Eat yourself some happiness - Article published in the Única Magazine of the Expresso Newspaper
Translation of the Article published in the magazine of one of the most important Portuguese weekly Newspapers, about the first Ayurvedic Cooking Workshop organised by Art of Living in Portugal:
Happiness can also be eaten
Using the principles of the ancient Indian practice "ayurveda" in choosing the appropriate foods for each person and in its healthy confection, helps to live in balance.
Its a few minutes after seven o'clock. The dining room of Spiral vegetarian restaurant in the area of Estefania, Lisbon, is perfumed with a slight and indecipherable smell of spices. The radio plays the song 'I Shot The Sheriff "by Bob Marley. Packaged by reggae, ten women and two men cut vegetables and cook them under the baton of the sheriff's kitchen, Wayne Featherstone, a Dutch professor of The Art of Living Foundation (Art of Living Foundation).
This is the last day of a ayurveda cooking workshop held for six consecutive days in after-work schedule. The motto that has led this class, with people between 30 and 70 years to pay 150 euros to meet for a week before the stove and the cookware is the desire to "learn to eat happiness." And how do you get that? "Through the principles of ancient Indian practice Ayurveda - Sanskrit word meaning science of life - and that used in cooking teach us to choose the most suitable foods for each of us and cook them in a healthy way to live in perfect balance with the body, mind and spirit ", explains briefly the chief Wayne, with long black hair , denouncing in his physiognomy and skin color his Indian ancestors.
While following the task, Maria Luisa says that she signed up for this course not only to deepen their knowledge on food, but also to find out if ayurveda cooking brings her more satisfaction than the traditional Portuguese recipes cooked at home. Reached any conclusions? "Well, I have persistent digestive problems and, with this form of cooking, my body has responded better, I feel lighter and healthier." This speech multiplies in echo throughout the class. All, men and women, seem convinced and excited about this Indian way to cook and eat.
Around the vegetables, is also a painter and professor of visual education Manuela Alegre, 59, a student who has long studied and practised Ayurveda. "It's being an experience rich in sensations and flavours." She told us that translates to a dish is complete ayurveda has to be composed of six different flavors: sweet, bitter, sour, astringent, spicy and salty. "The meeting of these flavors in one meal inspires us, ennobles the plate and gives us pleasure and peace. Of course I find some of these elements in the traditional Portuguese dishes, but do not provide the same physical well-being." And he continues to pass us the lesson we learned this week: "There are plates that make us happy, light and harmony with our body. Others leave us hipper, or excited, hyperactive. And yet there are those who create a heavy feeling and leave us full. The ayurveda cooking provides us the first sensation of these three. Is the the most balanced choice" she concludes, citing the fact that she learned to change the traditional stew composed of onions and garlic sauce with the asafoetida (plant resin).
New habits. Beside, Luis Revez 30, tries to make a sauce out of cooked grain. But the man does not succeed and ultimately passes the baton to a colleague. "I want to mend my eating habits and become vegetarian. The meat makes people more aggressive. And as lately I have become a more spiritual person, I'm trying to adjust my diet to this new phase of my life . The self-help book "Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, was the book that aroused his mind to a change of habits.
The power of natural products
At the end of class, the chief Wayne brings to the table a huge pizza polenta, made of flour of maize. To accompany raw vegetables cut into sticks and a kind of humus. "Happy?" Asks the chief to his students. "Ohhh," the class responds in a mixture of astonishment and gratitude. Some comments that, after all, nothing compares to one of the delicious things made in the previous class: potato dumplings sweet with cocoa and chopped dates. "Hmmm!" Leave some escape. Wayne wishes to clarify that ayurveda cooking and Indian cuisine are not the same thing. "In Indian dishes are not rarely heavy and too spicy and can cause all kinds of disturbances in the body: improper digestion, ulcers, general malaise, impairment of mind.
With the growing worldwide trend of using prefabricated food, Indian cuisine is also to depart increasingly from natural products. However, a basic principle of ayurveda is to choose natural foods as possible. Fresh, natural, juicy, appetising. Its eating Happiness." And a good chocolate cake can not be a great way to eat happiness?, we launched a provocation. "I eat one once in a while. And yes, it tastes very well. But know how to distinguish things. There is the immediate pleasure and the pleasure that endures. Sometimes we think that eating a good and fresh chocolate cake gives us pleasure. But then we realise that some discomfort follows after the pleasure of eating. Tummy pains or toothache, for example. The feeling of pleasure in the long term comes from the foods that we do not think are very attractive to start with. And that should make us think... "
Published in the Única Magazine of the Expresso Newspaper of May 15, 2010
Online original version: http://aeiou.expresso.pt/a-felicidade-tambem-se-come=f583282