Frequently Asked Questions

What may I expect from working with Chan?

Our role is to guide you toward optimum health, well-being, and peace of mind.  As we proceed through this healing journey together, it is important to understand that you are establishing new healthy routines and lifestyle adjustments. 

As a result, it is best to approach this not as a quick fix but to take this healing journey one step at a time.  With our guidance, you will quickly learn that your health and healing is ultimately in your hands and in every decision, no matter how small, you make along the way.

For some, healing occurs quite rapidly, but in others, somewhat slower.  When you make our suggested changes and consume Chan’s Healing Foods as directed, you will feel more balanced physically and emotionally within the first 2 weeks. 

Within a month, you will experience better digestion, better sleep, and more stable energy and moods throughout the day.  Our clients often happily report that they enjoy eating and eat more than they used to and yet still lose weight.  Those with more deep-seated imbalances and chronic conditions will require steady personal commitment and patience to healing. 

The main focus of our work together is to create a sustainably balanced life that will continue to nurture and support you for the rest of your life.

Does Chan’s Healing Foods have a weekly menu I can choose from?

No, a weekly menu is not offered because each dish is curated specifically for you. 

We modify each ingredient, spice, herb, and/with a combination of 6 tastes according to your prakriti (constitution) and vikruti (current state of doshas). 

However, your meals will be prepared according to your food preference, sensitivities, and allergies.

Is Ayurvedic food Indian food?

No. Ayurvedic food is thought to be Indian food because of its origin of Ayurveda and wide arrays of spices used to enhance the digestion which are mostly found in India.

However, any cuisine can be prepared according to the principle of Ayurveda. 

Ayurveda teaches that all health imbalances first appear in the digestive system of the body.  When agni (digestive fire) is healthy, digestion works well, there is no ama (toxicity), there is no disease, and there is more ojas (strength).  As a result, it is important to keep digestive system healthy to understand “How to eat” and “What to eat” by choosing food and spices according to your prakriti (constitution) and vikruti (current state of doshas) to enhance digestion. 

What is mono-diet Monday?

Mono-diet Monday provides a mini detoxification from the week prior and resets your digestion for the upcoming week. 

Our digestion is a historical system.  The body works more efficiently when we eat a limited number of nutrient-rich ingredients well-seasoned with digestive spices. 

The brain and body learn to expend the right number of digestive enzymes and energy needed to absorb certain foods and extract nutrients, vitamin, and minerals to work like a well-oiled machine. 

The energy and resources are then used to detoxify and heal our bodies.  For some, the mono-diet may be recommended more than one day a week to reach your desired goal.

What is Kitchari?

Kitchari (pronounced kich-a-ree) is at the core of Ayurvedic nutritional healing.  Kitchari is a creamy porridge blend of white basmati rice and yellow split mung beans. 

It is the primary food in Ayurvedic cleansing therapy (Pancha Kama) because it supports digestion, detoxification and assimilation. 

Prepared with doshic-pacifying vegetables and herbs, kitchari takes on endless variations and can support all individuals. 

White basmati rice (the husk has been milled off) is used because it is lighter and easier to digest than brown basmati rice.  Yellow split mung beans are excellent source of dietary fibers, balancing for all doshas and believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.  

The blend of rice and bean creates nutritionally sustainable dish as it provides essential amino acids which must be obtained through your diet.  Kitchari is high in Lysine (from legumes, lentils, mung beans) and methionine, tryptophan and cystine (from grains).

What type of fats are used in our Kitchen?

We focus on all sources of good quality oils. 

We understand that our body turns healthy fats into steroid hormones and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins to help us manage inflammatory conditions and chronic pain.

In our dedicated Ayurvedic kitchen, we use:

  • Ghee as the primary cooking oil.
  • Coconut oil as the secondary cooking oil.
  • Avocado oil in mayonnaise.
  • Extra virgin olive oil as salad dressings.
  • Sesame oil and sunflower oils as flavorings (sparingly).
What is ghee and its benefits?

