Avanti Kumar Singh
Excited because we’ve been working hard to bring you content we know you’ll love. Excited because in doing so, we’ve been chatting with folks who truly inspire us, and who we hope will inspire you. (Selfish and selfless at the same time?) Excited because this post marks the first of our new interview series, 5 Questions With….
What should you expect?
I mean, the clue is in the name, but we haven’t been asking just anyone. We’ve carefully curated a series of interviews with experts whose lives and careers align with Ayurvedic, a 5000 year old science of wellness from India. From world renowned doctors and chefs to writers and nutritionists, each superstar will enlighten us on their use of herbs, spices and foods for both flavor and function.
Let’s welcome — Avanti Kumar Singh.
Avanti Kumar-Singh, is an Ayurveda Wellness Expert on a mission to show how Ayurveda is a health catalyst to achieve optimal wellness in modern life.
After receiving her Bachelor's in Art History from the University of Chicago, she went on to receive her medical degree from Rush University Medical College. While working as an ER physician, she experienced first-hand the limitations of Western medicine. Realizing that “you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling,” Avanti set out to discover what really makes people healthy and what predisposes them to illness. She began a 10-year wellness journey during which she studied energy healing and yoga therapy and became a practitioner of the 5,000-year-old ancient healing tradition known as Ayurveda. Now, Dr. Kumar-Singh bridges the gap between Western and Eastern modalities, helping people discover the healing wisdom within.
Dr. Kumar-Singh is also a sought-after speaker, the host of the top-rated health & wellness podcast, The Healing Catalyst, and the author of The Health Catalyst: How to Harness the Power of Ayurveda to Self-Heal and Achieve Optimal Wellness. Over the last 20 years of her training, study and research, Avanti has shared her expertise with Fortune 500 companies, elite undergraduate and graduate institutions, and at prestigious industry and medical conferences. She has been featured in the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Well + Good, goop and mindbodygreen and served as the co-lead facilitator of the Faculty Scholars Program in Integrative Healthcare at the OSHER Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine. Dr. Avanti currently serves as the Director of Ayurveda at BIÂN Chicago.
1. What's in your pantry right now? What are some of your go-tos for wellness and for flavor?
Obviously Spicewell Salt & Pepper! My go-to is my spice ‘dabba’ (spice box), which I watched my mother use everyday. It has my favorite spices that I use in my daily cooking: namak (salt), haldi (turmeric), rye (mustard seeds), jeera (cumin), lal mirch (red chili powder), dhaniya (coriander) and garam masala. I use different combinations of these spices for almost every dish I make.
2. What's your favorite comfort food? No judgments!
I'm definitely a "salty" person. I love Indian snacks... and popcorn with Indian spices is a favorite. My favorite comfort food is pasta, nachos (yes, balance includes nachos!) or Indian chaat — my absolute all-time favorite.
3. What is your go-to home remedy using spices, foods or herbs?
Hands down, CCF tea (cumin, coriander, fennel). I drink it every day to keep my digestion strong and regulated. I also always travel with fresh ginger so I can add it to my travel thermos with some hot water. It's soothing and helps me ground after being up in the air.
4. Tell us about one experience where nutrition changed your life.
When I first went back to Ayurveda during my medical training because I was sick, I started eating with the seasons as I had when I was growing up. I started to eat according to the daily path of the sun, which aligns with the strength of the digestive fire (agni). Making these simple changes had a profound effect on my health... my inflammation went down, my cravings started to disappear and my energy increased. I started feeling better because I was in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
5. What's one health or nutrition tip you would recommend to our readers?
Get regular with your meals, eating them at the same time everyday... and make lunch your largest, most difficult-to-digest meal because your digestive fire (agni) is strongest in the middle of the day between 10am - 2pm. Make breakfast and dinner small, light and easy to digest, and eat dinner before 7pm at the latest.
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We have a vision of everyone eating more healthfully, and we hope you’ll join us. We would love to be a small part of that journey and help your pantry become your medicine cabinet. Thank you for your support as we are just getting started!