Slow Sunday & a sattvic recipe
Feeding my mind
The setting sun went down on a Saturday filled with friendship, nourishment and taking time to do ordinary simple things. Like dreaming of beautiful places. To fill my mind and the minds of those around me with hints of sanity. To keep minds healthy. I imagined myself in a boat in Venice, as the sun rose and the skies rosy warm glow woke people from their slumber.
I’d booked myself onto a foraging walk, ambled through the Avon gorge learning about the edible and medicinal plants growing there, enjoyed the sunshine and got drenched when rain bucketed down. The pavements and roads sloshing and swooshing with water, fallen leaves copper, green and yellow scrunched across the wet glistening tarmac, and still so many leaves left on the trees. Cars sprayed water into the air, people ran for cover, but I enjoyed getting utterly soaked and splattered my way home, fingers tingling from stinging nettle pickings.
I have a bit of a sattvic theme going on today.
It’s a radical act to decide to control my mind. Choosing what thoughts I will feed it, with emotions generated by those choices setting up a vicious or virtuous cycle.
When the mainstream news and social media sites control my mind, they start to destroy my mental wellbeing, throwing me into the survival brain where spaciousness of thought and feeling are non-existent, from that space I will find it hard to keep what is good about my humanity, alive.
And so I ask myself, who or what is controlling my mind? It seeps into my consciousness.
I believe in the power of prayer. My neighbour and I, she a Muslim refugee from Somalia, myself Buddhist, both pray a lot at the moment, in our own ways. And when I’m watching the sky, or the trees, I think that can be prayer too.
We also take time to recognise the beauty in friendship, and simple things, like sharing a pot of tea and chatting–community. These drops of ordinary simple things happening in the world, may not immediately create big and needed changes, but I think they keep hope alive, as we water our humaness.
Ayurveda has lots of ideas for cultivating a sattvic mind. I remember when I was healing from many years of digestive issues and subsequent symptoms, the Ayurvedic approach to this was very sattvic and my mind, it became so still and peaceful. Here are some things you can do to cultivate Sattva—peace—in your mind:
Fall asleep by 10pm—the body and mind heal themselves between 10pm and 2am if we are asleep.
Wake up before 6am or sunrise, whichever comes first—Sattva time of day is between 2am/pm and 6am/pm.
Eat a plant-based diet, with meat if your constitution or health needs it.
Cut out processed food.
Cut out or cut down on caffeine.
Make alcohol a happy social experience in moderation, or not at all if it isn’t for you.
Maintain a good work/life balance.
Feed your senses peaceful experiences.
Get out into nature.
Get your bare hands or feet on the earth each day for 30 minutes—to benefit from the free electrons that reduce inflammation in body and brain.
Live in balance with your constitution.
Eat lots of sattvic foods (generally organic vegetables & fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, mild dairy, raw honey, jaggery, some gentle spices like fresh ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, turmeric and saffron).
De-clutter your home.
Here’s a sattvic bowl recipe—quinoa & lentils with chard sautéd in ghee and ginger, served with sweet potato patties and tahini dressing.
Quinoa & lentils
I often prep some grains and pulses/legumes if I’ve got a busy week, cooking up vegetables and meat/fish if eating it, fresh. Ayurveda suggests all food should be freshly cooked, but you need someone dedicated to doing that as their sole job, to make it possible every day for every meal!
So, I had prepped the lentils and quinoa, and also a honey dressing. Which was three parts toasted sesame oil to one part cider vinegar, mixed with some rock salt, black pepper and raw honey to my taste. You need to do it to yours. I combined all this with freshly chopped herbs—basil and mint.
Chard & ginger
I just sliced the chard and sauted in ghee and freshly grated ginger, with a little bit of maple syrup and tamari. Again go by your taste buds.
Sweet potato patties
2 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potato, combined with zest of one lemon, then rock salt and ground cardamon, cinnamon and clove to your taste. I used a sprinkling of a mix of 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cardamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground clove. I formed into tiny patties and baked until golden (sorry I didn’t time them, but when I start my cookbook next year everything will be detailed properly).
Lemon tahini dressing
4 tablespoons light tahini
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 clove minced garlic
Unprocessed sea or rock salt to taste
Photo by Felix Mittermeier—pixabay
As the full eclipse moon shines bright in darkening sky, with stars in distant places shining onto this planet we wake up to each day, and leaves on the trees out back flutter; next doors cat with fluffy tail wanders through the garden, and over the wall. I smell rain in the air, and I’m enjoying sticking my head out of the front window, taking in the tree trunk as it disappears into the night, the pavement, the hedges, and watching all the lights in people’s houses twinkle on.
Wishing you the warmest,