Ayurveda considers Ghee to be the best fat one can eat.  Ghee is the very essence of butter.  Through the long, slow and careful clarification process; moisture evaporates and milk solids separate, leaving only the pureness of ghee.  Ghee contains the full spectrum of short, medium and long chain fatty acids, both unsaturated and saturated, Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids, and   vitamins A, D, E, and K. 

In particular, Ghee is rich in butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid, used by intestines as energy and intestinal-wall support.  Ghee is also known for decreasing inflammation and promoting healthy digestive tracts.  Being 99 -99.5% pure butter oil, ghee contains little to no lactose and casein, therefore it is acceptable to most who have a lactose intolerance or milk allergy.

When food is properly cooked in ghee, it enhances the assimilation of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and medicinal properties more deeply into the tissues where it imparts the most benefit.  This is ghee’s special property (prabhava).  No wonder ghee is recognized as a rejuvenated elixir, an essential part of a balanced diet for thousands of years. 

Is Ayurveda food for vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free?

Ayurveda historically promotes vegetarianism but not veganism.  No one appears to consider vegan and gluten-free diets thousands of years ago so they were not addressed in the classical Ayurvedic texts.  

In Ayurveda, cow’s milk and ghee are highly revered for their building and tonifying properties.  Meat is generally avoided except as a medicine.  However, you can be vegan practicing Ayurveda and remain healthy.  It simply takes more mindful effort.  I can guide you through this.

Is Chan’s Healing Foods program vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free?

Chan’s Healing Foods is 100% plant-based, vegetarian-friendly, and mostly gluten-free.  Our recipe can easily be altered for vegans.  Ghee, raw honey, and sheep-milk feta cheese are part of our staples, though they can easily be substituted or omitted for vegans.  For some, meat or bone broth may be recommended for healing purposes.

Do I need to worry about vitamin B12 deficiency with Chan’s Healing Foods program?

Chan’s Healing Foods is based on Ayurvedic principles and thus promoting vegetarianism.  Vitamin B12 is abundant in fish, meat, poultry, milk, eggs, and dairy products.  Except for animal products, we do not shy away from incorporating these ingredients in our meal plan, though not heavily.   For those with dairy and eggs sensitivities, we recommend regularly consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 such as cereals, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast.

What sweeteners are used in our kitchen?

We use very modest amount of additional sugar in our foods.  We capitalize on the sweetness of spices, coconut oil, whole grains, sweet potatoes, sauté carrots, and onions in our savory dishes.  Occasionally, pure maple syrup, raw honey (only at room temperature), coconut sugar, and jaggery are used when doshic-appropriate. 

Why raw honey?

To the ancients, raw honey is not only a sweetener but one esteemed by its external and internal healing properties.  Honey is best used at room temperature.

With heat, honey turns into a sticky substance, believed to block channels and create toxin (ama).  Thus, one should not cook or bake with honey.  

It is ok to add honey at the end of preparation to your hot dishes or drinks immediately before serving.  Skillfully taken, honey can support digestive fire (agni), rid of toxin (ama) and support weight loss.  I can show you how.

What about eggs?

Egg yolk is used in our mayonnaise.  Generally, we don’t offer egg dishes as they don’t travel well.  As a general rule of thumb, egg white is cool, light, and dry, while egg yolk is hot, heavy and oily. 

A Vata person does well with scrambled or soft-boiled eggs with appropriate spices.  Scrambled egg whites can be enjoyed by both Pitta and Kapha nature. 

What about nightshade vegetables?

We mostly avoid using nightshade vegetables as they can exacerbate inflammation for some with chronic conditions. 

Solanine is the compound found in nightshade vegetables and is considered mildly toxic.

Found in bell peppers, tomatoes, white potatoes and eggplants.  Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are considered sattvic and supportive of all doshas.