stress-free Eating During the Holidays

Food is an universal part of celebrations. So how do we incorporate more consciousness in our eating during this holiday season?

  • Be conscious of why you are eating. Do not eat when you are stressed out, tired or to numb yourself from stressful situations with family or social obligations.
  • Do not skip meals during the holidays. Eat at least small portions while you are busy with preparations.
  • Continue to maintain your daily routine which includes exercise, meditation and adequate rest.
  • Include all six tastes in your meals – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter. You will be satiated with a meal which includes all six tastes and will have fewer cravings.
  • Slow down – whether it is with activities or while eating. Eating slowly ensures that you eat less and digest better. You will also have a more pleasurable dining experience as you purposefully and mindfully savor each bite.
  • To have a more enjoyable holiday eating experience, cook your own dishes to contribute to the dinner. Your cooking will be infused with love and good energy even if it is a simple dish.
  • Shop at farmer’s market, if available and buy organic.
  • Avoid artificial foods and flavors as they desensitize your palate and encourage cravings.
  • Remember that you are what you eat. Choose saatvic foods to enhance your state of consciousness.
  • Lastly, food is medicine. Bless it, cook with reverence and enjoy and relish it with the knowledge that it is nourishing your body and mind.

Khicidi with steamed vegetables is a great way to regain balance after the holidays.


¾ cup white Basmati rice

¼ cup moong dal or red lentils

4 cups water

1 tsp salt

For the spice mix:

3 tbsp oil or 3 tbsp ghee

¾ tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp black pepper powder

½ tsp fennel powder

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp grated ginger

2 tsp chopped cilantro


Soak the dal for one hour. Wash and drain completely. Wash the rice in three changes of water. Drain completely. Add the measured water and salt and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, place a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat for 25 minutes. In the meanwhile, heat the oil or ghee in a small pot and add all the spices. Sauté for about 45 seconds and then add the ginger. Sauté for about a minute and add the spice mix to the cooked rice and dal mix. Mix well and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with one teaspoon of ghee for each bowl of kichidi.

Moong dal is available at your local Indian store. A three to five day kichidi diet with steamed vegetables is useful for giving your digestive system a break. Try it after your Thanksgiving festivities and be sure to drink hot water with lemon each day.

Cook and eat in perfect health!

Food Mantra from Anapurni Ashtakam
by Adi Shankara

OM Anapurne sadapurne, Shankhara prana vallabhe;
Gyana vairagya siddhyartham, biksham dehi cha Parvati;
Mata cha Parvati devi, Pita devo Maheshwara;
Bhandava shiva bhaktashcha, svadesho bhuvana trayam

Apapurni, you are the beloved power, the shakti of Shiva.  You are fullness and have manifested yourself as this food.  Mother of the universe, nourish us with this gift of food so that we may gain knowledge and spiritual perfection.  Parvati is my mother, Shiva is my father, All of God’s devotees are my family.

Aparna Khanolkar is an Ayurvedic lifestyle and culinary coach in Santa Barbara. She also travels to the LA region to coach and to teach workshops. She teaches Vedic cooking classes in Santa Barbara and is available for phone consults.
Contact her at 805-698-5630 or aparna@themistressofspice.com