I just received my copy of Divya Alter’s beautiful cookbook, What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen. I am honored to share her contribution to my newsletter. Her wisdom and knowledge is based around her own healing journey with great compassion for her readers. She holds your hand and guides you, inspiring you to take small, sustainable steps that lead to lifelong healthy change.
How do you start your day in terms of nourishment? Do you drink a glass of warm water with lemon juice or a cup of coffee or skip breakfast all together?
The famous Ayurvedic remedy of warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning turns out to be not so Ayurvedic, after all. Lemons are quite acidic and sharp, and lemon water on an empty stomach is not recommended for someone with acidic digestion or blood. Too much water in the morning for someone experiencing weak, sluggish digestion will weaken one’s digestive fire even more.
Here is another way for you to start your day: with a cooked apple.
Single foods eaten at the right time can have the most profound effect on our health. When I first heard about the Cooked Apple from my teacher, Vaidya Mishra, I was skeptical—is it really so important to eat it first thing in the morning? Why cooked and not raw? After trying it a few times I loved it so much that to date, stewing an apple is part of my morning pre-breakfast ritual.
This is the easiest, fastest recipe in my book. Yet its benefits put to shame the most extravagant culinary creations in the world. I change my cooking class recipes seasonally, but I include Cooked Apple in every class handout. I am thrilled when students come back and tell me about their morning apple experience. So here is my challenge for you: if you are a beginner in the kitchen, start with this recipe—it will build your confidence. If you don’t have time to cook, make this recipe anyway—it takes only a minute to prep and you can shower while it’s cooking—it won’t interfere with your rushed schedule. If you want to create lasting family memories for your kids, make them Cooked Apple—they will always remember waking up to the heavenly apple aroma.
Try this recipe and see how it works for you. Remember that the key is to eat it first thing in the morning, as close to the time you get up as possible.
½ cup water
2 whole cloves
1 medium apple, preferably a sweeter variety such as Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Opal, or Pink Lady
For Fiery digestion: Make as is or substitute a pear for the apple.
For Earthy digestion: Add a 1-inch piece cinnamon stick in Step 1.
- Start boiling the water and cloves in a small saucepan. In the meantime, peel, core, and chop the apple into bite-size pieces. If you don’t have time to peel it, at least cut the apple into 4 pieces and remove the core.
- Add the apple pieces to the hot water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the apple is soft and translucent but not mushy.
- Drain, let it cool a little, and eat first thing in the morning.