Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winters - the vegan way

Delhi’s winters are quite famous for being freezing to the bone. Apart from clothing people adopt various methods to stay warm in these biting winters. Though non vegan methods are the more popular ones, there are many vegan methods to keep warm too. Read on to know more....
Let’s first take a look at Indian food...
Ajwain (carom seeds) – can be used in herbal tea, rotis, parathas, veggies, pulses, and any other conceivable manner.
Til (sesame seeds) – used in the form of gajjak, til patti, til laddu, apart from such sweet preparations, they are used in foods either as a paste to thicken gravies, or as whole seeds. Can be sprinkled over salads or tahini can be used as a salad dressing too. Find just any way to add them to the diet. They are supposed to provide heat to the body.
Gud (Jaggery) – I do not know how far it’s true that it gives heat to the system but in winters jaggery is consumed in large amounts. Many sweets are available from Diwali onwards which use gud as a sweetener. Those with a sweet tooth even finish off their meals with a piece of it!
Adrak or Sonth (Ginger or dry ginger) – Dry ginger is used particularly in side dishes or to add flavour to some desserts. Fresh ginger is added to almost everything ranging from herbal tea to adrak murabba (candied ginger).
Laung (Cloves) – a few of them thrown in a side dish gives it its sharp flavour. They can spice up even sweet dishes.
Dalchini (Cinnamon) – Widely used in winters from tea to desserts.
Jaiphal (Nutmeg) – This is supposed to be winter’s favourite spice! Provides heat to the system.
Javitri (Mace) – Derived from the same plant as nutmeg, the effects are similar though the flavours are different.
Moti Elaichi/Badi elaichi (Brown Cardamom) – Produces heat.
Pepper - gives that fiery bite to any dish
Saffron - a heat giving spice though with a mild aroma
Kachi Haldi (Fresh Turmeric) – Available fresh at this time of the year it keeps colds away.
Badam (Almonds)- widely used as a heat producing nut. I use it as almond milk.
Gondh (Edible gum) – Used in sweet preparations fried and mashed...good for the bones too.
Hari Mirch (Green Chillies) – The fiery green chilli is part of salad too apart from spicing up veggie dishes and parathas. Must be tried to know how it heats up the system!
Lal Mirch (Red chillies) – gets you sweating even in winters...!
Peanuts – High protein and energy-giving nuts.
Garlic – bite a raw clove and feel how it warms your insides...
Bajra millet, corn millet - high fibre and energy-rich grain...
All the seasonal fruits and vegetables are must eats. Especially the citrus fruits, as they help maintain the vitamin C levels and prevent attacks of colds, coughs etc. Green smoothies too are important.
Exercise –
Walks especially morning walks! Surprising? True, getting out in the morning is the best way to beat the cold.
Yoga is another way to do it........ The mudra called ling mudra is a heat generating yogic hand stance.
Method – Interlink your fingers to form a single fist from both your hands as in volleyball. Your right thumb should be the first of your fingers towards you and should encircle the left thumb. Hold the left thumb up erect and hold for a few minutes. Preferably sit erect while performing this mudra.
It is used to generate heat in the body. It also helps in cold, cough, sinusitis, asthma and to dry up phlegm. Increase fluid intake when using this mudra. (Ref. Yog Sadhna by Swami Ramdev)

Other tips – Spreading a shawl or a blanket on your cot before sleeping on it keeps you cosy throughout the night (Of course you would need to use your quilts or blankets to cover up too!)Enjoy the chill..!! Happy Winters!

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