True Nature Travels Blog

Guided by Ayurveda in the New Year

Happy new blessings everyone! I don’t know about all of you but this year I am already feeling energized, relaxed, and ready to steer the reins of my manifestations! 2017 was a bit rocky and challenging for me personally. A lot of things got thrown my way to really test my strength and courage as a human and an independent woman. Starting new transitions I found can definitely be a challenge especially when internally/ physically we aren’t feeling the best. It could be over work with mal nutrition; too much food that is difficult to digest, making the digestive fires just burnt out from trying to hard; or maybe there isn’t enough “me time,” being made so the body starts to fight back. One thing I am devoting to is really taking care of me this year and studying more Ayurveda to do so. In the ancient tradition from India, which is over 5000 years old, it can definitely be overwhelming to first start learning about but in the end, you find how rewarding it is. It’s all about self-love and to nourish the body in many different ways to keep our mental state and physical state in a harmonious balance. One important thing in Ayurveda is food. Food is more than yummy goodness, it is medicine.

Now if you read my last post of food and color, you’ll recall me talking a little bit about eating with the seasons. During different seasons, we experience different weather which leads to certain foods being grown organically and some little veggies take a nice break. It’s important to eat the foods that are naturally given to us in these times so that the digestive fires can easily break the food down, since during the winter our fires are weaker naturally. Poor digestion can lead to an unhappy gut and when the gut isn’t happy then so are we!

An important thing to remember if your new year’s resolution was to get healthy and lose weight, the normal gig for a lot of people during a new transitional period, it’s important to do it correctly and naturally, finding a life style instead finding diets and shake plans that leave the body feeling dissatisfied, hungry, and can lead to poor skin and mentality. So, let’s start with the GUT!

The gut is known to be our “second brain” and when it’s not happy, we aren’t either. When the gut is being overworked and contains bacteria, we can start to experience some health issues as well as mental. Anxiety, depression, constipation, bloating, pain,etc. So, the key to health is to nourish, feel, and naturally detox with foods that are easy to digest and will supply energy. If you want to read more about the gut and brain connection then just go to your web browser and simply type in “Gut and Brain connection.” You’ll find tons of truly fascinating articles!

January, we still are in winter so we want warmth. Cozy days and nights, surrounded by our own company or the company of our pets and loved ones. How could these kinds of days get any better? Adding food to the mix like always, that’s how. Something during the winter that Ayurveda likes to promote is Dal. It can be ordered at almost any restaurant in India and in the States. What we will always find is that each place does it differently, adding their own authentic taste. Now, it’s your turn! Dal is comfort food at its finest as well as nourishing and balancing. For those who study Ayurveda now, this recipe is good for balancing vata and pitta. I’m not going to dive into explaining the doshas or each one specifically in this post, but I can another time. For those interested, there are mini tests online you can try to see what you are as well as learn more about what doshas are in general. The dal I created is good for vegan, gluten intolerant people, and meat eaters, paleo lovers. I do use Ghee in my version so if that isn’t in your lifestyle, simply just use coconut oil. The unique hints to this dal is the lime and fennel. The aroma will make you want to just cozy up by the fire, and the food itself will leave  your body feeling happy and ready for some play or relaxation time. Hope you all enjoy. Happy first month of 2018!



1 cup red lentils or yellow split pea

3 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp or more of salt

3 cups water (add more if needed. Can use up to 6)

2 cups vegetable stock

Handful of kale chopped

2 stalks of bok choy chopped

½ large sweet potato chopped

1 tbl miso (optional)

2 inch of kombu (Optional but suggested)

1 tbl ghee (more if desired) *can use coconut oil instead

Lime for garnish


In a large sauce pan over medium heat, put in half of the ghee and all of spices and stir for about a minute. Then add the lentils or split peas with the rest of the ghee and stir for another minute or two. Add in water, stock, and kombu. Bring to boil. Immediately decrease heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until lentils are soft. Stir occasionally to make sure no lentils stick to pan. Add the veggies, sweet potato, and kombu. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until most of liquid is gone, stirring occasionally.

To serve you can serve as is with a bread of choice, on a bed of brown basmati rice or quinoa. Choice is yours! Salt and pepper to taste.

About the Cook

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with a love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help Chelsea Shapouri, The Grains of Lifepeople achieve their true authenticity and move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge of Holistic Living. Chelsea is currently teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock-climbing gyms, creating a cookbook, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting local workshops, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers, you can go to her website,, or email her at; Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.