What we put in our bodies directly affects our physical, emotional and mental health, according to Aparna Khanolkar, also known as The Mistress of Spice, who was raised in India and now offers Ayurvedic lifestyle and culinary coaching in the Santa Barbara region.
Her veggie food has been raved about by many, from her days as the main chef at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, CA where she catered retreats and taught Ayurvedic cooking classes to her time as a chef at the Chopra Center for Living in Rancho Santa Fe. In her sessions, Khanolkar will assess someone’s dosha, or Ayurvedic mind and body type, and help them design menus and lifestyle changes most suited to their needs.
She recently had actor Orlando Bloom and his girlfriend Miranda Kerr over for dinner. Khanolkar served kidney beans with yams and coconut milk. Also on the menu: ghee rice flavored with mace, cardamom, clove and saffron; sprouted mung beans salad with cucumber, carrots and cabbage; sauteed cabbage with South Indian spices; fried papadums, and fennel ginger tea.
Her lifestyle and diet must be working successfully in her own life, as besides running her own business and being a single mother, the lovely Mistress of Spice is quite productive, creating free podcasts and writing books. Her second book is called Happy Belly, Happy Soul. She also leads the “Shakti Rising!” women’s group which incorporates Ayurvedic principles and teaches culinary workshops, enjoys herself at farmer’s markets, and of course eats and prepares delicious veggie food.
“Ayurveda has transformed my health and life in amazing ways. I look and feel much younger than 40 . . . I chant mantras for self-empowerment and to connect with the Divine. I also exercise regularly and eat a vegetarian diet that is rich in prana and nourishment from mother Earth that supports my radiance and immunity,” said Khanolkar.