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Course Description

This course will focus on how the Ayurvedic Counselor can best use nutrition as a healing tool in their clinical counseling work; how to attain nutritional data from their clients; how to interpret the effect their foods have on their health; and how to counsel their clients to change their diet in a way that will reverse any imbalances. Students will also learn how to manage resistance to changing their diet, and the power of agni to digest subtle aharas like information, thoughts and emotions as well. The principles of cooking will be covered as it relates to each dosha and to digestion.

We will cover the six tastes in detail, reviewing their elements, then learning their qualities, energetics, post-digestive effect, whether they are nourishing or purifying, and how each taste affects the doshas, tissues, waste products, and digestion. Agni and its four states, how to improve or balance, is our core focus. We will discuss foods and food preparation according to dosha, as well as food quality.  We will also learn how food preparation affects food energetics and digestion, the benefits of moderate fasting, right hydration, and eating rituals. In addition, we will cover counseling techniques for improving client compliance, how to approach interpretation of allopathic diagnoses and nutritional lab results, and how to prescribe a diet tailored to a person’s prakrti/vikriti, season, age, climate, etc. 

Covered Topics

  • Energetics and qualities of foods and spices
  • Foods and food prep for doshas, seasons, time of day
  • Agni, its importance, signs of balance and imbalance
  • Identifying nutritional imbalance and methods to restore balance
  • Counseling techniques to gain client compliance with your recommendations
  • Thorough knowledge of the digestive process
  • Interpreting allopathic diagnoses
  • Review of the use of the 6 tastes in Ayurveda nutrition
  • Rasa (taste), vīrya (potency) and vipāka (post digestive effect) of the tastes
  • The gurvādi guṇas (10 pairs of opposite qualities) of each taste
  • Effects of each taste on doṣas, dhātus (tissues) and malas (waste)
  • Tastes that are bṛṁhaṇa (nourishing) and those that are laṅghana (purifying)
  • Effect of the tastes and foods on agni (digestive fire) and āma (undigested material)
  • Four states of agni and how to balance
  • Ama: deepana v pachana to dissolve
  • Sanskrit word for Nutrition
  • Qualities of food good for each dosha (ex. warm, moist food for Vata)
  • Eating Behaviors according to doshas
  • Regularity and frequency of eating meals
  • Sensory organs and food (seeing/hearing/touching/smelling/tasting)
  • Food quality gradient (local organic to processed to canned to restaurant)
  • Learn how to recommend appropriate food and dietary guidelines to promote and restore balance based on prakṛti (individual constitution), vikṛti (Pathological condition), agnibala (digestive strength), and āma (undigested material).
  • Learn how to recommend fasting when appropriate
  • Learn to teach and support the client to implement proper dietary guidelines into their lives
  • Learn to prescribe specific foods and spices
  • Discuss and teach the proper rituals of eating
  • Trigunas in nutrition
  • 20 guna-s (qualities): Use a gradient for each quality
  • Link qualities to dosha, season, digestive strength, age
  • How to affect the quality using spices and cooking methods
  • Food by category of tastes
  • Tridoshic foods
  • Triguna applied to foods / yoga / vegetarianism
  • Vitamins/Minerals
  • Introduction to Spices/Herbs
  • Food Preparation: Cooking methods to alter food energetics
  • Kichadi / Ghee / Buttermilk
  • The consumption of water
  • Rituals: Prayers – importance; eating slowly, thankfully, mealtime Chants
  • Counseling Techniques: establishing trust and compliance, building momentum
  • Counseling Techniques: Being present, listening skills, not projecting

Faculty Instructors

Laura Plumb

Sevanti Institute Instructor

Laura Plumb is the author of the the best-selling book Ayurveda Cooking For Beginners, the writer and host of a 53-part tv series called VedaCleanse and of a 12-part series called Divine Yoga. As a graduate of the Kerala Ayurveda Academy and the American Institute of Vedic Studies, she is a leading educator on the power of the Vedic sciences to promote sacred, sumptuous living.

Formerly the General Manager of The Discovery Channel Europe, Laura is the founder/director of VedaWise, offering clinical services in natural medicine for whole person wellness and trainings in the Vedic sciences. She offers classes and consultations in Ayurveda, Jyotish, Yoga Therapy, Whole Food Cooking and Nutrition, serves as a contributing Ayurvedic educator at the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine and The Sevanti Institute, teaches at wellness centers and festivals internationally, is a monthly contributor to Spirituality & Health, as well as an Ambassador for Banyan Botanicals.

Laura’s blog is an inspirational resource for Ayurvedic recipes and wise living. Her popular whole food, plant-based seasonal cleanses are powerful, effective and deliciously nourishing. Her articles on health and wellness have been published in Huffington Post, Ayurveda Next Door, Spirituality & Health, Insight, and the Times of India, among other national and international media.

Laura is an E-RYT 500 with the Yoga Alliance, an Ayurvedic Health Professional and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist through NAMA, and a Jyotish consultant in the M.K.Gandhi lineage.