Getting Back to the Grind With Winter Grains

Getting Back to the Grind With Winter Grains

Winter grains help us energetically balance as we go back to work the first of the year.

January is cold and often damp. This time of year is considered the Vata time of year. The qualities associated with Vata are dry, cold, light and mobile. Ayurveda teaches that we should always use opposites to balance our energies. In January, this means that moist, warm, heavy and stable foods are beneficial if we wish to stay grounded and healthy.

Last month I wrote about the value of consuming warm soups this time of year. This month I’d like to add to the menu the grounding power of warm grains for breakfast. Some of the best grains this time of year, particularly for individuals with lots of Vata lightness, are amaranth, cooked oats (not granola), white or brown rice and wheat. The driest and lightest grains, and therefore the ones to consume the least of when it’s cold outside, are buckwheat, corn flour (including corn chips, cornbread and corn tortillas), polenta and rye bread.

Most grains are easier to digest if you pre-soak them prior to cooking. This infuses additional moisture during a cold, dry season. Adding warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg or cumin also aid digestion.

Here are a couple of recipes to keep you grounded and focused as you take on 2021.

Amaranth with Almonds, Apples & Raisins

Oatmeal with Cloves, Cardamom & Maple Syrup

Roasted Rice with Dates, Cinnamon & Cardamom


The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Karen Callahan at

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